It was early March 2017, when Melinda Thybault woke to a truly staggering vision. In the dream, she saw vividly the famous British politician and abolitionist Wilber Wilberforce (1759–1833) rolling out his hard-won petition to Parliament to end the slave trade throughout the British empire. This vision followed months of fervent prayer and fasting by Melinda and her husband, Denny, who were seeking guidance about how to conduct lives of greater service to others.
From the vision, Melinda gleaned that if Wilberforce were alive today, the battle he would be fighting would be to end abortion. As Wilberforce petitioned for the end of slavery, the 54-year-old mother of seven, who is currently pregnant with her eighth child (more on that later), believed she was being called to develop a new strategy to abolish abortion.
Intrigued by the idea of a petition, Melinda contacted attorney Allan Parker, president of the San Antonio, Texas–based nonprofit Justice Foundation, who, after hearing Melinda’s story, agreed to represent her and help draft a multiphase, multiyear litigation strategy, which over time would evolve into what is today known as the Moral Outcry Petition.
Advocates for Life
“Challenging Roe v. Wade was never something we set out to do,” explained Melinda, accompanied by Denny and Parker, in a recent Zoom interview with The New American. “Never did we imagine we’d be where we are today. Though we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the adoption movement.”
Having raised three biological children, the Thybaults were empty-nesters in their mid-40s, when they were called to adopt three newborns, including one set of twins and an infant with a serious heart condition. Fortunately, today, all three 10-year-old girls are healthy and thriving.
Parker has worked tirelessly for more than three decades trying to overturn the two landmark cases that legalized abortion on demand in America — Roe v. Wade andDoe v. Bolton — representing Norma McCorvey (“Roe”) from 2000 to 2012, and Sandra Cano (“Doe”) until 2014. He contends that nearly 50 years of development in DNA research, in addition to the invention of the sonogram as well as advancements in genetic testing and in-vitro fertilization, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that life begins at conception.
He further argues that such critical scientific and medical information will determine whether, under the law of judicial precedence, the Court will follow a prior decision or precedent, or whether that precedent would be set aside based on the newly surfaced evidence and thus be enough to overturn the ruling.
“As science changes, so should the law change,” said Parker, who went on to point out that the wish of every Supreme Court Justice, as it is commonly believed, is to preserve the institutional integrity of the Court. And while the Court determined in 1973 that there is no way to know when life begins, with new evidence from over the past several decades, today’s 6-3 conservative majority should rule with a new opinion that considers the law of judicial precedence. As under that law, when science changes, the law should change.
America’s Outcry Against Abortion
According to the Justice Foundation’s website, the Moral Outcry Petition, a first of its kind, serves as “a symbol of America’s Moral Outcry against abortion … [which seeks to] wake up the nation and galvanize the national conscience to end the scourge of abortion in America.”
Endorsed by national pro-life organizations such as the National Prayer Council and Alveda King Ministries, the petition has so far — the next deadline is June 15 — collected nearly one million signatures from Americans calling for an end to the normalization of mass murder of the unborn.
The petition will be filed with all U.S. abortion cases via amicus curiae briefs, including the upcoming Mississippi case, challenging the state’s Gestational Age Act law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court in October. It also will support new “heartbeat bills” passing in various states and in general seek support for upholding the state laws and reversing Roe.
Throughout American history, more than 200 previous Supreme Court decisions have been overruled owing to their unconstitutionality. Among the most famous are Dred Scott v. John F.A. Sandford (1857) and Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). The former was overturned by the 14th Amendment, which granted citizenship to every person born in the United States, regardless of race. The latter was reversed when Brown v. Board of Education (1954) started the process of ending segregation made legal by Plessy v. Ferguson.
The hope of both the Thybaults and Parker is that owing to factual circumstances and updated evidence, a change in the law will end the disaster that abortion poses to human rights. This point is the first of five main arguments outlined in the Moral Outcry Petition:
- Abortion is a crime against humanity because the government is denying legal protection to infant life.
- A better alternative to abortion exists today via national safe-haven laws. Any woman can relinquish an unwanted child to a fire station, hospital or other designated place in her state within a set period of time after birth and be free of all burden and obligation of unwanted child care. www.nationalsafehavenalliance.org
- Two million people are waiting to adopt newborns in America. It’s time to say don’t kill the baby. Don’t hurt yourself. Give us the baby and we will transfer the baby to the loving homes waiting to adopt newborn children.
- Abortion hurts women terribly.
- New evidence since 1973 shows life begins at conception.