DANNENFELSER: Life Is Winning In America
Justice Alito’s draft opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson case is more reason for hope that life is winning in America, despite the shameful manner in which it was leaked.
The pro-life movement has argued for decades that the people and their elected representatives have the right to debate and enact laws that protect unborn children and honor women.
The majority appears to agree. If that majority holds, hundreds of thousands — even millions of lives may be saved in the next few years.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” writes Alito, echoing Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Roe’s critics are right — putting unelected judges in charge of abortion policy has been a disaster. Americans have never been at ease with that status quo and firmly reject it when they understand what it really means.
As the opinion noted, the U.S. under Roe is one of a tiny handful of nations, including China and North Korea, that allow abortion on demand past five months of pregnancy — even up to birth.
In sharp contrast, 80% of Americans support limits on abortion, especially late-term abortion when science shows unborn babies can feel excruciating pain.
But pro-abortion Democrats will stop at nothing to cut the people out and impose abortion on demand. President Joe Biden and others expressed the elitism of today’s Democratic Party, that abortion is too “sacred” to be left to us common folk.
The Democrats’ “burn it all down” caucus has been threatening and intimidating justices of the Court since before there was a Dobbs case. Those calls will only ramp up now that Democrats are heading into the pivotal midterm elections with an unpopular president, beset by inflation and war.
They are desperate to hold onto power at any cost. So they will continue to stoke fear and cater to their radical base — pushing to eliminate the filibuster, expand the Supreme Court to dilute the pro-life majority and nullify pro-life laws nationwide with their Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act that failed to pass the U.S. Senate earlier this year.
But this strategy is politically dangerous. It backfired in Virginia, where pro-life voters helped Glenn Youngkin defeat pro-abortion extremist Terry McAuliffe and pro-life candidates swept the ballot, flipping the House. Youngkin went on offense to expose his opponent’s extreme support for taxpayer-funded, late-term abortion, and McAuliffe’s scare tactics fell flat.
“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Justice Alito concludes.
And in a moment of humility, “We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond … even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision.”
If Roe is indeed overturned, our job will be to build consensus for the strongest protections possible for unborn children and women in every legislature and in Congress.
The pro-life safety net, which includes thousands of pro-life pregnancy centers and maternity homes nationwide, will continue growing to meet the needs of women and families.
In the words of Mississippi’s Attorney General Lynn Fitch, the democratic process “will be messy and it will be hard … but that is the role the Constitution gave to us, to the people, and that is the role the court needs to return to us now.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.
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