Pro-life America will march the Washington Mall on January 24, 2020, to protest the Supreme Court’s 1973 (Roe v. Wade) and 1992 (Planned Parenthood v. Casey) rulings to make abortion accessible without “undue burden” of law. Though January marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, this year the March for Life is looking ahead to March, when the Supreme Court will hear arguments for a Louisiana law that comes with a congressional appeal to consider overturning the two landmark rulings on abortion. It will be the first abortion-related case since President Trump’s nominees, Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, assumed the bench.
January 2 saw over 200 Republican members of Congress sign an amicus or “friend of the court” brief, which is a document filed by individuals who are not directly involved in a given case, but who seek to provide pertinent information and context for judges. The brief requests that the court reconsider, and perhaps overrule, Roe v. Wade, and was signed by 39 of the 53 Senate Republicans and 166 of the 197 House Republicans. (Two House Democrats also signed.) The brief is a strong unified gesture by 80 percent of Republican lawmakers against the abortion rulings of the past, as it accompanies a law on abortion access from Louisiana to the Supreme Court. The Trump administration has also put in its oar, urging the court to allow the law to stand as it does not impose “undue burden” on women seeking to terminate their pregnancies.
Passed in 2014, the Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act would require abortion clinics to follow the same standards of health and safety as mandated at hospital facilities, and that all doctors who perform abortions hold admitting privileges at local hospitals. Four years ago, a similar law was passed in Texas, which would have closed all but about ten abortion clinics in the state as most do not meet the health and safety standards for a surgical procedure. According to Planned Parenthood’s own research, abortion often is a surgical procedure which leaves thousands of women hospitalized every year due to complications. The 2016 Texas law was struck down by the Supreme Court (Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt), but there is reason to expect a different outcome this March, despite the precedent set, and Republicans are sounding a call for reconsideration now that such action may be possible.
As they have before, pro-choice groups have paradoxically fought this Louisiana law for health in the name of “women’s health” all the way to the Supreme Court, essentially arguing that abortion clinics can provide “safe and legal” abortions for “women’s health” without meeting the standards required in outpatient clinics. The Court will take yet another look at what constitutes a state-imposed abortion restriction that places an “undue burden” on women who wish to unburden themselves of their unborn children. If the Court sides with Louisiana, only one abortion clinic will be allowed to remain open in that state.
The organization that drafted and filed the legal brief, Americans United for Life, is constantly under attack as touting abortion as a women’s health issue when all they wish is to ban abortion, but the two issues are inseparable. Despite party lines, political lies, and relativist euphemisms, abortion is never safe for women. If the Supreme Court upholds the Louisiana law, it might help uphold the right to life in the nation in a new way, especially if the brief prompts a review of the 1973 ruling. It could serve as a fresh platform to prevent the murder of innocent children and protect women’s health from the people who are posturing as the ministers of women’s health. This may prove the moment of capitalization upon the groundwork laid over the years by Americans United for Life and Republican state lawmakers, and President Trump’s nominees to the Supreme Court may be the ones to lead that charge.
Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. (CCC.2270)
In this election year, those who march for life should recall that President Trump swore to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and pray as they march the Mall that he also preserve, protect, and defend the constitutional right to life. The pro-life movement must push the President’s actions to match the words he spoke at his inauguration: “Now is the hour of action.” Only action can save imperiled children who are, in his words, “infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator.” The abortion holocaust could well be added to the President’s categories of “American carnage” which must stop “right here and right now.”
Abortion is the most grievous corruption that plagues this nation, snuffing out the innocent lives of thousands of children every year. The effects are traumatic, even if they are quiet. The scars run deep, even though they are invisible. The disease is present, even as it is denied. Every American stands under judgment for his country—a country that allows for the murder of babies. This is a truth that all Americans must answer for in one way or another.
Pray for mercy. Pray for justice. Pray for the justices. March for life. March for change. And hope that President Trump will continue to bolster the cause of the March for Life and alter the course of American history by instituting policies based upon the principles set down by Founding Father James Wilson in his “Of the Natural Rights of Individuals”:
With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.
Photo credit: Jonah McKeown/CNA