This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health case. This is a pivotal moment in our country. The Court’s decision will determine whether or not Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion without restrictions, stands in its current form. The question in Dobbs is whether or not the Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation is an “undue burden.” I argue that it is not.
So much has changed since the Roe decision was handed down in 1972. The value of a human life has not changed, but the knowledge we have of fetal development has changed drastically.
In 1972, doctors had very little information about what a baby could feel, hear, and experience while in the womb. For example, in 1972, doctors had no idea that at 15 weeks’ gestation, a baby could hiccup. He could open and close his eyes. She could hear her mother’s heartbeat; she could possibly even hear her mother’s voice.
In 1972, the technology did not exist to keep a premature baby born at 21 weeks alive. Now, we know that a baby born at just 21 weeks, like Curtis Butler from Alabama, the world’s most premature baby to survive, can grow and live a healthy life. On July 5, 2021, Curtis turned one.
When a woman finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, I know she faces a difficult choice. When I was practicing law, I represented birth mothers who were giving their babies up for adoption. No mother makes the agonizing decision to trust her baby to strangers lightly. These mothers made a sacrifice and chose life for their babies, even if that meant someone else got to experience the important milestones– their first steps, their first words, their birthdays, their soccer games, their ballet recitals, and their graduations.
Thankfully, since the Roe decision in the 1970s, pro-life Americans have started hundreds of organizations nationwide to help women who are pregnant and looking for resources. There are options out there, and pregnancy resource centers like those listed at www.care-net.org are here to help.
A pro-life decision in Dobbs would not ban all abortions. Different states would simply be allowed to make their own laws on the issue. Ultimately, a pro-life decision in Dobbs would protect a mother and her unborn child and would assert to the world that we, as a nation, value life.
I stand with mothers, and I stand with the unborn. I pray for a pro-life decision in the coming months.