The idea comes from an early pro-life activist, Mike Schwartz, commemorated by C-Fam’s Austin Ruse in a recent article The Court Has Completely Destroyed Its Own Legitimacy, about the US Supreme Court, Texas abortion decision Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (June 27, 2016).
(Our website carried an article relevant to this issue, An Abortion Business was fined $77 for a Patient Death; The Average Animal Shelter Fine: $5,305 – Abortion Clinic That allegedly Killed Woman and Failed Inspection Just Gets $77 Fine – Dog Pounds Are Better Regulated Than Abortion Businesses.)
In the middle of the article, Mr. Ruse wrote extensively about Mike Schwartz.
As we mourn all these things, though, let us also remember and celebrate someone whose name is not known to you but he is the man who thought all this up. He was the man whose idea it was to regulate abortion out of business. Mike Schwartz was his name and he died almost exactly three years ago from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Mike Schwartz was one of the country’s first pro-life soldiers and eventually one of our most important generals.
In college at the University of Dallas he helped form one of the very first pro-life groups in the country, the Sons of Thunder. With a name like that you can guess what they might have done first. They invaded an abortion clinic and all got arrested.
He helped found the March for Life. He worked for Paul Weyrich at the Free Congress Foundation, a group that split off from the Heritage Foundation because of Heritage’s reluctance to do pro-life work. For a long time, he was Legislative Director for Concerned Women for America. He worked for Tom Coburn in the US House and became his Chief of Staff in the Senate.
Mike was a salty saint. He would spend hours talking to homeless guys and he would know their names. He carried books of theology around with him and read them whenever there was a spare minute. He always had time for anyone and everyone who came into his path.
And he could talk the bluest of blue streaks at “gutless Republicans in the U.S. Senate” and “that band of criminals on the U.S. Supreme Court.” His lips would thin across bared teeth and he would call it the “Roe v. Wade Hate Crimes Against the Human Race Decision.”
I can hear him today enraged at what that band of criminals decided this week. But he would also chuckle because the whole process, even though we lost, for now, has been quite remarkable and has resulted in the other side spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, and actually ended up closing clinics by the butchers not interested in making women safer. The whole process has educated the public, put big abortion under a microscope and made them, once more, defend the indefensible.
Mike thought all this out. He was the most tactical man you ever met.
For years he talked about outlawing abortion by eliminating it. By that he meant that if Roe went down today, abortion would still be legal and killing babies in most if not all the states. He meant that abortion had to be small enough so you could drown it in a bucket of water.
“When the total number of commercial abortions is no greater than 100,000 and the total number of abortion shops is less than 100, then we can say that the cancer has been shrunk sufficiently to cut it out,” he taught.
Before he died Mike put the distillation of a lifetime of thinking and acting into a single memo and handed it out to other leaders in the pro-life movement. I wish I still had mine. It is around here somewhere.
He said Churches should pray each Sunday for the local abortionist by name. He said all abortion clinic workers should be bonded so as to expose the criminal past of so many of them. He wanted to establish an Abortion Injury Compensation Fund to be funded by a tax on all abortions.
He said abortion clinics should be made into ambulatory surgical centers, knowing full well that it would force them to spend huge sums to do it.
And he said all abortion clinic doctors should be made to get admitting privileges at the local hospital. What Mike knew and what recent history has shown is most of these killers are unsavory characters who simply cannot get admitting privileges, which for any doctor are remarkably easy to get.
In the past few years more than 200 such laws have been enacted by heroic pro-life legislators all over the country. And hundreds of clinics have closed.
Mike would be furious today and he would rail against the Court and he would rail against big abortion and he would rail against the gutless Republicans who allowed all of this to happen and it would be wonderful to watch him in full rail.
Then he would say the Rosary, sharpen his pencil, and start chuckling as he came up with a dozen new and inventive ways to end abortion.