Event Banner

New Life After Death: Celebrating One Year in a Post-Roe World


“As we move into year two of Dobbs-not-Roe…my prayer is that we all echo the immortal words of Capt. John Paul Jones, declaring that, when it comes to saving and protecting our preborn neighbors, we ‘have not yet begun to fight.’”


When it comes to fighting long-term political wars, two qualities rise to paramount importance.

First is the power of political imagination. Can those in the fight see the victory they hope to achieve coming to pass, even if it is many years away? Can they imagine a different world, one in which the prevailing certainties of this age have been shattered?

If you have a cloudy or narrow political imagination, long-term efforts to roll back the sexual revolution will appear to be daunting, if not impossible, tasks. A 14th Amendment ruling that secures the right to life for all preborn citizens in America under the Constitution? If that seems implausible, remember that so too Roe v. Wade once stood as an unassailable legal fortress. And where is it now? Laying in tattered ruins at the hand of Justice Alito who boldly proclaimed that “‘the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion’’ and that ‘‘Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

Like abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher said, “The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.” If we want to see a far-off world — one in which abortion is abolished and preborn children have equal protection under the law — we need our mental telescopes; we need the power of a vibrant, enduring political imagination.

But we need more than that. We also need hope in the sovereign power of God. As Martin Luther, that great Reformation firestarter, once put into lyrics:

“Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing; Were not the right Man on our side, The Man of God’s own choosing.”

The victory won by the pro-life movement and abortion abolitionists last year on June 24, 2022, was ultimately a work of our God.  It was secured because the right Man was on our side — the Lord Jesus Christ. More accurately, in speaking up for the voiceless, fighting for the defenseless, and advocating for justice for the disadvantaged, babies in the womb, we put ourselves on Christ’s side.

How do we know this? Because, of course, the Lord of the Universe, the Word through Whom all creation was made, is on the side of the little babies; after all, He became one Himself when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

Political imagination and hope in the sovereign power of God — these were two crucial ingredients which powered a movement seeking to end the federal approval of the American abortion holocaust. A half-century fight and approximately 70 million murdered babies later, Roe was repealed. Praise God.

As I said last year, if you can’t rejoice at the end of Roe, you need a total moral realignment. But we can’t just clap our hands in perpetuity. We must return them to the plow, for indeed much more work is left undone when it comes to abolishing abortion in America.

Thankfully, there is evidence of labor in the fields. Fifteen states have passed bans or near-bans on abortion. The analytics firm FiveThirtyEight recounts that “there were 24,290 fewer legal abortions between July 2022 and March 2023, compared to a pre-Dobbs baseline,” while a Newsweek column suggests that’s on the low end, estimating that “U.S. abortions decreased by six percent in just six months [after Dobbs], saving the lives of approximately 32,000 children.”

Whatever the number is today, there can be little doubt that if Dobbs holds, the total number of lives saved will soon be in the millions. Such a fact, hard-edged and horrifying in its own way depending on how you look at it, speaks to the power of the law.

Law is given to man by God to reflect His moral standards. It restrains external evil, even if it can’t “change human hearts.” Which, as the preborn baby in the womb would say, “It may be true that the law cannot make a mother love me, but it can stop her from aborting me, and I think that’s pretty important.”

That is from whence since Dobbs. But to whither?

An insightful-yet-biased piece at The Economist exploring the tensions between establishment pro-life incrementalists and abortion abolitionists, notes,

“They agree on one thing: the work is far from done. Abortion is not outlawed everywhere, and where it is, women circumvent bans by driving to out-of-state clinics or buying pills online. In California and New York, which together recorded a quarter of America’s abortions before Dobbs, nearly 23,000 fetuses are still aborted.”

The pills are a particularly pernicious outgrowth of the culture of death wrought by Roe. A recent survey found that “More than half of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery.” Given this, efforts to prevent access to abortion-inducing pills, or outlaw them entirely, will most likely be a top priority for all those fighting to end abortion going forward.

Wherever the fight leads, whether that is a 14th Amendment Right-to-Life effort, a federal legislative ban, or new legal battles arising from the states, one year after Roe it’s good to pause and look for the life after death.

One encouraging statistic is that the younger generations are more adamantly against all abortion: “Though a greater share of older people think abortion should be illegal in some or all cases, 18- to 29-year-olds are most likely to want total bans. Budding activists resist any exceptions, dreaming of a federal ban and of going after birth-control pills.”

Three cheers for the Zoomers — and another pro-life generation.

Still, as we move into year two of Dobbs-not-Roe, the way is not clear, nor smooth, nor absent political setbacks and lingering internal disagreement among pro-lifers and abolitionists. Yet despite where any of us stand, my prayer is that we all echo the immortal words of Capt. John Paul Jones, declaring that, when it comes to saving and protecting our preborn neighbors, we “have not yet begun to fight.”

Follow William on Twitter! @William_E_Wolfe

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.