I was not sure I would be alive long enough to see what happened last Friday, June 24, 2022. That morning the guarded expectations and dreams of prolife Americans like me, reacting to a leaked Supreme Court opinion last month, came true when the nation’s highest court ruled that abortion was no longer a constitutional right- never having been one legitimately, in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (Mississippi).
This decision will serve as a landmark ruling regarding justice and human life in American history. The majority opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito states that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.” Indeed, a fatal wrong uttered by the court nearly 50 years ago and later affirmed by Casey, was righted by God’s common grace on our land.
If this is not a bittersweet moment to celebrate, I don’t know what is! We as Christians holding to a biblical worldview bitterly mourn for the 63 million babies killed in the United States up to now, as the result of the Roe v. Wade decision. Sweetly, we can also reflect in a spirit of remembrance. Prolife believers can remember the prayers they’ve prayed, the hours spent volunteering, for the emails and letters written to elected officials and the social media posts to friend and foe alike, arguing for the dignity and sanctity of every human life created by God.
We can remember as I do, the dinner table debates with family as well as the brothers and sisters in Christ we’ve labored alongside in the culture war for life. If you haven’t already, take the time to pause and reflect in an experience of joy for what happened last Friday, which reminded me of how God’s people in the past acknowledged and praised God for his grace:
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them” (Psalm 126:2).
God has done a ‘great thing’ for this nation regardless of whether many of its citizens acknowledge it or not. A lot of different stories will be told about how this decision came to be and why. But, as someone said, ‘ultimately, the story of Roe v. Wade being overturned is a story about God.’
“The Lord has done great things for them”.
History is the story of God (HIStory) and we need to give God all the glory, praise, worship and thanks that he is due for being faithful and extending his hand of mercy to this country in this way at this time of history.
“.. the king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will” (Provebs 21:1). Our sovereign God did this.
Today, we are grateful for the court’s decision that should protect millions of our most vulnerable neighbors going forward. With each passing day, more and more people are going to recognize that preborn lives are worthy of protection. As a result of the Dobbs decision, states like our own in Florida, will be allowed to enact more of their own laws and policies restricting if not all together abolishing abortion.
The Divided Post-Roe World
Florida’s new abortion law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis should begin to be enforced in the very near future, should current pro-abort legal challenges or stays to it, be overruled as expected in the wake of the Dobbs decision. HB 5, the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act, aims to protect the lives of Florida’s most vulnerable by prohibiting all abortions after 15 weeks of gestation (pregnancy).
As a result of the Supreme Court decision, the Sunshine State will join more than a dozen more launching ‘trigger laws’ of varying abortion restrictions or abolition nationwide, leaving roughly one half of the states in the U.S. considered pro-life, while roughly the other half of the states are planning to protect abortion access, and some will even expand it.
Therefore, we celebrate this decision on the one hand, while we acknowledge that abortion will not come to an end just yet on the other hand. The prolife movement and the reinvigorated ‘Good Samaritan’ mission of the church to love life and neighbor is not yet accomplished and the ministry is not yet done – it is just beginning. The Dobbs decision in fact, marks the dawning of a new era in the pro-life cause.
Though the high court’s ruling will help curtail the supply of abortion in America, we must continue to work to curtail the demand for abortion. We understand that, because while we can legislate morality to the extent of influencing behavior, legislation does not change hearts in and of itself.
To paraphrase a classic pro-life quote, ‘What the Supreme Court has now made ‘possibly illegal again, the church must make unthinkable.”
Many an American heart has been conditioned to death and convenience as well as rebellion to God and his word for well over a generation now during the sexual revolution. Last Friday’s ruling has not changed that, as evidenced by the vitriol of pro-abort activists, protests, threats, and the vandalizing of pregnancy resource centers in the aftermath of the decision.
Furthermore, recent polls of American attitudes towards abortion, both pre and post-Dobbs, reflect the current theological, ideological and political divide as well as conflict taking place in our country over abortion, and the education and prolife discipleship needed to change the culture from one of death to life.
