Marching for Life in a Post-Roe World: What Else Can Congress Do to Protect Life?

COMMENTARY: Legislators, you are the first Congress to govern an America that is out from under the thumb of Roe. Will you act like it?

A statue of the Virgin Mary is pictured as pro-life activists march in front of the US Capitol during the 49th annual March for Life, on January 21, 2022, in Washington, DC.
A statue of the Virgin Mary is pictured as pro-life activists march in front of the US Capitol during the 49th annual March for Life, on January 21, 2022, in Washington, DC. (photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty)

In the first few weeks of the 118th Congress, in which we have a divided government with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, the American people witnessed a historically lengthy, fiery debate to determine who would become the speaker of the House. 

The speaker’s role is a powerful one, as his position enables him to determine the agenda of his party. There were hours of closed-door meetings, dozens of re-votes, intense public stare downs on the House floor, and it almost even came to blows. After concessions were made on both sides, Republicans elected Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. 

It has been ages since we’ve seen such lively debate; it’s good to know our leaders have convictions. We’ve seen them fight for what they want, what they believe in. Now, thanks to the votes of Americans everywhere, the House of Representatives is a position to advance laws that will protect families and save lives. 

This is the first Congress to govern an America that is out from under the thumb of Roe. Will our legislators act like it?

Our movement should be encouraged by early votes on the House floor to protect babies born alive after failed abortions and to demand protection for pregnancy-center workers and churchgoers who are constantly suffering attacks by domestic terrorists. But it’s clear that opportunities for these politicians to protect life are vastly greater than this.

Today, thousands of pro-life Americans march in D.C., celebrating a country that they are prouder to call home than they were one year ago, when the allowance of brutal deaths by abortion up to the moment of birth was law of our land, putting us in the company of China and North Korea. Now, state legislatures have the freedom and responsibility to determine whether or not they will allow these atrocities on their home turf. 

At EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, we understand that the only way to permanently end abortions is to eliminate moral decay on a vast scale. That’s why we cover not only the fight to end abortion, but also work to expose other societal dangers that are contrary to Church teaching on sexuality and gender complementarity and the trend of dangerous amoral indoctrination in schools. But only people who possess the virtues of integrity, courage and trustworthiness are capable of succeeding in the mammoth task of restoring morality to our culture. 

Is the 118th Congress up to the task? 

Since the overturn of Roe in June of last year, nearly half of states have fortified protections for babies in the womb. Many states have also introduced programs to make it easier for moms to choose life, give birth, and successfully provide for and protect their children. 

How will federal lawmakers react to this state-level momentum? Will they frequently debate the pro-life issue to raise its profile and present laws that would stop abortions? Will they consider policies that protect families like the Protect Children’s Innocence Act? Are they in favor of an agenda that would make giving birth more affordable, or even free? 

I should mention that the Senate is not exempt from this call to be courageous. Lawmakers that weren’t at the center of the House tussle for speaker may have been able to lounge around and eat popcorn, but the story of how abortions in America will end is not a spectacle to be enjoyed, it’s a battle to be won. 

It’s up to the members of the Upper Chamber to work with their pro-life colleagues in the House to promote pro-family policies, even in the minority. Considering the Democratic-controlled Senate and a very pro-abortion regime leading the White House, this is a heavy ask, but perhaps understanding popular opinion on issues of life might open opportunities for bipartisan action. 

This week, a new Marist poll shows that the vast majority of Americans reject brutal deaths by abortion. Meanwhile, all Democrats in the House save one voted against ensuring that babies who are born alive after failed abortions receive the medical care they need to stay alive: These legislators’ votes show that they do not want to protect babies inside or outside the womb.

In an interview with Nellie Gray, the founder and first president of the March for Life, EWTN’s founder, Mother Angelica, said,

“Why am I talking so much about life? Because I want other people to live, that’s why.”

And so my dear legislators, can you say the same? And will you prove it to us? Will you fight to ensure life for babies in the womb, who could then grow up to be happy, healthy children with strong, loving parents? 

Our movement watches and waits for you to take courageous action, with a renewed hopefulness in you. And today, we continue to march on behalf of the most innocent among us, equipped with God’s imminent victory. 


Prudence Robertson is the host of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly airing Thursday evenings at 10pm ET. She is a frequent contributor to the Register.