By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
May 6, 2022
Monday’s leak of a draft majority Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade and put the issue of abortion back into the hands of the states has left pro-life forces guardedly optimistic; pro-abortion groups, mortified; and the nation on pins and needles awaiting the Court’s ultimate decision.
The Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, says regardless of how the issue plays out, it is God, not the High Court, who makes final rulings.
“All life, in every nation, is under the Sovereignty of God’s law. It is God, not the state, not the courts, not the woman, who is the Lord of life. People may respond to this with ravenous resistance, but no one can ultimately overthrow God and his will,” Creech said. “Everyone is held accountable – those who performed abortions – those who have had an abortion – those who advocated for abortion – those who were silent and never spoke up for the most vulnerable – an unborn child. If the blood of one murdered man, Abel, cried out to God from the ground, how much more the blood of more than 60 million innocent children?”
The case being decided by the Supreme Court — Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — originated in Mississippi. Justices heard arguments in December 2021 and are expected to announce their ruling this summer. If it mirrors the 98-page draft opinion leaked Monday, it would overturn both Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey.
The draft, written by Justice Samuel Alito and dated February, is labeled as the “opinion of the Court,” but in a letter issued Tuesday, the Court cautioned: “Although the document described in [Monday’s] reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
Nonetheless, the leaked document was encouraging to defenders of life.
“Roe [v. Wade] was egregiously wrong from the start …. We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled … It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito wrote in the opinion. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely.”
The opinion calls out the reasoning in Roe v. Wade as “exceptionally weak,” and points to that ruling’s “damaging consequences.”
“Far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” Alito wrote.
As soon as the document was published by Politico on Monday night, speculation began as to the motive behind the leak.
“What occurred with this leak was an unspeakably unethical act – and it is unfortunately a sign of our times. We’re living in an age of rage where nothing seems inviolate anymore, no principle seems sacred …. Even though this is a city that floats on a rolling sea of leaks, the court was always an island of integrity ….” legal scholar Jonathan Turley told the media. “The court has a long tradition that it would not yield to politics, it would not yield to dirty tricks. Somebody shattered that tradition – and the investigation that will now ensue is going to shatter the culture of the court.”
Many believe the leak was an attempt by pro-abortion forces to derail the ruling by igniting public pressure on the five justices believed to be in support of the majority opinion draft: Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett. Others speculate that it could have been released as a “trial balloon” of sorts to gauge public reaction or even as a way to lock in votes for the ruling. Still others theorize that the leak was aimed at igniting backlash that could help ensure that the ultimate opinion is much more nuanced and does not strike down Roe v. Wade but only weakens it.
Chief Justice John Roberts ordered an investigation into the source of the leak and said it would not derail the Court’s work.
“[This] was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations [but] it will not succeed,” he wrote in announcing the probe. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”
Creech says there is much work to be done no matter the outcome.
“Perhaps this leaked draft truly represents the beginning of the cleansing of our greatest national stain. If it doesn’t, we will continue working to end this unprecedented assault on human life. If it does, there is still much work to be done on the state level,” he said. “The ministry of the Christian Action League, as well as other pro-life groups in this state will become more relevant than ever.”
Even if the leaked draft decision is made official without any changes, abortion would not immediately be outlawed in the U.S. Instead, in the absence of constitutional protection for the lethal procedure, it would fall to state governments to set laws about abortion. Thirteen states have pre-emptively enacted abortion bans, or “trigger laws,” which would go into effect almost immediately. Although North Carolina is not one of them, it is on a list of more than two dozen states considered likely to move forward to enact a ban.
Gov. Roy Cooper is among 17 governors who issued a statement Tuesday calling on the U.S. Senate to approve the Women’s Health Protection Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last September to officially legalize abortion via federal law. But legal scholars say if the Act was passed in the Senate and signed into law, it would likely be contested in lower courts and would make its way back to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, pro-life groups across the nation are urging supporters to continue their diligent efforts, not just to make abortion illegal, but to make it unthinkable.