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In the Dobbs Era, Pro-life Leaders Like Sen. Thune Are Vital

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Manuel Balce Ceneta

Since the historic Dobbs Supreme Court victory last June, which restored the right of the people and elected lawmakers to protect unborn children and their mothers in the law, a stark contrast has been evident. In some states, including South Dakota, strong pro-life laws could potentially save 170,000 lives a year. However, the abortion lobby is working hard to circumvent life-saving laws by selling mail-order abortion pills and setting up abortion centers along the borders of pro-life states. They have even created mobile abortion vans so they can conduct abortions in parking lots along the border with pro-life states. These egregious actions are meant to generate profit at the expense of the women and the unborn and must be addressed by federal legislation. 


In Washington, Republicans have proposed that Congress debate and pass consensus protections to save unborn children from abortion. But sadly, the Biden administration and the Democratic Party refuse to support limits on abortion at any point in pregnancy or even to protect newborns who survive an abortion.

At a time like this, strong leadership is essential to advance life-saving protections in deeply pro-life states like South Dakota and nationwide. Senator John Thune is just such a leader – an unwavering champion for life who is determined to advocate federal protections for unborn children and to be a bulwark against the radical abortion lobby.

Senator Thune and his colleague Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford recently introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This legislation would ensure that babies who are born alive during a botched abortion receive the same basic medical care that would be afforded to any other newborn. With a new GOP majority, the U.S. House of Representatives passed it last month by a vote of 220-210, with all Republicans and just one Democrat voting in favor.

Thune is among a select group of courageous members of Congress who quickly and wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to protect unborn children nationwide from the brutality of abortion at a point when science makes it clear they can feel pain. As a co-sponsor of Senator Lindsey Graham’s 2022 legislation to stop painful abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy (with certain exceptions including to save the life of the mother), Senator Thune refuses to abandon the 55,800 unborn babies aborted each year at this point or even later – it’s inhumane and un-American. This critical legislation establishes a federal minimum protection while still allowing states like South Dakota to protect even more vulnerable unborn babies.


The last thing pro-abortion extremists want is a national debate that highlights the humanity of unborn children, but Senator Thune has not been afraid to call them out and go right to the heart of the issue: “It’s pretty hard to look at a fully formed baby on an ultrasound, kicking her feet and sucking her thumb, and think she’s anything but a human being. And once you’ve acknowledged the self-evident truth that that baby is a human being, it’s pretty hard to argue that she shouldn’t be protected.”

When it comes to checking the Biden administration’s radical pro-abortion agenda, Senator Thune can be counted on to stand with his constituents on the side of life. He is a firm “no” on the Democrats’ deceptively named “Women’s Health Protection Act,” which actually does nothing to protect women’s health but would mandate abortion on demand throughout pregnancy in every state. He holds Biden’s appointees like HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra accountable for their extreme views that would allow brutal dismemberment abortions to be paid for with taxpayer dollars, in violation of longstanding federal policies that save millions of lives. Importantly, he also defends healthcare professionals against a rising tide of coercion to destroy lives in abortions rather than uphold their oath to heal and to “do no harm.”


In a divided Congress, not only does every voice and every vote matter, leadership truly matters to achieve bipartisan consensus for doing what is right. When seven in 10 Americans want to see far greater protections for the unborn than our nation’s laws reflect, there is a vital debate to be had in every statehouse and in D.C.

Senator Thune understands that life is the human rights cause of our time, and that South Dakotans elected him to the Senate to fight for their values, defend the powerless, and champion all Americans’ unalienable rights. We are grateful for his heroic leadership to afford every child – born and unborn – and every mother the compassion and safety they deserve.

Marjorie Dannenfelser is the President of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. 

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