Dobbs Wasn’t a Pro-Life Victory, It Was a Victory for Federalism

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization, many voices on the right were quick to chime in about it being a tremendous pro-life victory.


“The Supreme Court has finally corrected this mistake and I highly commend the millions of Americans who toiled for years to achieve this great victory for unborn life and self-government,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, (R-Ark.).

“Thank you to President Trump, Senate Republicans, and the millions of pro-life Americans who worked tirelessly for this day. LIFE WINS!” said Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.

“It is a momentous decision. Obviously, it is a total and complete victory for the pro-life cause and for I believe the constitutional text and our constitutional tradition.” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mont.) said during a press call.

I don’t mean to rain on the parade, but while this was an important milestone for the pro-life movement, it was less a victory for the pro-life movement than it was a victory for federalism. Abortion has not been outlawed, merely sent back to the states to regulate. Some states will restrict abortion, yes, but others will codify it, fund it, monetize it, celebrate it, etc.

California is already looking to become the nation’s premier abortion tourism destination.


Make no mistake about it, the battle against abortion is nowhere near over.

“Our work to protect life continues,” Rep. Steve Scalise wrote at The Daily Caller. “We will put compassion and care at the center of our efforts to help pregnant women and protect life all across America.”

Related: Abortion Emergency! Black Women Demand Biden Declare ‘National Public Health Emergency’

A victory is a victory, and the Dobbs decision should be celebrated, not just for the implications for the pro-life movement, but because it has restored federalism — at least on this divisive issue, anyway. With abortion now up to the states, it’s on the pro-life movement to make the case for protecting life to the elected leaders who now have the power to decide how to regulate it. Democrats will certainly ramp up their efforts to codify abortion however they can. So, let’s not get cocky.



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