Pro-life Americans could be excused for overestimating the
importance of recent changes on the U.S. Supreme Court. They have endured one of the most
mind-numbing legal battles in the history of modern man, arguing that it
shouldn’t be legal for a medical professional to murder tiny human beings while
being consistently thwarted by supposedly friendly judges who seem intent on
maintaining a status quo that is outdated, unscientific, unconstitutional,
immoral, and horrifically bad jurisprudence.
Remember at one point in recent years, Republican presidents
had appointed 7 of the 9 Supreme Court justices and abortion on demand had
never been so judicially impenetrable.
That’s why I don’t fault the euphoria that existed in
pro-life circles when the Supreme Court looked to be restocked with Federalist
Society-approved, constitutionalist judges, who could finally do to the
dreadful Roe ruling what a previous
Court had done to the dreadful Plessy ruling: overturn it, rectify it, and judicially apologize for their
predecessors having screwed up so badly an issue of basic morality and
Personally, even if I allowed myself to consider the pipe
dream, I never joined in the euphoria because I long ago gave up the hope that
a modern Court would ever have the moral courage to rebuke the spirit of the
age. For all the talk about Chief
Justice Roberts and his loyalty to the Constitution’s text, he has always demonstrated
himself to be far more loyal to the legacy and institution of the Court
itself. If there was ever any question
about that analysis, Roberts himself answered it when he engaged in the most
flagrant act of judicial activism in a generation, literally rewriting the
Obamacare law from the bench in order to help it pass Constitutional
muster. Roberts capitulated to cultural
expectation rather than hold to constitutional fidelity. It was all the writing on the wall a person
could need in wanting to know how he might rule on a Roe challenge.
And so even prior to the Kavanaugh furor and during the
confirmation of Justice Gorsuch I wrote regularly warning pro-life Americans
that they likely had only two votes on the Court to overturn Roe: Thomas and
Alito. And now after both Trump appointees
have taken their seats, I’m not convinced they have any more. Perhaps Gorsuch.
David French does an admirable job explaining why the Court’s recent decision to stay the implementation of a common sense
Louisiana law that says a medical professional who is going to commit an
abortion on someone needs to have hospital admitting privileges – in other
words, it’s a law that protects the health and life of the mother enduring the
abortion – is proof yet again that the Court’s “conservatives” aren’t about to
mess with abortion. He writes,
[The] ruling was an ominous moment for those who’ve voted, worked, and fought for so very long to end the judicial philosophy that brought us one of the most monstrous court precedents in American history. When Justice Roberts joined the court’s progressives to grant the emergency stay and temporarily block Louisiana’s law while the case is pending before the Supreme Court, he did more than benignly push pause on the enforcement of the Louisiana law. Emergency stays are granted only when — among other factors — “there exists a significant possibility of reversal of the lower court’s decision.”
French also outlines that even though Kavanaugh did not join
Roberts in his betrayal of common sense, the newest justice signaled in his own
written dissent that he would be very limited in how far he would go to let a
state restrict abortion access. The
Court’s liberals unsurprisingly felt no need to detail a nuanced position.
The whole charade brings me back to what I’ve been desperately pleading with pro-life Americans to realize for a while now: the courts aren’t going to save babies. We have to. And we do it by:
- Building pregnancy resource centers across the
street from every Planned Parenthood in America, driving them out of business.
- Using every gift we’ve been given to testify to
our neighbors, friends, coworkers, parishioners, congregations, family members
– everyone we have influence with – the truth about life: how it’s a gift, how
it’s precious, how it’s imbued with the image of the Divine, how it’s always
- Harnessing social media to make positive,
life-affirming testimonies as well as offering loving, but clear cautions about
the consequences of a culture where the innocent aren’t protected by law.
- Visibly and relentlessly prodding people to
think about and answer the simplest questions: what is in the womb of a mother,
and when should that being have legal rights?
Only when the culture moves will politicians move. Only when culture moves will courts
move. The problem is our culture. The solution is us. Stop waiting on Kavanaugh and Roberts to do
what you and I must.