From Roe to Dobbs, a Prayer for Life

October 29, 2021

On Wednesday, December 1, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a case widely recognized as the greatest opportunity to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision in a generation.

On Sunday, November 28, Family Research Council will be hosting Together for Life, a national prayer gathering at New Horizon Churchin Jackson, Mississippi at 7:00 p.m. CT. This non-partisan event will be a unified prayer meeting of the body of Christ with the sole focus on praying for the restoration of the sanctity of life in America, beginning with the unborn.

As with all things, it is important that the pro-life movement center our efforts in Dobbs on Christ -- after all, it is He who knits the unborn child in his mother's womb; it is He who knows the unborn child even before he is formed; and it is He who creates the unborn child in His own image.

In Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization,the court will answer whether all pre-viability bans on abortion are unconstitutional. Mississippi's Gestational Age Act, which outlaws abortion after 15 weeks, is a direct challenge to the jurisprudence of Roe v. Wade,which made legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy the default law of every state.

This is not the first time the Court has considered a challenge to Roe. The Roe decision hinged upon the "right to privacy," and because those words do not exist anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, this supposed "right" has been challenged repeatedly over the years by the states determined to defend the most vulnerable.

In 1992, a Pennsylvania effort to regulate abortionreached the U.S. Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Sadly, the court upheld Roe in its decision and simply changed the standard for legislating on abortion. Previously under Roe, no restrictions on abortion were allowed in the first trimester. In Casey the Court allowed states to limit pre-viability abortion so long as those restrictions do not place an "undue burden" on a woman's attempt to attain an abortion. Time has proven this change in framework did nothing to protect the unborn.

Still, the pro-life movement did not waiver in its efforts to defend the unborn, and in recent years, the efforts to overturn Roe have only gained momentum. In 2021 alone, well over 500 pro-life bills were introduced at the state level, with Arkansas and Kansas joining Alabama on the list of states to pass total abortion bans. Unfortunately, because of Roe,these bans did not go into effect, but they sent a message to the Supreme Court that states will not stand idly by while innocent unborn children are killed.

All around the country, states are continuously working to pass pro-life legislation. Just this past week, Pennsylvania's state Senate considered HB 1500, which would prevent aborting a child on the basis of a Down syndrome diagnosis; Wisconsin legislators sent five pieces of pro-life legislation on to their governor; and Ohio heard testimony for a post-Roe ban on abortion and the state Senate voted on born-alive protections.

Perhaps the most famous effort of the pro-life movement this year is Texas' Heartbeat Act, which prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This law has successfully gone into effect and withstood constitutional challenges because it is enforced by private citizens, not the state. It is estimated to save about 150 unborn lives each day. However, the pro-abortion Biden administration has vigorously opposed this legislation, and on November 1, the Supreme Court will hear the U.S. Department of Justice's challenge.

On December 1, the Supreme Court will begin deliberating the constitutionality of Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban. But what they will really be deciding is whether the citizens of the United States have the power to protect the lives of their unborn brothers and sisters. By the grace of God, the efforts of the pro-life movement over the past 48 years have brought us to this moment.

As we approach the Supreme Court arguments, prayer must continue to be at the center of our efforts. We invite you to join us on November 28, at 7:00 p.m. CT, at New Horizon Church in Jackson, Mississippi. Whether in-person or watching online, we hope you will join us! We look forward to sharing more with you about this important gathering in the days to come.