Live Action founder and president Lila Rose recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Josh Craddock, attorney, speaker, and an affiliated scholar with the James Wilson Institute. The two discussed the importance of legally recognizing all preborn children as persons deserving equal protection under the law, as well as the future strategy of the pro-life movement following the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Legal personhood for the preborn
Craddock told Rose that while he has always been involved in the pro-life movement, much of his work began while advocating for the recognition of the preborn as legal persons in the United Nations. Though legally all human beings should be recognized as persons, legalized abortion has meant that preborn human beings have not been granted this status. He noted that every time there is a human being or groups of human beings who aren’t legally considered persons, it is a human rights injustice. In this way, the current plight of the preborn is much the same as slavery, as slaves also were not considered legal persons. Craddock explained that because preborn children are persons, they should be legally protected under the 14th Amendment.
Rose and Craddock then discussed the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case and its role in overturning Roe v. Wade. Craddock pointed out that Dobbs corrected the idea that all states need to legally allow abortion, but it missed a key element in not addressing the personhood of the preborn. While the preborn still do not have legal protection under the law, the Dobbs ruling did concede that the case was different from other cases because abortion takes a human life.
Ways to fight abortion
While abortion is still legal in many jurisdictions, Craddock recognized that some places are finding novel ways to work around pro-abortion laws. He pointed out sanctuary cities, which have been a way for a town or county within a pro-abortion state to pass ordinances preventing abortion within their jurisdictions. He also noted that other places, like Texas, have enacted pro-life laws allowing litigation to be brought against abortionists. In Texas, the threat of liability caused some abortion businesses to close their doors after the state’s ‘heartbeat law’ took effect.
Though many states are passing pro-life laws, Craddock believes that these laws can be improved. He disagrees with the idea of adding exceptions to pro-life laws, such as those for rape and incest, noting, “Rape and incest exceptions are inconsistent with the principle that every human being is created by God, endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” Abortion punishes one of the victims of the rape — the child — when it is the rapist himself who should be penalized.
Next steps for the pro-life movement
When Rose asked him what’s next for the pro-life movement, Craddock was clear: “The next step is fighting for equal protection for the preborn.”
Craddock encouraged pro-lifers to push their lawmakers who ran on a pro-life platform to be consistent in voting for life. He also believes the pro-life movement needs to be “firing on all cylinders” in trying every legal approach possible to ensure the protection of the preborn.
“In ten years, I would love to see equal protection. That is our new north star. I want to see a congressional law ensuring equal protection,” he told Rose. “I want to see the President ensure the agencies and departments are all guaranteeing equal protection for the unborn, thinking about the unborn as persons. I want to see states stepping up to the plate to protect the people within their jurisdictions. I’d love to see all those things, and I want to see the Supreme Court have a new holding that recognizes the unborn child as a person entitled to equal protection.”