Life after Roe: Supporting women and families facing unexpected pregnancies | American Business Institute

Important points

  • In the mail-Roe v. calf State governments around the world are revising laws and regulations on access to abortion. All states, whether their elected officials approve access to abortion or decide to restrict access to the procedure, should review laws and programs that affect women who are confronted with an unexpected pregnancy.
  • For many women, an unexpected pregnancy comes with financial difficulties, health problems, addiction problems, housing needs, and other challenges. To help these women, states should review welfare and service strategies to ensure women have the support they need to have healthy pregnancies and babies, whether they live in states that allow abortion or those that do try to limit them.
  • The federal government can help by introducing a balanced, family-friendly tax allowance; increasing funding for existing maternal and child health protection programmes; and the creation of a new Maternity Choice Voucher program to provide immediate, additional support to women facing an unexpected pregnancy.

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On June 24, 2022, the decision of the US Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruled that the United States Constitution does not protect abortion as a constitutional right, overturning previous court rulings Roe v. calf and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. That Dobbs
The ruling closes the era in which abortion policy was determined at the national level and begins a new era in which abortion policy is determined by state legislatures and governors. It also means the federal and state governments will have more to do than just regulate the abortion process. Particularly in states that are likely to limit abortion, governments must begin a thorough review of supports and services for women who are unable to terminate pregnancy.

The federal abortion policy has been at the center of the socio-political debate for decades. The polarized political age in which we live was created and shaped in no small part by the roe Decide for yourself. As Chief Justice John Roberts said in his Dobbs unanimously, this is “a serious jolt to the legal system” – not only for the legal system, but also for our politics and the administrative state.1 Elected local, regional, state and federal officials who have had the opportunity to go to the Court on abortion policy for 50 years now face a reckoning: they must decide how to shape an abortion policy that… reflects public opinion and plan to support low-income pregnant women and their infants in jurisdictions where access to abortion is restricted or non-existent.

This will be difficult and contentious work – the kind of elected officials who have grown accustomed to token politics channeled through social media are completely out of shape in their performance. Leaving women with unexpected or unwanted pregnancies in a world where they cannot have an abortion or find adequate social and financial support for pregnancy and childbirth seems both contradictory and callous, a betrayal of a genuine pro-life attitude. For the pro-life movement, the long-awaited demise of roe marks a beginning rather than an end point.

Dobbs creates new challenges – but it also holds new opportunities to advance the way we support women with unexpected pregnancies. Now that the constitutional question is settled, people of good will – pro-life and pro-choice – committed to the worth and dignity of the human person may be able to work together to find compromises that affirm the intrinsic worth of women and the children they bring into the world.

Tough debates are ahead. If we remain polarized between an unrestricted abortion policy and a sometimes punitive pro-life attitude that insists on pregnancy and skimps on financial and social resources, we will only demonstrate that neither side is ever sincere in their arguments about human dignity or compassion was reaction to dignity entails. life after roe requires open hearts and open check books, public and private, to prove otherwise.

This report outlines some important guidelines that can provide a basis for state and federal policymakers to build a culture of welcome and affirmation for mothers who face unplanned pregnancies and for the children they bring into this world. The report first examines the current landscape of unexpected pregnancies and abortions, then moves on to a set of policy recommendations that could be used to strengthen the financial and social safety net to support pregnant women and families. These proposals are far from exhaustive. In fact, they may only be scratching the surface of the compassion and creativity that the moment calls for as we step into the post-roe Epoch. But they are a start.

Read the full report.


  1. Nina Totenberg and Sarah McCammon, “Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Ending Right to Abortion Upheld for Decades,” National Public Radio, June 24, 2022, decision overturn.

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