Dobbs has saved many lives from abortion, but the pro-life movement still faces challenges – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — On this week’s episode of The Van Maren Show, Jonathon talks to Dr. Michael New, senior associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute and assistant professor of practice at the Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business, about the positive and negative developments in the pro-life movement two years after the Dobbs decision, and the chances of defeating pro-abortion ballot measures this November.

Dr. New begins the show by discussing what has been accomplished in the two years since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision, mainly that more babies’ lives have been saved. One 2023 study from a German policy group, the Institute of Labor Economics, compared birth data from 14 states that passed strong pro-life laws after Dobbs to 24 states with more permissive abortion policies. The study found that in just the first six months of 2023, 32,000 lives were saved in the states with pro-life laws. At that rate, a whopping 60,000 infant lives would be saved in these states per year.

“Clearly, the Dobbs decision did result in tens of thousands of lives being saved every year,” New said. “They’re alive today because of the good pro-life laws we enacted right after the Dobbs decision was handed down,” he added.

While lives are being saved, Dr. New emphasized that not as many lives have been saved as hoped. One reason is that chemical abortion pills have been less regulated under the Biden administration, and the number of chemical abortions has shot up. Another factor is that the pro-life movement has been slow to try to ban chemical abortions delivered by mail. “Those are the kinds of things that maybe we could’ve planned for better in the run-up to Dobbs.”

READ: Looking back on the US Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade two years ago today

Jonathon asked New for his analysis on another significant obstacle for the movement post-Dobbs: the state abortion referendums to protect abortion “rights” on the ballot this November. Jonathon noted that this will perhaps be the biggest election for the pro-life cause in decades. While last year’s failed referendums in more conservative-leaning states like Ohio and Kentucky, where a lot of resources were invested, is cause for concern, Dr. New notes that there is hope in some of these states.

He emphasized that support for ballot questions typically dips down before election day, making some of these states within the winning range based on current polling. For instance, in Missouri, support for the ballot measure is polling at about 46-47 percent, and South Dakota is at about 52 percent. In Florida, 60 percent of support is required for the state constitutional amendment on the ballot to pass, and in previous states with well-funded pro-life campaigns, like Ohio, they’ve kept the numbers below that threshold.

Discussing Republican governors’ efforts to pass measures, Jonathon criticized the job of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine last year. He expressed hope that governors like Ron DeSantis of Florida would put up more of a fight, to which New agreed.

“It would not surprise me if he ran for president again at some point. I think he’d like to nudge a win here. I do think they’re going to try to use the bully pulpit to try to defeat this ballot proposition,” he said.

“If DeSantis does rack up a win, to win in Florida on a six-week ban would be a really big deal,” Jonathon added.

For more analysis from Dr. Michael New, tune in to this week’s episode of The Van Maren Show.

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