"The most pro-life president in American history." That is how Vice President Mike Pence described President Donald Trump in January before the March for Life — an annual anti-abortion rally that started in 1974. Trump became the first sitting president to appear at the march, committing to his promise “to build a society where life is celebrated, protected, and cherished" — in other words, to make America a place where a woman's right to choose no longer exists.
Although critics will argue Trump's pivot to being pro-life was purely opportunistic, he has in fact been keeping his word: He expanded the global gag rule, which blocks federal aid to foreign organizations that provide abortions, appointed an anti-choice justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, and has continued Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.
Last year, we wrote about how the pro-life movement is slowly winning the war to overturn Roe v. Wade, and although reproductive rights face constant assault at the federal level, it is the war being waged against abortion at the state level that should give pro-choice advocates pause. Since our report last year on abortion laws in each state, so much has already changed. In the first three months of 2018, 347 measures to restrict abortion or birth control had been introduced in 37 states, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Ten new restrictions on abortion were adopted in five states. Several states have put extreme restrictions in place since Trump's election: Iowa has banned abortion at six weeks, well before many women even know they are pregnant; Mississippi has banned the procedure at 15 weeks; Arizona now requires women to explain why they are seeking an abortion.
So this is actually how abortion ends in America. It won't be the dramatic overturning of Roe v. Wade, but the slow chiseling away of rights until we are left with a country where women have to go to dangerous means to end a pregnancy.