A major Supreme Court decision handed down in June invalidated a Texas law that required abortion clinics to meet the same health standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Whether the ruling in the case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, marks a turning point in abortion jurisprudence is still being debated, but there is little doubt that it will embolden pro-choice lobbyists to target other abortion restrictions in other states. Meanwhile, Donald J. Trump is being held up as the only candidate who will appoint strictly pro-life judges, a bargain that even some Republican loyalists are unwilling to make.
For a generation the pro-life movement has focused on undermining Roe v. Wade. Now that Justice Antonin Scalia—perhaps the decision’s most powerful critic—is dead, and his conservative colleagues are in the minority on the court, it may be time for the movement to consider other ways to advance its cause. Hillary Clinton has proposed an ambitious child care plan that would cap this expense at 10 percent of a household’s income. Mr. Trump has suggested employers could take over some of the costs of health care. Either proposal would go a long way to support young parents who fear they cannot afford to raise a child. The pro-life movement could also increase its support of crisis pregnancy centers, which are under fire in some states for refusing to provide information on abortion services. The Hyde Amendment will also need defending if, as promised in the new Democratic Party platform, a Democratic president pursues its repeal.
The courts are not the only place to pursue the pro-life agenda. Muscular lobbying as well as willingness to cross the aisle will be necessary to resist the latest pro-choice surge.