WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tens of 1000’s of pro-life demonstrators gathered on the Nationwide Mall right now for the fiftieth March for Life, the primary to be held because the ending of nationwide constitutional protections for abortion.
For many years, March for Life’s main objective has been to see the reversal of the Supreme Courtroom’s 1973 Roe v. Wade resolution, which legalized abortion. That objective was achieved final summer time with the Dobbs v. Jackson Girls’s Well being Group resolution that overturned Roe and enormously expanded the power of elected officers on the state and federal ranges to limit abortion.
That victory for abortion foes has left a giant query hanging over the pro-life motion: What subsequent?
It is a query of specific curiosity for libertarians, each pro-life and pro-choice.
The previous have to determine how finest to string the needle between legally defending the lives of the unborn with out falling into the standard pitfalls that await prohibitionists attempting to cease one thing lots of people wish to do. The latter wish to know precisely what threats to the person proper to abortion they’re going to now must face down.
For right now’s triumphant rallygoers—a wholesome mixture of out-of-town college students, households, and extra Dominican friars than one might shake a stick at—the mission stays fairly easy and mainly unchanged.
“We’ll march till abortion is unthinkable,” mentioned March for Life President Jeanne Mancini at right now’s rally.
That is definitely a giant objective. New York Instances columnist Ross Douthat described it as “genuinely revolutionary, even utopian.” The ending of Roe is merely a primary step towards that utopian endpoint.
“We’re firstly of a brand new marathon,” Kristi Hamrick, of College students for Life, tells Purpose. “The autumn of Roe actually solely eliminated a roadblock from the place we might go.”
Audio system right now talked about just a few potential instructions.
Newly put in Home Majority Chief Rep. Steve Scalise (R–La.) received cheers from the gang when he talked about the Home’s current passage of a invoice that requires docs to offer care to youngsters born alive throughout an tried abortion. He additionally touted a invoice from the final Congress that might increase limits on federal funding of abortion and restrict insurance policy’ capacity to cowl the process.
Neither invoice is prone to go wherever whereas Democrats management the Senate and White Home. The one Democratic elected official to talk was Connecticut Rep. Treneé McGee (D–New Haven) who railed in opposition to abortion as a racist follow that amounted to the “mass genocide of our kids.”
The partisan mixture of audio system (or lack thereof) highlights how divisive abortion stays after Dobbs. Crimson states have moved to ban and limit it whereas blue states have expanded subsidies for it.
That is the battle pro-lifers face with the tip of Roe. The motion’s best victory to this point additionally enormously expands the battlefield they must contest. Fairly than simply convincing a handful of federal judges, they must win over the general public writ massive.
Regardless of the partisan cut up on abortion, social gathering politicking was relatively understated on the occasion itself.
Audio system’ prayer invocations had been way more frequent than the handful of “get out the vote” plugs created from the stage. Flags of the Holy See and Virgin Mary banners simply outnumbered the one or two Trump flags fluttering above the gang. The most typical indicators held by demonstrators had been ones urging folks to “select life” not “vote Republican.”
That speaks to the non secular motivations animating a lot of the anti-abortion trigger. It is also an illustration that many within the crowd grasped that altering tradition was as necessary as altering coverage.
“The thought is to instill in all people the significance of human dignity. For my part, it is altering hearts over altering legal guidelines,” mentioned Katherine Griffith, who got here from Columbia, South Carolina, along with her 7-month-old to attend the rally.
That is most likely chilly consolation for pro-choice libertarians. Nobody who spoke to Purpose, or who spoke on stage, argued in opposition to outlawing abortion. However the emphasis on additionally convincing folks that the follow is unsuitable does illustrate that quite a lot of pro-lifers perceive that prohibition alone is not going to realize their far-reaching targets.
The median age of demonstrators at right now’s march was most likely beneath 30. Individuals who’d attended earlier Marches for Life mentioned this 12 months’s crowd was roughly the identical measurement as previous years.
That is all proof that opposition to abortion, on each a political and private degree, is not going to fade with the tip of Roe or with boomers growing old out of politics.