Some thoughts on Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked Supreme Court draft regarding Roe v. Wade:
The leak itself: The prevailing belief, that it came from someone on the pro-abortion side hoping to spark a last-ditch uproar—exactly as has happened—seems likely. Reaction on both sides of the aisle—pro-life Republicans demanding an investigation, pro-abortion Democrats totally uninterested in finding out who was responsible—certainly seems to affirm that consensus.
Pro-abortion hysteria: Reaction was immediate, and unhinged, not only from abortion activists and the lucrative abortion industry, but from their ever-faithful media lapdogs and pro-abortion politicians. “An abomination—one of the worst, most damaging decisions in modern history,” wailed the habitually overwrought Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Abortion advocates doxxed Supreme Court justices and are now trying to intimidate them with demonstrations outside their homes. Catholic churches have been vandalized as pro-abortion forces resort to the anti-Catholic bigotry that has long been their trademark. In Wisconsin, a pro-life office was fire-bombed. In Boston, a pro-abortion protester was arrested for assaulting a pro-life speaker. In Los Angeles, pro-abortion demonstrators clashed with police. And if 2020’s violent Antifa-BLM rioting is prologue, we’re in for more of the same—absent, of course, any theatrical denunciations from Schumer or other pro-abortion pols and media.
President Biden: Trying to square his “devout” Catholicism with his political ambitions in a pro-abortion party, Joe Biden has been all over the map on this issue over the years. So it was no surprise that in condemning the Alito draft—but not it’s having been leaked—he uttered words that inadvertently buttressed the pro-life cause and undermined his own. He defended a woman’s right “to abort a child,” acknowledging that a child exists in the womb; and then he declared, “I have the rights that I have, not because the government gave them to me … but because I am just a child of God, I exist.” The pro-life case cannot be stated more succinctly than that.
Precedent: Pro-abortion voices are howling that a Court ruling from almost 50 years ago, and a subsequent ruling affirming it, make Roe untouchable. “They do not have the right to change this,” claimed Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). She needs to become a little more familiar with the Constitution. Of course the Supreme Court can revisit prior decisions, and change or overturn those they deem egregiously wrong. Justice Alito cited a case in point: Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 “separate but equal” ruling upholding racial discrimination. That decision was in force longer than Roe has been; yet it was, thankfully, overturned by the Court in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education.
What Alito’s draft would actually do: In fact, Roe was even more extreme than Plessy, and Alito’s draft falls well short of what Brown did in overturning Plessy. Plessy did not mandate discrimination against African Americans, it simply allowed states to discriminate if they so chose. Roe mandated that every state allow the indiscriminate killing of unborn children. Brown rightly concluded that no state could deny any person equal protection of the law based on race. Alito’s draft, on the other hand—much like Plessy—would still allow states to deny equal protection to the unborn, if they so choose. Yes, it would finally strike down Roe’s unfounded creation of a constitutional “right” to abortion. After almost 50 years, that is a major achievement, and a great step forward. But it is not, as many conservatives now assert, the end of the national government’s responsibility on this issue. Because at bottom, this is not about “states’ rights.” It is about the right to life, the most fundamental of natural rights on which all others are necessarily based. If that constitutional right, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the 5th and 14th amendments, is to be upheld, we must ultimately—as one nation—follow the science, recognize the legal personhood of unborn children, and afford their lives the equal protection of our laws.
The politics: Pro-abortion Democrats and their media allies, desperate to stave off a projected huge Republican wave in the mid-term elections, are seizing on this as their chance to turn the tide. It won’t—unless Republicans run scared, as some often do on this issue. Americans are closely divided on abortion, and many support the kinds of state—and national—limits the Alito draft would allow, and pro-abortion Democrats oppose: bans on late-term abortions; protection for babies born alive following failed abortions; informed consent for women seeking abortions; parental notification before a minor can get an abortion; an end to being forced to pay for other people’s abortions with our tax dollars. Pro-life Republicans should stand their ground, support these popular restrictions and use them to illustrate the extremism of their pro-abortion opponents. They should also stand firmly in support of pro-life pregnancy resource centers, vigorously opposing pro-abortion efforts to drive those centers, and their loving care for women and children, out of existence—leaving abortion as the only choice for women in crisis.
Going forward: The pro-life movement, besides supporting all these life-affirming initiatives, must re-double our education efforts, using technology, science, and personal witness to tell the beautiful story of new human life growing in the womb—so that one day, please God, all Americans will stand together, to lovingly welcome and legally protect the lives of innocent unborn children. Only then will justice have prevailed.