Two Years After Dobbs: The Ongoing Battle Over Abortion Rights in America


Two years have passed since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed states to set their own laws on abortion. According to anti-abortion advocates, the movement has made significant progress in that time, but their work is far from over.

Erin Hawley, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, who was intimately involved in the Dobbs case, says that the regime prior to Roe was “more liberal toward abortion or more permissive toward abortion than almost every country in the world.” Since Dobbs, 14 states have enacted near-total abortion bans with narrow exceptions, while three others have prohibited abortion after six weeks’ gestation.

Anti-abortion advocates continue to push for more restrictive abortion laws, while also working to defend existing state laws from legal challenges. Hawley, who has argued before the Supreme Court and is working on a case involving the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone, believes that Dobbs allowed states to protect lives and recognize that laws can be enacted to empower women and protect them and their unborn children.

March for Life president Jeanne Mancini also acknowledges the significance of the Dobbs decision but notes that the battle is far from won. She highlights the importance of unity within the anti-abortion movement and warns against division and fragmentation. With multiple states and federal races on the horizon, the movement faces both challenges and opportunities.

While some anti-abortion advocates had hoped that overturning Roe would mean an end to the judicial branch’s involvement in the abortion debate, courts continue to play a crucial role in shaping the landscape. Erin Hawley notes that the FDA’s approval of mifepristone is under scrutiny, with two cases currently working their way through the legal system. Additionally, the ethics of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy are emerging as a potential new frontier in the culture wars.

According to a May 2024 Pew Research Center poll, 63% of voters say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, an increase of 4 percentage points since 2021.

With the possibility of new legislation and court challenges on the horizon, the anti-abortion movement will need to remain unified and focused in its efforts to protect the rights and dignity of all human life.

Gabrielle M. Etzel
Gabrielle M. Etzel
Healthcare Reporter. Previously, Etzel served as a staff reporter at Campus Reform and as a freelance writer. After graduating from Grove City College, she earned her master's in public policy and administration from Baylor University, where she conducted research on domestic sex trafficking. In her free time, Etzel enjoys being with her family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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