As the faithful head to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life demonstration, the future of abortion in the United States seems murky at best.
Over the six months since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization “winning” ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, Democratic state and city governments have greatly expanded all-access status to abortions through legislation.
Despite the “victory” in the courts, it could be argued this year’s March for Life is more important than ever, and the pro-life movement needs to rally its forces even further, given how some states and cities have responded to the ruling.
Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed a contract to allow city-run health clinics to provide “medical abortions’’ with pills to terminate a pregnancy. With this move and previous statements from Gov. Kathy Hochul, many pro-life advocates fear New York will become an abortion tourist mecca.
The Biden administration weighed in earlier this month with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s finalization of a rule change that greatly expands the availability of abortion pills.
While the Plan B (morning-after pill) emergency contraceptive has been on the market for some years, it has normalized the option for women to have a medication-induced abortion without visiting a clinic and having a surgical procedure.
The FDA now allows pharmacies — including mail-order drug suppliers — to provide Mifeprex, which can be used as late as 15 weeks into a pregnancy.
“The frontier on the issue of abortion isn’t necessarily the abortion clinic — it’s the mobile phone,” said Molly Sheahan, associate director of Life & Family Advocacy at the California Catholic Conference.
“Women are seeking abortion by searching online … they’re able to order abortion pills through the mail,” Sheahan added. “That’s been available for a while — it’s just become more readily accessible now.”
Depersonalizing the abortion process by allowing women to have the procedure without the possibility of receiving counseling or the possibility of understanding alternative measures does a disservice to all women.
Against the backdrop of the March for Life, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed two pro-life measures last week.
The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would require any infant that survives an abortion procedure to receive appropriate medical care for their gestational age.
The second measure to pass was a resolution condemning violence against “pro-life facilities, groups, and even churches.”
The resolution also condemned the violence that erupted following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision.
However, the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate will likely not pass either bill.
“Babies who are born alive during the process of an abortion deserve compassionate care and medical attention — just the same as any other newborn baby,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Pro- Life Activities, in a statement.
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said, “We urge all legislators to vote in favor of these measures which align with the values of the vast majority of Americans.”
As pro-life groups gather in the nation’s capital to profess their faith and belief, Catholics across the nation cannot be compliant and need to provide alternatives for women being told by their political leaders that taking a life is quite acceptable.