It is difficult to overstate the incredible judicial victory that the Dobbs decision is — a victory nearly 50 years in the making. Even so, pro-life advocates must remember that overturning Roe doesn’t bring an end to abortion. The state-level fight for life is just getting started.
Some states are off to a strong start, providing other pro-life states with a roadmap for navigating a post-Roe America. Just look to Texas — the state arguably most well-equipped to support women and protect new families.
Texas had the nation’s attention when the Heartbeat Bill was introduced last year, but in reality, SB8 is one of many pieces of pro-life legislation that the state has introduced. They’ve led the country for a long time in terms of programmatic support for vulnerable new families. Now, they’re enthusiastically embracing their position as a leader in post-Roe legislation.
Looking at the broader, nationwide battle — the legal framework that is put in place will make all the difference. Each state must now fight to preserve the right to life, and strategies so far have differed from state to state. Texas is a model in this regard because it’s legally innovative, flexible and effective. The Heartbeat Act is saving 100 babies every day. You can’t argue with that.
This sort of legal preparation is essential, but it isn’t sufficient. If we want to be pro-life — not just pro-birth — every state needs to focus on building out complementary programs for new moms.
Here again, we turn to Texas as an example to follow. The state has already put $100 million into pregnancy and maternity support centers as part of their “Alternatives to Abortion” program. It provides newly expectant mothers with the resources they may need: Education, mentorship, material aid, community, medical support and even housing. It’s a model for the rest of the nation.
What’s more, Texas started this program in 2006, long before abortion restrictions were ever on the table. They led with investment in these women. The state legislators saw the real needs at hand, the desperation and fear of newly pregnant mothers, and sought to fill the gap.
This model is one of charity, and it affirms our conviction that Christians in particular are called to come along with expectant mothers now that Roe has been overturned.
The states can only do so much, after all — even when they’re explicitly committed to life. These new mothers need the body of Christ to come alongside them, minister to their needs, listen to and aid them as they raise their children.
We can use politics and material aid to preserve unborn life and support mothers who harbor it, but that still falls short. If their children are to grow up to know virtue, love, and liberty, they’ll need families and friends gathered around them.
Investment in life just begins once the baby’s life has been saved. Creating a flourishing post-Roe America will require Christians to work harder than ever to witness and minister in humility. These children — and these new mothers — are our future. They deserve every bit of love and opportunity we can offer them.
That’s a task that begins with legislation and ends with us. Embrace life. Embrace these new mothers. Embrace their children. Help us build a stronger America, after Roe.
Timothy Head is the executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.