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 Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) raised eyebrows across the pro-life community this week with the amicus brief it submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on its upcoming review of Mississippi’s fifteen-week abortion ban, which preemptively endorses a hypothetical ruling that does not overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Court announced in May that it would be hearing Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns Mississippi’s HB 1510 law banning abortions from being committed past 15 weeks for any reason other than physical medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormalities. After its enactment in 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals deemed it unconstitutional because of an “unbroken line dating to Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 ruling which imposed on all 50 states a “right” to pre-viability abortion.

Various pro-life public officials, scholars, and activists have filed amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to directly overturn Roe and 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey (which opened the door to some abortion regulations while reaffirming the “right” to abort itself), including briefs by the attorneys general of Mississippi and Missouri, a brief by Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Mike Lee, a separate brief by 228 other Congressional Republicans, and a brief by eleven Republican governors.

Most of those briefs make clear, uncompromising arguments calling for a complete reversal of the current abortion jurisprudence and a full restoration of Americans’ right to vote directly on abortion policy. However, the brief filed Tuesday by NRLC and Louisiana Right to Life (LARTL) takes a strikingly different approach.

“Since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has twisted the normal rules of law to protect an absolute abortion right and not given full effect to powerful state interests such as protecting preborn life and maternal health,” NRLC general counsel James Bopp, Jr. said in a press release. “Today, we ask the Court to reverse that tangential path, which will allow greater regulation of abortion, lead to stability in the law, and put Roe itself at issue.”

Instead of asking the Court to finally overturn erroneous abortion precedent — or even to directly affirm the constitutionality of HB 1510 — the brief only calls on the Court to establish a “new roadmap” that might eventually lead to Roe’s undoing at some hypothetical, indeterminate future point, but in the present would merely remand the Mississippi law to the lower court for reconsideration.

“While Amici believe that the logical and inevitable end of the road of applying normal rules to abortion cases will be to restore to the States and to the People the power to protect unborn life throughout pregnancy, this Court need not reach the end of the road in this case to establish the required and appropriate roadmap,” NRLC argues (emphasis added). “The decision on whether to reach the end of the road will likely rest with future Courts, as they apply normal legal rules once again in considering abortion cases.”

“First, [the roadmap] should reject Casey’s viability line, which lacks justification in logic or biology, by answering the question before the Court with a clear ‘no,’” NRLC argues. “Second, the new roadmap should make clear that, because there is no categorical viability line, all state interests may be considered pre-viability (as also post-viability) and that courts should consider the assertion of such interests and supportive evidence. The new roadmap should reaffirm as legitimate all the interests asserted by Petitioners — in protecting maternal health, preborn human life, the medical profession, and civil society — but make clear that other interests may be asserted and considered with evidence not being barred by any categorical viability line.”

“Third, the new roadmap should then clarify that courts should consider the weight of any asserted state interests to determine if the state interests justify the abortion regulation at issue under the appropriate level of scrutiny to which the law is subject, i.e., there are no categorical lines precluding this normal court function,” NRLC continues. “Fourth, the new roadmap should emphasize that normal rules of law must be applied by courts and will be by this Court, which will begin to reverse the anomalies on which Roe’s tangent from normal legal norms was built.”

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PETITION UPDATE (9/26/2020):

With President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we are closer than we have been in decades to seeing Roe vs. Wade overturned.

We now encourage the Senate to confirm Barrett as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Judge Barrett has a fantastic track recond on sanctity of life issues, has seven children, and is a devout believer. She is the perfect remedy for Ruth Bader Ginsburg's radical pro-abortionism.

Please READ the full story here: 'BREAKING: Trump nominates Catholic mom of 7 Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court'

And then, please SIGN this petition telling the High Court that it's now time to end the activist Roe vs. Wade judgment. Thank you!


PETITION UPDATE (6/29/2020):

In a decision which has imperiled more abortion-minded women, sentenced more preborn to death, and upset pro-lifers across the nation,the United States Supreme Court decided 5-4 to strike down a Louisiana law requiring basic medical precautions in the event of abortion complications, with Chief Justice John Roberts reversing his own past decision to uphold a similar Texas law.

Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion, which held that the Louisiana law was unconstitutional for the simple fact that it was “almost word-for-word identical” to the Texas one the court already struck down in 2016.

In his concurring opinion, Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged that he had “joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided. The question today however is not whether Whole Woman’s Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case.”

We call on the Supreme Court to stop supporting the culture of death and overturn Roe vs Wade, now.

PETITION UPDATE (1/20/2020):

Hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C., this coming Friday, January 24th, for the March for Life. They will be praying for an end to Roe vs Wade, as the Supreme Court will hear a crucial, abortion-related case later this year in March. United our voices can change the course of history. Sign this petition TODAY! (LEARN MORE BELOW)


In advance of the Supreme Court's hearing arguments in an important abortion case later this year in March, 207 U.S. Senators and Representatives have signed amicus briefs supporting a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital nearby an abortion center.

Some of these supporting briefs also suggest that now is the time to reconsider Roe vs Wade as sound law.

Please SIGN this petition, calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Roe vs Wade.


More than 60 million Americans have been slaughtered in their mother's wombs as a result of Roe v. Wade. This activist, unconstitutional ruling in 1973 has left countless women emotionally and psychologically scarred. 

It was believed by many that Roe would be overturned in 1992 with Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Despite having eight Republican-appointed judges at the time, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold it. 

Since then, major gains have been made in the fight for life, and many lives have been saved. 

However, Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, leaving millions of defenseless pre-born children vulnerable to murder.

According to a 2016 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of aborted babies are African American, despite black women only making up six percent of the U.S. population. 19% of aborted babies are Hispanic.

We thus again call on the court to do everything they can to end Roe vs Wade.

Now is the time for pro-lifers to join together and ensure that all of God's children have a right to life.

Roe v. Wade must come to an end!


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Several legal observers and pro-life activists took to Twitter to express their disapproval of NRLC’s brief:

John Gerardi, CEO of Right to Life of Central California (which is not affiliated with NRLC), offered a more detailed response to NRLC’s “distressing and bizarre” move:

Despite being the most prominent national pro-life lobbying organization, NRLC has been involved in numerous inter-movement disputes over the years. Bopp and NRLC tend to oppose direct, state-level abortion bans, advocating that pro-lifers must wait for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe before mounting a direct attack on legal abortion. NRLC and its affiliates also tend to insist on rape exceptions in pro-life legislation. 

NRLC has also faced criticism in the past for allegedly putting the priorities of the Republican establishment ahead of the pro-life cause, from throwing its weight behind policies unrelated to abortion (such as former President George W. Bush’s Part D expansion to the federal Medicare program), to pressuring lawmakers and affiliates to support rape and incest exceptions, and even pro-abortion Republicans such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

As for Dobbs, it remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court’s Republican-appointed majority will go as far as pro-lifers hope. 

Only Justice Clarence Thomas is explicitly on the record as anti-Roe, and only he and Justice Samuel Alito have established consistently conservative records over a significant period of time. Many have placed a great deal of hope with former President Donald Trump’s appointees, though conservatives have also been alarmed by Justice Neil Gorsuch voting to redefine “sex” in federal civil rights law last year, and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett voting not to take up several cases of concern to religious, conservative, and/or pro-life Americans.


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