The pro-life movement gets to work | WORLD
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The pro-life movement gets to work

Congress and the states become the focus in the fight for children in the womb

Marchers gather in front of the Washington Monument at the March for Life rally on Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C. Associated Press/Photo by Patrick Semansky

The pro-life movement gets to work
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Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a speech on the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a case that now lies in the ash heap of history. Up until last summer’s landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, generations of politicians, legal experts, and commentators referred to a so-called “right” to end unborn lives as “settled law.”

Fifty years later, misleading coverage of Roe continues to diminish the reality that under the Roe regime, abortion was permitted up until the moment of birth for any reason or no reason at all. This put America on par with only a handful of other nations in the entire world, including human rights violators like North Korea and China. While pro-abortion advocates like to claim that the public favored Roe, numerous polls show that only a small minority—about 10 percent—of Americans want policies that mirror what Roe allowed.

Even abortion advocates and scholars have long criticized the poorly reasoned Roe decision, including the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who called it a “heavy-handed judicial intervention” that was “difficult to justify.” Roe prevented states from passing laws that protect unborn life and women’s health, causing the loss of over 60 million lives—each one of them unique and valuable.

At this year’s March for Life, tens of thousands of pro-life advocates relived the pure joy we shared last summer when the Supreme Court ruled that states do, in fact, have the right to protect their most vulnerable citizens. For many who marched this year, it is the first time they have seen an America without Roe, and for everyone, it’s the first time they are marching on Congress and state legislatures, rather than the Supreme Court.

With Roe finally overturned, states and communities now have an opportunity to affirm that life is a human right and to ensure that women have the support they need and deserve. Indeed, according to the Human Coalition, 76 percent of women who obtain abortions say they would have chosen to parent if their circumstances were different. The now 3,000 pregnancy care centers can provide these women with free medical care, parenting classes, prenatal education, and material support.

And through the miraculous decision in Dobbs—a decision that did not just uphold the Mississippi law as so many had predicted but wholly reversed the diabolical decision in Roe—we can take confidence that, as Scripture says, where two or more are gathered in prayer, the Lord is in their midst.

There is something so redemptive in the fact that a space once used to abort babies is now a place where expectant moms can find help.

We see this power of prayer in the miraculous decision in Dobbs. And we see it in Jackson, Miss., where the abortion clinic at issue in Dobbs has closed, to be replaced by a second-hand store. There is something so redemptive in the fact that a space once used to abort babies is now a place where expectant moms can find help.

Of course, the pro-life movement also faces challenges, from defending pro-life laws in numerous states from the judicial impulse to invent a right to abortion out of thin air (this time in state constitutions), to battling the abortion industry’s reckless and dangerous expansion of chemical abortion. Yet those marching demonstrate that the pro-life movement is ready to get to work.

And there have been other wins. Last month, Planned Parenthood dropped a lawsuit against North Carolina, allowing five commonsense pro-life laws to stay in effect. In October of 2022, pro-life sidewalk counselors won a settlement in a case against the city of Greensboro, N.C., after police arrested them for peacefully praying in front of an abortion facility. And in August, a federal court stopped the Biden administration’s attempt to force emergency room doctors to perform abortions even if doing so violates their conscience. Also in August, a court ruled that a California mandate forcing churches to cover abortions in their health plans is unconstitutional.

More recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation protecting the lives of infants born alive after a failed abortion and condemning the recent violent attacks on pregnancy centers. This continues the conversation on these issues and sheds light on the radical agenda abortion advocates are pushing.

And there is that second-hand shop in Jackson, Miss.

Not every battle has been won, but we know that in addition to wins in the courts, hearts and minds are changed every day through scientific advancements, logical reasoning, and true care for the unborn and their mothers. While abortion advocates continue to hold onto Roe and to push for ever more extreme abortion measures, the pro-life movement can keep marching, praying, and working to ensure that the egregious error that was Roe will never plague our nation again.

Erin Hawley

Erin Hawley is a wife, mom of three, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, and a law professor at Regent University School of Law.

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