Curt Smith: Overturning Roe is right choice for country

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Curt SmithAny day now, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down a landmark abortion decision overturning Roe v. Wade. We know this because of an unprecedented leak of a draft opinion declaring that Roe was wrongly decided, concluding the U.S. Constitution includes no right to abortion.

Assuming that logic holds—which is a safe assumption, since the court verified the authenticity of the draft, and any departure now would show the majority can be bullied by leaks—states will soon determine their unique abortion policy.

That will be a healthy, though acrimonious, debate. I say healthy because, among Roe’s most pernicious progeny is an overall coarsening of the culture as the value of life was diminished. America began with a heartfelt cry for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” But post-Roe, we dropped life for a third of the citizenry, leaving just liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And a libertine culture we have.

This coarsening occurred even though the pro-abortion side promised when Roe was originally decided in 1973 that all our social problems would only get better when children were “chosen” and “wanted.”

Instead, by any measure, America’s life has dramatically degraded since. There is more fatherlessness, more teen violence, more incarcerations, more people in poverty, fewer intact families and increasing drug overdoses.

Roe—which ranks among the worst court decisions ever, along with Dred Scott (slaves are property, decided in 1857) and Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal accommodations by race are legal, decided in 1896) —belongs on the ash heap of disgraced history. But Roe is more, far more, than horrible public policy. It has deadened our public discourse, making terminating a living human a choice to be made only and solely by the pregnant women.

Men understood this message from pro-abortion feminists, best captured in the slogan, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” You sign up for a good time, not for a lifetime of commitment, duty and obligation to any children or a spouse. More significantly, if the woman wants the child, the man can simply say, “It’s your choice, so it’s your responsibility.”

Of course, paternity can be established, and the federal government spends billions annually to enforce child support payments. But the message is clear—life is devalued; dads are optional.

As each state decides its abortion policies, we will be forced to wrestle with the inhumanity of abortion. I know my haters will hate even more when I say the lack of regard for a pre-born child contributes to school shootings, teen gun violence and child abuse. I believe it, though I know it will take decades to confirm that the restoration of a culture of life in some states will improve our regard for all life, born and unborn.

Indiana will enact pro-life laws quickly, I believe. There will be a vigorous debate as to whether state law should allow any exceptions, such as the life of the mother, rape and incest. I know legislators who are genuinely wrestling with these weighty moral and legal issues. This is healthy, but hard. It is consequential. It is what a self-governing people must do and do well.

The results of those decisions in 50 state capitols by 7,300-plus state legislators will make their constituents think, pay attention and, I believe, choose life. No longer will the pro-abortion lobby be able to hide behind nine Supreme Court justices divining a right in the U.S. Constitution that is just not there.

Our legislators must own their decisions on our behalf, and America will recover as we respect anew life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.•


Smith is chairman of the Indiana Family Institute and author of “Deicide: Why Eliminating The Deity is Destroying America.” Send comments to

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One thought on “Curt Smith: Overturning Roe is right choice for country

  1. …Our legislators must own their decisions on our behalf, and America will recover as we respect anew life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…
    If people are so pro-life, then why are they pro Death Penalty? Especially in the cases where they’ve been found to be innocent yet languish behind bars because, “someone has to take the blame.”