Hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers are expected to converge Friday in Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life.
The peaceful pro-life demonstration happens every year on or near the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the infamous U.S. Supreme Court ruling that forces states to legalize abortion on demand. Since 1973, more than 63 million unborn babies have been killed in legal abortions as a result.
But this year brings renewed optimism that unborn babies could be protected from abortion again soon. Many hope that, by January 2023, Roe will be overturned – and the 2022 March for Life will be the last under the deadly ruling — sparking a new era of Marches where manystates protect babies from abortion.
“We’ve eliminated evil in our country before,” National Review editor Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote this week, hopeful about a Mississippi abortion case before the Supreme Court.
“Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health … is the reason this may be the last January March for Life,” Lopez continued. “Roe was decided on January 22, 1973. If it’s overturned in June, I’m hoping the march will move to June. The march would then be in thanksgiving.”
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If Roe is overturned, the need for a March for Life would continue. Abortions will not become illegal nationwide. Instead, the power to protect unborn babies or keep abortions legal will return to the states. The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group, predicts that 26 states will ban abortions if Roe is overturned. That still leaves unborn babies unprotected in almost half of the country.
“So states such as New York and California will become abortion-tourist destinations,” Lopez continued.
Abortions will not completely go away in states that ban abortions, either. Some mothers may consider traveling to another state where abortions are legal or buying abortion pills online. North Dakota has a pre-Roe abortion ban that will go back into effect if the ruling is overturned, and, in anticipation of a positive ruling in June, state pro-life leaders are working on ways to expand support for mothers in need.
McKenzie McCoy, executive director of North Dakota Right to Life, told the Washington Post that they are planning new ways to encourage and support pregnant and parenting mothers, including through mobile pregnancy resource centers and ultrasounds.
“Just because Roe may get overturned doesn’t mean our work is done,” McCoy said. “I think it’s just beginning. We still have the issue of how do we change these pregnancies from unwanted to wanted. There has to be a shift there, and we have to have the resources to back that up.”
In politically moderate states, abortion legislation also will become an even bigger issue than it already is. Andrew Shirvell, executive director of Florida Voice for the Unborn, predicted “huge battles” about abortion laws in state and local governments post-Roe.
“Roe being overturned doesn’t mean abortion would be illegal all over the country,” Shirvell told the Washington Post. “There’s going to be huge battles over abortion in the state legislatures and even at the local level. What we’d ultimately like to see is a constitutional amendment ensuring the right to life in every state, but that’s probably a long way in the future.”
Roe v. Wade may go, but there always will be a need for the pro-life movement and the March for Life. There always will be pregnant and parenting families who need support and always vulnerable mothers seeking or being forced into aborting their unborn babies.
As Lopez said, the pro-life movement always will be around to help mothers and babies in need, banding “together to make abortion implausible.”