Planned Parenthood v. Casey at 20 Years: Time to Reflect, Act

National   Bill Saunders and Mary Harned   May 31, 2012   |   11:29AM    Washington, DC

This year ushers in a major anniversary in the battle to protect unborn children and their mothers from the negative impact of abortion—the 20th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

In 1992, many believed that the Supreme Court was ready to overturn Roe v. Wade; instead, the Court affirmed Roe while simultaneously upholding several commonsense regulations of abortion.

Today, Americans United for Life is presenting a symposium titled “From Planned Parenthood v. Casey until the ‘Day after Roe’: Casey’s Impact on Abortion Jurisprudence.” The event will feature Erika Bachiochi, Michael Paulsen, Clarke Forsythe, and William Saunders.

Later in the evening, AUL is hosting a reception at which AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest will present U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) with the 2012 Henry J. Hyde Defender of Life Award for his long-standing, unstinting defense of the unborn. AUL represented Congressman Smith and several of his colleagues in an amicus curiae brief before the Supreme Court twenty years ago in Casey.

Both of these events will highlight how far we have come and how far we have to go. While Casey and the 1997 decision, Gonzales v. Carhart, have encouraged the enactment of laws and regulations across the country that have saved countless lives, abortion is still legal at any time, for any reason. Heroes like Congressman Smith face a daunting question each time they propose life-affirming legislation—will the Supreme Court uphold this law if it is challenged?

The question is still acute because of the grand role the Court arrogated for itself in Casey. Thus, the 20th anniversary of Casey presents us with an opportunity to reflect on what we can do now, within the parameters of Supreme Court jurisprudence, to protect lives, while we simultaneously consider the absurd anti-life affirmance of a “right to abortion” in Casey itself and work to overturn it.

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LifeNews Note: Bill Saunders is an AUL vice president and LifeNews blogger. Mary Harned is an AUL staff counsel.