On Thursday of this week, Illinois Right to Life and our program director, Dr. Steve Jacobs, filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. Aided by Thomas Olp and Rita Gitchell of the Thomas More Society, they argued that the Supreme Court should overturn the viability standard of Roe v. Wade.
As we argue in the brief, the Court in 1973 claimed it did not know when life begins and, as a result, states were reluctant to protect the preborn. Today there is a scientific consensus that affirms a human’s life begins at fertilization. In addition, a majority of states now protect preborn humans in many ways, including fetal homicide laws, laws preventing abortions once the preborn child can feel pain, and more.
Our brief argues that the Court should recognize the fact that we now know preborn children are humans, as well as the fact a majority of states have laws to protect them, and follow the precedent of Brown v. Board of Education—which stopped race-based school segregation after finding separate cannot mean equal—by refusing to follow Roe‘s viability standard.
Now that the Court can cite evidence that the preborn are humans in fact and person under the law, the Court can (1) prohibit legal abortion, (2) find that a state has a compelling right to protect life at fertilization (and it outweighs any possible right to abortion), and (3) the Court can even establish that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right to equal protection under the law for all humans, born and preborn.
While it is most likely that the Court will rule that states can decide for themselves how to regulate abortion, our case is one that must be made. Advances in science and law have left no doubt that preborn children, from the moment of conception, are fully human and deserving of protection under the U.S. Constitution.
To read the amicus brief in its entirety, please click here.