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The latest smear against pro-lifers

No, Texas law does not ban the removal of miscarried babies

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The latest smear against pro-lifers
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Texas-based radio host Ryan Hamilton has gone viral with the dramatic story of his wife’s recent miscarriage, igniting fierce debate over the definition of abortion, Texas state law, and pro-life legislation in general. According to Ryan’s account, they rushed to the emergency room as his wife was entering her second trimester, in pain and bleeding heavily. The doctor wrote a prescription to induce labor and sent them home, but they had to return for a second dose. As they waited, Ryan reports that he overheard their second doctor saying something shocking in the hallway: “I’m not giving her a pill so she can go home and have an abortion!” The doctor then came in and told them that given “the current stance,” he wouldn’t be prescribing the pill.

Ryan and his wife were able to obtain the medicine at a different hospital, which eventually did its work, though his wife fell unconscious in the process. He believes she should have immediately received a D&C (dilation and curettage) procedure to remove the child’s body in-hospital, and only Texas abortion law stood in the way. He ends his story with a scathing indictment of “staunch ‘pro-lifers.’” “If you think your ‘Pray To End Ab*rtion’ sign in your yard is ‘Christian,’ I suggest you revisit the teachings of Jesus and try again.”

This tragic tale has become a rallying point for pro-choicers. “This is *exactly* how these laws are supposed to work,” declares Dr. Laura Robinson, who specializes in New Testament studies but is apparently also an expert on Texas abortion law. “People worked really hard to make sure this happened,” she says, accusing pro-lifers of plotting and scheming all along to create trauma for miscarrying couples like the Hamiltons. In a similarly accusatory vein, The Independent claims that the Texas law is “restrictive and vague.” 

Inconveniently for Dr. Robinson and the pro-choice press, the text of the Texas law is not vague at all when it comes to handling miscarriages. As anyone can see right in the first few clauses if you actually read the law, it clearly allows doctors to proceed as needed for the removal of a corpse. This means that the Hamiltons might actually have grounds to sue the doctor they overheard in the hall, although it seems more plausible that there was some sort of misunderstanding. However, even if he did commit malpractice, this has nothing to do with “staunch pro-lifers” or pro-life law. 

This debate highlights the need for strong definitional clarity.

Further, as a Live Action consultant points out in a careful response to Hamilton, sending a miscarrying mother home to wait is actually standard and often safest practice. But with the spread of anti-life propaganda, parents may increasingly become scared and confused into thinking that a D&C is the only safe approach, and pro-lifers are taking it away. This debate highlights the need for strong definitional clarity. Pro-choicers like Robinson are obfuscating with intent to smear the pro-life side by insistently using the word “abortion” for the removal of a dead body, foisting bizarre positions onto us that we would never hold. She ominously intones that “literally anything is possible” now when it comes to “women’s rights.” Pro-lifers had ushered in the Dark Ages all over again, apparently.

As we saw in the case of Kate Cox, pro-choicers will also try to stretch a “threat to the mother” far beyond the narrow domain of cases that actually threaten her life, or, as the Texas law’s exception clause words it, even cause “serious impairment of physical health.” A C-section mother, Cox risked uterine rupture by continuing to carry her child, who was diagnosed with Trisomy 18. But that risk wasn’t unique to this particular pregnancy, and she would presumably have taken it with a healthy child. Of course, that didn’t make good copy for the pro-abortion press, which played up the story as yet another case of horribly bigoted pro-lifers torturing a vulnerable mom. This sleight of hand showed where the conflict really lies, much as pro-abortion propagandists would like to pretend pro-lifers “really” care about something other than protecting children in the womb.

We will need to respond compassionately but firmly to parents like Cox, as well as parents like the Hamiltons, all of whom have been conditioned to hate us and are lashing out accordingly. We can say several true things all at the same time: Yes, we grieve every lost child, and yes, we’re with couples wherever there’s been genuine malpractice. But no, Dr. Robinson, we won’t accept your made-up definition of “what we’re voting for.” We won’t stop advocating for pro-life legislation that has nothing to do with already dead babies and everything to do with saving babies’ lives.

Bethel McGrew

Bethel McGrew is a math Ph.D. and widely published freelance writer. Her work has appeared in First Things, National Review, The Spectator, and many other national and international outlets. Her Substack, Further Up, is one of the top paid newsletters in “Faith & Spirituality” on the platform. She has also contributed to two essay anthologies on Jordan Peterson. When not writing social criticism, she enjoys writing about literature, film, music, and history.


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