In a matter of weeks, U.S. Supreme Court will issue its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that has the potential to be one of the most influential in the Court’s history. If the recently leaked draft majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito remains the Court’s final word, two landmark cases in favor of a constitutional right to abortion, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, will be overturned.
Abortion supporters are raising hysterics about what exactly overturning Roe and Casey would mean. In fact, such a ruling would neither ban abortion nationwide nor impact other established, unrelated decisions such as Obergefell v. Hodges (the legalization of homosexual marriage) and Griswold v. Connecticut (the right to use birth control) as Kamala Harris and others have insisted. Rather, overturning Roe and Casey would simply return abortion policy to the states. Given the painfully obvious omission of any mention of abortion in the U.S. Constitution, in conjunction with the painfully explicit instruction of the 10th Amendment, the decision makes a lot of legal sense.
The hope sparked within the pro-life movement since the draft was leaked has been palpable. Dedicated activists have been working tirelessly toward this goal since 1973 when Roe was handed down. They’ve done it not for any of the reasons you’ll hear repeated in the mainstream pro-choice narrative (usually something about a twisted desire to “control women’s bodies”), but out of a simple aim that has driven activists from nearly every human rights movement in the past: to protect human lives and ensure that all humans, not just some, receive equal rights under the law.
Almost all successful social movements have a public, unifying symbol that represents the shared ideals and goals of the members of that movement. Often in the form of a flag, these symbols unify, brand, and raise awareness for the movement.
For 49 years, the pro-life movement, despite its thousands of organizations and millions of supporters nationwide, lacked a single, well-known, unifying flag. The team at Pro-Life Flag Project, however, has recently changed that.
A grassroots initiative dedicated to facilitating the creation of a unifying symbol for the movement, Pro-Life Flag Project believes that the new, universal, freely reproducible, pro-life flag will significantly help the movement in its already-unified aim: ending abortion.
In addition to unifying the movement, the group believes that the pro-life flag will raise awareness for the cause by becoming a commonplace symbol in the United States and beyond, just as several other banners have done for their own social movements in recent history. Consider the impact of the rainbow flag on the success of the LGBTQ movement, the clear messaging of displaying the peace symbol during wartime, or the connotation of the Thin Blue Line flag at a rally today.
Furthermore, flying or displaying the pro-life flag serves as a means by which everyday pro-life supporters can stand in solidarity with the national pro-life movement. People around the country, regardless of their views on abortion, will see the flag, know its meaning, and be compelled to think about the reality of abortion.
The official pro-life flag was created through the Pro-Life Flag Project—a public design contest followed by a movement-wide vote. Backed by close to 100 pro-life organizations including March for Life, Students for Life, Focus on the Family, Save the Storks, as well as several international pro-life groups, the project was a global, movement-wide effort.
The winning design and now official flag of the pro-life movement was created by pro-life designer Nanda Gasperini. The flag consists of two “baby feet” (representing the child) encircled by two hands (representing the mother), overlayed on top of two horizontal stripes on a white background. The symbolic emphasis of the flag is encapsulated in a phrase well-known within the pro-life movement: “Love them both.”
According to Pro-Life Flag Project’s website,
The white background symbolizes non-violence in the womb as well as the innocence of the unborn child. The two baby feet represent the humanity of the unborn child. Baby feet have been a symbol associated with the pro-life movement since the iconic Precious Feet lapel pins were named the international pro-life symbol in 1979. The two pink hands represent the pregnant mother, holding and protecting her child. The circle shape formed by the hands evoke imagery of a pregnant mother’s growing belly: a safe, secure, protected place for a developing child. The white heart in between the feet symbolizes the pro-life movement’s love for both the mother and her child. The two stripes again emphasize the TWO distinct human lives present in a pregnancy. The stripes also form an ‘equals’ sign, stressing that the unborn child is equally and fully human.
Use of the flag has been steadily spreading within the pro-life movement since its inception, uniting all ends of the pro-life-activist spectrum. Earlier this year, Nebraska’s Governor Pete Ricketts made an official proclamation, declaring the Pro-Life Flag a state-recognized symbol of life in Nebraska.
The pro-life flag is exactly what the movement needs to showcase Americans’ support for the pro-life position as the abortion debate rages on in this country. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s final decision in Dobbs, the pro-life flag will continue to stand as a needed, unifying symbol for a movement that fights to end the barbaric practice of abortion.