I will never forget the morning that Roe v. Wade was overturned, and the incredible sense of peace I had considering the mothers and unborn babies who would be spared from abortion as a result. I also knew with absolute clarity that the collective millions of marchers who had participated in the annual March for Life over the past 50 years had a role in the decision and that the work of our peaceful protest was not over but in a new, likely even more critical, season.
Since that day, when the Dobbs decision returned the question of abortion to the American people, our State March program, which began in 2019, has grown. We will be in 16 states in 2024 and plan to be in all 50 states soon.
However, our national efforts are still important, and our mission to make abortion unthinkable is, sadly, not yet accomplished.
Dobbs was an essential step forward, but our country is still far from recognizing the inherent dignity of every life. In some states, such as Michigan and Minnesota, there are now fewer protections for the unborn than there were under Roe. And tragically, there are even some with no protections at all. Six states plus the District of Columbia offer no protections for the unborn — no limits on abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, including up until the moment of birth.
Many have suggested that Dobbs eliminated the need for a federal role in the abortion debate. But I would argue that the absence of meaningful protections for the unborn in nearly half of the country makes the need for federal-level protections for the unborn more urgent now than ever before.
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The fight is already taking place at the federal level, and we must stand firm against the extreme pro-abortion policies coming from the Democratic side of the aisle. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and her counterparts in Congress, for example, are working to pass dangerous federal legislation deceptively named the Women’s Health Protection Act. This act would allow for painful abortions during all nine months of pregnancy up until the moment of birth, and overturn pro-life state laws across the country.
These same legislators are attempting to remove long-standing bipartisan Hyde Amendment protections, which would force hard-working Americans to fund elective abortions through their tax dollars.
If we abandon this federal fight, our country could soon align with the inhumane policies we see in places such as China and North Korea , where innocent life holds no value and has no rights.
Anyone committed to building a culture of life must work at both the state and federal levels to protect the unborn and create a strong future for our nation. Establishing a national standard to protect life, at the point when an unborn baby can feel pain, has a heartbeat, and has all major organs, is the bare minimum for any civilized nation. A standard like this would distance us from the human rights abusers of the world and bring us in line with the 47 out of 50 European nations that limit abortion to 15 weeks or earlier.
In addition to passing federal protections for the unborn, we must advance legislation that aids and supports women and families. Thankfully, thousands of pregnancy care centers and maternity homes already exist across the country to help women during their pregnancies and for years after, but more help is needed.
From financial support, housing, clothing, and education to job assistance, parenting classes, addiction recovery, and so much more, these centers care for the mother and child. Because of centers like these, mothers such as Amber, Bailey , Francesca , and so many others , are living bright and successful lives with their child by their side. Supporting these centers and passing pro-life legislation will help to ensure that no woman is left wondering whether she has the resources and support to raise her child.
Innocent lives and the future of our nation are on the line. Mothers and their children in the womb deserve more protection, not less. They deserve more love and resources and to know that someone will be in their corner as they choose life.
So, we will continue to march in our nation’s capital and brave the January cold in 2024. The absence of Roe will not silence our voices or stifle the passion of the pro-life movement. We will march on in every state, and every year in Washington D.C., until each beating heart is protected — born and unborn, mother and child.
LifeNews Note: Jeanne Mancini is the president of the March for Life.
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