After Roe

Thousands of pro-life Americans marched in Washington, D.C. for what may be the last time under Roe v. Wade. In the coming months, the Supreme Court is expected to decide Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health—a case regarding the constitutionality of a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks—and both pundits and the public think overturning Roe is a likely outcome. While no one really knows what’s going to happen, let’s say Dobbs is upheld and Roe is overturned. What then?

The power to regulate abortion would go to the states, where Red states would restrict it and Blue states would become abortion havens—California has already promised to subsidize travel and lodging for out-of-state women seeking abortions, and New York is making similar noises. Twenty-one Red states already have laws or constitutional amendments on the books that would ban or limit abortion should Roe be overturned. Five more are likely to follow suit if it is.

The culmination of the conservative legal movement’s decades-long efforts and the innumerable prayers of people wanting to protect the most vulnerable should be cause for celebration. And Red states absolutely should eliminate abortion. But they shouldn’t stop there. If Roe is overturned, they should enact a series of holistically pro-life policies: child allowances, child and dependent care tax credits, easier and more generous adoption assistance programs, and the elimination of marriage penalties in welfare programs and the tax code.

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