Note: Although I wrote the below article for a local Maryland publication, the same ideas are applicable for many areas of the United States.
On January 22, 1973, the US Supreme Court handed down two decisions that paved the way for the slaughter of millions of babies in the US alone: Roe v Wade and Doe v Balton. Roe v Wade basically rendered unenforceable all state laws that either limited or banned abortion. Roe removed all limits during the first trimester of pregnancy and Doe removed them in later parts of the pregnancy “to protect the health of the mother”. However, Doe’s definition of “health of the mother” included all factors such as “emotional, familial” etc. This definition therefore included any factors desired by the mother. Both of these combined amounted to abortion on demand with no restriction whatsoever.
The premises of Roe were acknowledged by both sides of the abortion controversy to be constitutionally flawed. First, there is the false premise of “privacy”. It is based on a faulty reading of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution that barred “unreasonable search and seizure”. The operative word there is “unreasonable”, for the usage of that word admits the existence of reasonable searches and seizures. The false premise was utilized in the 1965 case known as Griswold v Connecticut; that ruling allowed for the usage of contraceptives. It’s interesting that even here we see how the usage of contraceptives paved the way for baby-slaughter, but I digress.
Built into the Roe decision was the acknowledgement that if the fetus were indeed a person, all abortion bans would be constitutional as the unborn child would enjoy all constitutional protections per the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Since 1973, medical advances have been made that demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the unborn child is as fully human as any adult. We have the sonogram, for instance, that shows a very human face on the unborn child in his/her mother’s uterus. We also have seen many advances that have decreased the age at which the unborn child can survive outside of the womb, resulting in the arbitrary benchmark of “viability” being decreased.
With the acknowledgement of Roe’s eventual demise, both pro-abortion and pro-life advocates have been struggling to enact legislation that would either codify Roe v Wade on state books or reinforce protections for unborn children. On the federal level, pro-abortion activists were successful in having enacted the Freedom of Choice Act after Bill Clinton took office. Many of us in Maryland will recall the epic battle over SB162 that was enacted to liberalize abortion laws in Maryland, going even beyond the federal Freedom of Choice Act. Not too surprisingly, that passed, making Maryland a veritable abortion bonanza – more on Maryland later.
A few abortion regulation cases over the years made it to the Supreme Court, only to have the cases decided for the pro-abortion positions owing to the make-up of the Supreme Court. However, after Donald Trump took office, he replaced Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and Rita Ginsberg with Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Comey-Barrett respectively, giving a different tilt to the Court.
On Dec 1, the Supreme Court heard arguments for the Mississippi case called Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is Mississippi’s lone abortion mill. They bristled at the 2018 legislation called the Gestational Age Act that limited their baby-slaughter to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. Note that this law directly contradicts Roe v Wade; the latter stated that abortion in the first trimester could not be limited. I want to reiterate that Roe is a court ruling, not enacted law.
I won’t go into any particulars of the discussions during that Supreme Court hearing. Suffice it to say that the Trump appointees gave indications that they were seriously considering the scientific and constitutional issues underlying the Dobbs case while some Obama appointees displayed quite the opposite. There is hope that the Mississippi law will stand, meaning the overthrow of Roe v Wade.
The demise of Roe would mean that the anti-abortion laws that several states have would now be enforceable. In other words, babies would enjoy some safety depending on their location. Therefore, in some states they would be safe, while still threatened in other states.
Maryland is among that latter group. Some of us will remember the big abortion battle in Maryland during the 1992 elections, where we fought against SB 162 that legalized abortion in Maryland for any reason and any stage of gestation. We lost that battle and as a result, Maryland is seen by abortionists as a mecca for baby-slaughter. Hence we have the likes of Leroy Carhart setting up shop in Montgomery County, a locale that is particularly friendly to abortionists.
We can glean some lessons from this scenario. As noted earlier in this article, President Trump appointed three Supreme Court justices who are now hearing this case. Had Hillary Clinton won that election, we know for a fact that she would have appointed pro-abortion justices; she loudly proclaimed that herself. Under her court, this case would never have been allowed to see the light of day.
Another lesion we can learn is the importance of local-level elections. If Roe is scuttled, the abortion conflict descends to state levels. Therefore we now see that we must elect pro-life candidates in all levels of government.
I will now take a moment to address a regrettable tendency among pro-life people that was on display during the 2016 presidential elections. Then we were presented with two candidates. Neither one could have been held as a paragon of virtue. However, one candidate made very clear her intent to promote baby-killing, the normalization of sexual perversion and a host of other evils. The other, with his admittedly chequered past, promised the opposite. Misguided pro-lifers trumpeted their disdain in voting for the “lesser of two evils” and decided not to vote at all. Well, since Our Lord is never a candidate for election, it will be safe to assume that only flawed human beings will seek election. Such are our options. To not vote is itself a dereliction of duty to at least mitigate any harm to be done to civic life. Again, had Trump not won, we would not be presented with this opportunity at all.
There have always been hopes of passing a human life amendment to the US Constitution, guaranteeing constitutional protections to unborn people. In order for that to happen, the amendment must receive 2/3 votes from both houses of the US Congress and be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures. This will require much political activism on our parts. To those who claim that the abortion matter will not be solved by politics, I reply that they are correct in saying that politics itself will not be sufficient. However, politics will be necessary as we strive for protection of the unborn child.
For Maryland, an immediate consequence of Roe’s demise would be an uptick in the numbers of abortions committed here. The bordering states of Virginia and Pennsylvania do have abortion restrictions on their books that would become enforceable. Once that happens, abortion-bound persons would be crossing into Maryland to murder their children. Therefore, pro-life people, more than ever, will be needed in front of the abortion centers to pray and to offer assistance to abortion-bound women.
Will you accept the opportunities and challenges that a Roe reversal would bring to Maryland?