John Roberts and the Pro-Life Cause
The Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Chief Justice John Roberts joined Justices Breyer, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Ginsburg in the decision. In the majority opinion, Justice Breyer summarized the logic of the court, “[The Court] found that the statute offers no significant health benefit. It found that conditions on admitting privileges common to hospitals throughout the State have made and will continue to make it impossible for abortion providers to obtain conforming privileges for reasons that have nothing to do with the State’s asserted interests in promoting women’s health and safety.” Roberts joined, saying, “The legal doctrine of stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike. The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents,” even though he dissented in the previous case.
In the dissent, Justice Thomas cited the lack of support for abortion rights in the Constitution and the lack of jurisdiction to render this law unconstitutional. Alito added, “Today’s decision claims new victims. The divided majority cannot agree on what the abortion right requires, but it nevertheless strikes down a Louisiana law.”
This is another blow to Conservatives and to the Pro-Life movement from the Supreme Court. If abortion is a healthcare issue, then it should be treated according to healthcare standards. That means abortion clinics should meet standards for any other clinic. Doctors should have to have admitting privileges out of a concern for the safety of their patients. But as this ruling indicates, the healthcare argument for abortion is a facade.
As Christians, we understand that the law is not our highest aim, even as we advocate for just and moral legislation. We understand that we make a difference in what we choose to do, how we use our voices, and how we care for those God places in our path. We can work to end abortion without the Supreme Court; we should and we will. This is a legislative setback and another indication of the judicial overreach progressives have harnessed to bring about social change, but it is also a reminder that electing leaders who will appoint and confirm conservative justices is important but cannot be our only strategy in the struggle to defend the unborn.
Cole Feix is the founder and president of So We Speak.