‘Every child is valuable’: Lankford and other GOP legislators celebrate anniversary of Dobbs


Oklahoma Senator James Lankford speaks to media, staff and the crowd about what Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization means to him and the many others. This upcoming weekend marks the anniversary of the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Photo by Dacoda McDowell-Wahpekeche / Gaylord News

Clouds overcame the eastern side of the U.S. Capitol grounds, but Oklahoma Senator James Lankford shared excitement alongside over 20 people as they celebrated the anniversary of the 2022 Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

“200,000 (children) were born this year that would not have been born,” Lankford (R – Oklahoma City) estimated four days before the June 24 anniversary of the Supreme Court’s overturning Roe v. Wade. “That’s 200,000 kids. That’s 200,000 smiling faces on playgrounds. 200,000 silly song starting in kindergarten. That’s 200,000 families that will be blessed looking into the eyes of a child saying ‘every child is valuable.’”

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, also known as Dobbs, overturned the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion nationwide.

“Post-Dobbs – it goes back to 340 million Americans and their representatives to be able to say let’s have a real dialogue about every single child and whether children are valuable,” he said. “I believe there is no such thing as a disposable child. Children are valuable. We should value every single life, every single child and do what we can as a society to be able to walk alongside those children. … We are in a post-Roe America.”

Lankford was not alone as pro-life organizations and GOP legislators joined him. Rep. Chris Smith (R, New Jersey) said Roe v. Wade was a no-brainer to resolve and thanked Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. for his decision last year in Dobbs.

“(Alito) has conveyed to lawmakers at every level – local, federal, state – every level the ability to write law and policy to protect innocent, unborn children” Smith said.

He then quoted the National Right to Life committee saying that 64.5 million unborn babies have been aborted since Roe was ruled in 1973. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R – ND) said they’re in the life-saving business on this issue.

“For my little state, North Dakota, a state of fewer than 800,000 people – we estimate, based on data, that lives saved every month amount to over 90 a month,” Cramer said. “Not only is that a beautiful face, a smiling baby, a soon-to-be young playful toddler, but it’s a labor force. It’s productivity. It’s people who are at the very essence of our economy.”

Majority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer called the Dobbs decision a cataclysmic decision and added that Democrats won’t stop fighting for a woman’s right to choose.

“We all know that from the moment Roe was decided over 50 years ago, the most extreme elements of the Republican party made it their mission to eliminate freedom of choice,” Schumer said in a news conference June 21. “Last summer, that doomsday scenario came true. … The consequences of the Court’s decision have been severe.”

He said that one in three women have lost abortion access and that 17 million individuals don’t have full access to reproductive care.

“We will keep fighting. We will not relent. We will not give up. We know history is on our side and (we) are determined to preserve the precious rights that are the bedrock of America,” Schumer added as he finished his statement.

Oklahoma is one of the 14 states who have fully banned or have a six-week ban on abortion. Most of the states are located in the southern region of the country.

“If we’re going to be a nation that believes in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness then let’s begin with the most basic element of believing in the value of every single life as well,” Lankford said.

Former 2022 First Congressional District Democratic candidate Adam Martin of Tulsa was in Washington supporting the Poor People’s Campaign when he heard Lankford speak and shook his head in disappointment.  The Poor People’s Campaign is a followup on a call for a national moral revival by Dr. Martin Luther King to empower poor and impacted people.

While others in the group didn’t listen to Lankford, Martin waited for the senator to finish so that he could express his concerns about poverty.

He said he doesn’t agree with Lankford on his pro-life stance and wants Lankford to do something about poverty which he said should be tied to the pro-life movement.

“There’s a difference between understanding and doing it,” Martin said. “I want James Lankford to not just say it, but to come out and support it. … It’s bipartisan.

“Poverty is at an all-time high – it’s not going anywhere unless we put some policies in place to fix it. We are talking about women’s bodies but we need to be talking about poverty,” Martin said. “… I would make the argument that they wouldn’t have abortions if they could have the money to take care of themselves and do the things they need to do, but they don’t have the resources.”


Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  For more stories by Gaylord News go to GaylordNews.net.