Pro-life leaders: Movement must be ready if Roe is overturned

Former abortion clinic at 72 Ransom Avenue in Grand Rapids, Michigan, turned into headquarters of the pro-life organization LIFE International. / LIFE International

Washington D.C., Jul 6, 2021 / 17:03 pm (CNA).

If the Supreme Court sends the question of legal abortion back to the states, pro-life groups must be prepared to respond, pro-life leaders told CNA on Monday.

Pro-abortion activists are preparing for a potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling that struck down a state abortion ban and legalized abortion nationwide. 

Politico reported Tuesday that some pro-abortion groups are already organizing to provide surgical or chemical abortions in the event Roe is overturned and future state abortion bans are enacted; the groups are “prepared to defy any laws banning abortion,” Politico reported. 

Some of the steps outlined in the report include efforts to arrange travel for women seeking surgical abortions, or the distribution of abortion pills by mail. 

Pro-life activists told CNA that their side, too, should prepare for the possibility of abortion being decided by the states. 

Tom Glessner, president of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, told CNA that a reversal of Roe would not stop abortions from taking place. 

“It simply grants more powers to the states to prevent or prohibit abortions,” Glessner said, adding that the pro-life movement should be all the more prepared to support women and families in the face of unplanned pregnancies. 

“The pro-life movement better be ready, and pro-life pregnancy centers better be ready,” Glessner said. 

When the Supreme Court agreed in May to take up the case of Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Dobbs – which concerns Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy – both pro-life and pro-abortion activists said the court could alter or effectively nullify Roe. 

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for the fall, and the court will be deciding the question of whether states can ban “pre-viability” abortions. 

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, told CNA that said her group’s very mission is “to work for a time when abortion is unthinkable.” She encouraged pro-life Americans to build a culture of life now 

“I encourage the pro-life movement to actively engage with and participate in ministries and organizations that support both the mother and her unborn baby,” Mancini said. “Everyone has a role to play in building a culture of life.”

“All life is sacred and how society treats a mother and her child should reflect that truth,” Mancini said, noting that “at a time when justice and human dignity are on everyone’s minds, we should be promoting policies that protect the least among us starting in the womb.” 

Mallory Quigley, vice president of communications for the Susan B. Anthony List, told CNA that an increasing number of pro-life laws have been passed in states “on a mandate from the people who elected them.” 

“We’re looking at states that want to help women and children, and we’re looking at the abortion industry that will stop at nothing to keep abortion businesses running, whether that’s illegal distribution or extraordinary lengths to get women to abortion clinics,” Quigley said. 

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