While the left is going all in on gun control, pro-life politicians around the country are competing to see which state will generate the case which leads the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. The Hill has a piece today on the efforts to push for tighter restrictions on abortion in the expectation that, in a few more years, a more conservative court might see the issue differently.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed a bill earlier this month banning abortions after 15 weeks. If it survives legal challenge, it would be the earliest ban in the country.
And it’s not just Mississippi — Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky and other states have proposed bans, too.
“We’re entering a period where states are trying to effectively one-up each other,” said Elizabeth Nash, the senior state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion rights research group.
“They’re jockeying for position as to which would be the state that would have their name on that case.”…
While the Supreme Court has declined to review many abortion cases in recent years, including fetal heartbeat bills blocked by lower courts in North Dakota and Arkansas and a 20-week abortion ban declared unconstitutional in Arizona, anti-abortion groups think that could change if Trump appoints at least one more Supreme Court justice.
“We are searching for one vacancy, whether that be a retirement … or through a circumstance that we’re not aware of yet,” Vander Plaats said.
As I pointed out this week, there have been rumors for months that Justice Anthony Kennedy might be thinking about retiring. Those rumors are now becoming a gentle nudge from GOP Senators who believe appointing a staunch conservative in place of the Court’s swing vote would rally the GOP to the polls this fall. But replacing Kennedy with a pro-life Justice would also create a likely 5-4 majority on the court which could begin to chip away at Roe. In fact, pro-life advocates are already discussing whether a direct assault on the precedent or a gradual approach is more likely to succeed.
“There’s a lot of disagreement about whether we should go straight to abolition of abortion completely, or if we should take that incremental approach and let the court build up the precedent by upholding these more incremental laws,” said Deanna Wallace, director of legal communications for Americans United for Life (AUL), an anti-abortion litigation group.
Of course, overturning Roe would not result in abolition. It would merely allow states to regulate the issue. That would likely result in laws becoming more liberal in some states (California and New York) and far more restrictive in many others. Still, you can bet pro-abortion groups will be going all out to prevent this.
There’s an obvious parallel here to the current push for gun control. While some are openly calling for a repeal of the 2nd Amendment, others are claiming just as loudly that no one wants to take guns away from legal owners. “Stop being so paranoid!” some are saying, “We just want common sense restrictions to prevent another mass shooting.” Pro-life activists could say the same. “We’re not trying to take away your right to an abortion. We just want to see common sense restrictions to ensure Kermit Gosnell never happens again.”
Now let’s see if CNN is as eager to give airtime to this movement as they have been to the Parkland students. I’m sure their March for Life coverage next year is going to be epic.