As the 50th annual March for Life got underway in Washington, D.C., on Friday afternoon — the first to be held since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — Townhall caught up with Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a nonprofit that works to elect pro-life legislators.
Dannenfelser's already-influential organization became even more important when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in last year's Dobbs opinion, which returned authority needed to protect the unborn to the American people and their elected representatives at the state and federal level.
"This is the 'first day of the rest of our lives' in the pro-life movement," Dannenfelser told Townhall, "this is the new beginning, a brand new pro-life movement. Our success hinges on strong pro-life legislators and strong pro-life governors along with strong pro-life presidential candidates in the Republican primary," Dannenfelser said, warning of complacency now that we're in a post-Roe America. Instead, Dannenfelser urged for the work to protect life to continue in the states and to "establish a federal minimum standard" to defend the rights of the unborn.
The two top priorities at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America are "electing a strong pro-life president who will pursue that federal minimum standard, and continuing to usher in pro-life legislation and fight ballot initiatives that undermine them in the states," Dannenfelser explained.
When Townhall asked for Dannenfelser's response to former President Donald Trump's claim earlier in January that the "abortion issue" and pro-life Americans who "just disappeared, not to be seen again" were to blame for GOP losses in the 2022 midterms, Dannenfelser said her Townhall interview was "the first" time she'd given this reaction.
"I've been thinking about this a lot, because he's always been a great ally, a great friend — personally and to the pro-life movement," Dannenfelser shared. "He's getting this wrong, in our opinion, obviously," she said of Trump's explanation for the midterm outcome.
"To the claim that we weren't active in this election, we ironically spent four times the amount of money and had four times the number of voter contacts in battleground states this election than we did in the election where we first supported [Trump]," Dannenfelser noted. "So four times the strength in this last election than in his first election — so there was no invisibility," she added.
"The invisibility was in the communications from so-called 'supporters' of the pro-life cause who were running for office — or who were somewhere in the Republican Party — and operating on an 'ostrich' strategy hoping that the issue would blow over," Dannenfelser said. "Instead of blowing over, it bit them. We can't repeat this," she warned.
Looking at 2024 and beyond, Dannenfelser said pro-life Americans and political activists need to "make sure that we do the one most important thing: draw the contrast that advantages our candidates," before explaining how that contrast ought to be drawn. It's pro-life candidates pitting the "consensus, strongest pro-life position that can be sustained by the voters versus [Democrats'] immovable, extreme position of abortion up until the end without limit," she explained.
"We win every time when that's actually done," Dannenfelser added.