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With Roe Overturned, Our Work Begins

In a few weeks my son, Nick, will marry a wonderful Christian woman named Rachael.  Susan and I have not kept secret our desire to be grandparents!

Children are literally the lifeblood of our families, our society, and our nation.  They should be cherished, never sacrificed for the sake of convenience.  As a moral and good society, we must demand a culture of life that considers every individual, especially the unborn, as worthy of deep respect, for we are each made in the image of our Creator.

The decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade returns the power to regulate abortion to the states.  The ruling, written by Justice Samuel Alito who happened to swear me in as the 70th Secretary of State, is deeply grounded in America’s system of federalism and affirms our constitutional order.  It leaves the issue of abortion up to the democratic process, to be resolved at the level of the States.  Thus, it falls to the American people to decide the kind of society in which we want to live.

I have been fighting for life my entire political career.  I believe, without doubt, that life begins at conception and is sacred.  As the Psalms say: “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Grounded in this belief, now is the time for pro-life politicians and communities to step up and take the opportunity afforded to us by the Supreme Court’s decision.  While we would like to see abortion illegal nationwide, that likely won’t happen in the near term.  Instead, we should take a two-pronged approach:  1) restrict abortion as much as possible in each state, and 2) work to create a society that makes abortion obsolete.

Some states, such as my home state of Kansas, are actively looking to rein in abortion.  These efforts should be encouraged through donations, activism, and voting.  We must put in the work and hold our elected officials accountable to embrace life.

Making abortion obsolete, though, requires civil society to value life and our state policy to promote the family, care for women who are in crisis, and ensure every child has a stable home.

All across the country, from school shootings to Hollywood productions to social media, life is degraded. People are seen as dispensable.  We must turn this around.  Regardless of your religion or your political stripes, all Americans must work together to return our society to one that values life.

It is also essential that our government policies get it right.  We must reform our foster care systems.  There are over 400,000 foster children in America today; statistics suggest that less than half will earn their high school diploma.  Government bureaucrats, caring more about political goals and appearances than the safety of children, often force children out of loving foster homes and back into broken, neglectful, and abusive situations.  This cannot be.  If we demand, rightly, that the unborn have their right to life respected and protected, we must also do what we can to ensure that they are not born into a world in which they are unwanted, abused, or abandoned.

A large driver of the necessity of foster care today is the proliferation of fentanyl abuse.  Securing our southern border and addressing the flow of fentanyl from China and Mexico are crucial to promoting the family and keeping homes intact.

There are more than 2,700 pregnancy care centers nationwide that provide free and low-cost services to millions of people annually. This is where our work in civil society must begin: ensuring that crisis pregnancy clinics and pregnancy care centers have the resources they need in order to succeed in their mission, which is to help women in need.  We also must demand our law enforcement defends these places of sanctuary as they are targeted by violent radicals.

James 1:27 tells us that, “Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”  To this end, we must make the adoption process both safer and easier. People of faith can do this by building institutions in our civil society that bring together crisis pregnancy clinics, adoption agencies, and church congregations, synagogues, and mosques.  Across America, families comprised of people of faith are motivated to adopt children whose parents cannot or will not take care of them.  I know many Christians who are actively engaged in this sphere, and with greater support, this is an initiative that could provide a genuine answer to women in crisis.

With Roe overturned, the pressure to abandon our principles is already staggeringly immense.  Public pressure will weigh against those of us who have fought for life and will continue to do so. Those who have used the pro-life movement for political gain will bow to this pressure and surrender.

But those of us who believe every life bears the image of our Creator will persevere. I will persevere. We will continue to fight for the unborn joyously, safe in the knowledge that what our solutions will provide to women in need, to families, and, most importantly, to America, is far superior and noble than what abortion offers.  The overturning of Roe need not induce national strife; rather, it can herald the rebuilding of our nation’s soul, which rests on faith, family, fellowship, and children.  It falls to us now to accomplish this work.

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