Category

Dobbs

Your Voice in the Biggest Abortion Case of Our Lifetime

By | Briefs, Dobbs, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS | No Comments

The Concerned Women for America (CWA) Legal Studies Department is proud to report that we have completed your amicus (friend of the Court’s) brief in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion case before the United States Supreme Court.  

From the outset, we let the Court know we are representing you, and we make clear the values for which you stand. “CWA believes abortion harms women, men, their families, and the nation and actively promotes legislation and public education to support women in crisis pregnancies and address the harms caused by pro-abortion policies,” we write on our Statement of Interest. And we conclude saying, “CWA believes it is false to suggest women need abortion to have equality. Moreover, we affirm women are not a monolithic group assenting to a homogeneous worldview on any policy issue so that this honorable Court benefits from hearing and giving value to a broad range of women voices in cases such as this one.” 

We present three basic arguments: (1) states should be free to make a reasonable determination about abortion policy that places a higher value on the life of mothers and their unborn children, (2) the Court has undervalued the state’s interest in women’s health by failing to give the proper weight to the physical, psychological, emotional, and even spiritual harms abortion has had on women’s lives, and finally (3) the Court should give proper weight to the views of a wide range of women’s voices, including those who reject the Court-created “right” to abortion. 

The first argument is simple. The Court’s abortion jurisprudence has no foundation in our Constitution and has therefore been predictably unreliable and inconsistent. We write: 

Advances in science and our understanding of the process and interests involved in the abortion decision today should push the Court not only to reconsider the definition and timing of viability but the factual underpinnings from Roe that it left standing in Casey. The time has come for the Court to rectify the constitutional error of Roe’s quasi-legislative analysis. States should never be prevented from presenting the evidence which undergirds their legislative reasoning as they fight to withstand a constitutional challenge to its laws in areas where the Constitution envisions them having ample freedom to engage based on well-established federalism principles.  

The lower court, in this case, did not even allow the state of Mississippi to show the scientific evidence on which it relied to enact the law at issue. The state’s interest in women’s health was front and center; therefore, we write of the great injustice of the court barring this evidence, “As a women’s organization, amicus considers the omission of the evidence for the state’s interest in the mother’s health from consideration at the pre-viability stage, for example, a grave misuse of the Court’s jurisprudence that the Constitution in no way prescribes.” 

The Constitution’s framework is key to our argument because, though the question before the Court concerns viability, the Court’s abortion jurisprudence problem is much more profound. We conclude: “Though not strictly necessary to resolve this case, the Court’s fundamental problems in this area of law go all the way back to Roe and Doe. To fully vindicate the constitutional principles involved requires an honest reversal.” 

Second, we argue, “Women’s interests should never be irrelevant in the abortion context at every stage of pregnancy, including at the pre-viability stage.” Period. “Amicus represents mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and friends who have seen the devastation that abortion can have on women’s emotional, psychological, and spiritual lives.” We go on to present some of the studies of the mental health risks associated with abortion and let the Court know, “Any interpretation of viability that forces courts to exclude the consideration of women’s health, not only before choosing to have an abortion but also after that choice, as the lower court decreed here, should not be upheld.”  

And finally, third, we go to CWA’s roots. Pro-abortion women do not represent all women. They do not even represent most women. Pro-life is pro-woman. “[A] new AP-NORC poll found that, ‘most Americans say abortions should generally be illegal during the second and third trimester,’” we report, “One would never guess this by looking at the Court’s abortion precedent.” 

The hundreds of thousands of women amicus represent want to stress that women do not need abortion as a measure of equality. Women have intrinsic dignity and value, regardless of abortion public policy. The fact that men do not give birth is not something they see as a flaw but a feature of the beautiful way women are created—the imago Dei. Being mothers is not to women’s detriment, despite its many challenges. Women celebrate the diversity of our Creator and therefore affirm our dignity, aside from abortion. Amicus affirms the dignity of every woman, including unborn women. 

