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Capitol Voices

America’s Pro-Life Future is in the Hands of the States

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was an incredible victory for the unborn, and for the millions of Americans who have worked so hard to save them. In the opinion, Justice Alito restored the original understanding of the Constitution, and opened the door to a more hopeful future for women, children, and their families. 


After half a century, we in the pro-life movement find ourselves in a similar position to those who defended the unborn in pre-Roe America: looking to the states to lead the way. The path forward is clear (something we can all thank Alito for) but presents challenges as well as opportunities. Conservatives do not hold the White House or a Congressional majority, but we are already blessed with everything we need in our state-level networks. These policymakers, advocates, physicians, and volunteers have never lost sight of the true goal—protecting the unborn. They understand better than anyone the unique political landscape we now face, and are the best equipped—constitutionally and otherwise—to navigate it. 

Still, this is politics, and there are no easy wins. We are fighting an uphill battle in all 50 states against a political machine whose shameless enthusiasm for falsehoods has created a state of moral panic. We must do all we can to meet the people where they are and show them that protecting life at all stages is and always has been compatible with demands for dignity and autonomy. The real struggle will play out not in the halls of power, but in private conversations between friends and neighbors.  


49 years ago, the Supreme Court stepped in and undermined the life-affirming progress those conversations inspired, but now our work can continue free from the arbitrary hand-tying of the Roe era. The future of abortion policy is in the hands of the people, and it is the people who will help their state lawmakers turn their conversations into policies that will, in time, create a true culture of life in America.

No bill or campaign will immediately heal the division the left is now depending on, but we should not expect it to. Multiple generations of Americans have been trained by radicals to let fear guide their position on abortion; it is now our job to help them acknowledge what they have always known: that the unborn are human, and alive, and always worth saving. 

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