“This is the news we have been waiting for for 50 years.” That’s how pro-life activist Abby Johnson responded Monday night to a bombshell leaked majority opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court case.
And Johnson’s reaction is spot-on. The shocking release of the draft language, which Justice Samuel Alito wrote, indicates the court could overturn Roe v. Wade and substantially transform the abortion landscape.
Naturally, the leaked document — an unprecedented happening before the official release of U.S. Supreme Court decisions — is only adding to the typically-nuclear nature of the abortion wars.
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As for Johnson, who was once a pro-choice Planned Parenthood clinic director before becoming a pro-life champion, she said it is “truly exciting” to see where the court might be headed.
“The majority opinion overturning Roe means that over a dozen states will be abortion-free due to their trigger laws,” she said. “The battle to make abortion unthinkable will become more intense as blue states seek to codify abortion until birth while red states seek to protect life from its very beginning.”
But Johnson also offered a caution many are mirroring in the wake of the document leak: Justices can change their minds and votes before official opinions are released, meaning the draft version is anything but final.
“We still have a lot of work to do: we must pray for the Justices, we must fund pregnancy resource centers, we must work nonstop to help women facing an unplanned pregnancy and don’t know where to turn, and we must support paid family leave and policies to support families, not tear them apart,” she said. “I am hopeful that in the near future, we may live in a nation where abortion is unthinkable.”
Other pro-life and Christian voices were also hopeful and quick to respond to the news:
WOW. WOW. SCOTUS is overturning Roe v Wade.— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) May 3, 2022
If Roe is overturned, the decision simply returns to the states. This is the essence of our federalist system. Leftists don’t understand this, though, and they are melting down, as expected. Kinda fun to watch, actually.— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) May 3, 2022
Pray for the five Supreme Court Justices (Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett) to stay strong and bring this opinion, repealing Roe v Wade, across the finish line.— William Wolfe (@William_E_Wolfe) May 3, 2022
PS. Crisis pregnancy centers outnumber abortion clinics in America 3 to 1. Do not worry about the pro life commitment to protect and care for mothers and their babies.— Ryan Helfenbein (@RHelfenbein) May 3, 2022
Im sure we can even double or triple that number even after Roe v Wade is overturned.
Women don’t have to take the lives of their children to get the life that they want – that was always the great lie.— Lauren Muzyka (@LaurenMuzyka) May 3, 2022
Women deserve better.
Children deserve a chance to live.
America can do better.
May Roe be quickly and officially oveturned soon!#prolife #abortion
No evil force in the world is a match for the power of prayer 🙏 https://t.co/jcMEyyeHXe— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) May 3, 2022
Johnson’s explanation follows Politico’s bombshell report Monday night about the leaked draft report of the decision, penned by Alito.
Politico called the opinion “a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right.”
Alito wrote in the text that Roe was “egregiously wrong from the start” and that both Roe and Casey needed to be overturned. Yet, as Johnson noted, it’s possible for votes to change, even close to release — and we could still be nearly two months out from the official decision.
Reaction on both sides of the aisle is already raging, with joy and panic — depending on one’s political persuasion — dominating the discourse. Scores of people even flooded to the steps of the Supreme Court after the revelation Monday night to make their voices heard.
Considering the political and social flammability of the abortion issue, the document leak is pouring gasoline on the fire. After all, the release of draft SCOTUS decisions is unprecedented, and many are viewing the leak as a radical political move, though some are cheering it. People will no doubt demand to know more about its origins.
Among the reactions, though, some are sharing Bible verses and faith proclamations to encourage and remind people about the sanctity of life:
Outspoken Christian commentator Allie Beth Stuckey cited Ephesians 6:12, which reads, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) May 3, 2022
Sen. Marco Rubio (R) simply cited Jeremiah 1:5 — a popular pro-life verse — which reads, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”
While some incessantly claim that unborn babies aren’t living, this verse clearly states that the Lord knows humans well before birth.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 3, 2022
Conversely, some liberals are openly panicking over what a potential overturning of Roe means not only for abortion but also for gay marriage, among other issues.
As for the abortion fight, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) responded to the news by immediately calling upon the Senate to bring legislation that enshrines abortion rights in the law.
Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW. And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 3, 2022
“Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW,” Sanders tweeted Monday night. “And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.”
Sanders was joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), who extended her warning beyond abortion rights, invoking concerns over other “civil rights” issues.
“As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights,” she tweeted.
As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 3, 2022
Manchin is blocking Congress codifying Roe. House has seemingly forgotten about Clarence Thomas. These 2 points must change https://t.co/5Isec0osV0
Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined the frustrated chorus to call the draft decision a “disgrace.” She also warned “it will kill women” to overturn Roe.
“Not surprising. But still outrageous,” she wrote. “This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, & lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law. It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal. What an utter disgrace.”
Not surprising. But still outrageous.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 3, 2022
This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, & lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law. It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal. What an utter disgrace. https://t.co/TNo1IX3Tl4
The tragic irony, of course, is that millions of women — tiny, innocent babies — have been slain and subjugated as less-than-human under Roe for decades now. Somehow, this is lost on Clinton and others.
The debate will likely continue to metastasize over the coming hours and days. And while frustration will abound, there is one action we can all take at this juncture: pray.
Pray for critics, the justices, for softened hearts, and for God’s truth to reach many who remain confused and angry in our chaotic culture.
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