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Pro-life lawyer who worked on case that overturned Roe reflects on Dobbs decision ahead of its 2nd anniversary

A pro-life lawyer who helped work on the case before the Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade said ‘all life is valuable, no matter how small,’ as she reflected on the ruling on its second anniversary.

In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Erin Hawley said the Supreme Court reaffirmed on June 24, 2022, that the states and their people ‘have the ability, finally, to protect life’ and that the court was ‘very clear that there simply was no fundamental right to abortion enshrined in the Constitution.’

The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which two years ago overturned the 1973 ruling Roe. v. Wade and the 1992 ruling Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allowed states to make their own laws regarding abortion. The Dobbs case was sparked by a Mississippi law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

‘In fact, at the time the 14th Amendment was enacted in 1868, nearly every state criminalized abortion at every stage,’ Hawley told Fox News Digital. ‘So the court really explained that in no time had the Constitution had this fundamental right to abortion, and that Roe errored by imposing this through judicial fiat. And finally, the people of the states could choose to protect life.’

‘Dobbs was clear there is no constitutional right to abortion in the Constitution, it never existed,’ Hawley added. ‘It was illegitimate from the start, and that means that people can and do protect life, and we’re seeing these debates happen all over the country.’

Hawley, who serves as senior counsel and vice president of the Center for Life and Regulatory Practice at Alliance Defending Freedom, said there have been ‘some great advances’ since the Dobbs case was decided two years ago.

A total of 41 states have enacted abortion bans, although many have exceptions for rape, incest and risk to the health of the mother, and every state with abortion restrictions includes exceptions for risk to the life of the mother. There are 14 states with near total abortion bans and 27 with bans based on gestational duration, including three states with six-week bans.

States that have abortion bans in effect also have laws that support new mothers during and after pregnancy.

‘A number of states have moved to protect life,’ said Hawley, also the wife of GOP Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley. ‘In addition, those states that do protect life with their laws have really expanded empowerment opportunities for women. In fact, every state that has laws on the books protecting life has expanded support for pregnant and new moms, some to the tune of tens of millions of dollars annually, and I think this is just such a powerful example of how pro-life states are serving women and children, not only during pregnancy, but also beyond.’

Pro-life activists made their way to Washington, D.C., and other cities across the country over the weekend ahead of the second anniversary of the Dobbs decision to advocate for abortion restrictions because, despite no abortion protections at the federal level, Democratic-led states still allow women to obtain abortions and some states have even passed laws, following the Supreme Court’s ruling, that further protect abortion access for women in their state and those traveling from other states to undergo the procedure.

The national March for Life is also held in January of each year around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which was decided by the Supreme Court on Jan. 22, 1973.

Hawley said the March for Life continues to be important, as is any state advocacy or effort to inform the American public of the ‘value of life.’ She said science shows that life begins at conception and that she and her colleagues at Alliance Defending Freedom believe ‘life is valuable no matter how small or no matter how vulnerable,’ adding that ‘the value of the human life doesn’t depend on its size.’

‘After the Dobbs decision, the American people finally have an opportunity to embrace the reality that every life matters again, no matter how small,’ she said.

Now, Americans have a chance through ballot measures to vote on their convictions regarding abortion. Voters in several states the past two years have voted on these ballot measures, and other states have ballot initiatives for this November’s election in which voters will have the opportunity to decide the fate of abortion access in their states.

Hawley stressed the importance of ‘changing hearts and minds’ on the subject of abortion restrictions, noting that she believes the pro-life movement should ‘continue to support women and to show them that there are other choices and that those choices can empower both them and their unborn child.’

A #WeCount survey released last month found that, despite states’ abortion bans, the number of abortions has not been reduced, as women receive abortion pills in the mail from states that have laws protecting prescribers. And a new study by the Guttmacher Institute found that women in states with abortion bans are traveling to other states for the procedure.

‘The pro-life movement really does need to work on convincing the American public that all life is valuable, no matter how small,’ she said, adding that surveys showed before the Dobbs decision that most people thought Roe went too far, believing that ‘babies were deserving of protection earlier in pregnancy than what Roe allowed.’

Last year, a Texas woman made an unsuccessful legal challenge attempting to receive a court exception to the state’s abortion ban to abort her fetus, which had a condition with low survival rates, citing concerns that carrying out the pregnancy could impact her health and her ability to have more children. The woman, Katie Cox, ultimately left the state to have an abortion.

There have been other legal challenges against state abortion bans claiming there is a lack of clarity on when doctors can legally perform an abortion in a medical emergency, although guidance was recently issued in Texas by the State Medical Board, seeking to offer clarity to medical professionals on when they can perform the procedure without fear of repercussions.

Hawley said state abortion laws make it clear when a doctor can legally perform an abortion to protect the life of the mother.

‘The Supreme Court is currently deciding to leave that decision to the reasonable view of the doctor,’ Hawley said. ‘So long as the doctor’s action is objectively reasonable within his or her professional medical judgment, then there’s no reason that the doctor would run afoul of any state’s laws.’

‘Every state in the nation has a law that accepts lifesaving procedures from the definition of abortion, every state allows for the treatment of miscarriages, and every state allows for the treatment of ectopic pregnancies,’ she continued. ‘So this idea really is just a falsehood. Women deserve and should not be denied lifesaving treatment, and no state’s pro-life law requires that be done.’

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruledagainsta challenge to the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory approval process of the abortion drug mifepristone, ruling that challengers to the agency lacked standing to sue on claims the drug has a high rate of complications.

Hawley argued the case against the FDA.

‘The FDA should be held to account for its 2021 decision to remove the most basic of safeguards before a woman takes a high-risk abortion drug,’ Hawley told Fox News Digital. ‘In 2021, what the agency did was take away that first in-person visit that is the only opportunity to screen for things like ectopic pregnancy and to accurately assess gestational age. We very much hope and expect the FDA to ultimately be held to account.’

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS
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