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Hope for the Pro-life Movement

Jeffrey Bruno
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Seven ways Roe v. Wade could be overturned.

Is the annual March for Life, held on the 22nd of January, worth the trouble? Is there really any reasonable hope of ever overturning Roe v. Wade, of ever stopping the court-sanctioned baby killing?

Since the Supreme Court legislated abortion on demand 41 years ago, after casting about for constitutional justification and settling on an unenunciated privacy right lurking in the penumbras of the Constitution, abortion has been present in every state in the union, breaching the unborn’s own uterine privacy in which to grow and develop on a trajectory towards birth. Nearly 50 million future citizens have been lawfully destroyed by this means in a country that has long signified to the world sanctuary from persecution and tyranny. What has become of the destiny of our country, a nation that Ronald Reagan loved to refer to as a “city on a hill”, drawing on a biblical image of Jerusalem that New England settlers also applied to their fledgling American colony?

Despite the horrors of 50 million sets of small body parts disposed of as trash, however, the answer to my opening question is yes, it is still worthwhile holding the yearly March for Life.

Below are some suggestions—in no particular order of likelihood or importance—of possible ways (some perhaps more likely than others!) in which the overturning of Roe and Doe could happen over time. Of course, as each day a fresh set of unborn lives are in jeopardy, the sooner legalized abortion is overturned in our country, the better!

1. In addition to giant failures in other areas, the very excesses of our President in his thirst for ever-wider abortion rights could spell political disaster for his party. Talk about a zombie apocalypse! In any case, there is a real possibility that both the House and Senate could shift to Republican control. Now, Republican control in the past has not brought a reversal of Roe. However, despite the rumblings of discontent from moderate Republicans, the Republican Party may continue to be strongly influenced by the Tea Party, which (though primarily formed to counter Big Government and fiscal irresponsibility) has a considerable membership overlap with serious Christian conservatives, both Evangelicals and Catholics, for whom social issues such as abortion are also injustices crying out to be righted. Again, considering outcomes that are possible if not probable, we can even hope to elect a Catholic president who will have the opportunity to choose new Supreme Court justices willing to revisit Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, and their unhappy progeny. Although we likely could not expect recognition of a constitutional right to life from conception, overturning Roe would at least return abortion to the states. Many of these states would then adjudicate or legislate their own bans on abortion and most of these might at least place greater restrictions on the right than the Supreme Court has thus far allowed (Please note that I am well aware of all the “ifs” in this scenario!)

2. Shifting to the states: long live and grow the red states, which are still populated by serious Christians who vote their convictions in state elections for legislators and pro-life governors eager to limit and (if given the slightest opening) shut down abortion completely within their state boundaries. Of course, red state citizens seeking abortions retain the option of traveling to the nearest blue state; nonetheless, there is much hope in this area for at least regional decreases in abortions.

3. Polls show a general decline for support for legal abortion, and markedly so with younger people, presaging, we can hope, both better legislative prospects down the road and more life-affirming individual choices even while abortion remains legal. Although laws tend to both influence what we think of as “right” behavior and deter us from illegal behavior through fear of the consequences, in the end we do need the conversion of minds and hearts on this subject in order to truly protect the unborn. Therefore, the shift in the poll numbers, particularly for the young, is a hopeful sign that this conversion to pro-life convictions is possible even four decades after abortion has been legalized—and that it is, in fact, happening.

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