It is becoming increasingly clear that with the likely overthrow of Roe coming very soon, some pro-abortion District Attorneys elected in states where the Abortion Trigger Bans have been passed have openly declared war on their state’s pro-life law. 1
Abortion Trigger Bans are, of course, those laws passed in states that will go into effect where abortion will be banned when Roe is destroyed. Many of these prosecutors have said they will view enforcement of these bans as a low priority, indicating that they are unlikely to charge an abortionist for performing an abortion within their jurisdiction.
This poses a problem with the enforcement of the pro-life abortion trigger ban that has come into effect. While none of these Abortion Trigger Bans contain any provisions that could prosecute them, the intent is to target the abortionist and abortion providers in general. Essentially, if the law were enforced, the abortionist or those who work for the abortionist would be prosecuted. By making the statement that they will refuse to uphold the pro-life law, these DAs have essentially done two things: 1) they have said it is safe for abortion practitioners to practice and perform abortions within their jurisdiction 2 ) the enforcement of the law within their jurisdiction.
Of course, most pro-lifers will ask themselves: What can be done to prevent this? Fortunately, a few avenues can be followed to destroy these DAs who refuse to do their job and don’t understand the need for a true culture of life.
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Option One: The Attorney General of the State
Some states may have the power to allow the attorney general’s office to investigate and prosecute these offenders if these prosecutors refuse to prosecute. However, there are several states where this is not the case or is sufficiently unclear. Some conditions may want to pass legislation that allows the state Attorney General’s office to investigate and prosecute if a local DA refuses.
In some ways, these local DAs are begging for a political fight with their state legislators and the state attorneys general offices. In some other respects, it is political greatness. A solid red state will most likely pass such legislation precisely because it wants its pro-life abortion ban to be effective. Some local prosecutors may lobby against it, but those efforts are likely to fail. The advantage of such legislation is that the state can investigate and then prosecute those who break the law properly. But the main benefit is that it aligns that local jurisdiction with the rest of the state. This is a very important point here that will be discussed below.
Option Two: Pro-Life Private Enforcement Mechanism
Some other states may want to add another enforcement mechanism, the private enforcement mechanism. This enforcement mechanism is quite well known as it is the mechanism by which citizens, any citizen, the abortionist, or those assisting with the abortion can sue for breaking the law. This mechanism is infamous for being a provision within the Texas Fetal Heart Rate Act. It has become a model for Idaho’s Fetal Heartbeat Law and Oklahoma’s Abortion.
Ban. This mechanism is also tied to many of the Sanctuary for the Unborn Ordinances issued in various cities across the country.
Again, there is the conformity within the state as far as the law is enforced. In some jurisdictions, the abortion ban will be enforced by the local DAs, who will apply criminal penalties, and possibly by local citizens who will sue violators through civil penalties. In other jurisdictions, those charge the violators simply by using only the civil penalty law enforcement provision. The law is enforced, and the local DA has no power to prevent it from being enforced. Again, as history has shown, especially with the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Act, it will stop abortions.
The importance of enforcement:
Here one can discuss the more philosophical aspects of the need for enforcement. Here one can examine the more philosophical aspects of the need for enforcement. As discussed, failure to enforce the law essentially renders the law ineffective. When a DA declares that they will refuse to prosecute an abortionist even though abortion is illegal, they have broken the rule. What is it for? The short answer is justice. Classically defined, justice is that which is owed to the other. ‘Due’ is the operative word.
But who exactly owes what? In general, under an Abortion Trigger Ban that has come into effect, the unborn child has a right as it is the moral duty of all members of society not to harm the child. But when the law is violated and the unborn child is injured, justice is appeased. This time, however, justice must be done differently, and that is to ensure that there is restitution for the massive damage that has been done. So in the case of one who breaks the law, the violator has to face what is due to him, which is restitution to society for breaking the law.
This restitution is important because it acts as an educator and reformer. A great teacher, the law is meant to teach what kind of behavior is acceptable to citizens. Its purpose, and the reason why the law is a great teacher, is to help citizens see the virtue behind the law. The vast majority of people in the state would not have an abortion or assist in any way for two specific reasons: 1) they see the goodness behind the law and want to follow it voluntarily, or 2) they don’t want to be punished. The second option is for the less virtuous in society and why laws must be enforced. In this case, it is to show why it is only to protect the unborn baby’s life.
The fact that a prosecutor refuses to enforce a law that prevents killing an innocent person in their most defenseless stages of development shows a lack of understanding of justice. It also indicates that the DA doesn’t understand what is right at the most basic philosophical level. By denying what the criminal owes (restitution), the DA denies what the unborn child owes (his right to life). As a result, the law does not reach society as a whole because it does not ensure that the moral duty to protect the right to life of others is enforced by law.
To truly move toward a culture of life, the state must ensure that provisions are made to ensure that these abortion-trigger bans are somehow enforced statewide. To truly move toward a culture of life, the state must ensure that requirements are made to ensure that these abortion-trigger bans are somehow enforced statewide. This is why it is paramount for red states with Abortion Trigger Bans with blue city DAs who have stated that they will not enforce the state law protecting the unborn need to pass either of the above two options. To give.
1 Christie, Bob & Salter, Jim, “If Roe Falls, Some Prosecutors Won’t Enforce Anti-Abortion Laws,” Associated Press, June 16, 2022.
LifeNews Note: Joe Kral, MA, is the president of the Society of St. Sebastian and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Bioethics in Law & Culture Quarterly.