This commentator writes a lot about “victory laps” – and is thrilled to take one today.
Just over three years ago, he addressed, for a competitor site (sorry, I&I guys), calls by some conservatives “for incrementalism” as fetal heartbeat bills were being labeled “extreme.” Positing that this label should be hung on opponents, with our side “no longer just salami-slicing Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but going all out to reverse them.”
And refuted the assertion that courts would just continue to “slap down restrictive measures over ‘precedent’”:
‘(P)recedent’ on same-sex marriage was Baker v. Nelson, which the Supreme Court ‘dismissed for want of a substantial federal question.’ Until, overnight, district courts nationwide said it wasn’t. Pro-life legislatures should insist that lower courts treat wrongly decided abortion precedents with equal disdain. An appellate judge’s assertion that Indiana’s recently overturned sex-selection law ‘begs for the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe and Casey’ and the ‘super-right’ they create offers hope that repeated state efforts will embolden a future jurist to take the next step.
And look what happened. States continued to lob abortion limits at the Supreme Court. Mississippi dared to suggest that the only way to uphold its restrictions was to overturn Roe. And in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Justice Samuel Alito agreed, noting en route:
The doctrine of stare decisis does not counsel continued acceptance of Roe and Casey. Stare decisis plays an important role … But stare decisis is not an inexorable command, and ‘is at its weakest when [the Court] interpret[s] the Constitution …’ Some of the Court’s most important constitutional decisions have overruled prior precedents.
Which brings us to a second point previously raised by your correspondent: the victory to overturn Roe, while hard-fought and a long time in coming, should not be an end – but rather a beginning. In two respects.
First, it should invigorate a pitched, state-by-state fight to overturn laws permitting the practice. As Dobbs returns the authority to regulate abortion “to the people and their elected representatives,” even conservatives assume that blue states would be left to continue to protect access to the procedure.
But not a single state should be ceded in this continuing “long game.” In part because, like so many leftist abominations, abortion pits progressive constituencies’ interests against each other.
Abortion is black genocide. More than one in four pregnancies among black women (27.8%) in 2019 ended in abortion. If black lives truly matter, they should matter enough to be allowed to take place. And yo, anti-ableists: one 2012 study estimated the abortion rate following prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome was 67%, despite advances in increasing life expectancy and life skills for those born with the condition.
Progressives should be brought face-to-face, in-your-face and continuously, with their movement’s internal contradictions.
Moreover, as this observer also posited three years back:
Protecting human life, at any stage and under any circumstance, is not ‘extreme.’ It’s normal. Natural. And sane. Wanna know what’s extreme, unnatural and insane? 330,000 lives snuffed out last year alone by Planned Parenthood, which gorged on almost $570 million in taxpayer funding. New York progressives rabidly celebrating legislation allowing virtually unrestricted abortion. A Virginia Democratic legislator admitting her bill would sanction abortion during labor. Her governor suggesting it would enable infanticide.
At any stage and under any circumstance, as this proponent defines it, includes protecting all potential life in every state, even blue ones. Life is as precious in New York City as it is in Jackson, Mississippi. Plus radicals’ attacks on crisis pregnancy centers further underscore for the public who are the good guys and true “extremists.”
Second, the victory over Roe opens new hope on every front for conservatives, not just abortion. Again from that column:
And while conservative states are at it, why not adopt the left’s full-court press and drive to reverse course on radicalism everywhere? Reinstate marriage amendments? Ban affirmative action? Revive bathroom bills? Refuse entry and services to illegal immigrants? Why shouldn’t congressional conservatives propose, as Rand Paul did upon his arrival in the Senate, half a trillion dollars in spending cuts in one year, and keep pushing to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood?
Specifically, in his concurrence in Dobbs, Justice Clarence Thomas issued an invitation for conservative states to focus on other “rights” created out of thin air by the courts: “(I)n future cases” (which states must generate) “we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold (privacy right to contraceptives), Lawrence (overturning sodomy laws), and Obergefell (same-sex ‘marriage’).”
No one is going after contraceptives or private sex acts. But marriage? Fair game.
Where does this multiple-front war start? By celebrating – and supporting – the heroes of this decision, pro-life and pro-family advocates who have never given up the fight. Right here, right now, right with you.
Go now. Get your credit or debit card. And donate to the organization of your choice. Here are some of many to consider:
Bob Maistros is a messaging and communications strategist, crisis specialist and former political speechwriter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.