Pro-life activists outside the Supreme Court. Photo: The Week

Analysis: United States Supreme Court Rules against Abortion in the Country’s Constitution

The Supreme Court’s ruling is not, as is said and is presented, an automatically pro-life ruling. In fact, the decision doesn’t make abortion illegal in the States where they are legal according to the local Constitution. What the Supreme Court Justice have done is to return to the legislatures of the different States that make up the United States the ability to legislate in that area. 

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(ZENIT News / Rome, 24.06.2022).- On Friday morning, June 24, the United States Supreme Court of Justice published the verdict on the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, negatively affecting with the resolution the abortion industry in North America. 

How Did It Reach Here?

The June 24 ruling has a history: it’s a case concerning a law of the State of Mississippi. In 2018 the State of Mississippi banned all abortions after the 15th week of gestation. When the law was about to come into force, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO, the only Clinic to kill babies in that State) filed a lawsuit in a Federal Court, thus entering into litigation with Mississippi and triggering a conflict with the State’s legislation. In 2019 the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed the ruling of a prior and inferior Court, which ruled in favour of the JWHO abortion association. However, the State of Mississippi appealed to the Supreme Court in May of 2021. The Supreme Court accepted the case on condition that the entire judgment would be limited to the prohibitions of abortions prior to viability  being unconstitutional. The arguments on the matter were heard in December of 2021. 

A woman was in charge of the case on the part of the State of Mississippi. Previously she was Treasurer of the State of Mississippi (and achieved pay equity between men and women in that State). It was she who asked for the elimination of Roe vs Wade and who promoted the defense of the law of her State before the Supreme Court. The also single mother was a clear promoter of a well understood feminism. “If you were a professional woman fifty years ago, you had to make a decision (between continuing to be a professional or a mother). Now you don’t have to do this, she said in the pro-life program. You have the option in life to really realize your dreams, your goals and also have those lovely children,” she said to Pro-Life Weekly. 

What Happened Before? Two Precedents

But, what happened before this ruling regarding the prohibition of abortions prior to viability being unconstitutional? Until this June 24 the answer, in fact, was yes, as that was in some way established by two earlier rulings of the same Supreme Court: that of the Roe vs Wade case of 1973 (which recognized  a form of “Constitutional right to abortion before the second trimester, which was the period that the Court understood had fetal viability). The other ruling is that of 1992 and it was the case of Planned Parenthood of Southern Pennsylvania vs Casey (1992). It followed the same line of recognition of a form of right to abort before the baby was “viable.” Limited also was the interference of the State, considering abortion a question of privacy. 

Given that the United States is a Federal Republic, the Supreme Court’s rulings affect the Constitutions of all the States, so that the States are obliged to abide by the rulings, despite their local Constiutions recognizing rights in another direction (in this case pro-life).

The Iconic Roe vs Wade Case: the Woman through Whom Abortion Entered the Country Became a Pro-Life Convert

At the end of the 60s and the early 70s a woman was used to introduce the pro-abortion cause in the United States. We are referring to Jane Roe (hence the name of the case: Roe vs Wade), who in reality was called Norma McCorvey. 

Roe was 23 when in 1969 she became pregnant for the third time. She said she had been raped (which she later denied) and that’s why she wanted an abortion. However, as she lived in Texas she couldn’t go through with it. Two pro-abortion women lawyers took her as a flag (Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee) and they instrumentalized her case which first went to the District Attorney called Henri Wade, who did not consent to the baby’s abortion. Roe gave birth to a baby girl that she later gave up for adoption; however, in 1973 when her appeal reached the Supreme Court, she obtained a ruling by 7 votes against 2, which made abortion possible in the country. 

Roe made her true identity public in 1980. She involved herself in the abortion cause but also revealed that she had not been raped. That acknowledgement didn’t sit well with the abortion cause, which began to exclude her. Years later, inn 1995 at the age of 47, Norma McCorvey (Roe) adhered to the pro-life cause. “I’ve changed. I’m sorry for having been terribly dumb and naïve. I thought I was doing the right thing.”

Thus the woman through whom abortion was introduced in the United States , not only made it clear that she had lied but that she had also been used and that her convictions were now different. “I’ve promised to help  to do anything to revoke Roe vs Wade,” she said in 1998. She died in 2017 at 69. 

