Jan 4, 2019
When thousands of prolifers turn out for the annual March for Life in Washington on January 18, four days before the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, many will march with a sense of victory in sight-a new ruling overturning or at least mitigating that earlier decision.
They may be right. But cooler heads would counsel adding a dash or two of uncertainty to the mix. For although victory for the prolife cause may now be a real possibility, so may something far short of that.
Consider how things stand at the Supreme Court. The confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh was said to have signaled a new five-member prolife majority there. And perhaps it did. But Kavanaugh – along with Chief Justice John Roberts – lately joined the court's four-member liberal bloc in refusing to review lower court decisions allowing individual patients to challenge their states' exclusion of Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider.
Granted, rather than abortion, a somewhat convoluted question of legislative interpretation was the direct issue in these cases. But the media quickly, and correctly, hailed the result as a victory for Planned Parenthood, the country's largest abortion provider. Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, may have been all too right when he said in dissent that his colleagues' refusal to look at the cases arose from "the fact that some of the respondents…are named 'Planned Parenthood.'"