Why the Pro-Life Movement Killed the Abolition of Abortion in Louisiana Act

On May 4, history was made when the Louisiana House of Representatives’ criminal justice committee overwhelmingly greenlighted the Abolition of Abortion in Louisiana Act  (HB813) — a law that would have acknowledged  “the sanctity of innocent human life, created in the image of God, which should be equally protected from fertilization to natural death” by applying homicide laws to women who murder their children via abortion. HB813 was therefore the first abolition bill to advance out of a state legislature’s committee and receive a floor vote.

On May 12, however, history was made for a far worse reason. Louisiana’s predominantly Republican legislature gutted HB813 with an amendment stating that “the pregnant female shall not be held responsible for the criminal consequences” of seeking an abortion. State Rep. Danny McCormick — the Republican who sponsored HB813 — then rightly asked to pull the amended bill from the House floor.

In one week, Republicans in Louisiana moved from endorsing a bill of equal protection for all preborn children to soundly rejecting it. State Rep. Alan Seabaugh — who enthusiastically shouted “absolutely” in  favor of HB813  during the criminal justice committee last week — was the lawmaker who filed the amendment to mutate HB813 into another “trigger bill” that would impose more abortion regulations in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Why the sudden change of heart? Why did Louisiana — a state with a pro-life legislature, pro-life governor, and pro-life culture — fail to abolish abortion and codify equal protection for all citizens?

Because the pro-life movement — the same movement that claims to support the right to life from the moment of conception — opposed the bill with a vengeance.

In the days before the floor vote, Louisiana Right to Life announced its opposition to HB813 because the bill applied criminal penalties to mothers who procure abortion. Meanwhile, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards cited his “Catholic Christian faith” in a  statement announcing that he wanted to “join his voice to the chorus of pro-life organizations against HB813.”

Perhaps most significantly, National Right to Life and dozens of other pro-life lobbying groups chose May 12 — the day of the HB813 vote — to tell state legislators nationwide that “women are victims of abortion” and that “any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women is not pro-life.”

The pro-life movement has now shown its true colors for the entire world. HB813 drew national and international attention from conservatives and progressives alike. Although many faithful abolitionists have watched the same story play out repeatedly over the years, people from all segments of the political spectrum witnessed the pro-life movement contradict its profession that all preborn babies are infinitely valuable and deserving of equal protection. As they do with heartbeat bills, born-alive protection acts, and similar proposals, the pro-life movement once again sought to codify “unequal weights and measures” which are “both alike an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 20:10).

Through its opposition to HB813, the pro-life movement also plainly confessed its stance on the “second victim narrative” — the notion that women are innocent, ignorant victims of abortion rather than perpetrators who knowingly sacrifice their children for the sake of convenience.

Any Christian who has spent time ministering in front of abortion clinics will instantly recognize that the “second victim narrative” is a bold-faced lie. Christians offering financial, medical, and practical assistance to abortion-minded mothers are often met with plain admissions such as “I know it’s a baby and I don’t care” — as well as vulgarity, slander, and mockery. Among the thousands of mothers I have personally encountered at abortion clinics across Pennsylvania, all of them have been acutely aware that the children in their wombs are far more than mere clumps of cells. Women, like men, are fallen in sin. Women, like men, “by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). The pro-life movement therefore denies the plain testimony of Scripture by forwarding their “second victim narrative” — revealing that they are driven primarily by secularism and pragmatism rather than any meaningful Christian conviction.

The pro-life industry devoted time and resources toward nixing a bill that would have guaranteed equal protection of the law for all Louisiana children. The pro-life industry pressured countless government officials into rejecting their duty before God and their constitutional oaths. The pro-life industry is therefore the reason that thousands of Louisiana children will continue to be murdered in their mothers’ wombs every single year.

Millions of well-meaning people trust pro-life organizations with their dollars in the hopes of ending abortion. If it was not manifest before, it should be manifest now that such entities cannot be trusted with a single red cent.

In their opposition to HB813, pro-life lawmakers and organizations have set themselves on the wrong side of history. They are no different than the anti-slavery gradualists who passed the Missouri Compromise or complied with Dred Scott v. Sandford.

But most importantly, they have set themselves on the wrong side of redemptive history.

God has “fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). As the Lord Jesus Christ footstools His enemies (Psalm 110:1), all men and women are called to repent and believe His gospel (Mark 1:15). Civil magistrates are warned to submit to the Lord Jesus “lest He be angry… for his wrath is quickly kindled” (Psalm 2:12).

All flesh will stand before Jesus Christ and give an account for every deed. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). Unless the pro-life leaders who killed HB813 — thereby signing the death warrant for thousands of babies — repent of their partiality and trust in Jesus for forgiveness, they will be burned away like chaff before the Lord of Hosts.

Then they also will answer, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?” Then He will answer them, saying, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” – Matthew 25:44-45

At the same time, believers who have repented of their partiality and consulted the Scriptures as their guidebook for waging spiritual war against abortion may know that in the Lord their “labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Even if the fruits of their labor are not immediately visible, it is God who fights His battles through His people — and His Word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11). The believers in Pennsylvania who sent gospel-driven messages to Louisiana lawmakers, spent time on their knees praying for the passage of HB813, and supported abolitionist groups have an eternal reward in their Lord, who will soon crush Satan under their feet (Romans 16:20).

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.— Psalm 126:5-6

God’s promises remain true. Every spiritual conflict that believers face on this side of the cross and the empty tomb are mere skirmishes that follow the decisive battle that Jesus has already won. Christians who heed God’s Word are always on the side of justice — even if entire murderous civilizations stand against them.

Take heart. Stay obedient and endure. By the power of the Holy Spirit, fight the evils of our age until your last breath — then open your eyes to behold your glorious Savior.

Written by Ben Zeisloft.

Ben Zeisloft is the education director of Abolish Abortion PA and a writer for The Daily Wire. He is a member at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, which he attends with his fiancée, Neilee.