CNN actually goes so far as to claim that not being aborted negatively impacts the child: “Earlier research has found that there are many consequences of unintended birth, affecting the health and livelihood of the mother, the child and the family in general.” In other words, the child would be better off dead.
It is true that since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement has faced a series of challenges. Most notably, the abortion movement has won seven straight abortion referendums, highlighting their advantage in direct democracy initiatives. (I recently reviewed the flaws in the pro-life movement’s strategy for First Things and on the podcast.) I observed that despite these setbacks—which should certainly provoke a re-evaluation of our strategy—it is unwarranted to claim, as some do, that Dobbs was a “pyrrhic victory.” Tens of thousands of lives have been saved.
On November 21, for example, CNN ran this headline: “Births have increased in states with abortion bans, research finds.” According to the article:
Nearly a quarter of people seeking an abortion in the United States were unable to get one due to bans that took effect after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, researchers estimate. In the first half of 2023, states with abortion bans had an average fertility rate that was 2.3% higher than states where abortion was not restricted, according to the analysis – leading to about 32,000 more births than expected. The findings are based on preliminary births data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The research has not yet been peer-reviewed but experts say the data paints a clear picture about the direct impact of abortion restrictions.
Abortion activists, as you might expect, see this rise in the birthrate as a negative thing. In their view, these are babies that would have been aborted under Roe, but have not been aborted under Dobbs, and thus their very existence is actually tragic.