For pro-lifers, news has been good this week for a change.
It began with Tuesday’s 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in the NIFLA v. Becerra case, when the court struck down California’s overreaching (and downright pernicious) law requiring crisis pregnancy centers to promote, and refer patients out for, abortions.
According to SCOTUS, the law violated the First Amendment of the Constitution--namely the right to free speech, in forcing pro-life pregnancy centers to advocate for something they oppose. Because the vast majority of crisis pregnancy centers are run by Christians, the ruling also further bolstered the right to religious freedom, and protection from having to violate one’s core religious beliefs.
Some are also saying the decision is a big win for those in the medical field, because the case touches on the subject of “medical conscience.” Pro-life physicians, nurses, and pharmacists are hopeful that they will now have legal precedence for being exempted from participating in legal medical procedures that may violate their conscience.
And, as if that weren’t enough of a victory, pro-lifers are also feeling more than a little optimistic about Justice Kennedy’s announcement that he is planning to retire. Justice Kennedy is of course known for his dedication to both gay rights and abortion access, having cast the crucial deciding vote--alongside the four liberal justices--in such landmark cases as Obergefell v. Hodges, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
It doesn’t get much better for the pro-life movement than a vacated seat on the Supreme Court, with a conservative Republican president in office. That would make two justices appointed by President Trump in what is only his first term: Justice Gorsuch, and someone yet to be named but potentially on this list.
If anything has been learned from Justice Kennedy’s 30 long years on the bench, it’s that even just one vote can make all the difference. (Some have even referred to SCOTUS as the “Kennedy Court”, for precisely this reason.) Which is now leading even some of the more pessimistic members of the pro-life community to consider what was once the unthinkable:
Is America about to see Roe v. Wade overturned?
Based on the week’s events, it is certainly beginning to seem, at the very least, possible. If nothing else, it appears likely that several months from now, the highest court in the nation will have, for the first time in years, a strongly conservative (and perhaps more importantly, constitutionalist) majority.
For those in the pro-life camp, it couldn’t come at a better time.
Both religious freedom, and the rights of pro-life medical practitioners, which are oftentimes connected, have come increasingly under fire in recent times. Obergefell, the ultimate and crowning achievement for LGBQT activists, for example, ushered in a new and difficult era for those wishing to bake, farm, and arrange flowers according to their personal religious convictions. Meanwhile, liberal progressives also appear to have stepped up their attacks on crisis pregnancy centers and medical practices that affirm the dignity of the human person, from conception until natural death.
Whether one is a pro-life doctor, or a cake artist who believes in traditional marriage, doing business in America has become decidedly more difficult.
But after this week, the winds may be changing.
Pro-lifers are beginning to wonder if maybe the widespread devastation of the Roe v. Wade era--during which upwards of 60 million babies have been killed via the scourge of abortion--is slowly, and mercifully, coming to an end.