A Reason To Celebrate
This past week the Supreme Court announced a historic decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision. In doing so, they made a clear statement that there is no constitutionally protected right for abortion.
Because abortion is the ending of a human life, this decision is a cause for celebration among Christians. Every human person, born and unborn, is made in the image of God. They are inherently valuable and worthy of dignity and respect.
This Supreme Court decision is something pro-life Christians have been praying for and working towards for decades.
Overturning this disastrous abortion precedent turns the question of abortion back over to state lawmakers. Many states already have laws on the books that outlaw abortion. Others have trigger laws that will soon go into effect given the overturn of Roe.
Because abortion is still legal in many states and because the reasons why many women choose abortion are still present in our culture, we must continue to advocate for just policies that honor the sacredness of life.
I believe we should also seek to elect representatives that will enact laws to make abortion illegal, protect the preborn, serve abortion-vulnerable mothers, and criminalize abortion providers.
During the near 50 years that Roe v. Wade was in place, over 60 million babies were aborted. This is a horrifying statistic and an ugly stain on our history as a nation.
How Should We Respond?
Over the past week, I’ve been watching and listening to the response many have given to this decision. The response has been heated and polarized, even among believers. Outside the Christian faith, many are outraged, concerned and afraid.
Amongst my own Christian friends I’ve seen a split between those who are unapologetically grateful and those who are filled with indignation that the Supreme Court would make such a decision.
I’ve even witnessed Christian people and organizations act remorseful that the Supreme Court made the right call. Though they are personally pro-life they continue to maintain that a woman’s right to end the life of her baby should be legal and constitutionally protected.
I can understand why women undergoing an unexpected or crisis pregnancy might be alarmed by this decision. I can even understand why some might be confused and angry given the narratives advanced in the media.
Atheists, naturalists or other faith traditions that deny any notion of intrinsic human value SHOULD disagree with this decision.
What I cannot understand is moral ambivalence among believers. The recognition that there is no constitutionally protected right to end the life of the preborn is a just decision that should be recognized as such and celebrated accordingly.
Both/And Not Either/Or
That being said, this decision is only the first step in a longer battle to make abortion unthinkable.
The reasons why many women get an abortion didn’t go away with the overturn of Roe. Hook up culture continues to promote the idea that sex can be casual and consequence free. Our boys never grow into men, perpetually irresponsible and immature. Economic pressures make raising a family difficult. It’s nearly impossible for single parent homes.
Even in the church, many women feel the stigma of a pregnancy out of wedlock. That shame along with the fear of raising a child by themselves makes abortion seem like a necessary evil.
Those things aren’t going to change overnight.
More than ever, women and families need compassion, hope and practical help to meet their needs. The work of organizations like the Pregnancy Resource Center are critical. Programs like Foster325 are pivotal for our longer-term fight to make abortion unthinkable.
Many of the unborn lives saved by this decision will need loving homes that won’t be provided by their biological parents. We need more and more Christians committed to adoption and foster care. We need more and more volunteers for programs like Embrace Grace and others like it.
Two things can be true at the same time. It’s not either/or. It’s both and.
This decision was an unmitigated moral good AND this decision should increase our commitment to make abortion unthinkable for those who feel like it’s their only way out.
None of this is to say that Christians aren’t ALREADY doing these things. The programs and organizations I just listed off (just a few of the many) are all founded by and run by Christians. Christians are already active in foster care, adoption and ministering to women in a crisis pregnancy.
But, as with most things Christians are already doing, we can always do more. Until Jesus comes and takes us home, this world will continue to go from bad to worse. We are the light called to shine in that darkness. We are the conduits of God’s mercy and grace. We are God’s chosen means of sharing his love with a world that desperately needs it.