In 1974, some 20,000 pro-life Americans gathered at the steps of the United States Capitol to observe the first anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. Every year since, thousands of Americans of all stripes have faithfully flooded the streets of Washington, D.C. to defend the cause of the unborn. On Friday, they will do the same for the 49th time—and hopefully the last of the Roe era.
This summer, the Supreme Court is set to rule in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case deals with the constitutionality of a Mississippi law which limits abortions after 15-weeks of pregnancy, when babies can feel pain in the womb. This case gives the Court the opportunity to undo Roe and let voters and their representatives across the country decide what the abortion laws in their states should be.
This year’s march and the Dobbs decision come at a turning point in our commitment to defend life. Thanks to scientific advancements, it’s undeniable that what was once dismissed by some as a “clump of cells” is a human baby. We now know that a baby’s heart starts beating at around 22 days and that babies can feel pain as early as 12 weeks. These changes show just how outdated Roe is. Nearly 50 years ago, the Court said that states could only limit abortion after the unborn baby was almost seven months old, but today only a handful of other countries including China and North Korea allow elective abortions that late in the pregnancy.
These developments—along with the steadfast advocacy of pro-life organizations and individuals—has caused a sea change. Polling has shown that the majority of Americans support significant limits on abortion, with 65% of Americans saying abortion in the second-trimester should be limited “in all or most cases.” Other surveys consistently show that Americans do not want their federal tax dollars funding abortions either, with 58% of Americans backing the Hyde Amendment, including independents and Democrats.
But as younger generations become more pro-life, Democrats are running further left. Gone are the days when abortions were “safe, legal, and rare”—just look at the video of abortion advocates popping abortion pills in front of the Supreme Court last month. The $2 trillion tax and spending spree Democrats are trying to pass doesn’t include the Hyde Amendment, which has banned federal funding for most abortions since the 1980s and is a measure Joe Biden previously supported. Democrats have made abortion a central pillar of their party—so much that pro-life Democrats in Congress are virtually extinct.
Democrats have also refused to back any limitations on abortion, including up to the moment of birth and after, and have even blocked legislation banning infanticide. Former Democrat Governors Ralph Northam and Andrew Cuomo weren’t shy about their views, with Northam shamelessly expressing support for infanticide and Cuomo legalizing abortion up to the moment of birth. These radical pro-abortion views are out-of-touch with the views of a majority of Americans and even Democrats from just a short time ago.
As a pro-life Republican and mother of two, these stories break my heart. Every life is precious and worth defending.
There is a new generation of Republicans committed to defending life. When I had Congresswoman Kat Cammack on my Real America podcast, she made the important point that it is “hypocritical that a lot of Democrat members want to talk about justice, but it’s never justice for the unborn and those who don’t have a voice.”
That’s why the Republican Party will never stop fighting for every American’s God-given right to life. In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation making it a felony to perform an abortion solely because of a genetic abnormality. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill banning mail-order abortion drugs and limiting in-person abortion pill sales to seven weeks. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has taken bold steps to ensure that women experiencing a crisis pregnancy know all the facts and options available to them, such as adoption. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation requiring women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion to give them more time to reflect. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signaled support for a 15-week abortion ban like Mississippi’s.
This is the leadership we need. I’m proud of the progress the pro-life movement has made in defending the sanctity of life and look forward to the day when our society unequivocally protects our most vulnerable citizens.
Ronna McDaniel is the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.