Public discourse is an important part of our system of government. That is why the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution is devoted entirely to the preservation of it. From protections on speech and religion to protections on assembly, the press, and the redress of grievances, all of the First Amendment works as a cohesive whole to secure meaningful public discourse from government interference which would stifle it.
However, when bad actors enter the public discourse in bad faith, they damage this marketplace of ideas that our Founding Fathers so strongly wished to protect.
State Rep. Christopher Rabb of Pennsylvania is one such bad actor. He introduced a bill for the sole purpose of mocking Texas’s incredibly successful Heartbeat Bill, which protects unborn children whenever their heartbeat can be detected. Rabb’s ill-intended bill would force all men to get vasectomies either after having their third child or when they turn forty years old. Obviously, Rabb’s bill is not a serious attempt to pass a law. Instead, he is wasting the time and tax dollars of Pennsylvania citizens to get a few headlines mentioning his name.
Nothing about Rabb’s bill contributes to the public discourse on abortion. I may have a degree in medical ethics, but anyone who’s taken half of a high school biology class should be able to tell you that there is no equivalency between an unborn child and forced sterilization. Rep. Rabb is playing dumb intentionally. He’s only in it for the headlines.
I’m not going to pretend that real pro-choice Americans do not have real concerns about poverty and women who find themselves in desperate situations. My heart goes out to those women and I am willing to work with anyone who wants to find real opportunities to give those women the resources they need. However, I cannot and will not condone the taking of an innocent human life.
Americans are at our best when we work together to find solutions to problems. I am confident that we can find a way to love both mothers and their children. Silly bills like Rep. Christopher Rabb’s vasectomy bill are not a part of the solution.