With Dobbs, the Supreme Court cast aside decades of precedent to overturn Roe v. Wade, rolling back critical rights in a decision that was wildly unpopular with the vast majority of Americans. But Dobbs was no surprise move by an out-of-touch Court. Rather, the decision was the culmination of a decades-long anti-abortion push by extremist groups and influential individuals.
This long-running plot to roll back abortion at every level has manifested in far-right advocacy, like with extremist group Susan B. Anthony Pro Life America (SBAPLA), an “increasingly influential and hardline campaign group” working to push anti-abortion advocacy to the forefront of the political conversation. The group promotes extreme people and policies that go far beyond the views of most Americans, with its leaders advocating for the banning of abortion in nearly all circumstances — including circumstances of rape and incest — and opposing most forms of birth control.
How did such an extremist group become one of the most influential anti-abortion groups in America? SBAPLA has been buoyed by organizations linked to conservative judicial and anti-abortion activist Leonard Leo. In 2019, watchdog organization Campaign for Accountability called on the IRS to investigate SBAPLA for abusing its nonprofit status, misleading the IRS, overpaying its outside fundraisers, and failing to disclose payments to firms owned by its corporate directors.
Conservatives have worked over decades to shape the Supreme Court to deliver Dobbs and ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade. They achieved this by using the dark money and influence network run by conservative kingpin Leonard Leo, a staunch anti-abortion advocate and longtime Federalist Society executive. Leo was intimately involved with former President Donald Trump’s judicial picks, all while leading a concurrent dark money initiative to support their confirmations through extensive TV ad campaigns and donations to aligned extremist groups.
Through their influence with extremist groups and in the courts, conservatives have schemed for decades to push a far-right agenda and challenge abortion rights at all levels of government – and they’ve been propped up by dark money groups led by Leo and other anti-abortion activists.