The fifty-year effort to defend innocent unborn human life in the United States from the atrocity of legalized abortion has reached a turning point. The apparent imminent overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court will be a giant step toward re-making our country as a place where nascent human beings are, as Fr. John Richard Neuhaus so often said, protected in law and welcomed in life. We must thank God that a majority of justices on the Court appear to reject the fiction that the Constitution recognizes a right to abortion. That fiction has ruled our nation for nearly five decades and has caused tens of millions of unborn children to be put to death.
What will follow from this legal victory for the unborn? The anti-abortion movement, with God’s grace, must continue its efforts to persuade Americans that it is wrong to kill a child in the womb. The sad fact is that too many of our fellow citizens, disregarding science, logic, and basic morality, assert that a pregnant woman has the right to decide whether her offspring is a child whom she will allow to live, or a “product of conception” that she may eliminate without objection.
In those states where a majority of voters believe that children only acquire human rights and legal protection once they emerge from their mothers’ wombs, abortion will continue to enjoy legal sanction. This stark reality demands that we redouble our efforts to make known the truth about the humanity of unborn children and the immorality of doing them deadly harm for any reason whatsoever.
The intimidating actions of protesters who have rallied outside the homes of Supreme Court justices indicate a shocking desire to tear down our democratic system of laws and replace it with the ugly chaos of mob rule. Is this surprising? It shouldn’t be, given that Roe itself was an anti-democratic imposition that swept aside the laws of all fifty states in asserting a constitutional right that does not exist. The illegitimate use of “raw judicial power” (as Byron White, one of two dissenting justices in Roe, called it) brought us federally mandated abortion on demand. The prospect of losing that power led to the incredibly destructive leaking of the draft majority opinion in the Dobbs case. Such an action—by someone working at the Supreme Court—reveals that the American system of government will be respected by some of those charged with guarding its institutional integrity only when it delivers certain results.
This usurpation of power, likely by a clerk who took the job knowing that absolute secrecy was required but nonetheless used the power at hand to attempt a disruption of justice, is a sign that the struggle to protect human life will continue against determined foes who will resort to destructive tactics. We must pray for our opponents even as we resist their efforts to prevent us from enacting laws wherever we can that protect our unborn brothers and sisters from being killed. Thank God we now have that opportunity. May God give the American people ears open to hearing the truth, and hearts willing to turn from evil ways.