Introduction: How to Speak Up for Life

Introduction: How to Speak Up for Life

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Nearly 50 years ago, the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade essentially invented a constitutional right to abortion-on-demand in the United States.1

Since then, millions of Americans have sought to restore protection for the right to life of every person in culture and law.

Many state laws are protecting women and restoring the dignity of both mother and child in policy; and every day, thousands of pregnancy centers are helping women and children facing difficult circumstances.

Roughly half of Americans now identify themselves as “pro-life,” and strong majorities support commonsense policies to protect women from abortion’s harms.

Now more than ever, we need to explain why every human has the right to life and how abortion victimizes both mother and child.

That’s why it’s important to be prepared to talk with friends, family, and co-workers about why we can protect the basic right to life and ensure the dignity and safety of all women.

People should know and share the answers to these questions:

1. What’s wrong with abortion?

2. What are the consequences of abortion?

3. Why should government protect life?

Offering Hope and Compassion to Women and Children

Each year, millions of women face an unplanned pregnancy and difficult decisions under trying circumstances. Throughout the country, approximately 2,700 pregnancy centers provide counseling, information, and lifeaffirming options to women.2 Pregnancy centers offer:

  • Medical Services. Many pregnancy centers provide free or low-cost pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, prenatal services, and referrals for pregnant women.
  • Information and Counseling. Pregnancy centers offer accurate information about pregnancy and fetal development, present available options, and empower women to make the best decision for their own health and their child’s.
  • Continued Support. In addition to meeting immediate needs through material support, pregnancy centers offer parenting classes and support groups for expectant mothers and fathers. Many centers also offer adoption information and referrals for birthmothers looking for loving families for their children.


1. Having invented a constitutional right to abortion, the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade prohibited state restrictions on abortion before viability. While the Court stated that a State could impose restrictions on that right after viability, it provided that the State must permit exceptions designed to protect a woman’s health. However, in Doe v. Bolton, a companion case that the Court said should “be read together” with Roe, the Court defined this exception so broadly that it essentially swallows the rule. As Clarke Forsythe, Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life explains, “Where Roe prevented any prohibition on abortion before viability, the Doe ‘health’ exception eliminated prohibitions after viability as well.” Clarke D. Forsythe, Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade (New York: 2013).

2. “Pregnancy Centers Stand the Test of Time,” The Charlotte Lozier Institute, 2020.

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