Dobbs is the end of the beginning of America's abortion debate

The Dobbs decision overturning the savage ruling in Roe v. Wade is not the end of the abortion debate in the United States, or the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning. And abortion is not about what everybody pretends it is about. There are many ways of achieving bodily and sexual autonomy without the willful extermination of human life. There are ways of treating the medical conditions that arise from troubled pregnancies — which is why such situations account for a vanishingly small share of the abortions performed in this country every year. And there are at any given time something on the order of 100 or more families looking to adopt for each child voluntarily relinquished by a mother each year. The purpose of abortion is to put children to death in the false belief that this will somehow mitigate social, economic, or spiritual problems — something we human beings have been doing for a very long time.

The Dobbs decision will not end abortion in the United States; it will give Americans the opportunity to vote on the question. We should understand what it is we are voting on, which is the enduring question of whether we are to be savages, albeit high-tech savages, or if we have it in us to be something else.