Newsline , Society

A New Era and New Opportunities for the Pro-Life Movement

Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2024
by Shane Harris



Just over two years after Politico published a leaked copy of the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision, the country is still feeling the aftershocks of the political earthquake touched off by the fall of Roe v. Wade. Although the pro-life movement has experienced historic wins and also some partial setbacks since then, what has now become clear is that Dobbs was just the beginning of an even more important cultural battle.

Former President Donald Trump’s video outlining his stance on abortion, which he released in early April, captures the reality that the pro-life movement faces today and provides perhaps the most useful road map for conservatives looking to navigate the politically turbulent waters of abortion policy.

“Under my leadership, the Republican Party will always support the creation of strong, thriving, and healthy American families,” Trump said. “The Republican Party should always be on the side of the miracle of life and the side of mothers and fathers and their beautiful babies.”

Trump also clearly emphasized that contrary to the prevailing media narrative, it is Democrats who are the abortion extremists through their support for late-term abortion and even so-called “post-birth” abortions – when a baby is born alive as a result of a botched abortion and then executed by the abortionist.

As Trump relayed, Dobbs was a monumental legal victory for the pro-life movement and the Constitution, returning the power to legislate on abortion to the states and to the people where it belongs. It is now up to pro-lifers and conservatives to take on the next battle – creating a strong and vibrant culture of life that prevails in the ideological struggle against pro-abortion advocates.

Trump’s statement drew grumblings and even outright criticism from some in the pro-life community who believed that the former president did not go far enough in opposing abortion. Many were hoping Trump would call for a federal law outlawing abortion entirely.

But as Trump said, “You must win elections to restore our culture and to save our country.” As recent election results and polling data make clear, Trump’s position is both politically savvy and the one that is most likely to save the most lives.

While most Americans don’t support the Democrat position of unrestricted late-term abortion-on-demand, it’s also an undeniable fact that most people don’t currently support a strict national abortion ban. If Trump or any Republican were to call for such a ban today, it would put him greatly out of step with the majority of the country.

The most important fights for pro-lifers today are now at the state, local, and even the individual level. While Dobbs struck down Roe as a matter of law, it did not immediately undo the 50 years of pro-abortion attitudes that have increasingly taken root in American society.

What the pro-life movement must embrace – as Trump hinted at – is creating a culture of life. The Dobbs decision was just the first step toward undoing multiple generations’ worth of brainwashing by Hollywood, the media, and the education system to convince Americans that a fetus (Latin for “little one”) is not a human life, and that pregnancy is a burden rather than a joy and a miracle.

Now more than ever, conservatives need movies and TV shows that portray women choosing life. Conservatives must also work to celebrate and elevate the stories of women who chose life, and they need to rededicate themselves to installing pro-life curriculum in classrooms. Churches must also take a more active role in defending life and explaining why the pro-life position is the only one compatible with Christian teachings.

At the ballot box, recent defeats in red states like Ohio, Kentucky, and Nebraska are also a reminder of the continued importance of organization and funding. In all of those contests, the pro-life cause was significantly outspent by pro-abortion groups. While the primary focus of the pro-life movement for decades was reversing Roe, that focus must now shift to defending the cause of life in every state.

For instance, abortion is currently legal after 18 weeks in 29 states, including purple states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Nevada, and red states such as Ohio, Kansas, Montana, and Wyoming. Taking a page out of the pro-abortion playbook, pro-lifers would likely find an electorate very receptive to ballot initiatives to protect life in these states.

Making the conversation about Democrat extremism on abortion is another vital strategy that conservatives must pursue. 48 percent of Americans support a national ban on abortions after 16 weeks, with 36 percent opposing it and 16 percent saying they aren’t sure. That’s a plurality Republicans can work with to push for state legislation to prevent late-term abortions, save more unborn lives, and begin to change public perception of the practice overall.

