WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – Texas delivered a historic win for the preborn this week, and while the long-term ramifications may not be as certain as pro-lifers hope or pro-aborts fear, the number of lives that will be saved in the immediate aftermath make Wednesday, September 1 one of the greatest days the movement has seen in a long time.
As LifeSiteNews has covered, the Texas Heartbeat Act took effect Wednesday, empowering private citizens to sue any abortionist who commits any abortion if a heartbeat can be detected (generally as early as six weeks), or who doesn’t bother to look for one before aborting. The novel law keeps state prosecutors out of the matter entirely, instead unleashing on the abortion industry the threat of being buried in more civil suits than they could handle.
Better yet, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 not to block the law from taking effect, meaning that – for now, at least – Texas abortionists are the ones on the defensive for a change. While one pack of monsters at Whole Woman’s Health in Fort Worth reportedly rushed to kill 67 babies in the 17 hours before Tuesday’s midnight deadline, overall the abortion industry appears to be playing it cautiously; Planned Parenthood and Whole Woman’s Health say they have stopped scheduling abortions beyond six weeks.
Read that again: abortionists stopped committing abortions. That doesn’t happen after most state pro-life laws. For now, the threat of crushing lawsuits is working.
Naturally, the abortion lobby is apoplectic. Failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke for many of her ilk when she declared that the Court “gutted Roe v. Wade”:
Last night, the Supreme Court officially overturned five decades of settled law and permitted Texas' unconstitutional abortion ban to stand.
Yes: They gutted Roe v. Wade without hearing arguments, in a one-paragraph, unsigned 5-4 opinion issued in the middle of the night.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 2, 2021
As great as these developments are, pro-lifers should brace for more twists and turns before declaring victory. The unsigned Supreme Court decision took great pains to clarify that its reasoning was strictly procedural, relying in large part on the fact that neither the state nor “the sole private-citizen respondent before us” would actually be enforcing the law. Indeed, it concluded by stressing that the decision made no “conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts.”
In other words, while the law stands for now, the Supreme Court might strike it down later, or allow another federal court to strike it down.
Even so, does the fact that five justices – the two proven conservatives plus all three Trump appointees – went as far as they did forecast good things for future abortion cases? It’s hard to say. On the one hand, the newest justices certainly could have spared themselves the media flack they’re getting by siding with John Roberts and the Democrat justices.
On the other hand, the ruling’s aforementioned qualifiers may well be warnings to keep expectations tempered. Our newest justices have certainly shirked other opportunities to do the right thing on abortion and other issues.
Then on the other-other hand (or are we back to the first hand?), while Brett Kavanaugh was among the shirkers on some occasions, on others he has singled out Roe in discussions of “erroneous precedents,” and last year he worked behind the scenes to chart a path to the eventual revival of a Louisiana pro-life law his colleagues had struck down. And while Neil Gorsuch infamously took the lead in rewriting discrimination law to satisfy the LGBT lobby, more recently he called out his fellow Trump appointees for lacking the “fortitude” to tackle hot-button cultural cases head-on.
To summarize, the tea leaves are frustratingly inconsistent, with enough signals to support the plausibility of the best- and worst-case scenarios. Why that’s the case is another rant for another day, but it’s the situation we’re stuck with.
For now, however, the most important takeaway is that lives are being saved, lives that may well have been snuffed out if Texas had enacted a typical heartbeat law met with a typical judicial freeze. Given the suffocating darkness that seems to define our current political moment, from election fraud to medical tyranny to humanitarian nightmares of our own government’s making, it’s critical to find comfort, hope, and strength in whatever rays of light come our way.