Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-life demonstrators carry a banner during the the 47th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., January 24, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any justification in the text, original understanding, or history of the Constitution. Since that time, more than 60 million have perished in abortions.

When the Supreme Court issued its diktat, the New York Times called it a “historic resolution of a fiercely controversial issue.” It is to the great credit of pro-lifers that they refused to let the issue be resolved in this unjust and authoritarian way — and instead protested, argued, organized, voted, and litigated to set it right.

Republican presidents and senators, including President Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, have advanced that work a great deal by putting conservative jurists on the bench, and especially on the Supreme Court. That court is hearing a case this year about abortion regulations in Louisiana. It should uphold those regulations, as the Constitution says not a word to suggest that states lack the authority to enact them. As it upholds them, it should declare that it no longer intends to serve as a review board for state legislation on the subject. It should reverse Roe and its successor cases.

That will not be the end of pro-lifers’ work: far from it. But it will be the end of a sad era in which our government treated vulnerable human beings as unpersons as though it were part of our fundamental law.

Our abortion regime depends on lie after lie: the lie that an unborn child is something other than a living member of the human species; the lie that the Constitution excludes them from the possibility of protection; the lie that abortion is necessary for women to flourish. The March for Life is also a March for Truth, and it is time for the justices finally to speak it.

The Editors comprise the senior editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

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