Letter From the Editors
Bioethics in Law & Culture Summer 2018 vol. 1 issue 3
Joe Kral, M.A.
Ana Brennan, J.D.
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Since the last issue of the Journal of Bioethics in Law & Culture, there has been much cause for joy and grief. One of the great joys was the decision from the United States Supreme Court that was handed down on June 26, 2018 in the NIFLA v. Becerra decision. California’s authoritarian law that mandated that pro-life pregnancy centers must post signs advertise that the state offers abortions for free or reduced prices was even too much for Justice Anthony Kennedy, who generally is in favor of a limited so-called “right” to abortion. The law was akin to mandating that Alcoholic Anonymous meetings must post signs that state where the nearest liquor store is and what’s on sale. Thankfully, the Court ruled in a 5-4 majority that the California law was unconstitutional.
The very next day, Justice Kennedy announced his retirement. This was certainly exciting news since it signaled for the possibility of a strict constructionist being appointed to the Court bench. For many, this signaled the very real possibility that Roe and Doe may be overturned. But, as always, one must be cautious when it comes to the selection of a justice. Fundamentally, one does not know how a justice is going to rule on a case until that case is first presented. The truth is that the Court could go in four different directions: 1) It could stay the present course and allow abortion to be limited, 2) It could rule that any pro-life law is unconstitutional, 3) It could return the abortion issue back to the states, or 4) It could rule that the unborn child is a person, not only affecting abortion, but in vitro fertilization as well.
Another significant issue that has arisen is the fact that abortion advocates have filed lawsuits in Indiana, Texas, and Virginia challenging most of their pro-life laws based upon the Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt decision regarding the “undue burden” standard. It is clear that their goal is to get two different appellate court decisions so that the United States Supreme Court will take up the case. No doubt, their goal is to have these laws overturned. However, with the recent announcement of Kennedy retiring, it seems unlikely that these laws will be overturned.
Even before Kennedy announced his retirement, the States have been busy passing pro-life legislation at record pace. Many of these laws have already faced legal challenges and are working their way through the courts, up to the Supreme Court. As we have learned from the past 46 years of legalized abortion, the will of the people has been usurped by judicial fiat. The pro-abortion movement knows that most Americans oppose most abortions and the only way they can promote their agenda is through sympathetic, activists judges. But the pro-life movement has risen to the challenge, and we will continue to pass pro-life legislation until the right to life of the vulnerable is restored under law.
However, there have been some hardships as well. One of the most significant was the Ireland Referendum legalizing abortion. It was absolutely tragic to see a country buy into the lies of the Culture of Death. Within a month of legalizing abortion, there was talk in the Irish Parliament to legalize assisted suicide, and within two months the Prime Minister of Ireland made clear that doctors, nurses, and Catholic hospitals should be forced to perform abortions; not to mention that the all abortions should be taxpayer funded.
Recent events in the United States should give the pro-life movement hope, persistence pays off; and the recent events in Ireland have shown us that we must remain ever vigilant.
Joe Kral, M.A.
President & Editor in Chief
Ana Brennan, J.D.
Vice-President & Senior Editor