Dear Friend of Life:
It appears the fireworks have started early.
As you may know, last week, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he was retiring this summer from the Supreme Court …and the “fireworks” in government, media, and among our friends and family took off!
Why the hurrah?
Kennedy has long been seen as the “swing vote” among the nine justices. On many cases, he has been the deciding factor — including the life issue.
So, when Kennedy announced his retirement, everyone realized that if President Trump sticks to his word to appoint justices who interpret the Constitution in a “conservative” manner — meaning they don’t read or add “abortion rights” into the Constitution or related — the “swing vote” could now be replaced by a solid, conservative judge who could overturn Roe v. Wade!
The pro-life movement is now keeping vigil for victory in this regard. But I want to caution all to remember that this is more than crossing our fingers that the right justice gets seated in the coming weeks — YOU have played a very special role, thus far, in this turn of events, and you still have an essential role to play in what happens next.
Let me explain it this way…
When I was a law student at Ave Maria School of Law, I attended a talk by a very well-respected professor on abortion jurisprudence — in other words, he explained the history of the abortion decisions in the U.S. and why and how they were decided.
He said something that still echoes in my mind and heart today…
“Law follows culture. Yes, one pours into (influences) the other …but as much as we’d like to pretend that judges are independent in their decision-making, they are still human, and we influence the make-up of the courts. Look at the Supreme Court — there’s been many 5-4 split decisions that reflect the battle in the culture. If we keep doing the work of changing hearts and minds, then, we have the hope that culture will influence law, and Roe can and will be overturned.”
That was powerful for me. I realized that this is more than crossing our fingers that we get the right judge — this opportunity is before us because we have lovingly influenced hearts and minds, people elect the President and U.S. Senators who choose judges, and judges are still human.
I was reminded of this in a special way at the Pro-Life Women’s Conferencea couple weeks ago.
We had the great honor of leading a panel on the main stage regarding sidewalkadvocacy + a session on messaging for the sidewalk, etc. The theme of the conference was “Pro-Life is Pro-Love”…
…the theme and program attracted about 500 ‘on fire’ women for life who wanted to make a difference and end abortion. And the message that we could change hearts and minds through the power of love was powerfully present —indeed, we see that it has become the new, attractive “battle cry” of the movement! It was always there, but perhaps it can be argued that we’re doing a better job of articulating it.
So, what does that mean for us NOW?
1. We need to keep doing what we’re doing TODAY! Regardless of what takes place in Washington, D.C., abortion-bound women still need us to be there at abortion facilities to offer real help and hope. Even when Roe is overturned, it doesn’t automatically outlaw abortion across the country — it just “sends the issue back to the states.” (Meaning, abortion is no longer a federal issue, but a state issue where states can decide their abortion law.) Some states already have abortion illegal on the books. Others may immediately pass a law banning abortion after Roe is overturned. But in other states, it will become an intense battle.
We’ll have to be ready to work state-by-state.
Even then, I’ve seen pro-abortion advocates start to plan transportation systems to get women abortions in other states! Someday, we might be moving sidewalkoutreach to these sites to give women help and hope! In other words, we will still have work to do!
2. We need to pray and fast for the right person to take Justice Kennedy’s place. Pro-abortion forces are already putting pressure on the “swing votes” in the U.S. Senate — because, again, the Senate must confirm President Trump’s pick. Because people know what’s at stake, pro-abortion hysteria is all over social media.
As Erin Brownback said, “We have made sexual liberty such an idol… we are willing to sacrifice children to it.”
A spiritual battle is playing out before our eyes, and we have a role to influence it through the power of prayer!
3. There’s a good chance this justice will be confirmed before midterm elections this Fall, but make no mistake: Other seats on the Supreme Court might become available in the next few years. Elections matter. Get involved in helping elect good, pro-life legislators. We need more pro-life U.S. Senators and beyond to pass life-affirming laws and confirm reputable judges.
Law follows culture, but one still influences the other! Let’s persevere in this good work, pray, and keep vigil!
Lord, help us in this battle for life!
Blessings in Christ,
Sidewalk Advocates for Life