This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 19, 2023:
Pro-lifers are celebrating “five victories in the past five weeks” as the first anniversary of the Supreme Court's Dobbs v. Jackson Women's health Organization decision approaches.
The “five victories” include pro-life abortion restrictions that were adopted in North and South Carolina, Nebraska, Florida, and Montana in just the last five weeks. Litigation over pro-life laws in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, and Wyoming continues, which could add to the list.
Immediately following Dobbs, 21 states banned or restricted abortions, either through “trigger” laws that became effective when Roe v. Wade was overturned, or through pro-life laws that could then be enforced following that decision.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, says that the move to restrict abortions even further will continue:
The momentum for life continues.
Twenty-three states including my home state of North Carolina now have laws protecting babies at the point when they feel pain, with the potential of Nebraska and South Carolina soon to follow.
Since the Dobbs decision, tens of thousands of lives have been saved and substantially fewer women are experiencing the horrors and harms of abortion.
Most of the restrictions are on prohibiting abortions after 12 weeks, while some are “heartbeat” laws, prohibiting abortion once the heartbeat of the fetus is detected.
One who isn't celebrating Dobbs is Kristan Hawkins, head of Students for Life of America. Strongly pro-life, she feels that those restrictions don't go far enough. Elaine Godfrey, writing for The Atlantic, warned readers that Hawkins is a real threat to abortion. She notes that Hawkins believes that “gone are the days of small-ball second-trimester limits because most abortions happen before then.” She quoted Hawkins: “We're not going to spend a significant amount of resources to pass legislation that's going to save only six percent of children.”
In other words, Hawkins wants to eradicate abortion completely in America, protecting new life from conception.
Her group is focused on college campuses, where SFL currently has 1,300 chapters. She calls them the “Post-Roe Generation” and the fact that The Atlantic gave her so much ink reflects the power of her promise: to overturn abortion entirely through “a trained army of 150,000 young people” promoting that agenda.
At present, Hawkins and SFL are focusing on medical abortions (which she calls “chemical abortions”) available through pharmacies such as Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS. She calls them “the nation's largest abortion vendors.” Her group is pushing for a constitutional amendment recognizing life beginning at conception, although she would welcome a Supreme Court decision ruling that the 14th Amendment already does.
Pro-abortion advocates recognize that the threat to their agenda is very real and are changing tactics. On Tuesday, far-left Massachusetts Democrat Senator Ed Markey introduced legislation to pack the Supreme Court. Said Markey:
Our most fundamentally held freedoms are now under attack from an illegitimate, far-right United States Supreme Court….
If we fail to act, it will only get worse. We must fix this broken and illegitimate court. We must extend the United States Supreme Court.
The very next day, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) jumped on board the nascent but dangerous “pack the court” movement using the old, tired, and now fully discredited “my body my choice” mantra:
As we continue to face unrelenting attacks on our basic freedoms, our courts must be one backstop to protecting our rights.
Instead, the courts have been used as a vehicle to advance a dangerous agenda against abortion rights, voting rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and so much more.
Planned Parenthood refuses to accept that our courts can only exist as they do now, and understands that reforms are integral to building the public's trust that the courts can and will function to uphold hard-won freedoms and advance justice for future generations.
PPFA's expanded position is a continuation of our commitment to ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, has the freedom to make their own decisions about their own bodies, lives, and futures.
PFA and Markey are pushing against a movement for protecting life that is 50 years in the making. As The Epoch Times expressed it, “Even with Democrats' thin majority in the Senate, as Republicans have control of the House, Markey's measure is likely to be dead on arrival, if it makes it that far.”