The Impact of a Leak
By: Deacon Georgette Forney, AFL President
I have a confession; I have never believed abortion would end based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision! After years of abortion laws and limits unsuccessfully being upheld by the Court, I have held little hope that the Justices would ever overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion all nine months of pregnancy. I always felt it would end when people woke-up to the fact that abortion is an inhumane act that kills babies and inflicts pain on mothersand their families, thereby making it unthinkable and unnecessary.
Even after everyone started responding to the leaked draft of the opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, it still seemed surreal that Roe could be overturned. Could it really happen that the issue of abortion would be sent back to the states where elected legislators could enact laws based on the will of the voters?
It was only when a pro-abortion family member confronted me with their fear that women wouldn’t be able to abort their babies that I fully registered that the other side knows Roe is doomed.
Personally, I thought the Dobbs decision would result in either; 1) The Court finding the Mississippi law unconstitutional, 2) The Court would uphold the fifteen week Mississippi ban, 3) The Justices inventing some rationale to establish a new limit on when abortions can be performed, – such as at twelve weeks, or 4) They would overturn Roe and send the issue back to the states. My guess was that they would uphold the fifteen week ban, hoping everyone accepted it as a compromise.
Given the fact that Chief Justice Roberts confirmed the validity of the leaked draft, the reality that Roe could be overturned means that it is not only possible but actually probable! While we may never know who leaked the document, having this information can impact how we prepare for the official decision that will be released by June 30.
I am guessing we all have some family members or friends whose reactions to the leaked opinion mirrors my family members. Therefore, having some rational talking points that can address their concerns, may be helpful. Here are some things you can share:
First, I recently came across these quotes published in multiple articles by Timothy P. Carney in the Washington Examiner. They highlight opinions of respected liberals who acknowledge that Roe v. Wade was an unacceptable decision. It seems many legal scholars know Roe won’t withstand challenges forever.
Kermit Roosevelt, professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School stated, “[I]t is time to admit in public that, as an example of the practice of constitutional opinion writing, Roe is a serious disappointment….As a constitutional argument, Roe is barely coherent.”
Michael Kinsley, attorney and political journalist, “Although I am pro-choice, I was taught in law school, and still believe, that Roe v. Wade is a muddle of bad reasoning and an authentic example of judicial overreaching. I also believe it was a political disaster for liberals.”
Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called Roe a “heavy-handed judicial intervention [that] was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.” Ginsburg also said, “Roe isn’t really about the woman’s choice, is it?” It’s about the doctor’s freedom to practice… it wasn’t woman-centered, it was physician-centered.”
Edward Lazarus, former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun reflected, “As a matter
of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible. I say this as someone utterly committed to the right to choose…A constitutional right to privacy broad enough to include abortion has no meaningful foundation in constitutional text, history, or precedent…”
I appreciate that these people express an honesty about the invalidity of Roe v. Wade, but it makes me angry that while they knew Roe was wrong, they continued to protect it at the cost of millions of dead unborn children and traumatized women.
While I’d like to think there is a special place in hell for people who choose to protect abortion over human lives, I am reminded that God’s judgment in the Old Testament, such as in Deuteronomy 19, verse 3 “Show no pity. You must purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood, so that it may go well with you,” is tempered by Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross. As individuals, we have all fallen short in protecting life, and as a nation, overturning Roe is only the first step in purging the blood of the innocent. We must also repent for the 63 million babies legally aborted in the United States since 1973.
Sadly, instead of repentance as a proper response to 49 years of abortion, we see the consequences of Roe in extreme displays of irrational actions, hate, anger, and violence. Recent examples include:
Billboards have been erected in Portland, Oregon by an organization called “Stop Having Kids.” These billboards tell people to “Stop Having Kids.” On their website, the group claims having children is selfish and unethical. On their website, they describe their organization “pro-choice all the way” and displays messages like “Enough People Already” and “Parenthood Regret Is a Silent Epidemic.” They state, “We believe there are no reasons for having children that aren’t self-focused (besides through force), and that having children is unethical and irrational—despite the fact that birth is a natural process.”
Consider Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Agnes Callamard denouncing the leaked Alito opinion, “There are grim signs that the United States is out of step with the progress that the rest of the world is making in protecting sexual and reproductive rights. We fervently call on the U.S. authorities
to protect the right to legal and safe abortion. Anything less would be a gross failure to uphold human rights, including the rights to life, health, bodily autonomy, privacy and dignity. Any regression in protection of the right to abortion would not only stand to damage the global perception of the United States; it would also set a terrible example that other governments and anti-rights groups could seize upon around the world in a bid to deny the rights of women, girls and other people who can become pregnant.” How does she not see the irony of protecting the right to life for some people but not the unborn?
