Publisher’s note: Alice Stewart is a political commentator for CNN and a board member of the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard University. The opinions expressed in this comment belong solely to the author of it.
(CNN) — As an anti-abortion social conservative, I received a fair share of criticism for supporting Donald Trump in his bid for president. But I always looked beyond petty tweets and online insults.
Instead, I focused on life appointments to the high court that would elevate jurists who believed, as I did, that life begins at conception.
The Democrats, as well as the “Never-Trump” Republicans, said that by supporting Trump, I was “making a deal with the devil.” Some even accused me of selling my conservative principles. But I stood my ground, and now my patience is being richly rewarded: We have a Supreme Court with a majority judicial philosophy that mirrors my views on Roe v. Wade.
The draft majority opinion authored by Judge Samuel Alito, who upholds Mississippi’s anti-abortion legislation and overturns Roe v. Wade, is not definitive, but it portends a huge victory for the anti-abortion movement.
People like me who voted for Trump, believing that the Supreme Court should be our top priority, should feel fulfilled.
Democrats are asserting, predictably but wrongly, that Judge Alito’s opinion, if made final, would ultimately lead to a nationwide abortion ban. What the left ignores is that nullifying Roe will not end all debates on abortion. However, it will take authority over abortion policy decisions away from unelected federal officials and put it where it belongs: in the hands of elected state representatives.
National surveys show that the majority of americans they say that abortion should normally occur within the first trimester. And many voters are in favor of the limitations that Mississippi intends to establish.
Some abortion rights activists are trying to take advantage of the leak of this draft decision and discredit the high court. But to many of us it was clear from the start that Roe made the wrong decision.
“My criticism of Roe is that he seemed to have stopped the momentum on the side of change,” Ginsburg told an audience at the University of California Law School. University of Chicago in May 2013. Although he supported a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, he believed that Roe stifled the abortion debate and made it more likely that there would be no lasting national consensus on the issue.
The Supreme Court is right to return the highly controversial issue of abortion to the states. No two states will adopt exactly the same policies, which means that each of them will have the flexibility to craft their own solutions. In my opinion, the provisions relating to rape, incest and the protection of the life of the mother should also be protected.
The draft opinion corrects the falsehood that abortion is protected by the Constitution or that it is part of a long American tradition. President George W. Bush, who appointed Alito, deserves praise, as does Senator Mitch McConnell, who has been a champion of originalist judges, that is, jurists who espouse the principle that the constitutionality of a law must be determined by the interpretation that the founders had at the time they drafted that precious document.
Also deserving of high praise, of course, is President Trump, whose three original judges Supreme Court nominees: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, are said to have voted for Alito’s opinion.
Although it seems that the Supreme Court is now willing to annul Roe v. Wade, allowing the imposition of many common sense state laws, this does not end the controversy.
The debate will now turn to efforts to defend and preserve life, and will move to state legislatures and the courts. It is our obligation as Americans to protect women by providing compassionate care in a post-Roe environment that ensures the dignity of every person. The pregnancy care centers from across the country can provide this care to people facing difficult decisions about pregnancy. These centers offer testing, advice and support to people who may find themselves with unplanned pregnancies.
Donald Trump said and did a lot of things that I didn’t agree with, but I voted for him to be my president, not my pastor. As far as I’m concerned, politics is a matter of principle, not personality.
I do not regret having supported a pro-life candidate who said what he did and did what he said. For conservatives like me, this impending Supreme Court ruling on Roe underscores the wisdom of that decision.