What Did the Supreme Court Decide? 

This past June 24 the Supreme Court established that the laws that restrict abortion prior to viability are not necessarily unconstitutional; hence, the States have the capacity to prohibit them. The ruling is based on the fact that “nothing in the constitutional text, the structure, the history or tradition backs the right of abortion.

Therefore, the ruling in favour of the State of Mississippi against Jackson Women’s Health Organization entails consequences for the whole country, although in this case in the inverse sense than it had 50 years ago on introducing abortion and maintaining it. 

Is It a Pro-Life Ruling?

The Supreme Court’s ruling is not, as is being said and is presented, an automatically pro-life ruling. In fact, the decision does not make illegal abortion in the States where they are legal according to the local Constitution. What the Judges of the Supreme Court have done is to return to the different legislatures, which form part of the United States, the capacity to legislate in that area. In other words, they have returned the power to the local congressmen to legislate on abortion in each State. What had been annulled is the judicial precedent that considered that a baby was “viable” only after 23 weeks of gestation (approximately). 

The Reactions of Biden, Pelosi and the Catholic Church in the United States

The decision of the judicial power of the United States’ was swiftly contested by the Executive and Legislative powers. The Head of the Executive, President Biden, made an incendiary statement in which he stressed the country’s division. He publicly condemned the ruling on abortion and blamed the three Judges that joined the Supreme Court under the previous government of Donald Trump, thus converting the ruling into a form of appeal for the harassment of the Judges. Taking advantage of political opportunism, the “Catholic President” of the United States said that the elections, which will be held in the fall in the United States will include abortion on the ticket of the candidates of the Democratic Party. 

For her part, the head of the legislative power, “Catholic” Nancy Pelosi, also pointed to the Judges of the Supreme Court, thus fuelling not only the media’s but also the social persecution of a sector of the members of the Supreme Court. 

After learning of the ruling, the President of the U.S. Bishops, Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles, and the President of the U.S. Church’s Pro-Life Activities Committee said: “This is an historic day in the life of our country, which moves our thoughts, emotions and prayers. For almost 50 years, the United States has imposed an unjust law which has enabled some to decide if others can live or die. This policy has resulted in the death of tens of millions of unborn children, generations that were even denied the right to be born. 

In their press release the two U.S. Bishops recalled that “the United States was founded on the truth that all men and women are created equal, with rights given by God to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This truth was gravely denied by the Roe vs Wade ruling of the United States Supreme Court, which legalized and normalized the taking of innocent human lives. We thank God today that the Court has now annulled this decision. We pray that our elected officials will now promulgate laws and policies that promote and protect the most vulnerable among us.”

Finally, the Bishops said that “Today’s decision is also the fruit of the prayers, sacrifices and defense of innumerable ordinary Americans of all walks of life. During these long years, millions of our citizens have worked together peacefully to educate and persuade their neighbours on the injustice of abortion, and offer care and advice to women to work for alternatives to abortion, including adoption, temporary care of children and public care, policies that truly support families. We share their joy today and we are grateful to them. Their work for the cause of life reflects all that is good in our democracy, and the Pro-Life Movement merits to be counted among the great Movements for social change and civil rights in the history of our nation.  Now is the time to begin the work of reconstructing a post Roe America. It is a time to heal wounds and mend social divisions; it is a time for reasoned reflection and civil dialogue, to unite us to build a society and an economy that support marriage and the family, and where every woman has the support and resources she needs to bring her child into this world in love.”

The Current Figures of Babies Killed in Their Mothers’ Womb

According to the Guttmacher Institute, between 2017 and 2020 abortion increased by 8% and, in 2017, 862,320 babies were executed in the maternal womb. In 2020 the number increased to 930,160. The abortion industry, led by Planned Parenthood and seconded by the abortion pharmaceuticals have in this industry a capital that enables them to invest also in the financing of candidates of the Democratic Party in the United States. 

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Jorge Enrique Mújica

Licenciado en filosofía por el Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, de Roma, y “veterano” colaborador de medios impresos y digitales sobre argumentos religiosos y de comunicación. En la cuenta de Twitter:, habla de Dios e internet y Church and media: evangelidigitalización."

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