In a society where women often need to return to work shortly after birth, where it is far cheaper to procure an abortion than to give birth in a hospital, and where many of the current policies penalize childbirth and childbearing and incentivize abortion, we believe that creative policy-making can bring about relief for many mothers and families.
As the pro-life movement enters a post-Roe era after Dobbs, the anti-abortion movement is revaluating, looking ahead, and strategizing about ways to reduce abortion through a variety of policies—not only on the supply side, but on the demand side as well. Marvin Olasky, a veteran pro-life scholar, recently wrote about ways pro-lifers can reduce the demand for abortion. Catherine Glenn Foster of Americans United for Life and Kristen Day of the beleaguered Democrats for Life co-authored an essay calling on legislators to “make birth free.” And last week, a joint statement titled “Building a Post-Roe Future” was released with hundreds of signatories—including Foster and Day.
The statement, which I worked on with pro-life activist Eric Scheidler, ethicist Charlie Camosy, and apologist Josh Brahm, notes that while protecting the human rights of the unborn is essential, there is much more that we can do. “We are pro-life conservatives, moderates, and liberals united in our conviction that every human life has value—including the lives of both the unborn and that child’s mother,” the statement reads. “We believe that our society should prioritize the needs of both, and that ultimately this can only be achieved by significant changes in public policy.”
Of course, the pro-life movement has always recognized the importance of supporting women facing unplanned pregnancies, donating untold millions of dollars to thousands of crisis pregnancy centers and other organizations to assist mothers and children. But in a post-Roe landscape, the non-profit network will simply not be enough. Some states have already acknowledged this. When Texas passed new abortion restrictions, it also committed $100 million to the Alternatives to Abortion program, which offers everything from diapers to job training.