Going forward: Challenges and Opportunities

By Carol Tobias, President

From the November 3rd election through the January 5th run-offs in Georgia, I experienced all the negative feelings you would expect, including anger and a temptation to despair. You may have gone through some of these emotions yourself.

We worked so hard to elect pro-life candidates! Election night we had tremendous success in adding new pro-life members to the US House (a net gain of 13 or 14), along with four new pro-life U.S. Senators, but it wasn’t enough. The abortion industry is in position to call the shots in the White House and Congress.

Many of the fabulous pro-life gains made under the Trump administration over the past four years will be reversed, and we will be fighting efforts to enact a federal abortion-on-demand-through-birth law. We will need to vigorously and strategically oppose efforts to repeal the Hyde Amendment so that our tax dollars do not pay for the killing of unborn children.

So, do we have difficult challenges ahead? Of course. When we signed on, no one ever said it would be easy or that there would not be setbacks.

But are we going to give up and walk away? Absolutely not!! Since we do not labor for personal gain but for those who cannot help themselves, we will take a deep breath and continue the fight.

We have many opportunities available to us, and we need to take advantage of them as much as possible.

While many of President Trump’s pro-life policies will be reversed, a lasting impact will be seen in the courts. His appointees to the federal bench have a deep respect for the Constitution; they will make decisions on laws that come before them according to its text.

That is hugely important. We know that Roe v Wade was not based on the Constitution. Honest, pro-abortion legal minds acknowledge that Roe v Wade was poorly decided.

In a famous 1973 Yale Law Journal article, entitled “The Wages of Crying Wolf,” Professor John Hart Ely wrote that he was personally “pro-choice,” yet denounced the Roe decision. He wrote that Roe

“is bad because it is bad constitutional law, or rather because it is not constitutional law and it gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” The article is very much worth reading in its entirety.

Justice Byron White wrote, in his Roe dissent, “I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand.”

Just as we made pro-life gains in the U.S. House, we saw an increase of pro-life legislators in many state houses. Many of these state legislatures will continue their efforts to be “laboratories of democracy” when it comes to protecting unborn children.

I refer, of course, to a 1932 opinion in which Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote that states may “serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

With guidance and support from our affiliates, many of the states will find ways to challenge the fabricated constitutionality of Roe v Wade.

In addition to passing protective legislation at the state level, we will also continue our educational efforts. Because of the Covid pandemic, many county and state fairs were canceled. If they are back in operation this year, make sure your pro-life chapter has a presence at the fair.

Booths that display fetal models and hand out informational materials are a great way to reach those you may not meet elsewhere.

Advertising on radio, billboards and buses, working with churches and community groups, promoting pro-life messages and information through social media—all are ways we can impact our fellow citizens.

Giving credit to Wikipedia, “The marketplace of ideas holds that the truth will emerge from the competition of ideas in free, transparent public discourse.” Our goal is to inject the truth about the humanity of the unborn child into the marketplace of ideas; to change the hearts and minds of people who bought into the lie of “choice.”

The pandemic reminds us that the elderly and those with disabilities are often the first targets for neglect. Sadly, we’ve seen too many of them endangered by placement in infectious living facilities; or denied treatment based on a subjective “quality of life” standard. We have spoken up on their behalf. They need our voices now more than ever.

The pro-life movement has had challenges before and we have always risen to meet, and overcome, them. We will continue to do so, and we will prevail. For the babies and the medically vulnerable, we must.