Letter From the Editors
Bioethics in Law & Culture Winter 2021 vol. 4 issue 1
Joe Kral, M.A.
Ana Brennan, J.D.
© 2018 -2021
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Both the US Congress and the Presidency have certainly changed since our Fall edition. President Donald J. Trump was defeated, and newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has taken office. This shift in leadership was a loss in the eyes of many pro-life advocates since Biden is not only in favor of legalized abortion, he has made it clear that his administration favors codifying Roe as the law of the land.[i] But to be clear, when abortion advocates speak of "codifying Roe," what they really mean is creating a law that goes even beyond what Roe was. Not only would this law try to nullify pro-life laws in the states, given what has been seen in New York and other states where they have "codified Roe," it would also allow for the passive infanticide of those children born from either an abortion or attempted abortion.
Thankfully, with the US Senate filibuster in place, it is highly unlikely that Roe's so-called "codification" will even take place.[ii] Nonetheless, the US Senate will likely become an interesting battleground when it comes to the funding of abortion. For example, since the US Senate retained the filibuster, will this be a way in which Senators can negotiate the Hyde Amendment onto an array of funding bills? The Hyde Amendment will obviously become a contested issue within this Congress, and many of the national pro-life organizations are preparing to help keep it in law.[iii]
With this new federal landscape, the question becomes what will happen in the states? Largely, it depends on the state. For many states, it will be an opportunity to pass even more pro-life legislation. There will undoubtedly be a flurry of Abortion “Trigger” Bans, Fetal Heartbeat Bills, Born Alive Infant Protection Acts, etc. In all likelihood, many pro-life states will also see bills that address the concern of rising chemical/medical abortion rates; legislation such as TeleMed Abortion Bans or Abortion Pill Reversal Information Acts.[iv] For other states, the opposite will be true. They will take their lead from New York State and, sadly, try to go beyond even the scope of even Roe. At present, New Mexico is attempting this by removing its pre-Roe laws from its books.
As we all enter the New Year and proclaim the Gospel of Life, we would also like to acknowledge our 2021 Fellows. These are individuals who have helped move forward the intellectual position of pro-life public policy within the previous year, and we are greatly appreciative of their efforts. While the pro-life community is composed of many great voices, each of these individuals stands out as an exceptional voice for the voiceless as St. Sebastian did those many centuries ago, since these individuals have sought to bring a greater understanding of pro-life public policy to the community at large. We congratulate them and honor them.
Katie Breckenridge, MS (Operations Manager; Them Before Us)
Priscilla Coleman, PhD (Professor; Bowling Green State University)
Richard Doerflinger, MA (Member; Pontifical Academy for Life)
Catherine Glenn Foster, MA, JD (CEO/President; Americans United for Life)
David Franks, PhD (Chairman; Massachusetts Citizens for Life)
Chris Maska, MA, JD (VP/General Counsel; Texas Alliance for Life)
Steven Meyer, STD (Professor; University of St. Thomas-Houston)
Michael New, PhD (Associate Scholar; Charlotte Lozier Institute)
Andrew Shirvell, JD (Executive Director; Florida Voice for the Unborn)
Public Policy Fellows:
Caitlyn Dixson (former Executive Director; Iowa Right to Life)
Katy Faust (President; Them Before Us)
Katie Glenn, JD (Government Affairs Counsel; Americans United for Life)
Natalie Hejran, JD (Staff Counsel; Americans United for Life)
Jessica Warner (Legislative Affairs Director; Ohio Right to Life)
Laura Elm, MBA (Founder/Director; Sacred Heart Guardians & Shelter)
Amy Gehrke (Executive Director; Illinois Right to Life)
Maria Gallagher (Legislative Director; Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation)
Tessa Longbons (Research Associate; Charlotte Lozier Institute)
Jennifer Popik, JD (Federal Legislative Director; National Right to Life)
Jessica Stanton, JD (former Lobbyist; Oregon Right to Life)
Kristin Vail (Social Media Coordinator; Democrats for Life of Colorado)
In conclusion, we hope you enjoy this edition of the Journal of Bioethics in Law & Culture. Three outstanding authors have taken their time to help further our knowledge in pro-life public policy. Jennifer Popik, JD (Federal Legislative Director; National Right to Life), discusses why Dismemberment Abortion Bans are constitutional. Dr. Priscilla Coleman, PhD (Professor; Bowling Green State University), discusses how a particular study that was heavily cited in an amicus brief by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists et al in the recently decided June Medical case is faulty. And finally, Dr. David Franks, PhD (Chairman; Massachusetts Citizens for Life), speaks on where we are in 2021 in matters of public policy and as a movement. Each of these articles brings unique insights into the pro-life public policy arena, and we hope that you are better informed by reading them.
Joe Kral, M.A.
President, Society of St. Sebastian
Ana Brennan, J.D.
Vice President, Society of St. Sebastian
[i] See https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/01/22/statement-from-president-biden-and-vice-president-harris-on-the-48th-anniversary-of-roe-v-wade/?fbclid=IwAR1isHGPbSfZVyyQbmsayZoB4O7hcU8nbKQHHF8UJR8Yc77q9zflRNBLZiw.