Why Was Roe V. Wade a Bad Law?
“They manufactured it from the very outset. As a result, a temporary majority of four justices in 1971 decided to sweep away the abortion laws and used this case to do so. And then they had to decide how to justify it. Because they had such a result-oriented approach, they struggled for 14 months to justify it. As a result, they violated or ignored important issues of evidence and procedure. The defects that led to the Dobbs decision were first sewn in the original Roe v Wade decision released in January 1973. And those problems kept the Roe decision unsettled until Dobbs finally had to overrule it.”
The Lack of Credible Evidence in Roe v. Wade
“The sexual revolution of the 1960s influenced those involved in the case. The notion of a population explosion overshadowed this whole case, which was a big political issue.
In 1971, some justices felt that legalizing abortion was a good solution to the population explosion. Of course, many countries are now facing population implosion and birth rates below replacement level. There was no trial, evidence, expert witnesses, or data used in these cases. So everything you read in the Roe v Wade decision is data, history, and sociology that Justice Blackman conjured up, violating procedure and evidence. He then gave the country a 70-page opinion.
It was a tragedy from beginning to end that created a constitutional crisis. Because Roe was so radically unsettled in the years leading up to 2022, the court had to reconsider the Roe decision and rectify it in the Dobbs decision in June of 2022. They sent the issue back to the people where it always was and should have been left.”
Clarke Forsythe Explains The Dobbs Decision
“Since the 1600s, the abortion issue was always a colonial issue and then a state issue, and nothing gave the court the justification to become the National Abortion Control Board.
The court should have left it to the states. In the 1990s the court was asked to create a national right to assisted suicide. The court said, ‘We’re having nothing of that. We’re not going to take that issue away from the American people. It’s always a state issue. We’ll leave it to the states because they have always had the authority to deal with it.’ So they were wise to leave the assisted suicide issue to the states and not declare a national right to assisted suicide. That’s what they should have done with abortion in ’73.”
The Correct Role of Government
“That the role of government is to protect human rights, life, and liberty, scripture teaches that as well. Even the Old Testament heroes like Joseph, Daniel, Nehemiah, and Esther played major roles in pagan governments.
They weren’t public officials in the theocracy of Israel. Christians today don’t think they can choose between the lesser of two evils or vote against the worst in an election. However, those four figures served in pagan tyrannical governments seeking to secure the greatest good possible under the constraints of those governments. It’s a remarkable contrast.”
What Clarke Forsythe Predicted About The Dobbs Decision
“In my book, I was trying to sketch the most reasonable path forward and anticipate what would happen. The court in Dobbs wrote a very strong decision looking at our history, showing how no right to abortion is rooted in Anglo-American history. The states protected the unborn child to the greatest extent possible in the 19th century. The Dobbs decision gives us back that detailed law and culture that says we’ve always strived to protect the prenatal human to the greatest extent possible given contemporary medicine.”
The Value of Perinatal Care
“Instead of encouraging parents to abort a late-term pregnancy, hospitals today have a palliative care team that can come around those parents and provide a compassionate, holistic, medical, and spiritual care plan for them. So even if the child will die shortly after birth, a care team can come around them. Parents who have gone through that process and had a child who died within minutes or hours of birth testified that they were so glad they had that treatment instead of a late-term abortion.”
Common Pushback Clarke Forsythe Receives on Pro-Life
“Quality of life is certainly an issue. Autonomy is the leading issue. Abortion isn’t about healthcare. It’s not about equality. It doesn’t serve women’s health. It doesn’t serve women’s equality. The data is clear on that. I think the driving issue is autonomy. And yet it’s a deceptive autonomy in the sense that the majority of women who have abortions felt coercion or pressure. Maybe it was subtle pressure, but most women, as I told a congressional committee just a couple of months ago, testified and witnessed that they weren’t free and didn’t do it anonymously.”
How Can Christians Support Pro-Life?
“We all need to be praying specifically and consistently for pro-life leaders, pregnancy care centers, those on the front lines, and women who are feeling pressured into an abortion. In addition, every church should adopt a pregnancy resource center and support staff and help pregnancy resource centers in every town and city across the country.
We need to be informed about what’s happening in our state capitol since the action is now in the States. We need to be informed about the elections and study candidates in the months before every election.
Everyone needs to have practical wisdom. Joseph, Daniel, Nehemiah, and Esther are four heroes who exemplify practical wisdom. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon emphasized that practical wisdom means discerning the problem, deliberating about a solution, making a decision, and then acting upon it.
Prudence is an exemplary virtue that we need to embody in our life. We need to focus on prayer and help women through pregnancy resource centers. It’s important to involve yourself in state capitals and elections. Choosing wisely is about both the policies that someone supports and their character. The two go together and are inextricably intertwined.”
About Clarke Forsythe
Clarke Forsythe is Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life and the author of Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade (Encounter Books 2013), which was cited by the Supreme Court in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overruled Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Clarke has been co-counsel for parties in three U.S. Supreme Court cases and has argued cases before federal and state appellate courts. He has also testified before Congress and state legislatures. Clarke has authored or co-authored 20+ professional legal articles on constitutional and bioethical issues.
His other articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal (“The Smart Way to Overturn Roe v. Wade”), Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, Public Discourse, The Washington Times, The Federalist, The Hill, and many other newspapers and magazines. Clarke has also been featured on three podcasts produced by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
His first book, Politics for the Greatest Good, which draws on lessons in political prudence from Thomas Aquinas, William Wilberforce, and Abraham Lincoln, was published by InterVarsity Press (IVP) in 2009.
Clarke has a B.A. from Allegheny College, a J.D. from Valparaiso University, and an M.A. in Bioethics from Trinity International University, where he has been an Adjunct Professor of Bioethics. Clarke and his wife, Karen, married for 41 years, have five daughters and 11 grandchildren.”
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