For instance, while a majority of Americans may have favored the preservation of Roe and Casey, largely due to cultural and historical familiarity, a majority of Americans also favor the kinds of significant restrictions on abortion that are law in more than two dozen states and even in many other western nations around the world.
While it may be true that at present only 26% of Americans favor a total ban on abortion, 41% favor restrictions after the 6th week of pregnancy (e.g. Texas), and 52% favor restrictions after the 12th week. Moreover, 59% of Americans favor a ban on abortions after 15 weeks like Florida and 65% favor a ban after 20 weeks. These survey results indicate this nation is still somewhat ill-informed and conflicted over its stance on abortion.
In short, while many of our neighbors may favor some sort of access to abortion in certain circumstances, most are uncomfortable with unlimited abortion on demand. The citizenry of the United States knows that abortion- the shedding of innocent human blood, is sketchy as best and down right immoral at worse.
The attitudes reflected in these polls confirm that prolife advocates and evangelical preachers, fellow bloggers, podcasters and social media posters, must continue to press and illustrate the humanity of the unborn child when discussing and debating the issue. We should take note that virtually every pro-abort quote, rant and argument this week has spoken of the woman’s rights to ‘her body and her choice’, altogether neglecting to mention the right of the preborn child and his right to life.
Pro-aborts must be reminded that the liberty and choices one makes, ends where the rights and liberty of another – such as the preborn, begins.
That truth is grounded in scripture and the founding principles of the birth and traditions of this country.
So, those of us who believe in the sanctity of human life at conception and are working for a day when human life is protected at all stages, should feel emboldened to insert the noun, ‘baby’, whenever a conversation on abortion omits the mention of the unborn and stresses the misnomer of women’s “reproductive healthcare”, which ignores the health of the baby as well as the health and care of the mother.
When they say, “women’s rights or freedom,” you say, “baby and what about the baby’s freedom?” By reason of prayer and persuasion, abortion attitudes and culture may begin to change in concert with church leaders engaging and mobilizing their congregations and communities to “create a culture of love and life that will bring an end to the abortion crisis, with the hope of the gospel and help of the local church.” Gospel missions and ministries like Love Life, now in 14 cities nationwide are striving to help churches and business leaders do just that.
What does that culture change look like?
Biblical Christians must seek the Lord’s face in a new and fresh way, encouraged and emboldened by this Supreme Court decision to find ways to labor to love our neighbors – including those knitted together in their mother’s womb, in obedience to and out of love for, our Lord and Savior.
We must pray for God to provide resources and the wisdom to redirect existing ones to pregnancy help and/or crisis pregnancy centers and clinics (e.g. Hope Women’s Center and Heartbeat of Miami in South Florida) that offer direct-on the ground resources and services to women and families contemplating abortion.
Pray that God will continue to rise up prolife leaders and legislators to stand up for life at every level of elected office so that God’s people may vote for them.
Christians must be missions and ministry minded on this issue, ready to preach and teach the gospel of life, which includes in the education of the public, the hope that God can redeem and forgive those that have made sinful decisions resulting in pregnancy and those who are post-abortive and need healing and restoration.
Churches should put feet to their faith and join ministries like Love Life in serving the abortion minded with peaceful, prayerful witness and love at abortion mills, calling out hope and help to women entering those facilities.
The Church of Jesus Christ must be willing to care for women and children as never before. The Dobbs decision may result in a flood of pregnant women deciding to keep or give their preborn children up for adoption or foster care rather than risk legal consequences. Will the church as it has historically done, spend the resources of time, talents and treasure necessary to help support mothers- single and even homeless, their babies and families?
A waiting and lost world is watching us- the church, to see if we really care about women and families from womb to tomb in the post-Roe world, which we have long prayed and waited for. Are we ready? Is our walk ready to match the talk?
Will be Christ -like and welcome the little children as Jesus did when others wanted to push them away (Mark 10:13–16)? Our Lord said the measure of our love for Him would be measured by our love for children (Mark 9:36–37).
Hallelujah- Roe is no more! May the church – God’s people, be ready to take advantage of this gospel opportunity for the next phase of cross-bearing for the childbearing.