What conservative candidates and elected officials can’t do is immediately impose their views on the entire country without first persuading a clear majority of the American people to support the protections they seek for unborn life. That would merely backfire and allow a Democrat Congress and a Democrat president to pass legislation creating a national right to abortion-on-demand up to the moment of birth, as Joe Biden and virtually every Democrat in Congress support. Such an act could prove extremely difficult to undo.

Conservatives must also make unequivocally clear their support for mothers and children. Funding programs that help expectant mothers and families, particularly those who are experiencing financial hardship, should be a top priority for Republican officeholders. Here, churches and pro-life charities should be treated as vital partners in nurturing a culture of life.

Despite the challenges that exist, with the right strategies and relentless effort, the country could well be on the cusp of a great resurgence of pro-life values in the years ahead. As much as the left denies it, ending abortion in America remains a noble – and realistic – goal.

Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on X @shaneharris513.

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17 days ago

I am a mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
I do not understand where the women of today claim my body is mine so I can murder an innocent life because it is inconvenient? Face it we are designed differently than men so therefore our actions carry more responsibility. This type of thinking has nothing to do with your wants and has everything to do with responsibility and protection. If you want casual sex and end up pregnant, it is not the babies fault! Your responsibility was to weigh your decision making and accept the failure of the birth control product for one night of pleasure. You have no more control than a person who ends up with a life changing condition, be it cancer, Parkinson’s, Dementia or an accident that causes a spinal injury. Life is full of complications and sometimes the best complication is to have a surprise baby. Who knows that child may solve many of the diseases that are untreatable right now. You have a gift that gets unwrapped in decades and that gift is usually a loving child and a grown up loving adult that gives you grand and great grandchildren!

17 days ago

In my view abortion, unless it is to save the life of the mother, is cold blood murder. In effect what you are doing is putting out a contract on your young baby. The abortionist is the assassin who accepts the contract and carries it out. They kill the baby and rip it piece by piece out of your womb.

16 days ago

It’s a shame that the decision to abort a life hinges on who spends the most money on advertising. That said, I think Trump is right to approach this from a compromise position. This won’t be changed overnight no matter how much we want it to.

17 days ago

I have no problem recognizing contraception as a women’s health consideration. BUT, ABORTION is MURDER! I don’t understand how any woman can demand the RIGHT to MURDER another living being. How can anyone justify the terminating the RIGHT to LIFE of an innocent fetus as one of their RIGHTS. What’s next? Women demanding the RIGHT to promote genocide of all people with unibrows or buck teeth?

16 days ago

It appears to me that Roe V Wade has worked for 50-years & now the abortion rights are in total chaos. Trump says he will let each state pass their own laws & then the next day he said that AZ made mistake in supporting law from 1864. Already , several states have passed laws that take away good decisions & doctors. I agree totally with women, that men should not pass laws telling women to do with their own personal body and health.

and quit threatening to put doctors in prison for performing medical services.

John Shipway
John Shipway
16 days ago

Conservatives sure can act strangely. Apparently they don’t believe,nor do I, in the killing of the unborn but many wholeheartedly support and arm Israel in the mass killing of both born and unborn Palestinian children….and their mothers. DO NOT let it slip from your mind that all but 27 percent of the residents of the currently being completely destroyed Gaza are indeed children and women not a one of which had anything to do with the break out that occurred on October 7.
Murder is murder. Many conservatives are now thinking and acting like the progressive left and that truly makes me ill……and if you listen to that s**t weasel Speaker of the House, Johnson, that makes me antisemitic. But then if I don’t rush to the nearest clinic to have my foreskin removed to be in legion with “Gods Chosen People”, that too makes me antisemitic.

17 days ago

Here’s where you lose me, AMAC. I am now an unaffiliated voter because, believe it or not, some women don’t see that government has ANY rights at all in our bodies. If you simply stop the debate at: No legislation that involves female body parts (where is the legislation that involves MEN’S body parts?), then the debate pretty much ends right there. Pro choice doesn’t mean killing babies for some of us, it simply means get out of my body.

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