If Roe v. Wade is Overturned, the Future Will be Better for Women and Children

Opinion   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 5, 2021   |   12:36PM   |   Washington, DC

America will be a better place when the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and restores the fundamental right to life to all human beings.

Since 1973, nearly 63 million unborn babies have been killed in supposedly safe, legal abortions. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of their mothers have died along with them, and countless more have been physically or psychologically damaged for life.

The pain and loss of abortion, inflicted on the U.S. for nearly 50 years, has damaged our entire culture. Yet, abortion activists persist in trying to convince the public that aborting unborn babies is somehow necessary for a free society.

Katha Pollitt, a pro-abortion columnist at The Nation, argued this week that the future will be worse than the past for women if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

She based her claims on the false notion that the pro-life movement, which is larger and more organized now, is somehow out to get women. To make their lives miserable – potentially even to send them to jail – if they illegally abort their unborn babies.

There is no basis for her claims, and Pollitt even acknowledged that, prior to Roe v. Wade, women weren’t being arrested for illegal abortions; only abortionists were.

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“This time around will be different,” she claimed. “When abortion was illegal, there was no organized, aggressive antiabortion movement with a wing of violent fanatics.”

Pollitt continued:

The language of fetal personhood and fetal rights was much less developed. Abortion was wrong, but the rationale was as much or more about enforcing female chastity and promoting marriage and childbirth as it was about baby killing. That’s why, until the 1960s, it was only a misdemeanor. Today, the only argument left standing is that fertilized eggs and fetuses are persons, and abortion is homicide. That has raised the emotional stakes so high it is hard to explain why a woman should not be prosecuted or why the friend who drives her to the clinic is not an accessory.

But Pollitt is wrong on multiple points.

First, Americans recognized that abortion is “baby killing” for decades prior to Roe v. Wade. Early feminists like Susan B. Anthony and many other opposed abortion, calling it “child murder.”

In July, two prominent legal scholars from Princeton University and the University of Notre Dame filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court with historical records going back to the 19th century showing how the law and medical authorities recognized unborn babies as “people”

Among other things, they pointed to a 1959 statement from the American Medical Association AMA “dismiss[ing] the fiction ‘that the foetus is not alive till after the period of quickening’ and urged correction of any ‘defects of our laws … as regards the independent and actual existence of the child before birth as a living being.’”

Second, the pro-life movement is overwhelmingly peaceful and committed to non-violence. Pro-life advocates’ work is centered around ending the violence of abortion, as well as assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Third, Pollitt ignored the pro-life movement’s repeatedly and openly stated position on legal penalties for abortion. The movement supports the preRoe laws that punish abortionists for killing unborn babies, but not mothers.

This is evident by the record number of pro-life laws that have passed across the country in recent years. None of them punish mothers for having abortions. Quite the opposite, many are strongly pro-woman as well as pro-child because they provide information, require basic safety standards at abortion facilities and offer pregnancy/parenting support to mothers in need.

Pro-life advocates know that the abortion industry preys on women, selling them abortions by lying to them about the humanity of their unborn children and the risks to their own physical and mental well-being. The pro-life movement also is led by millions of women who had abortions and now deeply regret their decisions.

While Roe v. Wade stands, pro-life advocates are working hard to help families in need, providing millions of free diapers, cribs, clothes, temporary shelter and more, hosting baby showers and doing sidewalk counseling, and advocating for laws to protect unborn babies and provide their mothers with basic pregnancy and parenting information. That work will not end once abortion is illegal again. Support for mothers and babies will continue.

Though abortion activists like Pollitt do not see it, compassion for and the desire to cherish every human being are at the heart of the pro-life movement. America will be a better place when Roe v. Wade is overturned because laws will once again recognize that no mother needs an abortion, but every child deserves a right to life.