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Ramesh Ponnuru

The Pro-Life Movement Needs to Be More Realistic

Opponents of abortion should remember the approach that got them to where they are today: incrementalism.

Now what they need is patience.

Now what they need is patience.


For nearly 50 years, those of us who favor legal protection for children in the womb have asked the US Supreme Court to allow abortion policy to be set through democratic debate. Now we’re having that debate, and strategists in both parties say we’re losing it.

We should be clear-eyed about the accumulating political evidence of public discontent with anti-abortion policies. Polling has shown an uptick in support for legal abortion since the court overturned Roe v. Wade. Democrats tell pollsters the issue is motivating their votes more than Republicans do. Republicans’ poll numbers have fallen overall. And voters in Kansas overwhelmingly defeated a referendum to let the state legislature increase restrictions on abortion.