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John Wayne's Holster: Its Still Too Early for Pro-Lifers to Celebrate
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Its Still Too Early for Pro-Lifers to Celebrate

I recently read an article on the New Media Journal which suggested that the end of legalized abortion in the United States may be near. The article highlights recent legislative steps taken by the Pro-Life movement to restrict access to abortion.

Currently, there are about 29 or so states that have so-called informed consent laws which require that women seeking abortions must be given information regarding the “procedure”. Although the information given to women varies from state to state, the informed consent laws do not restrict access to abortion. The goal of these laws is to allow women to make fully informed choice.

In Michigan, there is currently a movement underway to amend the state constitution. According to the amendment, personhood would begin at conception. As New Media Journal points out, “Such a designation would serve to give the unborn constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.”.

Perhaps the strongest challenge to legalized abortion comes from South Dakota. The state recently passed the Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act. The law states that "life begins at the time of conception." In addition, the law makes it a felony for doctors to perform abortions, except to save the life of the mother. There is no exception for cases involving rape or incest.

Personally, I applaud South Dakota’s courage on this issue. I hope other states will follow suit.

That being said, I think it is a little premature for we Pro-Lifers to pop the cork on the champagne bottle. The fact that South Dakota governor Mike Rounds signed the bill into law is not the end of the story. Planned Parenthood is preparing to file a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Human Life Protection Act. In all likelihood, the issue will wind up in SCOTUS.

Despite the Right’s excitement at the recent appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to SCOTUS, in my opinion it is unlikely that the South Dakota law will stand. In order for the law the stand, the court would have to overturn the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, and turn the abortion issue back to the individual states.

But that is not going to happen unless the make-up of the court changes more (i.e. Bush makes another appointment).

Take a look at the current members of SCOTUS. As The Baptist Press points out, only two sitting justices (Scalia and Clarence Thomas) have expressed opposition to Roe. It is a widely shared belief among many conservatives that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito would also oppose Roe, but that it not a foregone conclusion. Even if they do oppose Roe, that still only adds up to four votes. The remaining five Justices (John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer) have all shown support for Roe. So unless one of them changes their view on the issue, Roe v. Wade will stand!


At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Roy said...

I agree 200 percent that it is much to early to celebbrate. Personally I think that Roberts will not vote against Roe. I think that Roe opponents are doing this to see exactly which way Roberts and Alito will vote.


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