It's a "grand misnomer" to think that if the Supreme Court does end up repealing the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, that will stop all abortions, Sen. James Lankford said Wednesday on Newsmax, ahead of the Supreme Court's opening hearing of arguments in a Mississippi case that will challenge the matter.
Instead, the Oklahoma Republican told Newsmax's "Wake Up America," a ruling against Roe v. Wade will return the rulings on abortions to the states, where abortion laws will vary and many will continue to allow the procedures.
"Some states like New York or California will probably do abortion right up to the second of actual delivery because they like as many abortions as they can in those areas," Lankford said. "Other states like mine and Oklahoma will protect the lives of children at the moment of conception, and there'll be all kinds of variations on this."
Meanwhile, the United States is "way behind" on the issue of abortion, the senator said.
"There are billions of people across the world in multiple countries of all different faiths and backgrounds that recognized the basic science of the when you look into a womb, that's a child, even when you're dealing with a 15-week-old baby," he commented.
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Wednesday.
At issue is Mississippi's Gestational Age Act that was passed in 2018 but has been blocked by two federal courts. It allows abortion after 15 weeks "only in medical emergencies or for severe fetal abnormality" and has no exception for rape or incest.
"What the Mississippi law is asking for is a very reasonable argument, but it drives at the heart of where Roe v. Wade was in 1973, when the court said in its arbitrary ruling of viability that states couldn't be involved in protecting the lives of their own citizens, unless they're viable," said Lankford. "That rule has never been good. It has never been easy to interpret for courts around the country, and we need to be able to push back on that.
"I'm a firm believer that a child is a child at the moment of fertilization. There's something unique about that cell, a different DNA. That's a person there. Certainly about 15 weeks, you can clearly see that's a baby."
There have been arguments made that science concerning the viability of a fetus has changed a great deal since 1973, but Lankford said that instead, the court must look at the Consitution, as there is not anything there to guarantee abortion.
"The ruling in 1973, the court made that up out of whole cloth," said Lankford. "It's very obvious culturally now for us to be able to look at the science and what's going on inside the womb that we can really see the development of a child, [but] the old joke that my mom used to have was that you can't be just a little pregnant."
But for people who support abortion, "they believe you can be just a little pregnant, so you can have abortions early when you're only a little pregnant, and then later you can't do that," said Lankford. "Well, it's nonsensical. There's no such thing as a little pregnant. You are either pregnant or you're not pregnant. That's a child in the womb."
Further, just because a precedent was once set doesn't mean it can't be reversed, Lankford said.
"In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled separate but equal is fine and set up segregation [in schools]," said Lankford. "It was just over 50 years later when the court overturned that and said, that's absurd. They really looked at that big decision."
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