That is just a sample, but you can access the full document here. We are confident this brief is something you can be proud of, as we stand together before the Supreme Court and proclaim the truth with honesty and respect. 

It is an honor to serve you in such a way. 

CWA Submits Amicus Brief on Your Behalf

By | Briefs, Dobbs, Legal, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

We are proud to let you know that today, Concerned Women for America (CWA) submitted its amicus brief before the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case challenging the constitutionality of a Mississippi state law that places strict limits on abortions after 15 weeks.

CWA cherishes the opportunity to address the nation’s highest court on such an important topic that has caused so much pain to women, the more than 62 million babies lost to abortion since Roe v. Wade, and to the country.

We asked the Court to take an honest look at its abortion jurisprudence. It is time for the Justices to come clean and acknowledge what we all know: that the Court-created right to abortion has no basis in the Constitution, and states should be free to enact reasonable legislation that reflects the values of its citizens and the full range of interests at play when it comes to abortion.

We asked the Court to reclaim its impartiality as jurists. When it comes to abortion, many judges, like Judge Reeves at the district level in this case, have become advocates for a particular group of women, those who are pro-abortion—ignoring the majority of women who are for strict restrictions on abortion.

In this case, the lower court would not even allow the state to offer evidence of its compelling interest in women’s health. It declared it irrelevant. Our brief makes clear that women’s health should never be irrelevant in the abortion context, no matter the stage of pregnancy.

I think that is something all women—all Americans—believe.

The bottom line is CWA’s brief affirms the dignity of every woman’s life, including unborn women. That’s something we are proud to stand for; pro-life is pro-woman!

Here is a quote from our brief:

“The hundreds of thousands of women amicus represent want to stress that women do not need abortion as a measure of equality. Women have intrinsic dignity and value, regardless of abortion public policy. The fact that men do not give birth is not something they see as a flaw but a feature of the beautiful way women are created—the imago Dei. Being mothers is not to women’s detriment, despite its many challenges. Women celebrate the diversity of our Creator and therefore affirm our dignity, aside from abortion. Amicus affirms the dignity of every woman, including unborn women.”

We ask the Court to restore the dignity of women and the unborn, and concluded saying plainly, “the Court’s fundamental problems in this area of law go all the way back to Roe and Doe. To fully vindicate the constitutional principles involved requires reversal.”

Click here to read our filing in full.

CWA Court Update This Monday

By | Dobbs, News and Events, YWA | No Comments

Young Women for America invites you…

There’s been a lot of buzz around the fact that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has decided to hear oral arguments this coming fall in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi law that puts strict limits on abortions after 15 weeks. Learn what all the buzz is about from Mario Diaz, Esq., Concerned Women for America’s General Counsel, who is joining us on our June YWA leader’s call.

Mario will also discuss the latest opinions handed down by the Supreme Court this June when the last Supreme Court decisions are made from the current term. This is traditionally a month that will find groups like CWA/YWA outside the Supreme Court rallying. This term, we await an important religious liberty case called Fulton v. Philadelphia, having to do with adoption and foster care agencies. Don’t miss the call to learn more about all things SCOTUS!

Date: Monday, June 14
Time: 5:30 p.m. Eastern (4:30 p.m. Central; 3:30 p.m. Mountain; 2:30 p.m. Pacific)
Register: Register here. Please share the link with other likeminded friends and family. An email with the link for the call and other information will follow upon registration.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Fact Sheet

