Yesterday five Supreme Court justices ended Roe’s bloody reign.1 The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision was courageous given the recent murder attempt of Justice Kavanaugh. Acadiana’s prolife community’s grateful reaction to their decision is tempered by the post-Roe reality that unborn children remain in danger.
Patrice Lewis, director of Lafayette’s A Pregnancy Center and Clinic, commented, “Roe v Wade did not create abortion. Abortion was already present in the United States.” Based upon her experience, women in Acadiana will continue to seek abortion. As such, she reiterated that her clinic’s outreach mission remains, “The job of the pregnancy center in the days to come, and of all of us who value life, is to shout from the roof top to those on the road to making an abortion choice that there is another road, a road that will lead them to the help, direction and resources they need, and that will ultimately lead them to the Lover of their souls and of their babies, Jesus Christ.” Ms. Lewis sees no time for inaction with Roe’s end, “This is not a time shrink back. This is the time to move forward knowing that if God be for us, who can be against us.”
Brenda DesOrmeaux, founder of the pregnancy center that bears her name, similarly does not see the threat of abortion slackening in Lafayette, “The DesOrmeaux Foundation and its 5 ministries will continue to do what we have been doing for the past 22 years. If possible, we may be doing even more to save babies and help mothers.”
Indeed, Dobbs does not outlaw abortion. Justice Alito’s opinion makes this clear in stating, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” In other words, Dobbs allows each state to determine whether babies can or cannot be killed. The Supreme Court unfortunately has yet to ban abortion by applying to unborn babies the 14th Amendment’s protections against the taking of a life without due process. Until it does, abortion will continue in many states under increasingly radical ways.
For example, New York enacted in 2019 the Reproductive Health Act. It allows the killing of babies after 24 weeks if “the health of the woman is threatened.” Pro-lifers have asserted that such broad exceptions allow physicians to kill babies at any point in the pregnancy for even nonlife-threatening reasons including undefined mental health concerns. With such laws in place post-Roe, the United States still remains one of seven nations in the world, along with Canada, China, Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam which allow essentially elective abortions after 20 weeks.
Lafayette OBGYN Dr. Damon Cudihy, who has given expert court testimony in defense of Louisiana’s pro-life legislation, sees immediate benefit to Roe’s end for Louisiana. He remarks, “In Louisiana and in similar states, the lives of many children will be saved since we will again have the freedom to prevent their state-sponsored killing.”
Dr. Cudihy’s comments refer to Louisiana Senate Bill 342, recently enacted on June 22, 2022, which bans abortion with Roe’s reversal. The state law provides exceptions for abortion to save the life of the mother and ectopic pregnancies. Abortionists now face fines from $10,000.00 to $100,000.00 and from 1 to 10 years imprisonment in Louisiana. He sees such laws as one tool in reversing Roe’s “profound corruption of our society and the demonic hold of this culture of death and narcissism.” Like Ms. Lewis, Dr. Cudihy emphasizes the spiritual battle which remains, “Although the overturning of Roe will be a key victory in this fight, we have much more work to do and many battles ahead in our service to our Lord for the salvation of souls.”
Dr. Cudihy confidently sees the overturning of Roe as a step toward final victory, “We must remember that our hope is in the Lord and the gates of hell will not prevail against His church. We need to keep in mind that we know Who wins this battle. Our responsibility is to remain faithful to our duty and loyal to our King, Jesus Christ.”
Stuart Amidon, pastor of Christ Church Opelousas and founding president of the Opelousas Pregnancy Center, while acknowledging the need to criminalize abortion nationwide, also emphasizes the need to rejoice in the present. He stated, “Today we celebrate the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. The fight is not over, there is still work to be done, the kingdom of God continues to advance until the last enemy, death, is defeated. But today we rejoice.”
- Chief Justice Roberts joined the 6-3 decision but wrote separately that he would not have reversed Roe’s fabricated right to abortion.
Lafayette’s A Pregnancy Center and Clinic (337) 232-5509, The DesOrmeaux Foundation (337) 289-9366, and the Opelousas Pregnancy Center (337) 331-0602 offer free resources and support before and after pregnancies for the women of Acadiana.