Deciding the subject for this commentary was an absolute, as they say, no-brainer. Friday, June 24, 2022, will be for many of us as memorable as other historic days we’ve been part of. Already I’m hearing lots of “where were you” stories as people continue to process the publicly released decision from the US Supreme Court that ended a 50-year reign of terror on unborn children.
I’ll quickly tell you that I was glued to the scotus online blog along with apparently over 35,000 other court observers--exactly where I’ve been every other day this month that the court was releasing opinions.
So now, the anticipation is over. Nationally and in our state, we are turning a page on the abortion issue. All you have to do is read the last few lines on the first page of the two-hundred-plus page opinion to know the essence of what the court decided: “Held: The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
Those are twenty-eight powerful, long-awaited words—and we praise God for His goodness and grace to us in giving us this decision. Let’s be clear. God didn’t owe us this right opinion. It’s not as if nationally we’ve experienced a revival and are at a point where we can say that righteousness is exalting us. That’s just not true. So, we must be careful to acknowledge the goodness of God in this moment—and we also need to be good stewards of what we have been given.
To clarify, overruling Roe and the 1992 Casey decision that affirmed a woman’s so-called “right to an abortion,” means that each state now must deal with the issue as was the case before the Supreme Court concocted a “right” to abortion in 1973.
Wisconsin is one of a dozen states that has a pre‑Roe law on the books. Ours dates back to 1849, one year after we became a state. This law criminalizes most abortions in our state, with one exception—the “life of the mother,” which isn’t clearly defined in the law. For many years, pro-life citizens and organizations have worked hard to keep this law on the books for just such this time.
Nothing prevents this law from right now being enforceable. Apparently, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin also believes that because within hours of the decision being released last Friday, the state’s largest abortion provider quit doing abortions at its three abortion-providing facilities.
But nothing about this issue is simple, largely because of entrenched worldviews and political aspirations. Months ago, Democrat Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced he would not enforce the law if Roe were overturned. In recent days, he’s reiterated that position. Additionally, a number of county district attorneys have said they won’t bring changes against someone who violates the law. And over the weekend, Governor Tony Evers announced that he will give clemency to any doctor charged with breaking the 173-year-old law, which means, in essence, he's pardoning criminals in advance of their being sentenced.
In addition to all this, I’m assuming in the next few days Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin will file a lawsuit against the law. Enforcement of this abortion ban isn’t a slam-dunk.
Clearly, to further increase the drama, the liberals are going to use the overturning of Roe to energize their base for this fall’s election. They want to keep Evers as governor and Kaul as AG and flip both the Assembly and Senate from Republican majorities to Democrat. If that happens, the law we’re talking about will be gone by late January. For years, Democrats in the state legislature have been introducing bills to get rid of every abortion regulation we have—24-hour waiting period, woman’s right to know, 20-week abortion ban, ultrasound requirement, telemed ban and more. The surest way to have abortion on demand in our state is a sweeping liberal victory in November. The money was already coming in to accomplish that prior to Friday’s court decision. As wonderful as that decision is, it added fuel to the liberals’ zeal.
The foregoing doesn’t have to happen. We can remain a state where human life is protected. It will take commitment and work, and we will each have to decide if keeping abortion illegal in our state is worth the effort. We’ve been given a gift; now we must protect it.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
 https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf (accessed June 26, 2022)
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