The Supreme Court ended Roe v. Wade. But ending abortion will likely prove a far harder battle, pro-life leaders say.
Pro-choice groups have a wide range of tactics that could keep abortion accessible even in states that voted it illegal.
Some of these maneuvers are last-ditch options that will likely only slow pro-life victories. But other options could allow elected officials to effectively ignore pro-life laws after their passage.
“We're looking at many months, if not years, of litigation going forward, as you know, things settled down from state to state,” said Eric Scheidler, the executive director of the Pro-Life Action League.
Pro-choice forces are winning the opening salvos of the post-Roe abortion battle by casting pro-lifers as extremists, he said.
Injunction CampaignInjunctions are the first option to thwart pro-life laws, said Scheidler. Many states had “trigger laws” in place designed to end abortion swiftly after the demise of Roe v. Wade.
Alongside the injunctions, pro-abortion groups sued to overturn pro-life laws, Scheidler added. But these lawsuits have yet to overturn an abortion ban.
“Anything that will work, even if it works temporarily, or works in a more modest way, they're going to try again someplace else,” said Scheidler.
If lawyers lose, ballots may beat pro-life laws, said Thomas Glessner, the founder and president of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. Through referendums, elections, and other methods, the abortion fight is now on the state ballot, Glessner added.
“When the legislators meet in January, it's going to be a huge battle in the states on legislation,” he said. “The other side is going to come after it and try to get the law removed and get Roe v. Wade on the state level.”
In this context, pro-abortion groups have a series of myths and misconceptions that advantage them, Glessner said.
Many Americans believe that pro-life laws will be extremely harsh, he said. Some people believe pro-life laws will punish women for miscarriages, jail women for abortions, or force women to die from ectopic pregnancies, he said.
Abortion supporters have highly exaggerated the number of deaths from back-alley abortions, he said.
At that time, pro-abortion gynecologist Frederick Taussig estimated that 10,000 women died from abortion every year. But in his day, antibiotic use was rare, and medicine was far less advanced.
These statements are all lies or misrepresentations, Glessner said. But they nevertheless inform voters.
“They perpetuate a lie as if it's fact. And then the lie becomes ‘fact’ and gets spread,” he stated. “And then you have pro-life people calling crisis centers and saying, ‘Well, you know, I just don't want women prosecuted for having miscarriages.’”
Real laws against abortion target abortion providers, not women, he said. But these misconceptions might have real-world impacts, he said.
Prosecutor StrikeEven if courts and voters end abortion, prosecutors could simply choose to not enforce pro-life laws, Scheidler said.
“Not all of us agree on a personal or moral level on the issue of abortion. But we stand together in our firm belief that prosecutors have a responsibility to refrain from using limited criminal legal system resources to criminalize personal medical decisions,” their statement reads.
Many prosecutors effectively veto laws passed by state and local legislatures by refusing to press charges.
“One of the hallmarks of the rogue prosecutor movement has been its blatant usurpation of the constitutional role of state legislatures.
Federal Abortion Ban?The end of Roe v. Wade opens the door to fighting abortion on a federal level, Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins wrote in a letter.
The federal government currently leans in favor of abortion providers, Hawkins wrote.
“Our federal government is far from abortion neutral. Pro-abortion policy and funding are intertwined throughout our federal government like a cancer, siphoning taxpayer resources for policies that end in the death of the preborn.”
Abortion policies thread through the federal government from the Department of Defense to the Federal Trade Commission, she added. “Those leading the Democratic Party have made it clear that abortion policy is also federal policy—no matter what is also attempted by the states.”
In response, pro-life groups should pursue federal limits on abortion, she wrote.
“We call on Congress to get out of business with Corporate Abortion and fully defund them; to protect the freedom and conscience rights of pro-life Americans, particularly on school campuses and in the healthcare industry; to build and defend a strong support system for young families; and to end the bias in favor of abortion vendors in policy and programming,” she concluded.
The Epoch Times contacted Planned Parenthood, pro-abortion website Abortion Funds, abortion website Plan C Pills, pro-abortion website If/When/How, and pro-abortion website I Need an A, but received no response.