Images of legislators clapping and cheering as governors sign radical abortion-on-demand legislation into law, allowing for the termination of babies up to birth continue to circulate. Do you remember when New York lit up the Empire State Building in pink to celebrate abortion? And according to a press release from the Capitol Resource Institute, AB2223 is a bill pending approval in the California Assembly. The goal of the legislation is, “That there shall be no civil and criminal penalties for people’s actual, potential, or alleged pregnancy outcomes.” To achieve this controversial goal, the bill removes legal penalties for a mother and any accomplice for the death of an unborn child. How can legislators celebrate laws that permit mothers to abort their children up through birth? Where is their sense of humanity and concern for the citizens they have pledged to protect?
Most recently, according to LifeNews. com, the Department of Homeland Security has released a report showing that radical abortion activists plan to burn down or storm the Supreme Court building and murder justices and their law clerks once the decision overturning Roe v. Wade is released. The report indicates these pro-abortion extremists will also target pregnancy centers, churches and other places of worship with violence and vandalism (as they already have).
These examples of over-the-top behavior by those who support abortion should be shared publicly as the media is downplaying the radical nature of the pro-abortion crowd. While it is obvious these extreme opinions do not line up with most American’s attitudes toward abortion, they may serve to encourage more people to disassociate with the pro-abortion crowd and take a more Life-Affirming perspective.
Based on recent polling, the extremist effect could be influencing attitudes about abortion. A Fox News poll (done hours prior to the Alito opinion leak) asked how Americans feel about abortion and it showed a majority of Americans want all or most abortions made illegal. Americans are pro-life on a 54-44% margin. Overall, 44% think abortion should be legal all (27%) or most of the time (17%), while a majority of 54% thinks it should be illegal all (11%) or most of the time (43%). The “legal” number is a record low and it’s also the first time the portion saying “illegal” has been above 50% on a Fox News poll.
It is also interesting that a recent poll conducted by Students for Life found that people in the Millennial and Gen Z age bracket want a voice and a vote on abortion. An astonishing eight in ten people want to vote on abortion policy in their states – up from 66% last year. They also want less abortions. Three out of four Millennials and Gen Z support limits with more than four in ten favoring either no abortion at all or abortion limited to the exceptions of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
I have also noticed the following common objections to making abortion illegal are being resurrected as reasons why Roe cannot be overturned. Here’s how you can refute each objection in bold type below:
Privacy Issue: Fearmongers are saying that reversing Roe will impact “privacy rights” like those that were identified in Griswold v. Connecticut (which allowed married couples to acquire contraception) and Obergefell v. Hodges (which legalized gay marriage). But the leaked draft indicates that the Roe v. Wade decision is hyper-focused on abortion. They are very intentional about distinguishing abortion from an actual issue of privacy because abortion deals with “a critical moral question” i.e., ending a human life. Also, we must recognize that neither abortion nor privacy appear in the Constitution, yet, in the context of a civilized society, we argue that privacy can’t include ending someone else’s life. Your rights cannot infringe, especially lethally, on someone else’s.
Women of color will suffer: Employing poor women and women of color to defend abortion is reprehensible – nothing is more racist than abortion. Children of every ethnic background are just as precious as Caucasian babies. Feminists for Life states: “Economic justice does not come from women laying their bodies down for brutal procedures or taking a series of poisonous pills to accommodate unsupportive administrators, bosses, or partners.”
Men will control women: Overturning Roe will allow the American people, state by state, to debate this issue through their elected representatives instead of having unelected judges set abortion policy.
Women should have the right to control their body: Students for Life’s website addresses this very well, pointing out that the fetus has different DNA, possibly a different sex or blood type, and fits all other criteria for existence as a distinct organism. Pointing out where a gestating child differs from an actual body organ, like a pancreas, can be useful. An organ is a specialized group of tissue that performs a certain function for the organism’s body. It cannot do so without the instruction of the mother’s brain. A baby, from the moment of conception, is self-directed. He/she is not serving the mother’s body like an organ, and the mother’s brain is not directing the growth.
Women will go to jail: Everyone who supports the Sanctity of Life recognizes that in every abortion there are two victims; the mother and the baby. The mother should always be protected under the law, but the abortionist who performs an illegal abortion should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Knowledge of Justice Alito’s draft opinion also serves to remind us that we must be praying for those who are most vocal and are protesting Roe’sfuture demise when the final decision is released. Please remember that for those who don’t know or understand the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ, affirming abortion is their only way to cope with the trauma that abortion is for the woman and those close to her.
Once abortion is considered illegal at the national level, where will people go with their pain, grief, angst, shame, and guilt?
May God’s people find a way to love those being extreme, recognizing that the sin of abortion is a heavy weight to carry. Always remember Anglicans For Life is here to help you help them.
Categories: Abortion, Bioethics, Legal Rulings, Pregnancy, Sanctity of Life,
Tags: Author: Georgette Forney, Dobbs, Roe v. Wade,