By | Dobbs, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS | No Comments
  • The case1 presents a challenge to a Mississippi state law that places strict limits on abortions after 15 weeks.
  • The case is not a direct challenge to Roe. The limited question before the Court is whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.2
  • The Mississippi law is known as the “Gestational Age Act,”3 and it seeks to protect women and unborn children by limiting abortions after 15 weeks only to the cases of medical emergencies and/or severe fetal abnormalities.
  • Though it is true that the Supreme Court manufactured a constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade,4 the Court has always recognized “the State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus” (see Planned Parenthood v. Casey5).
  • The Court’s jurisprudence has been a complete failure in balancing those two interests, namely, the Court-created right to an abortion and the state’s interest in protecting the health of the mother and the life of a baby in the womb.
  • The Court has used many legal tricks to try to establish some guidelines, including a baby’s viability and the burden on the woman’s rights, but their efforts in this area have been decidedly legislative in nature and beyond the role the Constitution envisioned for the Court.
  • Scientific progress has given us a window into the womb, thereby destroying the foundation upon which Roe and Casey and the Supreme Court’s entire abortion jurisprudence rests.
    • With advancements in ultrasounds, not only do we know the life inside the womb is a baby, but doctors are able to perform life-saving treatment, even perform surgery, as with the famous cases of babies with spina bifida.6
    • Babies feel pain at a very early stage. The scientific evidence shows that from 15 weeks onward, “the fetus is extremely sensitive to painful stimuli, and that this fact should be taken into account when performing invasive medical procedures on the fetus. It is necessary to apply adequate analgesia to prevent the suffering of the fetus.”7
    • According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine,8 a 15-week-old baby:
      • Has eyes and eyelids with a well-formed face,
      • Limbs have developed,
      • The baby has hands and feet with little toes and fingers that have gone so far as to develop nails on them (he or she can make a fist!),
      • The genitals have appeared,
      • Organs are fast developing with the baby’s liver already making red blood cells of its own,
      • And muscle tissue and bones continue to grow and become harder, making it possible to begin to move.
  • It is time for the Supreme Court to catch up to the 21st Century.
  • Americans overwhelmingly support banning late-term abortion and restricting it during the first trimester. A recent Marist poll found 75% of Americans, including 61% of those who identify as pro-choice, say abortion should be banned at the very least to after the first trimester.9
  • It is time for Roe’s House of Cards to come tumbling down. Women and children deserve better than the legislative games the Supreme Court has employed up to this point!
  • It is the states’ highest duty to protect the health of mothers and the life of babies. They should be free to enact laws to do that in the best way they see possible, as Mississippi has done here.

Click here for a PDF version.

[1] Supreme Court Docket No. 19-1392, available at https://www.supremecourt.gov/docket/docketfiles/html/public/19-1392.html.

[2] Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Question Presented, available at https://www.supremecourt.gov/docket/docketfiles/html/qp/19-01392qp.pdf.

[3] Mississippi House Bill 1510, available at https://legiscan.com/MS/text/HB1510/id/1692666.

[4] Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), available at https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/410/113.

[5] Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), available at https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-744.ZS.html.

[6] The Perinatal Revolution, Colleen Malloy, M.D., Monique Chireau Wubbenhorst, M.D., MPH, and Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D, Issues in Law & Medicine, Volume 34, Issue 1, Article 2, (Spring 2019).

[7] Fact Sheet: Science of Fetal Pain, Charlotte Lozier Institute, available at https://lozierinstitute.org/fact-sheet-science-of-fetal-pain/, citing Sekulic S et al., Appearance of fetal pain could be associated with maturation of the mesodiencephalic structures. J Pain Res. 9, 1031, 2016.

[8] Fetal development, MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, available at https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002398.htm, accessed May 21, 2021.

[9] America’s Opinions on Abortion, January 2019, available at https://www.kofc.org/un/en/resources/communications/american-attitudes-abortion-knights-of-columbus-marist-poll-slides.pdf.

Momentous Pro-Life Case to the U.S. Supreme Court

By | Case Vault, Dobbs, Legal, News and Events, Sanctity of Life, SCOTUS | No Comments

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Explained

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a pro-life case out of Mississippi challenging a state law that places strict limits on abortions after 15-weeks. As with every single pro-life case that comes to the Supreme Court, you are about to hear news from the usual suspects in the liberal media that the world is about to end — again! Pay no attention to their hysterics. Here is what you need to know.

