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New hope for America in a post-Roe age

Erin Hawley | Countering the lies of the left while caring for expectant moms in need

A pro-life protester holds up a sign in front of a Planned Parenthood escort in Columbia, S.C., in late May. Associated Press/Photo by David Goldman

New hope for America in a post-<em>Roe</em> age
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Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on the effect of the Dobbs decision on women. The hearings were an opportunity to explain why the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade was a judicially modest one that finally returned to the states and the people the ability to protect unborn life and to empower women. The hearings also illuminated how the pro-abortion left is distorting facts and trying to scare American women.

Representing Alliance Defending Freedom, I was privileged to stand up for the most vulnerable among us and to argue against the lies the Roe decision has told to America. First of all, the Dobbs decision was a judicially humble one that corrects a nearly 50-year wrong, a wrong that resulted in the death of more than 60 million unborn children. Roe invented—fabricated, really—a “right” to abortion from thin air, and scholars across the political spectrum believed the case was wrongly decided. Roe took from the American people the right to protect unborn life, usurping the people’s role in an “exercise of raw judicial power,” according to Justice Byron White’s dissent in 1973. Its reversal is a tremendous victory for life and the American people.

In particular, Roe was wrong about women. Its seven male authors lamented that motherhood “forced” upon women “a bleak and distressful future.” But moms across the country know that’s a demeaning and distorted picture of who we are and what we do.

In another lie to American women, Roe told them that their baby is merely “potential life.” But scientific evidence establishes that life begins at conception. At just six weeks of gestation, unborn babies’ hearts begin to beat. At eight weeks, they have fingers and toes. And at 10 weeks their unique fingerprints begin to form. Yet without a hint of irony, pro-abortion activists posit that the reversal of Roe “treats women as objects, as less than full human beings.” However, it is abortion that treats babies, including female babies, as mere objects, even while science establishes that babies are fully alive and fully human, no matter how tiny they are.

The present moment presents an opportunity for America to restore a culture that values families, women, and motherhood.

During the congressional hearing, pro-abortion advocates insisted that abortion is healthcare. It is not. Abortion is a horribly inadequate solution to the very real problems that some women face. It always results in the death of a child and often results in a greater risk of death or illness for the mother. Many women are unsure of their decision at the time and a majority go on to suffer emotional and psychological pain. Additionally, surveys show that most women who choose abortion report that they would have chosen life if they had more support. And for women who are reluctant to become a parent, there is also hope. At any given time, 1 million families are waiting to adopt. There is no such thing as an unwanted child.

During the hearings, Democratic witnesses argued that allowing state laws protecting unborn life to go into effect would endanger women’s health. These arguments are a desperate and untruthful attempt to scare pregnant women. A mother’s life is never endangered by a pro-life law. She may seek life-saving medical care in every single state. Indeed, treatment for a life-threatening condition is not an abortion at all—in these tragic circumstances, doctors do everything in their power to save both mother and child.

Pro-abortion advocates are similarly wrong when they claim that treatments for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages may subject women to laws that regulate abortion. Not so. An ectopic pregnancy is a tragic situation in which an embryo develops outside the uterus. The baby is not viable and the condition is life-threatening to the mother. As even Planned Parenthood recognizes, treating an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage is not an abortion because there is no intent to terminate a human life.

The present moment presents an opportunity for America to restore a culture that values families, women, and motherhood. Thankfully, we’re already seeing state and private entities step up to surround expectant moms with a caring community and provide families with diapers, car seats, clothing, housing, educational opportunities, job training, and medical, emotional, and post-abortive care.

A post-Roe America is a hopeful one. It is an America where we can recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every life and empower women by providing them with the resources they need to flourish through pregnancy and beyond.

Erin Hawley

Erin Hawley is a wife, mom of three, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, and former law professor.


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