The woman who brought down Roe vs. Wade wants to take abortion battle to California

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The woman who brought down Roe vs. Wade wants to take abortion battle to California

Jenny Jarvie

Fri, June 24, 2022, 3:20 PM·11 min read

In this article:

  • Marjorie DannenfelserPresident of the Susan B. Anthony List
  • Donald TrumpDonald Trump45th President of the United States
FILE - In this May 22, 2018 file photo, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, right, stands on state with President Donald Trump at the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala at the National Building Museum in Washington. Even as many religious organizations, from liberal to conservative, denounced the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, some major advocacy groups that depict themselves as "pro-family" declined to join in the criticism. "We refrain from public comment on immigration and many other topics, including other policies that impact families," said Dannenfelser.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser with former President Trump. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Perhaps more than any other woman, Marjorie Dannenfelser is responsible for the fall of Roe vs. Wade.

The president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a nonprofit group that works to end abortion in the United States by electing antiabortion politicians, Dannenfelser has dedicated her adult life to outlawing abortion. In 2016, she played a key role in getting President Trump to commit to appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who oppose abortion.

The Los Angeles Times asked Dannenfelser, 56, about the fall of Roe, her antiabortion journey and her strategy for outlawing abortion nationwide. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

After decades working in antiabortion politics, you are watching Roe vs. Wade fall. In what sense is this a historic moment?

It’s the culmination of almost 50 years of work. There was no certainty that this moment would come at all. But every single time there’s a failure or a setback, this movement has grown. And that is a marker of an authentic human rights movement: It draws more in difficulty than it does in success sometimes.

You’ve written: “No other issue, however worthy, carries a moral weight equal to that of the unborn child in the womb.” How did you get from being a pro-choice Republican to believing that abortion is about human rights, not women’s rights?

I grew up in fairly polite society. You just didn’t think or talk about this issue. I think that polite society has kept the harsh reality of that human rights violation away from the public eye and from one individually. So I never thought about it. I knew that I would have [an abortion] if I needed one. I just considered it part of living.

But that ability to keep what an abortion is out of your thoughts, out of your mind … when I approach the reality of what the object of the abortion is, and then what happens in an abortion, I mean, it is really hard to ignore the reality of a procedure that tears a small human apart limb from limb. It’s that — imagining the too horrible to imagine — that finally set my thoughts in process.Story continues


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