Pushing Roe v. Wade Over the Brink: The Battle for America’s Heart, the Human Right to Life, and a Future Full of Hope

The day after the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Roe v. Wade in January 1973, the New York Times pronounced the abortion issue settled in America. But a diverse social movement, growing year by year, couldn’t accept an unprecedented decision that so radically contradicted our Anglo-American heritage protecting human life.

That movement included Americans United for Life, the nation’s first pro-life law and policy organization. Inspired by the Declaration of Independence and the success of the NAACP’s legal campaign against racial segregation, Americans United for Life pursued a focused strategy in culture, law, and policy to reverse Roe v. Wade and to advocate across the spectrum of human right to life issues from abortion to euthanasia, assisted suicide, patients’ rights, and the wellbeing of persons throughout life.

Against all odds, surrounded by critics on the left and the right, Americans United for Life persevered when many had given up. This is the story of the nearly 50-year campaign that culminated in the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, and the continuing battle for America’s heart, the human right to life, and a future full of hope.

Praise for AUL’s Latest Publication

I’m grateful for the leadership of Americans United for Life in helping to bring us to this moment and in charting the path forward. We cannot rest until the day that every child is protected under our laws and can enjoy our nation’s most sacred right: the right to life. —Senator Steve Daines, Founder of the U.S. Senate Pro-Life Caucus

Now, with Roe overruled, the sobering and bracing truth comes through: We find that Americans United for Life is needed ever more. For the Court in Roe had transformed the culture. Abortion was changed from a thing abhorred and forbidden into something to be approved, celebrated, and promoted. … Our victory in overturning Roe was hard-won, but it should not surprise us that we have, even now, steady work to do. —Hadley Arkes, Ph.D., Founder and Director, James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights and the American Founding

Pushing Roe Over the Brink is the superbly told story of the pro-life movement in America, the difficulties of navigating our divided legal, cultural, and moral terrain, and the winning strategies that championed the dignity of human life and pushed Roe over the brink. Central to that story is the leading role of Americans United for Life. —Mary Rice Hasson, J.D., Kate O’Beirne Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Roe v. Wade is dead. The contentious issue of abortion has been returned to the democratic sphere. In helping to bring the country to this portentous moment, AUL acted in the grand tradition of social and legal activism that has been a hallmark of the American experience. —Wesley J. Smith, Chair and Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism