For decades, the American pro-life movement had been fighting an uphill battle. Despite public support for more protection for the unborn and many state governments seeking to end abortion, the movement could not progress because of the erroneous 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. In Roe, the court wrongfully read the right to abortion into the Constitution. This interpretation allowed abortion to be legal and unrestricted until incredibly late in a mother’s pregnancy. Additionally, Roe legally prohibited all American legislative bodies from conserving unborn life regardless of the political or public support for pro-life policies. Thankfully, this legal nightmare ended in 2022 when the Supreme Court abandoned Roe in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Center of Religious Expression participated in Dobbs by aiding the state of Mississippi and the pro-life movement through an Amicus brief submitted to the court arguing that Roe was egregiously wrong and deserved to be overturned. Thankfully, the court agreed with the arguments put forth by Mississippi and our Amicus brief, giving a decisive and long-fought victory to pro-life Americans. 

      With Roe overturned, abortion law-making returns to the American people and our legislative systems, allowing states the opportunity to defend the unborn. Since the Dobbs decision, thirteen states have outlawed abortion through laws passed by state legislatures and signed by their respective governors. However, states are unfortunately still free to disregard and deny the reality of unborn life, given that most states continue to allow abortion. Additionally, major population centers such as California and New York have enshrined abortion access into their state law to keep the procedure unrestricted throughout the entire pregnancy. So while the overturning of Roe was a major pro-life victory, there remains significant work.

      The pro-life movement must continue by shifting its focus to the legislative branch of government and encouraging policy that recognizes and defends unborn life. This year’s March for Life exemplified the shifting goals of pro-life Americans by concluding their annual March for Life at the US Capitol rather than the Supreme Court. This decision demonstrates the symbolic shift away from appealing to the courts and towards appealing to the people and their representatives. While enjoying victory after the demise of Roe was warranted, now is the time to continue to strive for protections for the unborn. Through electing pro-life politicians and the passing and enacting of pro-life policies, abortion can be a chapter of the past in America. Eventually, this journey ends with a new amendment to the Constitution, which recognizes and defends the right to life of all Americans beginning at conception. The Center of Religious Expression values all unborn life and believes that the pro-life movement will only be completely successful when it has protected all life across the nation. This goal may seem distant, and as before, the hills to climb will be steep, and the pushback against protecting life will be severe. However, through organization and determination, there is no reason the pro-life movement can not continue to further form America into a nation that respects and defends unborn life.