Politics & Policy

The Tide Is Shifting toward Life

Pro-life demonstrators carry a banner during the the 47th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., January 24, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
We will not rest until the day that abortion is unthinkable.

Pro-abortion radicals may control Washington, but the story on the ground all over the country is entirely different. Pro-life advocates are making unprecedented progress at the state level, and we are standing up to federal overreach by the Biden administration. The pro-life movement is undeterred, and we are winning.

Republican legislatures and governors are passing pro-life legislation, former president Trump’s judicial appointments are upholding pro-life laws, and the American public is with us.

Even our opponents admit that we are making massive gains at the state level; as the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute argues, “2021 is on track to become the most devastating antiabortion state legislative session in decades.” According to the Institute’s analysis, 536 abortion restrictions have been proposed, and 61 have been passed across 13 states as pro-life legislators win victory after victory.

The enacted bills vary widely, but all of them work to protect life. In Idaho and Oklahoma, legislatures passed a bill banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, while Montana banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Several states have been working to restrict dangerous mail-order abortion pills, and, in Arizona, the legislature prohibited abortions targeting babies with genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome.

These laws stand as a critical marker of the progress we are making. Even the Guttmacher Institute says that 2021 “is well on its way to being a defining one in abortion rights history.”

Our years of effort are bearing fruit, as state after state is enacting life-saving legislation. The energy behind these efforts comes from grassroots activists at the state level. These men and women lead the charge, testifying before state legislatures about the harmful impacts of abortion in their communities, and marching for life.

Pro-life laws today also have a much higher chance of remaining in effect thanks to President Trump’s judicial appointments. While in office, the former president appointed over 230 federal judges and three Supreme Court justices. These judges are strong constitutionalists who will rule for what is right before the law, not what is culturally and politically expedient.

Pro-life advocates have been encouraged to see that an Ohio law protecting babies who have received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome from abortion was recently upheld at the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Its next stop could well be the Supreme Court. But in the meantime, the high court has agreed to hear a dispute over a Mississippi law that would limit abortions to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. Pro-life Americans are hopeful that this compassionate law, too, will ultimately be upheld.

In addition to the legislative and legal shift toward life, there is also consistent public support for abortion restrictions. Poll after poll shows this to be the case, with 58 percent of Americans supporting the Hyde amendment (which protects the American taxpayer from funding abortions domestically), and 76 percent are in favor of restricting abortion to — at most — the first three months of pregnancy.

Americans realize that the Left’s abortion policy has gone too far. In reality, the Left is out of step with most of the country, focused instead on catering to its own base while losing the average voter. Pro-life Americans, meanwhile, continue to make crucial progress on the state level, in the courthouse, and with the public. We have already seen many important victories in 2021, and we look forward to those yet to come. But we will not rest until the day that abortion is unthinkable.

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