“In one of the most significant rulings on abortion in decades, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled in a 5-3 decision on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt to overturn (a Texas state law) designed to regulate abortion clinics in a way that would protect women’s health,” reports Joe Carter of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Of the ruling, ERLC president Russell D. Moore, a true champion for life, poignantly said, “This is a grievous affirmation of the Court’s commitment to a radical abortion ideology, one that puts unborn children, women, and families at the mercy of a ruthless industry. The Court’s laissez-faire attitude toward the abortion industry reminds me of the tobacco lobby’s work in the legal battles around cigarettes. Nothing but a completely uncontrolled and unaccountable abortion mechanism will suffice. This isn’t ‘reproductive freedom’; it’s the sacrificing of life and human flourishing for the sake of profit.”
It is unclear to me how far-reaching the SCOTUS ruling will be. Does this law affect just the Texas law or all state-attempts to regulate the abortion industry? There are a few things that the ruling does make clear to me:
1. Even with Scalia, we would have lost this one.
Since Justice Scalia’s passing, the Supreme Court just has not been the same. If he had been alive to rule on this, there is no question he would have joined the minority opinion, if not written it. With his vote, however, the pro-life side still would have lost 5-4. If the vote would have been 4-4, the lower court ruling could have stood. But, alas, Justice Kennedy voted the wrong way.
2. We need a pro-life court, but we also need more than that.
Hillary Clinton immediately praised this Supreme Court ruling. At the moment, I am unaware of Trump’s thoughts on the ruling, but some in the pro-Trump camp think this will sway people who were dubious about Trump to go ahead and vote for him, just in hopes of a better Supreme Court nominee than Clinton would give.
We must step back and remember, however, that the swing vote in this decision was Justice Kennedy, a Reagan appointee. While Democrats have had 100 percent “success” in nominating pro-abortion justices, Republicans have been hit and miss. This should remind us that, as pro-life Christians, all of our proverbial eggs should not be in the Supreme Court basket. As much as we need to change the court and to change laws–and we do–we also need to change hearts and minds, so abortion becomes not just illegal but unthinkable, to quote Dr. Moore.
3. ‘Texit’ talk grows.
In the wake of Great Britain’s exit from the EU, commonly called “Brexit,” there are some discontent Americans calling for a Texas political party to emerge or, even more extreme, for Texas to bolt the Union. Some are jesting about this, some may be serious. A SCOTUS ruling of this magnitude, however, probably only pours gasoline on that fire. People who make comments on “Texit,” even tongue in cheek, need to remember that words matter. In this social media world, it is easy for a joke to turn into something serious.
4. More prayer and a better long-term strategy needed to protect life.
The pro-life movement as a whole has been battling on many fronts for several decades. In the final analysis, this SCOTUS ruling may infamously rank right up there with Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Such a devastating ruling will cause the pro-life side to want an equally sweeping move toward life. That may or may not happen.
What we need now is to re-commit ourselves to praying that every unborn child would not be deprived of life. We need the church to roll up its sleeves and go to work in prayer, not looking for a quick political fix. We need patience and hope and God’s help, if we are to win.
To that end, when the Supreme Court delivered Texans such a devastating blow, I say, let’s “Remember the Unborn!” and fight onward, together.