More states are passing laws involving abortion than ever before. Many of these laws severely restrict the practice while others seek to make it legal right up to birth. It appears there’s a full-on sprint underway, heading right to the US Supreme Court.
It’s a strange dichotomy. Some states are building high walls around the practice to protect abortion. At the same time, other states, like Indiana, are passing more and more measures to limit abortion.
“From 1983 to 2010, states were only passing an average of 15 pro-life laws,” researcher Michael New of Catholic University told CBN News. “Since 2010 that number has gone up to 57. So that’s quite a substantial increase.”
Best Chance in Decades at Overturning Roe v Wade?
Mike Fichter, the head of Indiana’s Right to Life, says much of this legislating is aimed at trying to reach the Supreme Court.
“At this point with Justice Kavanaugh sitting on the Court, any abortion-related bill that percolates up before the full Court could be a vehicle to overturn Roe v Wade,” Fichter stated.
Indiana lawmakers don’t like to see their bills judged as unconstitutional, but if that means a Supreme Court hearing, it could be worth it.
“We do think a lot of these protective pro-life laws will receive a more sympathetic hearing with today’s Court than they received previously,” New said.
Kenneth Falk of the ACLU of Indiana said, “Clearly there’s a legislative strategy to push as many challenges to Roe and as many abortion restrictions as possible.”
Could the Justices be Swayed by a Nation Turning More Pro-Life?
New suggested the time could be right as the percentage of Americans turning pro-life has gone up both in opinion and practice.
He pointed out, “Since 1980, the US abortion rate has declined by 50 percent. That’s a pretty substantial change in a relatively short amount of time.”
That could affect the Supreme Court justices.
“Popular opinion does have some impact on the way they rule. They don’t want to reach consistently unpopular decisions nobody likes because they would lose legitimacy,” New explained. “So public opinion is something I do think many judges consider, and I think that does bode well for the pro-life movement.”
‘Sooner or Later, It’s Going to Topple’
Fichter added, “Both sides of the abortion debate are realizing Roe v Wade is going to topple. Sooner or later, it’s going to topple.”
Some states seem in a panic that the Supreme Court might rule any abortions illegal.
Fichter mentioned, “You have states like New York that are trying to get ahead of the curve to say ‘we don’t care what happens with Roe v Wade. We’re going to keep abortion fully legal in this state’.”
New added of such states, “The Democratic Party has moved pretty aggressively to the Left on the sanctity of life issues.”
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