By Dave Andrusko
Without fail, right around January 22, National Right to Life releases its comprehensive overview of all abortion-related items in The State of Abortion in the United States. It is, not to coin a phrase, must reading.
NRLC released it 10th iteration of the report yesterday. If you missed it, check it out here.
By way of summary, you’ll find a comprehensive review of key legislative developments on the state and federal level since Dobbs; an analysis that explains the data on the annual number of abortions in the United States; the incessant attacks on the Hyde Amendment by President Biden and congressional pro-abortion Democrats; and an in-depth look at accelerating efforts to resurrect, by extra-constitutional means, the long-expired Equal Rights Amendment. This explains the sweeping impact that the ERA could have on abortion law (an impact once denied but now proclaimed by prominent pro-abortion advocates).
Today we’ll look at NRLC President Carol Tobias’s remarks. They are exceptionally shrewd and insightful and are best not summarized but reposted in their entirety. Here they are:
This tenth edition of The State of Abortion comes less than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade and its 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Justice Alito writing for the majority noted:
We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey. And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision. We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly. We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.
In the intervening months since the Court righted the terrible wrong of Roe, we have seen the state of abortion in the United States shift dramatically as many states moved to enact laws that would protect unborn children and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion. At the same time, pro-abortion advocates and politicians in other states moved to enshrine the most extreme abortion protections possible.
Within these pages is a snapshot of where we are 50 years after the Supreme Court’s original twin decisions in Roe and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton. One thing is clear: the right-to-life movement was prepared for the day when Roe would fall.
Since Roe v. Wade, National Right to Life and its state affiliates have been working to advance state laws that not only protect unborn children and their mothers, but also challenge the core tenets of Roe and Doe. This decades-long strategy led directly to the U.S. Supreme Court readdressing the abortion issue in Dobbs.
From recent data analyzed in these pages, we know the annual number of abortions is in an overall decline as a direct result of these laws. These legislative efforts — to enact protective laws that provide legal protection to unborn children and offer hope and help to their mothers — are at the very heart of our work, and they remain one of the keys to ending abortion in the United States.
All of this is welcome news. Pro-life education and legislative efforts are making an impact on our culture and in the lives of women facing unexpected pregnancies. But there is still much to be done.
This tenth annual State of Abortion in the United States is not just a snapshot of where we are in the post-Dobbs landscape, but also a blueprint for how we move forward to build a culture that values life and respects mothers and their children.