The recently-leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has been confirmed as authentic by Chief Justice John Roberts. While the draft is only preliminary, and while the justices could still change their minds about the case, the draft does indicate that a majority of the Court supports overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that forced all 50 states to allow abortion on demand. The Court could release its decision in Dobbs anytime between now and late June.
Many Christians may wonder what will happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The short answer is this: If Roe is overturned, the authority to make laws concerning abortion access will be restored to the elected branches of government. At the federal level, not much will change. At this time, pro-life advocates lack the votes to pass a federal law banning abortion, and pro-choice advocates lack the votes to pass a federal law allowing it. (In fact, abortion advocates attempted to pass a pro-abortion law in Congress just a few short months ago. The bill failed to pass the U.S. Senate.) For the same reason, an abortion-related amendment to the United States Constitution is not feasible for either side. This means that efforts to change abortion policy will be focused on the state level.
According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, as of April 2022, 23 states had laws on the books that would limit or ban abortion access. In the event that Roe is overturned, most or all of those laws would go into effect. On the other hand, 16 states have passed laws protecting abortion rights; sadly, New York is one of them. Once the Dobbs decision has been handed down, it is likely that states with pro-life majorities will take steps to further protect unborn life, while states with pro-abortion majorities will endeavor to pass extremist measures to protect and promote abortion at all stages of pregnancy. In fact, now that the draft Dobbs opinion has been released, both pro-life and pro-choice states will likely kick their efforts into high gear right away.
Here in New York, abortion has been legal since 1970—three years before the Roe v. Wade decision. In 2019, Gov. Andrew Cuomo lit the World Trade Center pink to celebrate the passage of an abortion expansion law known as the Reproductive Health Act. This year, an abortion insurance mandate was included in the New York State Budget. Both Gov. Hochul and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins are diehard advocates of abortion. In the days between now and June 2, 2022 (the last day that the New York State Legislature is scheduled to be in session this year), New Yorkers can expect that our strongly pro-abortion legislature and governor will attempt to make our state’s abortion laws even more dangerous and extreme than they already are. Pro-abortion measures that might become law this year include the following:
- The Abortion Access Fund Bill (Bill S.758-Biaggi/A.1926-Reyes), which would provide monies to nonprofit organizations so that those organizations could, in turn, give money to women—including out-of-state women—to pay for abortions and “logistical costs.” New York tax forms would be changed to allow taxpayers to donate money to the abortion access fund;
- The Pregnancy Center Report Bill (Bill S.470-Hoylman/A.5499-Glick), which would use onerous data collection and reporting requirements to harass pro-life pregnancy centers;
- Bill S.8777-Krueger/A.9627-Lavine, which would ban the state of New York from extraditing abortion providers who unlawfully send abortion pills to patients in other states or unlawfully participate in out-of-state abortions via telemedicine;
- Bill S.8779-Krueger/A.9613-Lavine, which would bar courts and county clerks in New York from issuing subpoenas in out-of-state civil court proceedings “relating to any abortion services or procedures which were legally performed in this state;” and
- The “Equality Amendment (Bill S.8797-Krueger), which would amend the New York State Constitution to ban discrimination based upon “pregnancy outcomes.”
As we look forward with joy to the possibility that Roe v. Wade will finally be overturned, and as we pray for wisdom and protection for the justices of the Supreme Court, pro-life New Yorkers must also work against the passage of extremist abortion measures here in the Empire State.