In a draft decision obtained by Politico, the Supreme Court of the United States has struck down the 1973 Roe v, Wade decision. The opinion, which appears to be authored by Justice Alito, states that "Roe and Casey must be overruled...It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
Before the Roe decision the majority of states completely outlawed abortion. For those few states that did allow abortion under some circumstances, only four had laws that were similar to what was enacted by Roe. When the Supreme Court found a right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution it effectively told every state that they could no longer protect their unborn citizens, and that they had to permit nearly unfettered access to abortion regardless of what the laws on the books stated.
At the time, Justice Byron White wrote in his dissention opinion that Roe was an "exercise of raw judicial power." I agree with Justice White. Roe never should have happened. It was clear that the majority of states had no interest in legalizing abortion, yet the majority of the Supreme Court in 1973 seemed unconcerned with this. Instead, they started our nation down a bloody path that has resulted in millions of lives lost.
Will Roe go? Will abortion's reign of terror over our nation finally end? I certainly hope so. If we can't protect the lives of the unborn at the federal level we can at least allow states to do so individually.
While many left-leaning media outlets show that the majority of Americans support abortion, that statement doesn't tell the whole story. While many Americans are desensitized to abortion and have been led to believe that it is necessary for women, they also believe that it should be restricted. In fact, the majority of Americans do not want to see laws similar to those popping up in New York and California. Truly, the average American does not support abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy, and they certainly do not support infanticide.
What happens if Roe is consigned to the ash heap of history?
In my home state of Pennsylvania, not much. In fact, we're fighting our own battle here to prevent free abortion through our state's medicaid program. If Roe v Wade is reversed, we will not only continue to fight against abortion in our state but could shortly see even more permissive laws than we have currently. Additionally, we could end up being a destination for abortion tourism (women traveling to obtain an abortion) as our neighboring states outlaw abortion within their borders.
In all states, it will be necessary to continue providing pregnancy help to women in need. Not at the rate we're providing now, but to a greater extent. If abortion becomes illegal women will have more babies. Those babies will need diapers, wipes, baby clothes, and other items. Their families will need encouragement and support. Finally, women will need information about the dangers of illegal abortion.
Brothers and sisters, when we hear that Roe is over we should surely celebrate. However, we must also remember that our work isn't done. The unborn, and their families, will still need us.
There will be many opinions, and a lot of anger, flying around as people react to this. Is it real? I hope so! If this is a true draft that has been leaked it is unprecedented, but I fervently hope it is the real thing.
Hold fast to another quote from the draft, "The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions. On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973."
In 1972 our nation loved and valued unborn life. Let's pray that 2022 is the year we return to that standard.
Sarah Bowen is the Executive Director of Promise of Life Network, a life affirming ministry including a pregnancy medical center with medical offices in Slippery Rock and New Castle, as well as resource offices in Butler and Sandy Lake, PA. She began with Promise of Life Network as a college intern in 2008, and has been the executive director since 2014. Sarah and her husband Anthony have been married for 13 years and Anthony stays home with and homeschools their four sons. Sarah graduated from Geneva College with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and a minor in Business. Her first book, Courageously Pro-Life, and other resources for pregnancy centers are available on her website, sarahmbowen.com. When Sarah isn’t working to end abortion she can be found knitting, crocheting, riding her razor scooter, bicycling, and spending time with her family.