Matt C. Abbott
Dealing with the Dobbs backlash
By Matt C. Abbott
June 7, 2024

A pro-life advocate recently wrote in an email to me and others (excerpted and lightly edited by me):

    Around the nation on June 24, we will celebrate the Dobbs v. Jackson landmark 2022 Supreme Court case that overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). We have 17 states that protect the unborn from fertilization – or after six weeks!

    Three days later, on June 27, we will experience the first debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump this cycle. Dobbs is sure to come up. Also in June: we anticipate a couple of abortion decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and a couple more from state supreme courts. We probably won’t win them all, but we may win some.

    Meanwhile, ominous clouds of concern are on the horizon for our movement. I outline those concerns below….

    As Dobbs turns two, the backlash is real. Pro-abortion ballot initiatives are winning (yes, even in red states). Between four and 11 pro-abortion ballots will be on the November ballot. Abortion is the top issue that helps Biden. Hundreds of millions will go to promote abortion this election cycle. Republican candidates are softening their position. Behind the scenes, powerbrokers are setting the stage to water down the GOP platform on life.

The pro-life advocate goes to discuss areas of disagreement and debate within the pro-life movement – areas I won’t get into in this column. But I do agree that the Dobbs backlash is real, and we pro-lifers may be dealing with it for some time to come. Is there an easy solution to it?


But we must do what we can to avoid getting demoralized. Despite Roe v. Wade – a terrible court decision – getting overturned, our country (and world) is still very entrenched in a culture of death.

Monica Migliorino Miller, Ph.D., director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and author of Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars – a very good book, I might add – agrees.

Miller wrote in an email to me (lightly edited by me):

    Yes, Roe v. Wade was overturned, but our culture in the last 50 years has suffered a most serious erosion of respect for life. What has yet to be overturned is the philosophy of Roe: that the unborn are less than human, non-persons who have no inherent right to exist, separate from the woman's rights. The pro-life movement still has a long way to go to educate and convince our society that abortion is the killing of members of the human family, a violence against others that must be refused.

    Yes, Dobbs overturned Roe, but dare I say it: Dobbs failed the unborn in that the Alito opinion did not affirm that indeed the unborn are persons and thus subject to the protections of the 14th Amendment. If Dobbs had done ultimate justice, we would not be in this mess state by state.

    So, education is key right now. I find it amazing, as was the case with Proposal 3 in Michigan, that there was a huge flurry of pro-life public advocacy leading up to the November vote with billboards, yard signs everywhere, door-to-door canvassing, TV ads and so on – then, when the vote was in, silence followed.

    That advocacy needs to be there all the time.

    My advice to all states facing possible pro-abortion ballot initiatives is start doing the education now, before the other side starts gearing up their propaganda. We especially have to address the abortion supporters’ lies that protections for the unborn will harm women who need medical care.

It’s a tall order, for sure. Even the clearest language in pro-life ballot initiatives can be portrayed by the abortion lobby, which seemingly has an endless amount of cash with which to advertise, as dangerous to women. Many (misguided) people have been duped by the pro-abortion propaganda. And many others know full well that they’re promoting a lie.

The backlash to the Dobbs decision may continue for a long time, but there are some huge positives: reports of over 32,000 preborn children and perhaps as many as 89,000 preborn children have been saved as a result of the decision.

Praise God!

We can hope and pray that, with God’s grace, abortion will one day be unthinkable in our world.

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media, and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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