Pro-life cause deserves better than the Texas law

The Supreme Court’s fateful step of judicializing abortion in 1973 effectively removed it from the political process for nearly a half-century.

But now the court seems poised to toss the question back into the political realm. I say this not so much because of what happened with the Texas law but because the court is scheduled to hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi case aimed squarely at Roe v. Wade.

The Texas Heartbeat Act may be remembered as a sideshow.

Bear in mind that in declining to issue an injunction, the Supreme Court did not endorse the substance of the law.

It ruled only that the appellees lacked standing.

The drafters cleverly designed a scheme to evade an injunction, and they succeeded. But to what end?

Evading injunctive relief is not the same as evading judicial review altogether.

To achieve a temporary halt on abortions, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Republicans in Texas’ legislature have demonstrated contempt for any value other than hamstringing review.

Mississippi’s law, by contrast, is a straight-up challenge to the “undue burden” standard enunciated in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

It would ban abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation except in cases of health emergencies and fetal abnormalities.

It would be far healthier for our society if citizens were asked to debate and decide these matters for themselves, in their own states, without the help of nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.

If Americans are somewhere in the mushy middle, the two political parties have arrayed themselves at the extremes.

The past five years have demonstrated the dangers of excessive polarization.

I’m not optimistic that compromise or mutual understanding is possible on this issue, but let me offer some personal recollections that may help.

My husband and I, as adoptive parents, were active in adoption charities and advocacy for many years. Adoption brings together people from both sides of the abortion divide.

A Guttmacher Institute survey on women’s reasons for having abortions noted that more than one-third of the women in the study had considered placing their children for adoption but rejected it because they believed it was “morally unconscionable” to give a child away.

Most people are shocked to learn that there’s even a registry for couples who are waiting to adopt babies with Down syndrome.

Adoption is a loving alternative to abortion. Perhaps we can begin to listen to and hear each other if we start there.


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