U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal is at it again. Earlier in the Congressional session, Mr. Blumenthal proposed a gun restriction bill that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid nixed. Mr. Reid is a Democrat who, unlike Mr. Blumenthal, occasionally concerns himself with the political well-being of fellow Democrats, and so the Speaker made sure the bill never came up for a vote. The proposed gun bill championed by Mr. Blumenthal and his compatriot in the Senate, Chris Murphy, easily could have passed the scrutiny of dominant Democrats in Connecticut’s General Assembly, but the Blumenthal-Murphy war on the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution caused major agita among many Democrats looking down the barrel of upcoming elections.
Never mind, Mr. Reid was there to wipe every Democrat’s tear, and any prospect of a gun restriction bill was aborted at its fetal stage. Today, the Blumenthal-Murphy effort is useful only as a campaign prop in the Northeast and California.
Most people think that proposing a bill that has not a snowball’s chance in Hell of passing might put a crimp in the career of an ambitious senator. Most people would be wrong.
Bills that do not pass have no real-world consequences, good or bad, and such bills cannot boomerang politically on their authors. They are dead letters, mostly love letters to one or another special interest that have in the past contributed money and time to the appreciative author of the bill. Such bills allow everyone to win. The congressman wins because he has satisfied ravening interest groups. Citizens who might have been affected by the dead letter win because their lives will not be thrown into turmoil by a bill that, if passed, likely would have had disastrous unintended consequences. But precisely because the bill has not passed, it may be useful as a burnishing tool to brighten the reputation of Senator Take A Bow.
Mr. Blumenthal is famous for taking bows. He was also famous as Attorney General of Connecticut, a position he maintained for more than twenty years, for having sued or threatened to sue everyone who crossed his path. Having been elevated to the U.S. Senate, Mr. Blumenthal is now pursuing a career as the first consumer protection senator from Connecticut.
Mr. Blumenthal’s posture with respect to abortion regulation therefore is more than odd. But it is not likely that those in Connecticut’s media who genuflected every time they received a memo from Mr. Blumenthal announcing his intention to sue yet another small business owner will notice the hypocritical pirouette.
Mr. Blumenthal’s latest campaign bill, the “Women's Health Protection Act," would prevent states from regulating abortion facilities, even Kermit Gosnell’s post-birth chop shop. The bill will be opposed by the usual suspects, orthodox Catholics and Jews – Mr. Blumenthal is a reformed Jew of the progressive persuasion – but religious opposition is easily rebutted. Says Mr. Blumenthal, in an e-mail blast to the abortion on demand lobby he hopes will finance his next election, “… the Hobby Lobby decision is a devastating blow, but here's the worst part: This won't be the last attack from anti-women, right-wing extremists. They will continue to do everything in their power to strip away a woman's right to make her own healthcare decisions – unless we stop them now.”
As is the case with almost all Mr. Blumenthal’s obiter dicta, the soupçon of truth in his statements is wondrously mixed with misdirection and muddied thinking. The Hobby Lobby decision was not devastating to the contraception and abortion industry.
Much of the legislation that followed in the wake of the prosecution of Hermit Gosnell, the infanticide doctor, required abortion providers to observe common sense regulations intended to secure the health of women, particularly those who endure late term abortions, always fatal to the fetus and sometimes dangerous to the mother. Polls on late term abortions, especially partial birth abortions, a process in which an abortionist withdraws a baby’s head from the birth canal and kills the baby by piercing its brain with a scissors, consistently demonstrate a deep and widespread repugnance for most late term abortions, except when the abortion is employed to prevent the death of the mother. One may observe in passing that those fetuses in the womb that have evolved past twenty weeks, the point at which a baby in the womb feels pain, generally are referred to by prospective mothers as “babies.” Late term abortion un-mothers mothers, kills late term “babies” and occasionally inflicts an intolerable psychological strain on those who elect to have abortions. These are not truths that reach us from the pulpit; they are well documented, scientific and sociological truths.
And there’s the rub with Mr. Blumenthal’s bill: Not only does Mr. Blumenthal’s bill forbid states to do what Mr. Blumenthal has done every day of his more than twenty years’ service as Connecticut’s Attorney General; the bill also asks us to shut our eyes to the obvious truths brought before us by scientific improvements. Science always marches on, and sometimes it marches over our most carefully nourished misconceptions. Ultrasounds have done far more than pulpit preaching to convince women that a twenty-week-old fetus, while not yet a senator, is never-the-less more fully human than the undifferentiated protoplasm of a week-old fetus. Even the mothers of week-old fetuses SHOULD be protected from unscrupulous money directed “doctors” such as Mr. Gosnell.
The theology of orthodox Jews on abortion derives from the notion of “quickening,” the point at which the mother feels life in her womb. It has been scientifically demonstrated that a twenty-week-old fetus feels the abortion instruments dismembering its flesh and bones. It shrinks from the fatal touch of the abortionist, the way those us in Connecticut have sometimes winced uncomfortably at Mr. Blumenthal’s tireless efforts while Attorney General to regulate everything in his state from soup to nuts – every hour of every day for more than twenty years.
The law introduced by Mr. Blumenthal and Mr. Murphy draws a red line against reasonable regulation in the case of abortion providers. The federal law proposed removes, as if it were an easily dispensable impediment, the discretion state legislatures need to insure the health of women. It would repeal through a sweeping federal fiat all laws respecting abortion facilitators that had been put in place by state legislators to assure the well-being of abortion clients. Unfortunately, the common sense of a prospective mother, the twenty-week-old fetus that feels pain and flinches from a fatal attack on its life, the hundreds of millions of pregnant women who have studied the ultrasound images of their babies, and the common sense of ages, not to mention the unheeded preacher in his pulpit, all cry out that Mr. Blumenthal’s law will not advance the health and well-being of women – even as he declares in his campaign documents that those who disagree with his assumptions, mostly Republicans, hate women and wish them ill.