Jun 28, 2022 - News

The future of the Texas anti-abortion rights movement

A bearded man in a backwards hat and suit, praying
Mark Lee Dickson led the effort to create a "sanctuary for the unborn" ordinance in Lubbock. Photo: Brad Tollefson for the Washington Post via Getty Images

After a near-50 year fight culminating in last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion rights activists in Texas say the movement is "just getting started."

Why it matters: While some activists are focused on getting abortion banned nationwide, others hope to see states like Texas expand its social safety net in order to reduce the overall demand for abortion.

What's happening: Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, the founder and president of the anti-abortion organization New Wave Feminists, tells Axios that her reaction to the court's decision is "very mixed."

  • "I also absolutely understand the fear so many women are feeling right now," she says. "My hope is that this will be the wake up call pro-life states and politicians need to finally start being fully pro-life by pushing for things like paid family leave, affordable housing and affordable child care."
  • The Arlington-based Texans for Life Coalition said in a statement that the group will spend tens of millions of dollars every year to "identify and eliminate any gaps in care" for pregnant people.

Meanwhile, Mark Lee Dickson, the director of Right to Life of East Texas who helped pave the way for Texas' abortion ban, told The Cut that his group will "go state to state and make sure that every state has protections for the unborn. If we have to do that city by city, then that's what we'll do."

Between the lines: For decades, most abortion opponents have been faithful to a Republican party that's fought tirelessly against the expansion of social services. This SCOTUS decision could test that alliance.

Go deeper: Check out "America Is About to Learn Just How Pro-Life Republicans Actually Are" in The Atlantic.

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