If the leaked draft opinion stands, the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade later this year and send abortion law back to the states.
It would be a huge win for the pro-life movement. Roe v. Wade is a horrible Supreme Court decision both legally and morally. However, overturning this awful 49-year-old decision along with Planned Parenthood v. Casey is just the beginning for pro-lifers.
It’s an important step, but it’s one step. What comes after it is what decides the fate of abortion in this country.
States can and should outlaw abortion except in cases to protect the life of the mother. However, many states will not do that. States such as Vermont, Massachusetts, and California, governed by Democratic supermajorities, are more likely to liberalize their laws. Massachusetts, for example, included $500,000 in its proposed fiscal year 2023 budget to provide funding for private abortion funds.
States also need to address the demand side of abortion. Reducing unintended pregnancies, supporting mothers who face unintended pregnancies, and fostering a culture of life are key ways to reduce abortion.
Expanding access to birth control is one way to do it: allowing pharmacists to administer hormonal birth control over the counter and providing low-income women with free, long-term birth control.
Implementing prenatal child support, providing state-level child tax credits, eliminating parental rights for rapists, expanding safe haven laws, and getting pro-abortion organizations such as Advocates for Youth and Planned Parenthood out of schools and replacing them with age-appropriate sex education that teaches fetal development are a few ways states could address that.
And since deep-blue states’ abortion laws will likely get worse in the coming years, the federal government should also take action.
Increasing Title X funding to non-abortion providers while excluding abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood would help address this problem — the program more than pays for itself by preventing unintended pregnancies.
And while getting 60 votes in the Senate to restrict abortion seems difficult, Republicans should try to enact restrictions and put pressure on Democrats to support popular legislation once they’re back in the majority. Provisions such as a minimum gestational limit, parental and spousal consent or notification, and born-alive protections, among other provisions, would save lives and counteract some liberal extremism.
The end goal should be a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution that protects life from conception to natural death, abolishing abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment. We’re nowhere near that happening, but the goal should be to eliminate abortion — not regulated killings in a cleaner facility and being OK with elective third-trimester abortions in blue America.
Tom Joyce (@TomJoyceSports) is a political reporter for the New Boston Post in Massachusetts.