The Times They are A-changin’

“Come senators, congressmen

Please heed the call

Don't stand in the doorway

Don't block up the hall

For he that gets hurt

Will be he who has stalled

There's a battle outside

And it is ragin'.

It'll soon shake your windows

And rattle your walls

For the times they are a-changin'.”

Bob Dylan



Indeed, the times do appear to be, as Bob Dylan crooned, “a-changin’.” Perhaps not in the way he envisioned when penning the words to his famous 1960s tune, but changing nonetheless – and for the better, at least as concerns the heretofore-nonexistent rights of the unborn in America.

Comes word late last week of South Dakota lawmakers approving a ban on nearly all abortions, setting up, as the Associated Press put it, “a deliberate frontal assault on Roe v. Wade.”

Let the battle begin.

Some speculate, and we hope correctly so, that with the recent appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito the U.S. Supreme Court is currently more willing to overturn the landmark ruling now than at any time in the last 33 years since it became the unfortunate law of the land.

The only exception allowed under the South Dakota statute is if the life of the mother is at stake.

As Gov. Mike Rounds prepares to sign the measure, Planned Parenthood plans to sue.

An indicator of just how things have changed in the intervening three decades since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, money for the anticipated legal fight is pouring in. According to the AP, one anonymous donor pledged $1 million to defend the ruling. Many others have stopped by the governor’s office to donate smaller amounts.

As it turns out, Oklahoma has several efforts in the works as well. Among others, HB 2803 calls for a vote of the people to outlaw abortion in Oklahoma upon the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. HB 2496 requires a woman considering an abortion be told her baby may experience pain during the procedure if he or she is older than 20 weeks. HB 2369 would require parental consent for a minor to receive an abortion. HB 3001 requires the Department of Health to implement a program to provide funding to non-governmental agencies that provide alternatives to abortion services.

If scratching Roe v. Wade means America’s figurative windows will shake and its walls rattle, to quote Mr. Dylan, then let it begin.

As concerns abortion, these times need “a changin’.”

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