Letter From the Editors
Bioethics in Law & Culture Summer 2020 vol. 3 issue 3
Joe Kral, M.A.
Ana Brennan, J.D.
© 2018 -2020
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As the world and our nation still battle with COVID-19, there has been much movement in recent weeks regarding pro-life public policy issues. It certainly is a reality that even coronavirus was not going to stop the movement from moving forward to push legislative measures in June and July to help usher in a Culture of Life. States have passed Heartbeat Bills, Colorado pro-life advocates have been successful in getting Ballot Initiative 120 on the November ballot, and parental consent was signed into law in Florida. These are wonderful successes, and we should celebrate these victories.
Sadly, the most disappointing news came from the US Supreme Court. The June Medical Services v Russo was heartbreaking, to say the least. It became clear that the high court was not going to even consider different circumstances that each state faces when it comes to requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals. Not only that, the decision will still allow the abortion industry to challenge these laws instead of actual patients. Of course, we see this as a conflict of interest, and it truly is. The abortion industry is in the business of abortion, not the safety of women. Laws that diminish their bottom line will be fought tooth and nail regardless of how it affects the women who use their services. It is our duty (and jobs) to do what we can to limit the harm of legalized abortion on demand. As a movement, we will continue to put both women and unborn children first in our legislative efforts.
It should be noted that this edition will have two prominent pro-life scholars give their analysis of the June Medical Services v Russo decision. Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO of Americans United for Life, will be giving her legal analysis of the decision. Dr. Michael New, Associate Professor of the Catholic University of America, gives his thoughts on how the media mishandled the reporting of this case. Both of these articles are insightful and give the pro-life movement much to contemplate on this recent decision. Many questions are being asked right now, such as how far is Chief Justice John Roberts willing to go on incremental legislation? Is the legal principle of stare decisis absolute for him? These are the problems that many pro-life constitutional legal experts will be trying to answer when it comes to various other pro-life legislative proposals.
In addition to the aforementioned articles, Dr. Steven Meyer, Associate Professor of the University of St. Thomas (Houston, Texas), writes an excellent piece on St. John Paul II's thoughts on the nature of freedom. The term "freedom" is misapplied in many ways today; many seem to think it is the ability to do whatever one wants. For example, many in favor of abortion argue that they should be free to get an abortion. This misdirected notion gets to the very core of their belief in the so-called "right to choose." Dr. Meyer is clear that this sort of idea is contrary to the very notion of freedom itself.
Finally, we would like to announce that we will be doing a Person of the Year award. Many pro-life lobbyists, public policy experts, legislative witnesses are unsung heroes within the movement. It is uncommon for these people to be awarded for their tireless efforts. In many ways, these fine people risk more than most legislators do when it comes to advocating on behalf of a Culture of Life. Academics may not be considered for tenure if they publicly take pro-life positions. Professional pro-life lobbyists, in many ways, must constantly confront legislative opponents and defend those positions with compassion even when being screamed at by antagonists.
In some cases, lobbyists may even have to deal with physical threats from adversaries just for advocating for a Culture of Life. We seek to acknowledge these beacons of light for their tireless efforts. On December 18 of each year, we will be announcing this Person of the Year. Why December 18? Well, since we already acknowledge our various Fellows for the year on January 20, which is the Feast Day for St. Sebastian in the Western Church, we thought it would be great to announce the Person of Year on St. Sebastian's Feast Day in the Eastern Church which is December 18. If you know of a person you believe should be honored, please visit our nominations page: https://www.societyofstsebastian.org/person-of-the-year.
Again, thank you for all you do for helping establish a Culture of Life.
Joe Kral, M.A.
Ana Brennan, J.D.