Senator’s Wife Erin Hawley Key Figure in Overturning Roe v. Wade

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Courtesy of Victoria Pickering (Flickr CC0)

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was the moment Erin Hawley and other anti-abortion activists worked toward since the January 1971 ruling to allow women to choose the outcome of their pregnancies. Their 49-year journey to save the lives of unborn children proved to be fruitful. Now the focus shifts to ensuring that abortions are declared illegal in every state.

Hawley, a former Supreme Court clerk and the wife of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), played a central role in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. She served as co-counsel to Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Finch and Scott Stewart, the state’s solicitor general in State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, et al. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Her role and that of her employer, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), are part of the success story, that, until now, remained untold, according to Mark Hemmingway for RealClear Investigations.

Courtesy of American Life League (Flickr CC0)

“Their relative anonymity was not an oversight, but instead part of a deliberate strategy reflecting the political sensitivities of today’s partisan political landscape,” he explained.

The strategy was to avoid an unwelcome distraction. They worried liberals would disrupt the legal strategizing since Hawley had clerked under Chief Justice John Roberts and her husband was a former Missouri state attorney general.

The ADF would also cause a  for the legal team due to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listing them as an anti-LGBT hate group for their efforts in defending traditional Christian sexual ethics. There was fear there would be attacks by progressive groups.

Because of the decision to keep Erin Hawley and the ADF team quietly working in the background, they were able to conceive the successful legal reasoning behind Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


RealClear Investigations: Here’s the Surprising Backstory of the Downfall of Roe v. Wade; by Mark Hemingway
The Washington Post: A 49-year crusade: Inside the movement to overturn Roe v. Wade; by Michael Scherer, Josh Dawsey, Caroline Kitchener, and Rachel Roubein
WBUR: Mass. anti-abortion groups celebrate Roe’s overturn, while abortion rights advocates plan protests
Family Research Council: FRC’s Tony Perkins’ Statement Regarding Overturning of Roe v. Wade
NPR: Global reproductive and women’s rights groups react to overturn of Roe v. Wade; by Malaka Gharib

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Victoria Pickering’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of American Life League’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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