It was one year ago that POLITICO published the leaked draft majority opinion of the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Heath Organization. That draft opinion indicated that the court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, which had forced legalized abortion upon every state in the nation 49 years earlier. The result of that leak was a fury of hostility and violence unleashed on pro-life organizations and churches around the nation.
Rise in violence
According to a study from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), 135 attacks were perpetrated against pro-life groups between May 2022 and September 2022. During that same time period, just six attacks were perpetrated against pro-abortion groups, but the media failed to expose this.
“The bottom line is that after the Dobbs decision was leaked, there was over 22 times more violence directed against pro-life groups than pro-choice organizations,” the CPRC noted. “However, if the media is less likely to cover violence [against] pro-life organizations, the 22 times estimate will underestimate the relative violence against these groups.”
Becky Sheetz, CEO of Life First Pregnancy Center in Virginia, went to work on the morning of May 9, 2022, to learn that her center had been vandalized with graffiti that read “Abortion is a right” and “fake clinic.” According to the Washington Examiner, there has yet to be an arrest in relation to the crime.
Janet Durig of Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center discovered on the morning of June 3, 2022, that someone had thrown red paint on the front door of her center. Jane’s Revenge, a pro-abortion domestic terrorist group, took credit, but an arrest has yet to be made.
“All we’re doing is helping someone who wants to have a child, and we also help people who have already had children,” she told the Washington Examiner. “We’re helping them because they need a car seat or they need a bed for their baby to sleep in or they need baby clothes.”
It turned out that those initial attacks were only the beginning.
On June 24, the final decision was handed down from the Supreme Court — Roe had officially been overturned. By November, FBI Director Christopher Wray would testify before the Senate Homeland Security Committee that about 70% of abortion-related violence and threats since the fall of Roe were perpetrated against pro-life groups by pro-abortion individuals.
Jane’s Revenge said it planned to make pro-lifers’ lives “a living hell” and announced that the night of June 24 — the day Roe was overturned — would be a “Night of Rage.” The group wrote:
We decided to attack a crisis pregnancy center in Glendale, California with spray paint. The phrases written were ‘Jane was here’, ‘abort the court,’ and ‘If abortions aren’t safe neither are you’. All across the country people protested and revolted against this attack on bodily autonomy.
The group even threatened bodily harm against those who support life for preborn human beings (emphasis added):
To all the conservatives, Fox News anchors, judges, cops, Christian extremists, or federal agents reading this:
This attack is nothing in comparison to what is in store for you. Some spray paint will be the least of your worries.
… We will hunt you down and make your lives a living hell. You started this war but we will win it. So far its just been pregnancy crisis centers, but tomorrow it might be your cars, your homes, or even your lives.
After the “Night of Rage,” attacks continued. CatholicVote, a political advocacy organization, tracked the attacks over the last year and recorded at least 151 attacks on churches and 84 on PRCs and other pro-life groups since the SCOTUS leak.
The end of Roe meant one thing to abortion businesses — in many states, their work killing preborn human beings would be illegal and impossible. It meant shutting down abortion facilities and losing money. Immediately, the media began to publish heart-wrenching stories from women who allegedly needed an abortion to survive but were denied it. The problem is that intentionally and directly killing a preborn human being is not standardized care; it is not medically necessary to deliberately kill a human being to protect his mother’s life or health. (Here’s why.)
The media exploited stories of women facing pregnancy complications and prenatal diagnoses to claim that pro-life laws were killing women — but these claims are unfounded. Not a single pro-life law that has taken effect since the end of Roe has excluded the allowance of abortion when a woman’s life is at risk. Even so, preterm delivery and emergency C-sections to save the mother’s life or health are not induced abortions and are therefore not prohibited by any pro-life law.
What is outlawed is the direct and intentional killing of a living preborn child prior to delivery. If a woman is in preterm labor due to cervical insufficiency or incompetence, and labor can’t be stopped — as was the case for Amanda Zurawski — doctors are able to complete the delivery, even if the child is unable to survive. The difference is that in a preterm emergency delivery, the doctors do not intentionally kill the baby.
“We asked all of our doctors and our nurses, isn’t there something you can do, and they said no,” Zurawski explained in a pro-abortion video she participated in. “I couldn’t make the decision for myself, we couldn’t make the decision for our daughter, our doctors couldn’t make the decision. They were just as furious as we were because their hands were tied. Had they acted, they would have been charged with a felony.” (emphasis added)
This is untrue. When doctors finally did act — after Zurawski was already suffering a dangerous sepsis infection — the procedure they carried out was a “premature delivery” for a child who was too young to survive, not an induced abortion with the intent to end a life. That said, induced abortion is legal in Texas in cases of a life-threatening medical emergency.
Pro-life laws didn’t put Zurawski’s life at risk — incompetent medical professionals did. Zurawski isn’t the only pregnant patient to suffer at the hands of doctors who don’t understand the difference between delivering a child prematurely and dismembering a preborn child and delivering her in pieces.
According to stories shared by the Associated Press and NPR, doctors have also refused to provide “needed medical care” to pregnant women in emergencies in Tennessee (possible preeclampsia) and Ohio (missed miscarriage) where pro-life laws are in effect. As previously reported by Live Action News, each of these women should have been helped through the use of completely legal medical procedures, not induced abortions.
“Instead, in Tennessee, a doctor sent a woman suspected of having preeclampsia on a six-hour ambulance ride to get an abortion rather than treating her with standard care, which according to the Mayo Clinic includes medications to lower blood pressure or an emergency delivery of the baby in extreme cases,” wrote Live Action News’ Cassy Fiano-Chesser. “And in both Texas and Ohio, women facing serious health concerns were sent home instead of being given proper, timely, and legal medical care specific to their medical situations.”
Roe v. Wade reigned for nearly 50 years, and in that time, doctors rose through medical school wrongly believing that abortion is health care and failing to understand the difference between abortion and standard medical practices in emergencies like ectopic pregnancy treatment and preterm labor.
Ending a pregnancy is not the equivalent of committing an induced abortion. A pregnancy comes to a natural end with the delivery of a child. In an emergency situation, doctors can perform valid medical procedures to deliver that baby alive and attempt to save both mother and child. In such a case, the pregnancy was ended but the child was not intentionally killed. No doctor is expected to wait until a patient is seconds from death before trying to save her — and delivering her child prematurely while attempting to save both lives is not an abortion.
The only procedures prohibited by pro-life laws are the ones that involve intentionally killing the child before delivery.