Beyond the Post-Roe Generation

With Dobbs, our nation has finally taken a significant step in the right direction in regard to abortion. This is surely a decision to be rejoiced over and celebrated. Yet, a problem remains. 

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson case. “Roe was…egregiously wrong and on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided.” On this anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, these words are ones which continue to ring true in the hearts of pro-life advocates nationwide. 

Friday, the 24th of June, 2022, is a date that no pro-life advocate will soon be able to forget. Relief, shock, awe, disbelief, joy are all responses which many underwent. This moment of recognition of the evil that is abortion had been sought, prayed for, and striven after by individuals, families, and organizations since the Roe v. Wade decision was enacted.  

Our nation had finally taken a significant step in the right direction in regard to abortion. This is surely a decision to be rejoiced over and celebrated. This is a step in the right direction for becoming a pro-life nation. Yet, a problem remains.  

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This isn’t a new problem. It isn’t one that has sprung up from any laxity creeping in with the joy over the Supreme Court decision. This is a problem that has been present from the very beginning of the Roe v. Wade case: a lack of pro-life behavior in the everyday lives of citizens nationwide.  

Being a pro-life advocate is more than standing on a sidewalk at least once a year during the 40 Days for Life campaign. It is more than offering up daily prayers for aborted children. Even if we run a pro-life organization that lobbies for pro-life legislation, that still isn’t “enough.”  

The problem with the pro-life movement isn’t that there aren’t enough organizations working for the abolishment of abortion. The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough sidewalk counselors or enough women’s centers. The problem, at root, comes down to individuals and the way they live.  

The way that people live today is influenced by modern philosophy, which, in turn, was greatly impacted by Kant and Nietzsche. In their philosophies, the primacy of the will and pure choice are true freedom. With the will-to-power mindset of Kant and Nietzsche, man’s greatest oppression is the limitation of his choice. As long as man is able to choose (whatever it is he is choosing), he is free. He determines himself by his choice, and his ability to determine himself by choosing whatever he pleases is his greatest autonomy. 

This philosophy opened the gates to the sexual revolution, where anything goes. Man must choose. Man must be free to choose whatever he pleases. Therefore, even in the sexual realm, limiting man’s choice is the greatest oppression because only through completely free choice is man truly free. The fallout of this sexual revolution is not hard to logically deduce. Sexual behavior running rampant led to the need for the suppression or “resolution” of the unwanted side effect of sexual activity: abortion became a more widespread “need.” 

The will-to-power ideology lies behind the cause for the legalization of abortion and for the continued struggles against it today. But it also has seeped into the very lives and attitudes of pro-life advocates themselves. There is a certain fixation in the pro-life movement on the “success” of the passage of one bill or another limiting abortions. This strikes eerily close to the will-to-power mindset: the success of the pro-life movement lies in the pro-life domination of politics and law.

While the passing of limiting legislation is certainly a good, it is not the ultimate good which the pro-life community should seek. The simple passage of laws for or against abortions will continue to flip one way and then another depending on the year, the officials in office, and the political standing of a region in different times.  

The pro-life movement needs to recognize and accept that the passage of pro-life or pro-abortion bills is less a sign of success of the movement than a symptom of the moral standing of a region. The passage of pro-life bills which will remain in effect, rather than being overturned down the road, all comes down to the moral standing of the populous. 

The only true answer, the only healing reality in this sphere, comes down to individuals truly living a thoroughly pro-life life. This doesn’t simply mean going to the abortion clinic more to pray or volunteering at a pro-life organization. The truly impactful pro-life work begins in homes and with individuals. If you consider yourself a part of the pro-life movement, your support doesn’t end when you’ve offered up prayers daily or acted as a sidewalk counselor multiple times in a week. The truly pro-life work permeates throughout a person’s life and through all their choices and behaviors.  

The average person sees children as inconvenient, annoying, and even undesirable. This is a view that even permeates Catholic spheres. As a pro-life advocate, your call and duty are to promote the view through speech and action (and even thought) that children are always and everywhere gifts worthy of reverent and joyful reception.   The average person sees children as inconvenient, annoying, and even undesirable. This is a view that even permeates Catholic spheres.Tweet This

More people believe that abortion should be legal than believe that it should be regulated or illegal. They believe that a woman shouldn’t be “forced” to carry a child in her womb but should be given “free choice” over her own body. As a pro-life advocate, our attitude and response to women in crisis pregnancies—as well as to any woman who is pregnant—should be joy and affirmation of the great good and privilege of motherhood, in addition to real support. 

Lack of strong community is a huge drawback to the pro-life movement. Women can’t bear children on their own. They were meant to do so in community with a husband and father of their child. Since the nuclear family is falling apart, the general community needs to step up, without judgment of these women, to support and stand by them. It should be the norm in a community to offer babysitting help, meal prep help, and more for a mother who is pregnant or has a young child. If women truly felt that they had support from one sphere, they would be less likely to cave to the pressure from another sphere to abort their child.  

The pro-life movement needs to move from a fixation on the will-to-power to a focus on curing the root cause—by an instillation of pro-life respect and reverence for mothers and motherhood, and for children and life. The pro-life movement must take up the challenge to treat the moral illness of our nation at its core: through its members intentionally living and witnessing to a pro-life way of life.


  • Maria Therese Maggio

    A Texan, born and raised, Maria Therese Maggio holds her Masters in Theological Science with a concentration in Theology of the Body.

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