Daniel Doherty

On Monday evening, Texas Senator Ted Cruz blasted out a press release informing the public that he had proudly and officially come out in favor of Texas Senate Bill 1, the “controversial” statute that would ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation.

Here’s a short excerpt:

AUSTIN, TX – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) today submitted testimony for the record in support of Texas Senate Bill 1, which will ban abortions after 20 weeks and raise standards of care at abortion clinics by requiring them to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Part of Sen. Cruz’s testimony will be read at the Stand for Life Rally on Monday evening at the Texas State Capitol.

“I want to thank the thousands of Texans who are engaging in the legislative process to speak up for the unborn,” Sen. Cruz said. “The horrors exposed during the recent murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell compel us, in Texas and nationally, to take action. Our opponents seem to advocate little to no restrictions on abortion. In the past, such advocates claimed abortion should be ‘safe, legal, and rare.’ Today, their position can fairly be interpreted as ‘anytime, on-demand, and everywhere.’ This extreme embrace of unlimited late-term abortion is indefensible.

“Our nation was founded on the principle that we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with ‘certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ America’s founders knew that life comes first. Without life, there is no liberty; without life, there is no pursuit of happiness.”

Over the course of the last week or so I’ve spent some time reflecting on the Founders, the Declaration of Independence, and the concept of natural rights. If anything, the Fourth of July forces us to, not least because the United States is the only enduring nation on earth ever founded explicitly on an idea -- namely, the belief that “all men are created equal.” But since the nation’s earliest days, of course, there have always been those who’ve sought to distort what Jefferson originally meant when he penned those immortal words. After all, pro-slavery factions and their apologists argued for generations that the phrase “all men are created equal” only applied to white male landowners; it took a series of social reform movements and a bloody civil war before women and blacks were finally granted equal status and citizenship rights. We all know that America is not a perfect country. But through the political process, at least we know it can change.

I wrote last week that, according to a recent survey, 71 percent of Americans believe the Founders would be “disappointed” with Americans today. I think they’re right on at least one important score. I don’t presume to speak for them, but it seems safe to conclude that the Founders would find legalized infanticide abhorrent and unconscionable. Indeed, women today can terminate a pregnancy after 20 weeks gestation in many states. Given what we now know about fetal pain, this is highly problematic -- not to mention barbaric -- for a nation ostensibly “conceived in liberty” and “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” as Lincoln so nicely put it at Gettysburg. The bill in Texas pro-lifers are championing is obviously not meant to "harm "women; on the contrary, it’s meant to protect the unborn from agony and death.

Cruz is right: liberty and late-term abortion cannot co-exist. And while most Americans seem to understand this, far too many do not.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography