- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2024

There are children growing up today because of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson — one of them is a Florida boy named Jacob.

His birth mother was nearly six months pregnant when she sought an abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic shortly after the court overturned Roe v. Wade. She was stopped by Florida’s 15-week abortion limit, which kicked in automatically after the Dobbs ruling.

Ashley and Dusty Steckman recounted what happened next.

“Because of that law, she did not have a late-term abortion,” said Ms. Steckman on a Thursday press call arranged by pro-life advocates. “Instead of looking for an abortion out of state, this mother courageously decided to pursue adoption. Just three months later, my husband and I received a call we will never forget. We were told a baby boy had been born and that his mother had chosen us as his adoptive parents.”

As Democrats gear up for a weekend of pro-choice advocacy timed to the two-year anniversary of Dobbs on Monday, pro-life groups are sharing stories of the emerging Dobbs generation — babies who might not have been born but for state laws restricting abortion access after the high court’s ruling.

“This Dobbs anniversary marks two years of babies whose lives have been saved, with one of those being Jacob’s,” said Mr. Steckman. “Jacob has brought nothing to us but true joy and a new sense of happiness to our lives.”

Marilyn Musgrave, vice president of government affairs for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said that 24 states have laws barring most abortions after 15 weeks or less, including 20 states with “heartbeat laws,” meaning that about “200,000 unborn children are protected annually by these pro-life laws.”

Fourteen of those states also passed what are called safety-net laws, which include funding for pro-life pregnancy centers and child care assistance, and extending Medicaid coverage for postpartum women.

“These laws save lives, and we celebrate these babies who are born alive today because of these laws, and the ways more mothers are being served through the pro-life safety net,” said Ms. Musgrave.

They include Neesha Lewis, a Georgia woman who sought an abortion after finding out she was pregnant in 2022. She was stopped by the state’s heartbeat law, which bars most abortions after six weeks’ gestation.

“I thought about going to get an abortion, but the heartbeat law was in effect at that time, so I couldn’t go that route,” Ms. Lewis said. “I was introduced to the option of adoption, and so I did go with adoption.”

Her son was adopted by a Florida couple in an open adoption, allowing her to be involved in the boy’s life. She said she visited him last week for his first birthday.

“I’ve never seen a baby so happy,” said Ms. Lewis. “They do everything I wish I had time to do, the way they love and nurture him and care for him.”

She said there should be more focus on adoption as opposed to abortion.

“I don’t think that adoption is talked about enough,” said Ms. Lewis. “I don’t think that option is out there enough as much as people recommending abortion.”

The Steckmans, who sought to adopt after being unable to have children of their own, described Jacob as a boy who “loves Jesus, people, and anything trucks-related.”

“We are so grateful to the Lord and the impact that Jacob’s life has had on us, our extended family and our community,” said Mr. Steckman. “We are forever thankful to our birth mother for allowing him a chance at life.”

On the pro-choice side, the Women’s March has planned a weekend of nationwide “women’s strikes,” culminating in a demonstration Monday at the Supreme Court.

Vice President Kamala Harris met Thursday with model Chrissy Teigen for a discussion on “the continued fight for reproductive freedoms.” They were joined by “patients, providers, and advocates for reproductive rights from across the country,” according to the White House.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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