The ruling by the Supreme Court in June to overturn its 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade returned the authority to regulate or prohibit abortions to the states individually, and pro-life groups around the nation have begun focusing on supporting local laws that would grant unborn children the human rights belonging to all persons.
The court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization found that there is no language in the U.S. Constitution that sets out a right to end pregnancy through abortion, meaning that the people through their state representatives have the power to either allow or ban the act.
Corporate media outlets that oppose protecting unborn life like the New York Times have described the proposed laws as “fetal personhood” measures and oppose new legislation that would classify the unlawful killing of an unborn child as murder.
In addition to supporting state laws, several pro-life advocacy groups are working toward a federal ban on abortion through an act of Congress or another ruling by the Supreme Court.
With the right case before the high court, it is hoped that abortion might be considered more than an act that violates some state laws. With legal personhood, abortion might be considered an unconstitutional deprivation of life without the due process of law required by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) introduced a bill in Congress last month titled the Unborn Child Support Act. He said that the legislation is a “straightforward first step toward updating federal law” to reflect that life begins at conception.
Inbox: “Republican Congressman Mike Johnson & GOP Senator Kevin Cramer introduced bicameral legislation, the Unborn Child Support Act, to give mothers the ability to receive child support payments while they are pregnant… and retroactively up to the point of conception.” pic.twitter.com/5lxoi3bOqW
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) July 13, 2022
There is no practical chance the bill will move forward in the current Congress controlled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). However, Republicans hope they are setting the table now for action by a Congress and White House soon controlled again by Republicans.
The GOP platform as far back as 1980 has addressed the abortion issue by declaring the party’s support for a “human life amendment” that would have expressly overturned Roe v. Wade without the need for a further Supreme Court decision.
Georgia has enacted new legislation that declares an unborn child qualifies for state tax credits and must be financially supported by its father. Pro-life groups in the state are also calling on Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to move the legislature forward in enacting an amendment to the state constitution declaring unborn children have legal personhood.
The Dobbs era is certain to see the movement to protect unborn life move forward in ways that were impossible during the 49 years Roe was in effect.