In five days, we will somberly commemorate the 49th anniversary of a heartless assault on unborn babies, a lawless attack on our Constitution, and a colossal lapse in moral judgment that has cost the lives of over 63,000,000 Americans. Yet the same time, optimism that this historical aberration will be righted has never been higher.
January 22, 1973 will forever be a date etched in the hearts of pro-life champions. Roe v. Wade was decided by 7-2, and, perhaps it is no coincidence, Dred Scott v. Sandford , a similar stain on our national honor, was also decided 7-2. And just as Justices Byron White and William Rehnquist eloquently dissented in Roe, so, too, did two Justices– John McLean and Benjamin R. Curtis –passionately dissent in Dred Scott.
Dred Scott held that all African Americans living in the United States — slaves as well as free persons — could never become citizens. It also invalidated the Missouri Compromise of 1820, thereby permitting slavery in every federal territory. Roe held that whether unborn babies live or die was a matter of “choice.” Every statute—whether very liberal or very protective of the little ones—was vanquished.
There have been marches and rallies in anticipation of the anniversary and there will many more as we approach that fateful date. A simple but profound question is why?
Ironically, a pro-abortionist captured what drives and motivates us. Once when I was looking for the source of a quote, I ran across a law review article written by an eloquent pro-abortion advocate. Dahlia Lithwick wrote
To read the daily pro-life press [she cites a story in NRL News Today] is to experience Roe as an ongoing visceral assault on basic morality, a living, breathing judicial sin as grievous today as it was in 1973.
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Yes, we oppose Roe because it was/is a judicial monstrosity, spun out of penumbras and emanations and held together by Justice Harry Blackmun’s chutzpah.
Yes, we most assuredly agree that killing helpless unborn children is a sin, both in a strictly religious sense but also a secular sense.
We also agree with the late Malcolm Muggeridge, who succinctly summarized the equality-of-life ethic that undergirds our Movement: “Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other.”
Pro-abortionists believe in sliding scales. We don’t.
The Court has two abortion-related cases to consider. On December 1, the justices heard oral arguments in Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act. At issue in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a law that protects unborn children after the 15th week of pregnancy.
Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Stewart, in responding to a question from Justice Brett Kavanaugh, outlined a core argument why his state’s law protecting unborn babies after 15 weeks is constitutionally sound:
JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: And as I understand it, you’re arguing that the Constitution is silent and, therefore, neutral on the question of abortion? In other words, that the Constitution is neither pro-life nor pro-choice on the question of abortion but leaves the issue for the people of the states or perhaps Congress to resolve in the democratic process? Is that accurate?
MR. STEWART: Right. We’re — we’re saying it’s left to the people, Your Honor.
Solicitor General Stewart re-emphasized this point in his final emphatic declaration:
Justice Kavanaugh, you had it exactly right when you — when you used the term scrupulously neutral. I think that’s a very good description of what we’re asking for here. I think it’s the problem and the value that has evaded the Court and will continue to evade this Court under Roe and Casey, but that is exactly right.
Meanwhile the Supreme Court has preliminary heard Texas’s Heartbeat law–Senate Bill 8–which protects unborn children whose hearts have begun to beat, usually at about 6 weeks of pregnancy. As this is being written, the immediate question is where should the case go next?
The Center for Reproductive Rights wants it returned to Judge Robert Pitman who impatiently (but briefly) enjoined the law. Texas wants the case to go the Texas Supreme Court because they believe there are state law questions that must first be resolved first.
There is much excitement and anticipation in the air. Be sure to follow National Right to Life News Today which brings the latest news Monday through Saturday.
Let me conclude with this. We thrive because, to quote Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), ultimate failure is not an option.
“Despite these and any obstacles, we will never quit. In adversity our faith and trust in God is tested, but it also deepens and overcomes and forges an indomitable yet humble spirit.
“The pro-life movement is comprised of some of the noblest, caring, smart and selfless people I have ever met. They make up an extraordinarily powerful, non-violent, faith-filled human rights struggle that is growing in public support, intensity, commitment and hope.
“The pro-life movement is not only on the side of compassion, justice, and inclusion; we are on the right side of responsible science and of history.”
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.