What Does Dobbs Say About What Makes a Pro-life Law Constitutional? … And About How the Court Should Respond to Protests?

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
July 01, 2022

It’s been one week since the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and I have not stopped rejoicing and giving thanks. I suspect you haven’t stopped either.

And why?

I am rejoicing because for the first time since I was 13 years old, I’m living in a nation where human beings can be protected by law for their entire lives!

That wasn’t true for nearly 50 years, because Roe and Casey prohibited the law from protecting children from conception to viability.

Join me at 9pm ET tonight when, together with Janet Morana, our Executive Director, we will continue to explore in depth what the Dobbs decision says, provide you with talking points, and respond to your questions and comments.

Join the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have already viewed these programs and learned more about what the Dobbs decision says! Go to www.EndAbortion.TV or any of the platforms linked from there to watch our program.

Among the things we will examine tonight is the argument that because Roe and Casey were “watershed” decisions and represent a profound, long-lasting national controversy, they should not have been overruled.

That argument lacks substance, because if a decision by the Supreme Court is constitutionally wrong, the Supreme Court needs to correct it right away. A decision to correct it must be informed by the Constitution, not by public opinion or controversy.

Not knowing, of course, that there would be a leak of the draft opinion, or subsequent protests and threats, the majority put into the decision these words:

“We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey. And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision. We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly” (p. 69).

They couldn’t have said it better. We can only do our job. That’s it. Not only do they choose not to be swayed by public pressure, but they point out that even if they wanted to, they have no authority to let that pressure dictate their decision.

Another key point of the decision is the “standard of review.” In other words, if Congress or a state passes a pro-life law and it gets challenged in Court, how does the Court decide if that law is constitutional?

Dobbs says the courts should use the same standard that they use for practically everything else! In other words, if the state is pursuing a legitimate interest by that law, and does so on a rational basis.

The Court does not have to agree with the legislature. Indeed, whether they agree or not, they have to grant the law “a strong presumption of validity,” and the courts cannot “substitute their social and economic beliefs for the judgment of legislative bodies.”

This is a triumph, as we will explain further tonight, because Roe and Casey used standards that made it much harder for pro-life laws to survive court challenges.

Now, all pro-life laws are on the table, because protecting the unborn, their moms, and the medical profession are indeed legitimate state interests that can be protected by law.

So join us tonight for the conversation, and if you missed the previous programs, you can view them on SupremeCourtVictory.com.

And please spread the word!

God bless you,

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: mail@priestsforlife.org