Three steps forward, two steps back for pro-life advocates

The savants who cover US Supreme Court oral hearings have divined that the Roe v. Wade decision may be overturned later this spring.

In December, the high court heard oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. The tea leaf reading from veteran court watchers is that SCOTUS will overturn Roe v. Wade on its shaky constitutional grounds by a 6-3 margin.

To combat that democratically controlled states are drafting and passing evermore draconian abortion laws, ironically on the eve of the 49th anniversary of The March For Life in Washington DC on Jan. 21, which began as a result of the Roe v. Wade case.

On another, front New York Archdiocese’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the New York state bishops are losing a key pro-life advocate in Albany with the news that lobbyist Kathleen Gallagher is set to retire at the end of the month.

Gallagher has been the director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference for almost four decades.

“In that time, she has not only represented the New York State bishops, but has been a national leader in the pro-life movement, advocating against abortion, capital punishment, and euthanasia, and in favor of supports for pregnant women in need and people near the end of life,” Cardinal Dolan added.

A rash of states are hastily crafting abortion bills and laws to codify abortion rights on the heels of oral arguments earlier this month before the full high court.

In New York Attorney General Letitia James has asked lawmakers to create a state fund to pay for abortions sought by women who live outside of New York. The fund would cover the cost of the abortion, plus travel and hotel expenses for women traveling to the state, according to James’ proposal.

New Jersey just passed the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, which expands and mandates abortion as a state constitutionally protected right. The bill also lifts any previous medical limitations on late-term abortions.

“Any law, rule, regulation, ordinance, or order, in effect on or adopted after the effective date of this act, that is determined to have the effect of limiting the constitutional right to freedom of reproductive choice and that does not conform with the provisions and the express or implied purposes of this act, shall be deemed invalid and shall have no force or effect,” the bill states.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who is Catholic, has said he will sign the bill despite vocal reaction from the state’s bishop conference.

The bishops in a letter to lawmakers expressed their “profound disappointment and deep concern about the passage of (the bill), which codifies into state law an individual’s right to an abortion, including late-term abortions. This law departs from the fundamental Catholic teaching that all life is sacred from conception to natural death.

“Even more distressing is that the legal and ethical calculus that underlies this new legislation absolutely and forthrightly extinguishes the human and moral identity of the unborn child,” the bishops’ statement continued. “Perhaps the legislators who rushed through this Act in the waning moments of their terms did not want citizens to understand fully its inhuman and lethal consequences.”

It’s beginning to feel like three steps forward, two steps back for pro-life advocates.