Ross: The Roe v. Wade draft opinion and revisiting the Right to Life’s pledge to end childhood poverty

May 3, 2022, 7:40 AM | Updated: May 4, 2022, 6:25 am
(Getty Images)...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

There’s a report that a draft opinion repealing Roe v. Wade is circulating in the Supreme Court.

My guess is this story is a trial balloon to gauge how much panic a repeal might create. But it fits the timeline of a pro-life crusader I interviewed three years ago – Stephanie Krider, who, at the time, was executive director of Ohio Right to Life.

“I think that for us… two to three years out is when we believe the [effective Roe v. Wade repeal] will make it to the docket of the United States Supreme court,” Krider said.

That was in May of 2019. So, she was dead right. But she seemed to think that the main effect of the campaign to repeal Roe v. Wade would be voluntary compliance:

“Ultimately, our goal isn’t to just pass a law that bans abortion, our goal is to change hearts and minds along the way so that abortion is almost unthinkable, a woman would feel she had all the support she needed to either become a mother, or adopt her baby to a family ready and willing to take that baby,” Krider continued.

I pointed out to her there was nothing voluntary about the laws that states like Ohio have been passing – and that main effect would be on impoverished women unable to travel out of state.

So what happens when, by law, they have to give birth to a child they can’t support? She said they should be paid because no child deserves to live in squalor:

“I think it’s a travesty… and something to revisit,” Krider offered.

Except that hasn’t been revisited. The federal poverty guideline for a two-parent family with one child is still about $23,000 a year.

In Ohio where Stephanie lives, the most you can earn to qualify for cash assistance is half of that, or about $13,000 a year.

During that interview three years ago, I had a feeling those numbers wouldn’t change, which is why I asked her if it would be right to repeal Roe without financial support mechanisms already in place.

“No, I don’t think it would be right. That is why we’re having these conversations right now in Ohio, even though we don’t know if our law will ever go into effect. We hope that it will, but we think it’s likely going to take two or three years, so that’s already started this budget cycle,” Krider responded.

Stephanie Krider of Ohio Right to Life from three years ago – indicating that once the pro-life movement achieved its goal of ending Roe v. Wade, it would be committed to ending childhood poverty. It’s looking like we’re about to find out if she was right.

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Ross: The Roe v. Wade draft opinion and revisiting the Right to Life’s pledge to end childhood poverty