Defending Life 2011
What we call abortion today will be looked back on as barbarism and one of the reasonsis that [future generations] will be able to bet-ter control fertility…This notion of surgical abortion is going to be looked back on as bar-baric
.”- William Saletan, Contributor,
fforts to overturn
Roe v. Wade
began im-mediately after the decision was handeddown. Although the overturning of
willnot happen during the Obama Presidency andmay seem to be a long-term prospect, there are progressive steps the states need to take to beready for that opportunity. Those steps will, inturn, result in the states becoming more pro-life socially, politically, and legally.
State legislators and state policy organizationsneed to have an articulated vision for a cultureof life in their state, a clear understanding of the opportunities and obstacles before them,a comprehensive plan that they are activelyworking toward year by year, and a track rec-ord of success.It is a tall order, especially when considering judicially-imposed abortion-on-demand in ev-ery state and the aggressive push for abortion by the Obama Administration and by the 111thCongress. And it helps explain why compre-hensive protection for human life has so far eluded our grasp.In implementing an effective strategy to over-turn Roe, the states are key to an effective strat-egy to overturn Roe. What the states accom- plish, or don’t, in the next several years—interms of legislative protection for life, medicalregulations to protect women, and reducing thenumber of abortions—will largely determinethe future of Roe: whether, how, and on whattimeframe it will be overturned. The states arethe constitutional forum in American politics best positioned to reect public opinion onabortion and to take positive action to protecthuman life and protect women from the nega-tive impact of abortion. And just as abortionsdropped approximately 19 percent during theClinton years because of life-afrming statelegislation and other factors, new political,legislative, educational, and cultural initiativescan have an impact in undermining Roe andreducing abortion even while a pro-abortionAdministration or Congress is in power inWashington.What follows outlines ve essential elementsto help a state effectively plan for the overturn-ing of
:(1) Strategic assessment;(2) Comprehensive plan;(3) Task force on status of abortion lawwhen
is overturned;(4) Legislative building blocks for suc-cess; and(5) Raising public awareness of the nega-
The Road Map To Overturning Roe v. Wade
What can the states do now?
By Clarke D. ForsytheSenior Counsel, Americans United for Life