The 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which struck down the pro-life statutes of every state in the Union, was described by John Hart Ely as “not constitutional law,” that is, he wrote, “this super- protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution.” Sweeping as Roe v. Wade was –and the precedent has been used to strike down literally hundreds of pro-life laws since 1973 - today’s advocates for unlimited abortion work daily to expand its boundaries to further deny protection to children on the threshold of and even after birth, to compel taxpayer support of all abortions, to deny informed consent and parental notice, and to distribute abortion pills for “do-it-yourself” use, a practice that will make homes and dormitories the 21 st century analog of back alleys.
A panel of distinguished scholars and researchers will discuss these themes and describe how the new radicalism on abortion transcends anything America has seen before. A half century after Roe, U.S. abortion policy continues to speed on a collision course with itself. On the one hand, human life can be and is being saved at ever younger gestational ages through the wonders of perinatal medicine, and dozens of states are acting anew to recognize these life-affirming practices and precepts. On the other hand, the campaigns to nullify the legal status of the innocent and vulnerable unborn grow increasingly raw and brutal across a number of states and now the Biden-Harris Administration.
Mary E. Harned, J.D., served as an investigative counsel with the Select Investigative Panel of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, where she coauthored reports examining the fetal tissue industry. Formerly, Mary was staff counsel with Americans United for Life (AUL), where she authored numerous articles for Defending Life (AUL’s annual publication), op-eds, blog posts, congressional and state legislative testimony, and federal administrative comments. She also crafted original model legislation and supporting materials to aid state and federal legislators in advancing policy objectives within her expertise. Prior to this, Mary served as chief counsel to U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), where she advised and assisted Dr. Coburn on policy issues within the Senate Judiciary Committee’s jurisdiction and on all judicial nominations. She also served as counsel to U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R- AL) on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Michael J. New, Ph.D., is a research associate in The Bush School of Business at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and a fellow with the Witherspoon Institute, Princeton, New Jersey. Dr. New has both a Ph.D. in political science and a master’s degree in statistics from Stanford University. Dr. New worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-MIT Data Center. He later taught at the University of Alabama, the University of Michigan, Dearborn, and Ave Maria University. Dr. New researches and writes about the social science of pro-life issues.
Tessa Longbons is a research associate with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, where she writes on state and national abortion statistics, tracks abortion trends, and assists the CLI data analytics department with research projects. She is the researcher and writer on CLI’s series of summaries of annual state abortion reporting practices and results. Prior to joining CLI, Tessa got her start in pro-life research with the Family Research Council. Originally from Illinois, Tessa now lives in Washington, D.C. She earned her B.A. in Communications from Thomas Edison State University.