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National Review

Roe on Trial: NR’s Special Issue

In just three weeks, on December 1, 2021, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case will be the first frontal challenge to America’s abortion regime in a generation.

The seven justices who, in 1973, joined the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade believed that they were putting a period on the nation’s abortion debate. They were wrong.

Now, in this special issue of National Review magazine, we examine the legal arguments, the policy arguments, and the social arguments for finally ending the Roe era in America.

Across more than a dozen essays — on topics ranging from what modern science tells us about the unborn to the high court’s legitimacy to the issue of precedent and stare decisis to the surprising truth that most of Europe has more restrictive abortion laws than any American state — National Review has brought together scholars and writers to work through the hard questions, the inconvenient facts, and the tumultuous politics of abortion.

We don’t, however, ignore the human tragedy of abortion or the path towards hope and redemption.

“We know what is wrong with — or wrong for — the women going into those human slaughterhouses,” Kevin D. Williamson writes in “Roe v. Me.” 

They are terrified, they are poor, they are alone, they have been discarded, they have had an overwhelming new variable thrown into their lives, which did not include very much comfort or certainty to begin with, and they believe that for a few hundred dollars they can remove this sudden source of dread and anxiety.

“They wouldn’t be wrong about that — not exactly — if the financial cost were the only cost,” Kevin continues. “But it isn’t, which is, of course, what this argument is about.”

Must religion be the basis of a pro-life worldview? Not according to Charles C. W. Cooke, who eloquently writes in “The Secular Case against Abortion” on the humanist argument for life: 

There is a reason, I suspect, that abortion’s most vocal apologists are so reluctant to discuss the issue without resorting to bloodless euphemisms (“reproductive justice”) or attributing elaborate motives to their opponents (“hates women” / “religious extremist”), and that reason is that a blunt examination of the topic at hand should, at the very least, lead one to err on the side of caution.

Elsewhere in the issue, Kathryn Jean Lopez documents the pro-life movement’s unceasing focus on caring for the women who are considering abortion:

The prayer campaign 40 Days for Life has a placard that reads: “We Will Help You.” The work that points to is the best of the pro-life movement, and the least known. In a recent documentary, The Matter of Life, a woman explains that she had an abortion because it was the first option that came up when she did a Google search. That’s something to change.

And what if a women chooses abortion?

​​“If a woman does have an abortion, for whatever reason, the pro-life movement does not abandon her,” Kathryn writes. “The Sisters of Life, Lumina, and Project Rachel are among those that offer post-abortion healing services.”

At the end of the day, Kathryn writes, the only thing capable of healing the horror of abortion is love. “Inundate the culture and our communities with the alternatives to abortion,” K-Lo writes, “and with the pro-love movement.”

I invite you to read the entire special issue, here.


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