On January 24th thousands will gather in Washington DC for the March for Life, and then the next day thousands more will participate in the 16th annual West Coast Walk for Life. At these gatherings there will be both optimism and caution as we peer into the hourglass of 2020. It has now been 47 years since that fateful day – January 22, 1973 – when abortion was legalized in all fifty states, not by a legislative body, but rather by seven black robed men sitting on the court we call Supreme.
On the optimistic side of the ledger, as reported in our lead article this month, abortion rates continue to drop. Also, on March 4th the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in June Medical Services v Gee, a Louisiana law that requires clinic doctors doing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. This will probably not be the case that strikes down Roe v Wade (and Doe v Bolton); however, the Supreme Court could strengthen the authority of the individual states to impose restrictions on abortion. The Supreme Court will likely hand down their decision in June, thereby keeping the abortion issue squarely in the 2020 Presidential election scenario.
Our cautionary tale for 2020 and beyond is the increase in medical abortions. The California legislature passed legislation in 2019 to require that RU-486 (the abortion pill) be available at the health centers of all University of California and California State University campuses. While the law doesn’t take effect until 2023, we continue to work to protect all women and their babies from this dangerous protocol. Abortion is not healthcare.
End of Life issues, especially Physician-Assisted Suicide and Futile Care protocols are becoming a major concern on the pro-life radar. Futile care is when a physician and the hospital ethics board determines that continuing a treatment plan is futile, and the family or other concerned party of the patient is given only a few days (often ten days or less) to find another health facility that will care for the patient; if unsuccessful in finding another facility, the patient can be refused ongoing treatment. Physician-Assisted Suicide is the active termination, usually through a physician prescribed overdose of medication that causes the cessation of life at the request of the patient who “no longer wants to live.”
2020 is full of challenges, and opportunities. We will continue to “fight the good fight” in our efforts to protect every innocent human life from fertilization to natural death, or as the saying goes “from womb to tomb.” Join us in the effort, through your ongoing donations of time, treasure, and talent.