Pro-life and anti-abortion advocates demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court early Monday, June 25, 2018. The justices are expected to hand down decisions today as the court’s term comes to a close. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite).
The midterms delivered the House of Representatives to the Democrats, effectively bringing any potential pro-life victories to a standstill. Across the board, though, there were losses and gains on midterm election day.
Republican Kris Kobach, gubernatorial candidate for governor in Kansas, lost to Democrat Laura Kelly. During his campaign, Kobach had promised to “support a state constitutional amendment making clear that the right to an abortion is not provided in Kansas.” His opponent, a Planned Parenthood-supported female, was ultimately victorious.
In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker, who has been in office since 2011, failed in his bid to defeat Democratic challenger, Tony Evers. During his time in office, Walker has been a staunch supporter of the unborn. In 2015, he signed a 20-week abortion ban. Additionally, he approved cuts to Planned Parenthood funding that resulted in a handful of their clinics being shut down.
However, there were some pro-life victories overall.
Republicans gained seats in the United States Senate and flipped three of them (in Missouri, North Dakota, and Indiana) with candidates who are vocally against abortion.
In West Virginia and Alabama, the majority of voters supported pro-life ballot measures.
In West Virginia, voters passed a measure amending the state’s constitution to say that “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or the funding of abortion.” It also banned state Medicaid insurance from covering abortion. In Alabama, a ballot measure passed assigning legal rights to fetuses and excluding the right to abortion from the state constitution.
Also, both states saw the passage of constitutional amendments – called “trigger laws” – that would ban abortion outright if the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade.
Antiabortion advocates gained clear legislative victories in Alabama and West Virginia, where voters passed constitutional amendments paving the way to ban abortion if the new conservative consensus on the Supreme Court overturns the landmark 1973 ruling…
The fear among many pro-aborts, made evident by their egregious behavior during the recent confirmation hearings, is that a right-leaning high court will eventually spell doom for their cause. With the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the court leans more conservative than before and it is his inclusion that may possibly turn the tide.
As a pro-life activist, I am leery of placing all of our hope in the Supreme Court. It is not certain whether Roe/Casey will be reconsidered in the near future, much less at all. Even if this happens, there is no way to know what a final ruling would be or how it would affect the “right” to an abortion at all.
I certainly appreciate the addition of justices who are more apt to lean away from abortion, but it’s difficult to count on them to bring about the change that we so desperately need. I would love to be wrong, though.
In the meantime, I hope we see more action at the state level for the pro-life cause. With few gains for the side of life at the national level in recent years, many legislatures have taken it upon themselves to advance a life-affirming agenda in their own backyard.
If they prefer to wait on SCOTUS (and Justice Kavanaugh) to see a major change, they might be waiting for a long time.