At a time when nearly every institution of politics, media, culture, and academia is wielded by people who want to sexualize and racialize children, demonize parents, marginalize religious freedoms, erase the constitutional right to bear arms, and shut down dissenting speech, the right has finally remembered what it’s like to win.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson with its long-awaited overturning of the concocted “right” to abortion in Roe and Casey is the climax of a half-century of effort from conservatives and some liberals who recognize that life’s preciousness extends to babies in the womb. The movement has tirelessly worked to pass laws in state legislatures, elect pro-life political officials, educate Americans about the harsh realities of abortion, and support judicial nominees who recognize that the U.S. Constitution does not grant the right to kill a child.
That effort has paid off. There is certainly much work to be done; the decision returns abortion lawmaking to the states, so efforts should and will be directed at state legislatures in the coming months and years. The pro-life movement should be more invigorated than ever in its efforts to support women and their babies through crisis pregnancy centers, churches, and other support networks. But as we address those needs, we are right to take in a satisfied breath of hope.
The culture war is not lost yet, and the triumphant reversal of Roe should remind us all that it’s still very much worth fighting. If the right (and our pro-life allies from the left) can successfully push the cultural needle in such a way that not only the Supreme Court, but also many in the American public, want to see at least some protections for preborn life, then it’s not time to give up on pushing back against the cultural shifts that have besieged us for decades.
For too long, conservative voters have felt frustrated by Republicans in Washington either caring too little about the culture war the left has been waging, or actively aiding in the assault. Republican leadership is often better at losing ground slowly than gaining it, as they showed in the Senate just this week by caving to Democrat demands that will surely erode Second Amendment rights. It’s disillusioning for voters to be the party of the zero-gain compromise, which is why aggressive figures like Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have so much appeal.
Seeing the many ways the system is rigged against them — from Big Tech colluding with Democrats to censor dissenting speech, to corrupt corporate media that consistently push a one-sided narrative — has doubtless contributed to feelings of desperation, climaxing after the 2020 election and exacerbated by instances of local officials violating election laws while donors like Mark Zuckerberg poured private money into local polls. Meanwhile, when an entire political party wants to teach preschoolers to question their sex and encourages parents to take their kids to obscene performances by trans strippers, any sane person would be forgiven for wondering: “Is this mess too far gone?”
The answer we got to that question this week is no — not yet. The prayers and efforts of thousands across generations have borne fruit, and opened the door for millions of children to grow up in a society that tells them life has value and deserves protection. The Supreme Court exemplified that, at least in this instance, our system of governance is still capable of righting its past wrongs in a legal and peaceful way, against the best efforts of the anonymous agitator who leaked a draft of the Dobbs decision before it was announced. The court restored a modicum of faith in itself as an institution, at a time most other political and cultural institutions have offered little reassurance.
Further, the Dobbs decision is a resounding endorsement of the grassroots right’s shift to emphasize cultural issues in recent years. It wasn’t won by pushing for marginal cuts to bloated spending bills or ginning up foreign wars. It was won by people who saw the post-sexual revolution left waging a culture war from elementary schools to churches to families, and who went to battle where the fighting was thickest.
In light of Dobbs, conservatives should be emboldened to have higher expectations of their elected representatives — this week proved it’s still not impossible to win victories, and any Republican who claims it is has no place in office. We should be energized to approach other issues and remaining pro-life efforts with hopefulness. We should be thankful to God for his providence and mercy on a nation that has tolerated evil for so long.
If the radicalization of those who seek to kill babies and sexualize children is discouraging, it’s also true that it makes our position — babies have the right to live, and children should be protected from people who want to wash them in harmful sexual ideologies, among others — that much more winsome. Overturning Roe was a seismic cultural victory, the first of its magnitude in decades. It should rally us to ensure it isn’t the last.