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It has finally come — the day that many people, especially those who have been fighting for decades to defend the lives of the unborn, never thought would.

Roe v. Wade is no more.

It does not mean abortion is banned, only that the power to end it is now in the hands of the states — in truth, in the hands of voters, where it should have always remained.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization is a necessary and long overdue step in the cause for life and one worthy of great joy and celebration.

This is, however, not a time to gloat.

This battle has been hard-fought and the ones to come will be harder still, as we work to enact laws and policies that provide protection to the unborn and also wraparound support to vulnerable mothers and families for the entirety of their lives.

Yes, we have science and morality on our side, but that does not make those who disagree our enemies.

The spirit of the pro-life movement is one of respect and love for all people in every stage of life. So we would do well to remember what President Abraham Lincoln said in his second inaugural address: We should strive to bind up our nation's wounds "with malice toward none; with charity for all."

That will be challenging, especially when there are so many calls for vandalism, violence and worse, against churches, crisis pregnancy centers, individuals and organizations who have sought to protect unborn children.

I can remember, in the 1990s, hearing on the nightly news about an attack on an abortion clinic.

I remember it because it was a rare event and roundly condemned even by those who opposed abortion.

I was just a kid, but even then, I knew that violence in response to something I disagreed with was wrong.

Attacks on our political adversaries and calls for their destruction don't seem as rare today. And they don't draw censure from many powerful people who support their ends, if not their means.

I'm grateful that despite being wrong about abortion, President Joe Biden has called on Americans upset with this decision to remain peaceful.

I hope Americans heed his words.

Nothing good comes from unfettered violence. And legalized abortion proponents who think they will serve their cause through "nights of rage" are likely to find that the opposite is true.

Especially now that we have a new opportunity to make our individual opinions heard in the way our democracy envisioned.

In the weeks since the leaked draft in Dobbs (which very much resembles the final opinion) was released, Americans have learned a lot about abortion.

They've come to understand how the U.S. has truly been an outlier when it comes to abortion policy. In most of the Western world, abortion laws are far more restrictive, with many countries limiting the procedure to the first trimester. Vanishingly few allowing abortions to proceed after the 15-week mark.

Americans have also proven themselves to be far from absolutists on the matter.

While many still oppose a total ban, most remain uncomfortable with abortion to some degree or other, and become increasingly less comfortable as they learn more about what the procedure entails.

And despite efforts from a small but vocal group of extremists to portray the overturning of Roe as a total, nationwide ban on abortion, most Americans understand that is not what happened.

While some states will now seek to end abortions through democratic processes, others will do the opposite, even allowing abortions to occur on demand, at any point and for any reason, during the entirety of a child's gestation.

In essence, this is a new beginning for both those who support and those who oppose abortion. But now both sides are on equal footing and will have the opportunity to make their case.

For those of us on the pro-life side, the joy is real and so is the challenge.

Our goal is as it ever was: to create a world in which abortion is unthinkable because women who are in crisis pregnancies are never denied support and where children, regardless of their state of development, are never denied their humanity.