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Pro-life advocates held a virtual press conference Tuesday celebrating the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning Roe v. Wade, a decision seven male judges made 50 years ago that resulted in the deaths of more than 63 million unborn children.
“Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America has been working very hard and very long to open up democracy in this country to allow the people to speak through their elected representatives and pass legislation that will protect the children of this country in the greatest human rights calls of our time,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America (SBA), said.
Dannenfelser joined political strategist Kellyanne Conway and dozens of female lawmakers nationwide who led the charge in implementing pro-life legislation in their states.
On June 24, 2022, the nation’s highest court repealed the monumental Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion across America and ruled 6-3 in Dobbs v.s. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. An early leak of a draft opinion indicating which way the judges would rule prompted nationwide protests and dozens of attacks and vandalism of pro-life organizations, centers, and churches.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote that Roe and a subsequent case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe, both must be overturned, and the right to allow, deny, or restrict the right to an abortion must reside with states.
The decision fundamentally changed the abortion landscape across the nation.
In the following months, nearly half of the nation in Republican-led states passed laws protecting life between conception and 12 weeks, and pregnancy centers and maternity homes supporting mother and child outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 14 to one, according to the pro-life organization.
Pregnancy center leaders and recipients of such services shared their experiences over the last year.
Kathleen Wilson, executive director of the faith-based pregnancy crisis center Mary’s Shelter in Fredricksburg, Virginia, said in the aftermath of Roe, the organization doubled in locations after witnessing an uptick in calls from women seeking counseling during pregnancy. According to Wilson, the organization added three new homes for its resources in the last 12 months.
Sylvia Johnson, chief executive officer of the Houston Pregnancy Help Center in Texas, said after the Dobbs decision, she hoped minority communities — specifically the black community — would understand the racism attached to the abortion industry.
Johnson, who said she has been serving 30 years in the “shadows” of the largest Planned Parenthood in the United States located in a minority community, said upon celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision, three white women were outside the facility blocking others from entering the pregnancy center.
The National Right to Life Center estimated by the end of 2021 that nearly 40% of women who seek abortions are African American, making the practice the leading cause of death in the community.
Dannenfelser quoted Alice Paul’s words — the original author of the Equal Rights Amendment — saying abortion is “the ultimate exploitation of women.”
“So what I hope that we can come out of this conversation today and the week where we in a pro-life, but celebrate the overturn of Roe vs. Wade, the Dobbs decision, a new culture of life where we’re ushering in hope and positive choices and ending those cycles that are hurtful to women,” she said.
Conway, who served as senior counselor to former President Donald Trump, urged presidential and congressional candidates to take a firm stance on abortion moving forward.
“This is that issue that melds together gender, law, politics, government — at the state, local and federal level — certainly science and medicine, religion and morality,” Conway said. “So from the beginning, we must acknowledge that it is a very complex issue being tackled by very complex people.”
Conway and the pro-life organization also suggested candidates seeking the Republican nomination to support a federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.