NRL News

Women spearheaded the reversal of Roe v. Wade

by | Jul 13, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Carol Tobias, President, National Right to Life

Editor’s note. This first ran on May 12, 2022, just after the famous leak of the forthcoming Dobbs decision which overturned Roe. In my opinion, it’s worth a second read. See if you agree.

Daniel Darling is director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and contributes excellent opinion pieces for USA Today.

Let me quotes the first three paragraphs of “Meet the women working to overturn Roe v. Wade and restrict abortions across America: The reality is that women are spearheading the reversal of Roe v. Wade and championing abortion restrictions in the states.”

If you were to read most of the headlines after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, that would reverse the 49-year-old Roe v. Wade decision, you’d think that abortion policy is a binary choice between men who want to see abortion restricted and women who favor its access.

That framing, however, doesn’t tell the whole story about the politics of abortion, and it misses the hidden face of the movement to promote a culture of life: women.

Surveys by Pew and Gallup show little gender gap on the issue of abortion. In fact, the surveys find that more women than men identify as “pro-life.”

So what else is new? Doesn’t everyone know that women lead most pro-life organizations, including National Right to Life’s own Carol Tobias? Surely, after nearly 50 years, don’t most people understand that women do most of the volunteer work, without which our Movement would collapse?

Obviously not. 

To help educate the public, Darling profiles female leaders of the Movement, including Tobias who “leads America’s oldest pro-life organization, The National Right to Life Committee, which boasts chapters in every state.”

This story, like virtually every other recent story on abortion, was sparked by the leaked Supreme Court opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito which called for overturning of Roe and Casey.

Darling writes, “If Alito’s draft opinion is indeed reflective of the Supreme Court’s final decision and if Roe v. Wade is overturned, it largely will be because of the efforts of women, including Mississippi’s first female attorney general, Lynn Fitch. Fitch argued before the court on behalf of her state’s 15-week abortion ban and in favor of Roe’s reversal.”

If Roe and Casey are overturned (Darling reminds us that “court decisions are fluid until the justices announce their opinion”), the debate will shift largely but not exclusively to the states. Darling adds one last kudos to the women who lead our Movement:

[I]t will be a significant victory for a movement nobody thought would exist five decades ago, a movement led by resilient women who refused to let America look away from its most vulnerable members.

Categories: Pro-Lifers