Pro-life advocates celebrated the reversal of Roe v. Wade and looked to the future of working to protect life at the National Celebrate Life Day event in Washington D.C.
Cast as “a new dream for the Pro-Life Generation,” the June 24 event presented by Students for Life of America included a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and an evening gala, both commemorating the first anniversary of the Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling that struck down Roe and the subsequent Planned Parenthood v. Casey on June 24, 2022,
The National Celebrate Life Day events acknowledged those who had gone before in the battle to defend life and a new generation poised to take the reigns in the fight.
The day was underscored as well by the message that although Dobbs is a victory, reinstating the states’ right to regulate abortion, there is still very much a battle to be fought - both at the state and federal level. The importance of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees all U.S. citizens equal protection under the law, was expressed during the day.
The rally at the Lincoln Memorial had remarks from some 17 speakers, who invoked the Dred Scott decision, racism related to abortion, the sanctity of human life, diversity within the pro-life movement, life as a gift from God, the darkness of the abortion industry, the light of the some 3,000 pregnancy help organizations in the U.S., and attacks against U.S. pregnancy help centers since Dobbs. Abortion policy and the need to assist women and families with pregnancy help was stressed, scripture was cited, and hymns sung. Thousands attended and hundreds more joined online via the livestream.
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch was among those who spoke at the morning rally.
The Dobbs case centered on the Mississippi Gestational Age Act, passed in 2018 and banning abortion after 15 weeks with some exceptions. Fitch, who is the state of Mississippi’s first female attorney general, was instrumental in the Dobbs case getting before the Supreme Court, having appealed the case to SCOTUS after an abortion provider successfully challenged the law in court.
Fitch has consistently given active support to life and pregnancy help while in office. There is currently a donation drive commemorating the Dobbs anniversary supporting some 60 pregnancy help organizations in nine states led by Fitch with eight other state AGs.
Fitch opened her remarks giving glory to God.
She recounted how she and her solicitor General Scott Stewart stood before the Supreme Court justices and said that the Constitution demands that abortion policy making decisions be returned to the respective states.
“It is certainly up to the people and certainly the American people can be trusted to make hard, complex decisions that we can indeed both promote life and empower women,” Fitch said.
“You know, we all hoped, and we have prayed that the justices would hear our very undeniable arguments that were so powerful to get them to the point to overturn Roe v. Wade,” she said. “Not one person here, none of us lost faith. We were there every day, every moment praying that it would happen. And so, the reign of Roe v. Wade is over.”
“And now that it's here, it's our time to act,” Fitch said.
Tweet This: Now that the Dobbs era is here, it's our time to take compassion & prayer & turn it into action to give hope & love to women and children
“We must rise up to the occasion and act,” she told the crowd, “because until we can give women, especially the most vulnerable women, all that they need, so that their children can thrive, until we can make the changes in our laws that are just as compassionate as our hearts, until we can change the hearts and minds of all of our fellow Americans, until then, our dream of a society that that fully embraces the inherent dignity of human life will not truly be the reality.”
It is the charge in the new Dobbs era to take that same determination, hope, and prayer that for 50 years fueled the pro-life movement to get to this moment and turn it into action, she said.
“Now we must use that same compassion and prayer and turn it into action to give hope and to give love to the women and the children,” Fitch said.
She listed specific pregnancy help efforts to illustrate:
- Use it to take action in ways that give hope and love to women and children:
- Use this opportunity that Dobbs has given us to support women when they are pregnant and when they are nurturing a young family;
- Use it to upskill, educate, and provide resources for women;
- Use it to make quality childcare more affordable and accessible;
- Use it to promote workplace flexibility so women can be the mothers they want to be and pursue their professional dreams;
- Use it to improve child support enforcement to make fathers equally responsible for their children;
- Use it to encourage fathers to be active and involved in building healthy families; and,
- Use it to fix the broken pathway of adoption and foster care systems that keep children from finding their forever home.
- “So, we have to use this opportunity that Dobbs has given us,” added Fitch.
Fitch said she was proud to get in the fight and stand with the pro-life movement.
“And I'm going to continue to stand with you in the fight as we go through every single day in the new Dobbs era together,” Fitch said. “And let me say that together, we will continue to lead a society that embraces and truly empowers women and promotes life to an America, to an America where the dignity inherent in all life, all life is cherished by all.”
Among the others speaking at the rally were Dr. Alveda King, former VP Mike Pence, who has launched a campaign to run for president, Kristan Hawkins, Lila Rose, Shawn Carney, and Ryan Bomberger.
At the evening gala several pro-life heroes were honored from the stage and banquet tables were reserved in honor of others in the movement.
Pro Life Partners Foundation President Michael Kenney honored Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Alveda King honored Dr. Mildred Jefferson, Lila Rose honored Joe Scheidler, Shawn Carney honored Saint Pope John Paul II, Concerned Women for America CEO and President of Penny Nance honored Representative Henry Hyde, national March for Life Board Member Thomas Harrington honored Nellie Gray, Marjorie Dannenfelser honored Dr. Jack Willke, AG Fitch honored Representative Jackie Walorski, and Kristan Hawkins honored Phyllis Schlafly.
Editor's note: Heartbeat International was a partner in the National Day of Celebration and manages Pregnancy Help News. This article was updated with additional information.