New year, same dedication — 2017 is bright for the pro-life movement
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We’re back!

Actually, we never went away but, no doubt, pro-choice activists thought the pro-life movement would still be staggering backwards after taking a devastating blow in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

In its June decision, the Court basically said that the people have no right to enact through their elected representatives many regulations to protect women’s safety and health in the abortion industry, even in a post-Gosnell era. Plenty loudly rang the death knell for the state-based pro-life movement.  

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The surprise election of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE, however, has swung the door wide open for the pro-life movement, and we are seizing the moment.  

 

Toward the end of his campaign, Trump came out with a strong anti-abortion message. He took Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGiuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it Sanders hits 1 million donors Democrats will not beat Trump without moderate policy ideas MORE and her party to task for their extremism on abortion, refusing to back off the issue in the final debate.

He reiterated his promise to appoint pro-life judges, he made it clear that he understands overturning Roe would simply return the issue of abortion to the states, and he went toe-to-toe with Clinton on late-term abortion, repeating that the gruesome procedure is something “nobody has business doing.”

His blunt depiction of late-term and partial-birth abortion flummoxed the pro-choice movement, which spent the following week on defense arguing that the procedure is not the hideously violent act that it is. 

One of his first moves post-election was to put forward Rep. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

A Secretary Price would stand poised to undo the mandate that requires nuns and other objecting religious parties to provide abortifacients in their healthcare plans, eliminate the previous administration’s rule overturning state action to defund Planned Parenthood, and halt the California law requiring all employers regardless of religious objection to cover abortion in their healthcare plans, just for starters. 

And then there is the Supreme Court. Ah, the Supreme Court.

More than one in five voters said appointments to the Supreme Court was the “most important factor” in determining their vote, and Trump walloped Clinton with these voters. And he did so having plainly and repeatedly promised to appoint pro-life judges to the highest court in America. 

The American people want change in our abortion policies and that was a part of the mandate they gave Donald Trump. 

The American appetite for more pro-life protections, not less, has been on clear display at the state level in the handful of weeks since the election. 

Unfazed by the loss at the Supreme Court, the elected representatives of the people of Texas enacted a law that went into effect Dec. 9 requiring that the remains of aborted babies be buried or cremated.

Just days before that, the Ohio state legislature passed a ban on abortion once a heartbeat could be detected. Although the measure was vetoed by the governor, the state party leader explicitly cited Trump’s election as the impetus to move the bill forward.

And the Oklahoma legislature and health board just passed a bill requiring bathroom signs in some locations informing women that abortion is not their only choice as well as a broader social media campaign to prevent abortions.

These measures have all encountered some form of resistance, but they reflect the will of the people manifested through their elected representatives. 

In the few weeks after the election, the pro-life pulse in America is strong. The rumblings of redirecting abortion chain Planned Parenthood’s half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding grow louder.

Senator Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Trump: 'Great to see' Pelosi plan to lower drug prices Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices MORE just referred Planned Parenthood to the FBI and Department of Justice for criminal charges. Two-thirds of Americans support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks, a bill our incoming president has indicated he would sign. 

And if you put your ear to the ground, you will hear the steady march of half a million members of the self-labeled pro-life generation heading towards Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life in just a few weeks.

Here we come. We are ready for our boldest years yet.  

Ashley McGuire is a senior fellow at The Catholic Association. She writes and speaks widely about religious freedom, Catholicism, and women. She has appeared on CNN and its international affiliate, CBS, FOX, PBS, EWTN, and the BBC, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USA TODAY, TIME magazine, among others.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.