As the Supreme Court has said numerous times, states have a legitimate interest in limiting abortion and protecting innocent life. Relying on that premise, Mississippi’s “Gestational Age Act,” enacted in 2018, limits abortions after 15 weeks to the cases of medical emergencies and several fetal abnormalities.

The law was immediately challenged as unconstitutional by abortionists at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. A federal district court agreed with the abortion clinic, declaring that Supreme Court precedent does not allow states to restrict abortions in this way until a fetus becomes “viable.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the district court’s decision.

Mississippi is now appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Court has fortunately granted the review.  Although you will hear the constant drumming of protecting Roe, the limited question before the Court is whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.

The case will be heard in the fall when the justices return from the summer recess. It joins Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center, another pro-life case that will deal with a more procedural question about the State’s authority to ensure that laws are fully defended in the courts. Dobbs, therefore, becomes the most crucial pro-life case the Court will hear, given that it will deal with the merits of the law, testing the limits of the Court’s dubious abortion jurisprudence.

The scientific advances made since the lies upon which Roe and Casey were built have exposed the lie of abortion. As women peer into the womb, the fact that we are not dealing with a blob of tissue has become apparent. And given that undeniable fact, pro-abortion proponents and sympathetic judges have struggled to come up with a clearly arbitrary, yet credible, artificial line at which to allow abortions.

Most Americans (up to 74%) want to ban second and third-trimester abortions.

Now you may be thinking, “What difference does that make? This is a legal case, and polls shouldn’t matter to the Court,” and you would be right. Traditionally, the Court would look at the law and the facts of the case and render a decision on the law, giving the legislature ample room to operate and make policy determinations within constitutional limits.

Nevertheless, in the case of Roe—in the abortion context—the Court has so overstepped its role that all it has and will ever have (until it corrects itself) are questions of policy. Now they are legislating about viability and weighing and reweighing the state’s interests in protecting life and protecting women and children. It is embarrassing. Can there be any more compelling interest than these?

But when it comes to abortion, the Supreme Court has had to employ all kinds of gimmicks and smokescreens in order to ignore its traditional role and interpretative procedures to preserve the abortion fiction. Justice Anthony Kennedy admitted as much in the Carhart decision writing:

“It is true this longstanding maxim of statutory interpretation has, in the past, fallen by the wayside when the Court confronted a statute regulating abortion. The Court at times employed an antagonistic ‘canon of construction under which in cases involving abortion, a permissible reading of a statute [was] to be avoided at all costs.’”

What has the other side so bent out of shape this time around is that they are not sure they have enough liberal legal wizards to perform their abortion alchemy to save their all-encompassing pro-abortion standard, where even the most reasonable restrictions on abortion are unconstitutional.

There is indeed much hope for most Americans who support such restrictions, given the gains we have made at the U.S. Supreme Court. But far from a turn to the extreme right as you are sure to read about in the papers, all we will hopefully witness (God willing) is a return to the basic tenant of truth in law. A return to scientific reasonableness. A return to biological reality.

And that will be a monumental step indeed.

Concerned Women Ready to Fight for Life

By | Dobbs, News and Events, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2021

Contact:
Natalie Panettiere
202-266-4816, [email protected]

Washington, D.C. – Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), the largest public policy organization for women in the nation, had this to say about the news that the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case challenging a Mississippi law that limits abortions after 15 weeks, except in certain circumstances.

“As the hundreds of thousands of women I represent have made clear throughout the years, we will never stop fighting for the most vulnerable among us—for babies in the womb and mothers in crisis pregnancies. That is why this law in Mississippi was passed. It is a good law that protects women and children. It seeks to recognize the humanity and dignity of unborn children while protecting the health of mothers.

“We are thrilled that the Supreme Court gets another shot at correcting the nonsensical and unscientific structure established under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. It is way past time for the Roe house of cards to come down. Women deserve better.

“Concerned Women for America members are ready! We cherish the opportunity to have this debate inside and outside the courtroom.”

###

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America. Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with a rich 40-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.