Anyone who has been part of the pro-life movement for any length of time knows that there are certain arguments that the abortion industry and its allies make reflexively. Perhaps they believe that if they continue repeating these poor arguments, their case will magically improve.
One such argument is the idea that Roe v. Wade is “settled law” and pesky pro-lifers should stop trying to rehash an issue that the Supreme Court has already ruled on. I like to call this the “Dred Scott argument”, which is why I thought it would be an interesting one to explore during Black history month.
In Dred Scott v. Sanford, Scott was an enslaved Black man who sued for his freedom. Sadly, in what many constitutional scholars now consider one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever, the Justices ruled that neither Scott, nor anyone else of African heritage, could claim US citizenship, thus allowing the tragic practice of slavery to continue.
What does this have to do with Roe v. Wade and abortion in America? As in the Dred Scott case, a terrible mistake was made in the Roe v. Wade decision. In Dred Scott, the Justices determined one person was not as important as others simply because of his race…in Roe v. Wade, five Supreme Court Justices found a “right to privacy” in the U.S. Constitution that had never been there before, and used that newfound “right” to justify the killing of almost 60 million people and counting.
Many people did not agree with the Dred Scott decision. Should they have all just given up and gone home to allow the injustice of slavery to continue? Of course not. They doubled down on their efforts to have everyone, no matter what race or ethnicity, recognized as equal…and eventually succeeded in getting the 13th amendment passed and slavery abolished. The same principle applies to pro-life advocates. Just because the Constitution was misinterpreted doesn’t mean we pack our bags and go home…it means we continue to fight to end the injustice of abortion so that one day Roe v. Wade will fall into the ash heaps of history—where it truly belongs.