As I write, protests over the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade continue across America. Roe is the 1973 decision by the Supreme Court that states must allow abortion prior to viability at 23 weeks. With respect people who are pro-choice, I welcome the end this mandate. But if Roe is indeed ended, it’s not the finish line. It’s more like the starting line. To be truly pro-life, we must anticipate some human needs that may become more acute.
First, legal abortion will not end if Roe is overturned. If Roe is ended, the question of making abortion legal or illegal returns to the states, and New York State will certainly continue to allow abortion. So the first thing we should anticipate is that our state will become a destination for women seeking abortions. More, not fewer, abortions are likely to be performed here. CompassCare, the largest crisis pregnancy center in our area, has expanded its services for this reason. They will need our generosity.
Point 1: keep donating to CompassCare.
Secondly, pro-choice leaders warn of a return to dangerous home abortions if Roe is ended. So I want to reiterate a simple truth: pregnant women need encourage-ment. While it’s upsetting if a child or grandchild gets pregnant out of wedlock, statistics show they are unlikely to abort the child if they get encouragement from a family member,. Level-headed adults should say “Don’t panic. There are options. We’ll help you.”
Point 2: encourage pregnant women in your family, church, and community.
Let’s also speak frankly about the reality of abortion due to rape. The Depart-ment of Justice reported in 2019 that there are nearly half a million attempted rapes in this country every year. This horror underlies much of the anger fueling the pro-choice position. Even though only 1-2% of abortions are of pregnancies caused by rape (as USA Today reported in 2019), this is a fundamental injustice. My opinion is that if a woman chooses to have sex, she and the man are accountable for their action; but if she does not choose to have sex, I would allow an abortion (after counselling about options). This scenario places an admittedly difficult onus on victims to report the rape shortly after it occurs.
Point 3: Tell women and girls to come to you immediately if they are assaulted.
Let’s also support some helpful economic policies. According to pro-life leader Leah Libresco, one out of five women return to work less than three weeks after delivering their baby. They usually do so because they can’t miss a paycheck. Says Cheryl Holloway, founder of Pro-Black Pro-Life, “Economic realities, not abortion laws, are our true antagonists.” I only partly agree, but both women support paid leave for new mothers and I fully agree with that. Of course, a husband remains the best economic support for a mother, which leads me to my next point.
Point 4: Support paid leave for new mothers
Fifthly, ending Roe means parents and pastors must teach biblical sexual morality. Today, much of America sees sex outside of marriage as normal. It’s common in entertainment, in college dorms, and in dating. To Stoopid Culture,* casual sex is a cherished value. But with abortion-as-birth-control curtailed, casual sex can be seen more clearly for what it is: loveless self-gratification. And marriage can be seen more clearly for what it is: God’s beautiful design for family life.
Point 5: Teach traditional sexual morality.
Sixthly, curtailing abortion may mean more unwanted children will get dumped into foster care. The Church must rescue them. Their biological parents, not tax-payers, should be forced to pay their costs, but the children themselves will need homes. Think of the joy it will be to have adopted children in your home! Half of my children are adopted, and I can tell you that to this day I still weep with joy when I talk about adoption.
Point 6: Churches should create a culture of support for foster care children
Finally, we may have a ping-ponging Supreme Court on this issue for the next generation. Many will continue to see de-personalization and death as the solution, so the value of life must still be forcefully asserted. One battleground will be abortion pills, which now account for about half of all abortions. Even in states where abortion is outlawed, black markets for such pills will grow.
Point 7: continue advocating for life.
The prospect of Roe v. Wade being overturned is a happy one. It shows that America’s moral disintegration is not irreversible; it can be fought. Two generations of Christians have braved ridicule and hatred to fight for unborn children, and it’s paying off. As was the case in abolition of slavery, women’s rights, temperance, and civil rights, it’s been Christians who have led the way. But our work isn’t done.
* Stoopid Culture is my term for the pop entertainment industry