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Every Pro-Life State Enacted Support For Pregnant Women And Families Post-Dobbs


Every state with pro-life laws has passed additional legislation to support pregnant women, postpartum mothers, and babies since the Supreme Court ruled in 2022, with Dobbs v. Jackson, that there is no constitutional right to abortion.

A new report from the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s (EPPC) Life and Family Initiative entitled “Two Years After Dobbs” evaluated 21 states whose new abortion restrictions were made legal by the Dobbs decision.

“Building an authentically pro-life America will take years. But states can buttress the irreplaceable work of charities, churches, and non-profits by investing in programs that support moms during pregnancy, make life a little easier for families, and ensure young children get the healthy start they need,” wrote Patrick T. Brown, author of the report and EPPC fellow. “‘Two Years After Dobbs’ underscores that while more needs to be done, states are taking the lead in enacting laws that both protect and meaningful support the unborn, their moms, and their families.”

State legislation has included extended Medicaid coverage, childcare subsidies, investment into pregnancy resource centers, paid parental leave, expanded screening for postpartum depression, and expanded eligibility for safety net services. The report found that some states expanded support “to the tune of tens of millions of dollars annually.”

This information challenges the recurring claim of the pro-abortion movement, which accuses pro-life activists of “hypocrisy” and a failure to extend their pro-life care beyond pregnancy.

Following news that the Supreme Court would overturn Dobbs, numerous media outlets and politicians claimed that pro-life activists have no interest in the well-being of women and children beyond reducing the violence of abortion.

“Their appalling attack on reproductive rights is nothing more than blatant hypocrisy,” Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., wrote in an op-ed for the Miami Herald, “I often hear my Republican colleagues claim to be ‘pro-life.’ Yet, they only care about a baby until it is born. Then they disappear and abandon the children they claim to protect.”

In The Nation’s piece entitled “The So-Called “Pro-Life Movement Couldn’t Care Less About the Living,” columnist Katha Pollitt wrote, “Abortion opponents claim to be advocates for the unborn. But they don’t lift a finger to help families facing hardship.”

In a more recent article, Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell wrote, “Conservative politicians are sometimes accused of being pro-life up until the point the baby is born. But perhaps even that assessment is too generous.”

According to Brown, charges like these are typical but inaccurate. 

“I think that’s always been a pretty easy attack line for the left to say,” Brown told The Federalist in an interview on Thursday. “I don’t think it’s true. Now, I think there’s a lot of people who care very strongly about moms and babies.”

The report also acknowledges the work of pro-life charities, religious groups, and pregnancy resource centers, who provided over $300 million worth of support to pregnant mothers and their children in 2022. Brown calls these organizations the “backbone of the pro-life movement” and insists that state governments are joining in. 

“We’re in a new era … it’s time for us to put our money where our mouth is in terms of being pro-life,” Brown said. “I do think that we’re starting to see that at the state level, and we’re gonna continue pushing for it.”

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