‘Taken their foot off the gas’: Pro-life movement found hurdles following Dobbs ruling

If the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade lulls pro-lifers into complacency, it could be the worst thing to happen to the movement, said Rev. James R. Harden, whose crisis pregnancy center in upstate New York was firebombed in June.

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is spending $50 million in the 2022 election cycle, while Democratic politicians are aggressively pushing abortion measures at the state and federal level that go well beyond what was technically allowed under Roe, he noted. 

Meanwhile AdImpact, a media tracking firm, determined Democrats have spent $31.9 million promoting abortion rights compared to $4.2 million by Republicans in opposition. 

‘There have definitely been setbacks,’ Harden, the CEO of CompassCare Pregnancy Services, told Fox News Digital. 

‘Pro-abortion Democrats are talking about this openly and loudly, and it is playing well as an electoral issue, while pro-lifers are dialing it back and losing. Republicans have taken their foot off the gas.’ 

He pointed to Kansas, where voters rejected a pro-life amendment to the state constitution. In November, at least five states will have abortion-related ballot initiatives. 

The states of California, Michigan and Vermont have ballot language to adopt the right to abortion in their state constitutions. The Michigan Supreme Court cleared the way for the state’s ballot measure Thursday. 

‘In Michigan and across the country, we are seeing a wave of Americans fighting back for their freedom to decide — and calling out the MAGA Republicans who are hellbent on taking away our most fundamental rights,’ Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said in a public statement. ‘We are proud to support this initiative and will work closely with the Reproductive Freedom for All campaign and our partners to turn out in support of this initiative in November.’

In the case of Kentucky, a proposed amendment calls for amending the state constitution to clarify there is no constitutional right to an abortion or a right to have one funded. The Montana ballot proposal says an infant born at any stage is a legal person and are required to have medical attention to stay alive.

‘I think what we saw in Kansas is that voters are queasy about constitutional changes,’ Harden said. ‘I think some people will be surprised that blue states are just as reluctant to change their constitutions.’


The Dobbs ruling by the Supreme Court was never going to end the abortion debate, but letting people decide is a better approach, said Mallory Carroll, vice president of communications for the Susan B. Anthony List, which supports pro-life candidates.

‘After surmounting a 50-year hurdle, now people are deciding, either through their elected representatives or through ballot initiatives, on abortion policy. This is all better than the tyranny of Roe v. Wade,’ Carroll told Fox News Digital. 

She said the Kansas loss was disappointing, but pro-lifers learned from it. 

‘It provided a real-time example that we can’t rest, and we will have to combat misinformation,’ Carroll said.  

Before the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, polling on abortion had been largely split, according to Gallup. Starting after the decision leaked, support for legalized abortion rose significantly, according to a recent Wall Street Journal poll.

‘It is impacting public opinion as a result of the legacy media’s coverage,’ Carroll said. 

But, she added, she expects that will change when voters know what Democrats are advocating. 

‘Democrats want abortion on demand up to the point of birth and want the taxpayers to fund it,’ she said. 

Beyond states, President Biden said in July that if two more Democrats are elected, they can kill the filibuster to pass a law making abortion legal across the country, overriding state restrictions. 

‘We either elect federal senators and representatives who will codify Roe or Republicans who will elect a House and Senate that will try to ban abortions nationwide,’ Biden said in July.

A national abortion statute could extend beyond the life of the unborn, said Harden, the head of the New York state crisis pregnancy centers. 

‘Biden wants to enshrine abortion as a right legislatively,’ Harden said. ‘That could dismantle rights of conscience for medical providers, and it could infringe on the rights of pregnancy centers.’

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