“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” —Thomas Jefferson (1809)
January 22 marks the anniversary of the two most tragic Supreme Court decisions in American history, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. However, in light of the Supreme Court’s June 24, 2022, decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe and 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Sanctity of Life Day has a whole new and far more joyous meaning.
“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito for the 6-3 Dobbs majority. “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.”
Indeed, the 1973 decisions sparked a contentious debate between those who would deny legal protection for babies in the womb and those who rightly acknowledge that those babies constitute “life” as understood throughout history and affirmed in our Declaration of Independence. Tragically, that right has been denied to more than 60 million pre-birth babies sacrificed on the altar of “choice” since 1973, and even Dobbs didn’t bring that to an end.
Though this issue will never be resolved until the yearly number of abortions is zero, there are encouraging prospects to note as we consider the sanctity of human life. And every life saved is a victory.
More Americans than ever would restrict abortion to the first trimester, while a strong majority believe it is “morally wrong.” But far more encouraging is the shift in the spirit of the pro-life movement. There are still peaceful marches and strong, quiet vigils of prayer outside of abortion clinics, but there are also Internet outreach efforts, maternity homes, crisis pregnancy resource centers, and other ministries that are empowering young women to see their true range of options.
Dobbs is the fruit of decades of unwavering work on the part of faithful women and men on behalf of the most defenseless among us, preborn babies. Their love and dedication to saving one life at a time and loving women in crisis will become even more important in the days and years ahead. Prayers and support will be needed.
More and more ministries and public figures are pointing out the absurdity of a movement centered on choice that leaves a woman no choice at all. Online for Life is using the power of the Internet to reach out to those who search for pregnancy options. Former Planned Parenthood nurse Abby Johnson’s ministry And Then There Were None is giving a voice and a choice to those who desire to no longer work for the nation’s largest abortion mill. Project Rachel and Abortion Changes You, among many other such ministries, are coming alongside the hurting women who have already experienced the pain of abortion. Save the Storks takes compassion to those who are in need with a mobile resource center housed in a luxury bus. Students for Life has a wide presence on college campuses.
In our own home town, we’re proud to support Choices Pregnancy Resource Center and the efforts of the wonderful people there to love women, men, and their children.
These are just a few of the innovative ministries that are leading the way to a stronger, more understanding, and more effective pro-life movement.
The same cannot be said for the other side, which exploits women to serve a twisted agenda.
Roe v. Wade was the infamous case in which Norma McCorvey was used as a plaintiff by leftist attorneys to overturn laws restricting abortion in Texas. A decision upholding Texas law was ultimately overturned on appeal by the Supreme Court, which found a heretofore unprecedented “right to privacy” in the so-called “due process clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment. The despotic branch divined from their “living constitution” that this right entitled a mother to end the life of her baby before his or her birth. Simultaneous with Roe v. Wade, in Doe v. Bolton, using the plaintiff Sandra Cano, the Supremes determined that any complaint — including headaches — could be used as grounds for requesting an abortion.
Since the decisions in those cases, both McCorvey and Cano have recanted their testimony. McCorvey said plainly, “I think abortion’s wrong. I think what I did with Roe v. Wade was wrong,” and she stood by those words until she died in 2017.
(Be sure to read our friend Patricia Lindley’s reflections on McCorvey, whom she and our publisher Mark Alexander personally knew, after the documentary claiming she made a contrary “deathbed confession.”)
Cano, in her 2005 testimony before the U.S. Senate, said: “Using my name and life, Doe v. Bolton falsely created the health exception that led to abortion on demand and partial birth abortion. How it got there is still pretty much a mystery to me. I only sought legal assistance to get a divorce from my husband and to get my children from foster care. … At no time did I ever have an abortion. I did not seek an abortion nor do I believe in abortion. Yet my name and life is now forever linked with the slaughter of 40-50 million babies. … How can cunning, wicked lawyers use an uneducated, defenseless pregnant woman to twist the American court system in such a fraudulent way? Doe has been a nightmare. … My name, life, and identity have been stolen and put on this case without my knowledge and against my wishes. How dare they use my name and my life this way! One of the justices of the Supreme Court said during oral argument in my case ‘What does it matter if she is real or not?’ Well I am real and it does matter.” Cano passed away in 2014.
Like McCorvey and Cano, millions of women and countless pre-born babies are being denied choice by the “pro-choice” movement today.
Americans are obviously tiring of a movement based on such an audacious lie. Scientifically and morally it has always been evident that life starts well before those first beautiful cries. Thanks to Dobbs, pro-lifers can enjoy more legislative success, but even more importantly, today’s pro-life movement is succeeding where it counts most: changing hearts.