What a difference a year makes.
Last year was the 48th. edition of the National March for Life. Held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a stark change of attitude overshadowing it. The incoming party, in charge of the federal government with the barest of "majority status", started to impose its will. Lead by the newly inaugurated President, it began to dismantle all the gains the pro-life movement accumulated in the past four years.
"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they are doing." (Or do they?)
Deep down, I wonder if the leaders of the pro-life movement and, perhaps, those grassroots supporters thought the battle would now become a siege. All the work since the infamous Supreme Court decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, legalizing abortion throughout the entire pregnancy, was seeming being swept away. The promise made of enshrining this permanently into law was more real than ever.
The strife is o'er; the battle, done?
Not so fast. Those grassroots were very hardy. Pro-life laws enacted at the state level, while always part of the arsenal, were now becoming more front and center of this conflict. Intentionally or not, one of these pieces of legislation was going to become the legal counter-strike required, as the two rulings left it vulnerable to such an attack.
And, then, it happened.
The first significant salvo since the 1993 challenge of Planned Parenthood vs. Casey was fired. The Supreme Court announced and then accepted oral arguments regarding the lawsuit Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The question the Court will decide is the constitutionality of pre-viability prohibitions, a decision expected in late June.
Many people on both sides of the issue are anticipating a ruling favoring the pro-life movement. While this may not overturn Roe or Doe, it will do some damage. Which is why you are seeing state laws enacted which, depending on which side you champion, are anticipating a return of the question to the state level.
So, it ain't over. In fact, it just may be getting started. Which leads me to a parallel event. (Admittedly, this will be a stretch; but I still like the analogy.) The country has been embroiled in a cultural civil war since the 1960, much like it was embroiled in a cultural (as well as physical) one nearly 160 years ago. And where was one of the turning points? A battle in Mississippi.
Looks like there might be early fireworks this Independence Day.
And then, after that, the real work begins.