IFI Joins Friends of the Court in Rutledge v. Little Rock Family Planning Services
IFI Joins Friends of the Court in Rutledge v. Little Rock Family Planning Services
Written By James M. Odom   |   06.14.21

On January 22, 1973, U.S. Supreme Court Justices William Rehnquist and Bryon White rightly identified in their dissents that Roe v. Wade was a bad (to put it mildly) decision:

“The decision here … partakes more of judicial legislation than it does of a determination of the intent of the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

“There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any of the other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted [more than a century]. The only conclusion possible from this history is that the drafters did not intend to have the Fourteenth Amendment withdraw from the States the power to legislate with respect to this matter [prohibiting abortion].”

Among the numerous and grievous consequences of the unlawful decision in Roe, and in combination with improved medical technology, is the fact that the medical profession has overwhelmingly persuaded parents that the death of their unborn children known to have Down syndrome is preferable to the life they would otherwise lead, despite God’s command and overwhelming evidence to the contrary [1].

On April 2, 2019, to prevent this selective abortion from eradicating its population with Down syndrome [2], Arkansas enacted the Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act.

On April 9, 2021, in perhaps the most persuasive case against Roe to date, the Arkansas Attorney General officially asked the U.S. Supreme Court (after defeat in the lower courts) to affirm this law. The case, known as Rutledge v. Little Rock Family Planning Services, is now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On May 13, 2021, the Illinois Family Institute joined a friend of the court brief in support of the prohibition [3], along with numerous other patriotic Americans, including the American Center for Law & Justice, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation (a Down syndrome advocacy group), Americans United for Life, 82 United States Senators and Representatives, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the State of Missouri and 21 other states.

IFI’s joining the brief is very important for three key reasons.

First, the name “Illinois Family Institute” prominently displayed in official proceedings, on the morally right side of the issue in this potentially landmark case, makes a very strong statement that the People of Illinois are not the extremist, Marxist, “blue state” ideologues most are led to believe by virtue of the lopsided Chicago control of our electoral votes and our state government.

Second, focusing precisely on the particular result of genocide of a particular group gives a tangible, rational, and emotionally-charged illustration of the truth of the tyranny resulting from Roe.

Roe v. Wade is a 54-page opinion which uses euphemisms and grand language to hide the fact that it writes entirely new law, which deprives a small and defenseless minority of unborn persons of their most important Constitutional right: life itself (known non-euphemistically as murder).

“Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.” – Leviticus 24:17

American values protect minorities of human beings from tyranny of the majority and, even more, genocide, as is rapidly becoming the case with Down syndrome children.

These uncomfortable truths have been glossed over by the Court and the culture in addressing the euphemisms of “abortion” and “terminating her pregnancy,” rather than the truth of the matter of murdering [4] innocent persons in America according to the desire of others.

Rutledge begins to destroy these dishonest euphemisms by focusing on the almost complete genocide of a precise group of persons, those with Down syndrome, who are valuable and would otherwise lead happy and productive lives.

Selective abortion of babies with Down syndrome is the very sort of tyranny of the majority that led our founders to despise Democracy (rule by a majority) as a form of government, and rather create a Republic (rule by law) based only upon securing those inalienable rights given to us by our Creator. Rutledge presents this in a way that both the Court and common Americans can see and feel clearly.

Finally, this particular Court has the sound jurisprudence necessary to finally recognize and overturn the great injustice of Roe, redeeming the moral authority of the court from the judicial tyranny of its last five decades [5].

For approximately 34 of the years following Roe, either Rehnquist himself, or his former clerk and current Chief Justice John Roberts, have led the High Court.

Six of the current justices have expressed judicial understanding consistent with Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett chose not to kill her unborn son (now 8) pre-diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Pray for all members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

For those who are believers and to whom God has given judicial wisdom, that they will be strong and courageous, leading the Court and the Nation from error into the path of righteousness and able to withstand Principalities and Powers, as well as the flesh and blood of the leftist culture that will attack them mercilessly.

For those who espouse foolish and unlawful judicial philosophies, that God would turn their hearts (the King’s heart is in the hand of the LORD) to righteousness and destroy their efforts to usurp His authority by promoting unrighteousness and tyranny.

Pray for God’s favor upon this case, that the Court would choose to hear it (grant “certiorari”), and seeing this illustration of judicial tyranny against a few (depriving these small, disabled, and helpless persons, within the jurisdiction of the United States of America, of their rights to life and liberty without ANY process of law or ANY protection of the laws), rule authoritatively that Roe was wrongly decided and must be overturned.

Pray that God would bring shame upon any Americans who would continue to promote this evil.

[1]   Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, Leslie Rutledge, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the State of Arkansas, et al., v. Little Rock Family Planning Services, pp. 2-9.

[2]    Box v. Planned Parenthood of Ind. & Ky., Inc., 9139 S. Ct. 1780, 1791 (2019) (Thomas, J., concurring) (“In Iceland, the abortion rate for children diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero approaches 100%.”).

[3]    Brief Amici Curiae, Rutledge v. Little Rock Family Planning Services.

[4]   Historically, “anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death.”  According to the Indiana Code, 35-42-1-1, a person who knowingly or intentionally kills another human being commits murder, a felony.  States since Roe have added vague words to accommodate their legalization of murder, for example, Illinois Code 720 ILCS 5/9-1 specifies that a person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits first degree murder.

[5]    The three theories of constitutional interpretation taught in contemporary law schools: Natural Law (e.g., Clarence Thomas): there is an objective higher law (of the Creator in our case, though they don’t typically mention that source) which man can never supersede, and upon which the Constitution is based; Strict Construction (e.g., Scalia, Rehnquist): the Constitution can only be understood as what the document itself was understood to mean when passed; and Living Constitution (e.g., Oliver Wendell Holmes, Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, Sotomayor): the Constitution means what Justices believe it means based upon their own current understanding (a subterfuge to enable Judges to ignore the text of the Constitution and substitute their own opinions).  Holmes is the author of Buck v. Bell, saying that “three generations of imbeciles are enough,” while upholding forced sterilization of the intellectually disabled.)

James M. Odom
James Odom is a Senior Policy Analyst for the Illinois Family Institute and Illinois Family Action. God used His Church and Godly legal mentors and pastors to forcefully direct James passion and vocation toward in depth study and understanding of the relationship between civil government and God’s Church from the very beginning of law school in 1992.  James graduated from Indiana University School of Law with a J.D. In 1995, and has been admitted to practice law in several jurisdictions over the following 25 years, including 5 years in the legal department at Focus on the Family. He and his...
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