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Why Supreme Court abortion decision empowers women

by Patricia R. Mills

Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade.

Fox News’ chief legal correspondent Shannon Bream details the Supreme Court’s ruling that reverses the long-standing precedent on abortion in America.

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Every newspaper in America is writing about the remaking of American law surrounding abortion due to the Supreme Court’s historic decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. But it’s not only law that he’s made – it’s our national perspective on motherhood.

Why Supreme Court abortion decision empowers women

This case finally reverses Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision in which seven male justices put forth a dim view of motherhood, saying it “forced” on women “a distressful life and future.” All mothers know that’s a demeaning and untrue picture, and now, with Dobbs’s decision, the damage of that devastating lie can be undone. A post-Roe America can protect unborn children and empower their mothers.

I had the privilege of serving as counsel to Mississippi in Dobbs. When I was asked to help with the case, my daughter was about six months old. She traveled with me to Mississippi and other places as Alliance Defending Freedom, the non-profit law firm I work for, supported Mississippi in its arguments to overturn Roe.

My work on Dobbs—a case with the potential finally to return to the states the ability to value every life, no matter how young—was made even more meaningful by having an infant in tow. One memory stands out. Abigail and I had flown most of the morning and made a critical meeting in Mississippi. My babysitter had not arrived, and Abbi needed a nap! Mercifully, she fell asleep in the stroller as we found the meeting room. But it wasn’t long until she woke up—screaming. Despite the awkwardness of comforting a baby while trying to discuss legal strategy, I am grateful for the tangible (and loud) reminder of why Dobbs matters.


The deliberations in Dobbs made clear that America’s appreciation of motherhood is at stake. As 240 women scholars and professionals wrote in an amicus brief in Dobbs, women can be mothers and have fulfilling lives. Further, in the 50 years since Roe, every state has adopted safe-haven adoption laws, and contraception has become widely available with a median cost and failure rate approaching zero.

The Lord gives different callings to women—each of them glorifying Him. In my case, a calling, first and foremost, to my family. A calling to be a mom to a pint-sized but ferocious red-headed girl and her two boisterous brothers and to be a supportive wife to an amazing husband. And a calling to use my legal skills for God’s glory, too.

I know motherhood is not easy. It is a profoundly daunting task to be charged with tiny humans’ spiritual and physical well-being. I also know that most law firms (and most jobs) might not joyfully celebrate an infant’s contributions to a discussion. Tragically, the availability of abortion has made the workplace less friendly to women and mothers. Even in the best of circumstances, being a parent is demanding. And it becomes infinitely harder for single mothers like my mom, who do not have the support of a family, community, or church.

Yet the abortion-on-demand regime imposed by Roe v. Wade is no answer. Only a few countries (six to be precise) allow for elective, on-demand abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy—including the United States, China, and North Korea. No European nation goes as far as Roe, and most countries either do not allow elective abortions or limit abortions to twelve weeks. As Chief Justice Roberts pointed out in the oral argument in Dobbs, the United States is less protective of the unborn than almost any nation in the world.

Further, fifty years of scientific advancement since Roe has taught us more about a baby’s development. We know that life begins at conception. And at just fifteen weeks, when Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act applies, a baby can move, stretch, stretch, and feel little eel pain.

Roe’s legacy is one of the unwanted abortions. One study showed that most women are unsure about aborting their children. Surveys reveal 75 percent of women who have had an abortion say they would have chosen life if they had support. In a post-Roe America, we must come alongside expectant moms and ensure each has the resources she needs to flourish.


Pro-abortion advocates have no good answer to the fact that nearly every other country is more protective of unborn life. When confronted with that reality, the honest pro-abortion response is the one recently offered up by Bill Maher, the unpalatable position that “life is not necessarily precious.”


Abbi was an example of why the Dobbs case matters so much on that hot Mississippi day—because every life counts. She was the response to the position that “life is not necessarily precious.” Her round cheeks, red curls, and infectious smile were unique and precious. And at the very same time, she was no more special and no more loved by God than any other child—every one of them deserving of life.


The author served as counsel to Mississippi defend, ng Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act at the United States Supreme Court.

Erin Hawley is senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.

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