Hope Is on the March

January 21, 2022

The tens of thousands of pro-lifers who made the trek to Washington, D.C. this morning didn't just come to support the unborn. They came to see history. For 49 years, they've slogged through rain, snow, sleet, and freezing cold for the March for Life with one prayer in their hearts: an end to Roe v. Wade. Today, that dream is closer than ever.

The hope that started blooming two years ago with the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett has exploded into full-blown optimism now, as the Supreme Court considers the first direct challenge to unlimited abortion in a generation: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. After a half-century, Roe could finally fall -- ending a bloody legacy that cost our nation 63 million lives. If it does, the young people standing in the sun this afternoon will remember this moment. They'll remember the belief on everyone's faces and the anticipation they felt wondering if this stop on the steps of the Supreme Court could finally be their last.

"There's a very big feeling in the pro-life movement and with the young people [here now] that something very big is on the horizon," Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins agreed. The mood was upbeat, as the possibility that all of the hard work, all of the years of praying and outreach, might finally be paying off. And while there's no certainty that the justices will strike down Roe, there's never been more reason to hope. "You can never really read the tea leaves and how these justices are going to [decide]..." March for Life President (and former FRCer) Jeanne Mancini said, but based on oral arguments, "it looks very positive."

Asked by a reporter if her job would be over if Roe is overturned, she replied immediately, "No." Like most pro-lifers, the goal is "to create a culture where abortion is unthinkable." And as much progress as the movement has made, our work -- especially if the Supreme Court answers our prayers -- is far from over. The battle will shift to the states, where the strong legislative infrastructure pro-lifers have spent the last several years building will come into play. Even now, lawmakers are ramping up efforts in hopes of a nationwide shift in the battle over abortion. The message to states is simple: "Full-speed ahead."

In 2021, by all rights a depressing year with the inauguration of Joe Biden and his pro-abortion agenda, states were more motivated than ever to act. They passed a record number of pro-life laws -- and abortion activists worry there are more to come. "Right now, we're seeing the beginning of what might be another wave," one Guttmacher Institute director warned this week.

That wouldn't be surprising considering where the country stands. New polling just released this week by Marist ought to rattle Leftists who insist the nation is with them. On the contrary, only 17 percent of Americans believe as they do, that abortions should be allowed through all nine months of pregnancy. Seventy-one percent think it should be limited to the first trimester (including 49 percent of Democrats!) -- a far cry from the central holding of Roe, which allows abortion at any time, for any reason. Worse for the Democratic Party, the majority of Americans (60 percent) want the court to return the issue to the states -- including 80 percent of millennials and Gen Z. They think it's high time the people had a vote.

And if for some reason the justices don't agree, all will not be lost. This year, like the 48 before it, carry hope and promise because God's people still care -- and they won't stop fighting until this grave injustice is gone from our nation forever.

As fellow pro-life leaders and I wrote in a column today, "The spotlight has never been bigger on the pro-life movement... As conservative leaders, we are committed to preparing for this moment and working together to protect those who cannot protect themselves. From policymaking to volunteering with a local pregnancy resource center to peacefully praying and offering support to women outside abortion clinics, every one of us has unique gifts and a role to play in our effort to build a culture of life. That is exactly what we intend to do. Join us."

** If you missed FRC's annual ProLifeCon with Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.), Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.), the Babylon Bee's Kyle Mann, Ryan and Bethany Bomberger, Alison Centofante, and so many others, check it out on demand here.