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Responding to the Overturning of Roe v. Wade

Everyone, I respectfully ask you to patiently listen to someone who feels differently about the overturn of Roe v. Wade than you. The truth is complicated.

Myself? I’m worried.

Worried about the increasing division between communities that really need to reconcile. But, right now, many children of God are dealing with a lot of fear, and many of my fellow Christians are spiking the proverbial football and talking smack.

Worried that many Christians will stop funding crisis pregnancy centers (the sadly unsung and longtime hero of abortion reduction), and continue to disregard the notion of supporting sex education in public schools, individuals/couples wanting to foster and/or adopt, more free access to non-abortifacient birth control, the extension of maternity/paternity leave, and the decrease of daycare costs.

Lastly, I’m worried that my fellow Christians will think that this ruling would be worth the past seven years of hypocrisy, corruption, and fragmentation of American Christians and the self-destruction of our credibility and moral witness. It’s not. Nothing could be.

In short, as a moderate Christian, I want to comfort my progressive friends in fear of rights being taken away, promising to continue to be their advocate for their medical, financial and emotional needs as best I can. And I also want to tell my conservative Christian friends to tone down their public celebration and turn up their compassion.

The truth is that abortions have significantly reduced in spite of Roe v. Wade. Even Christian Republicans in the field of abortion reduction (not politicians) have argued that, with Roe v. Wade overturned, abortion in America will “mostly be unchanged.”

So why are some of my fellow Christians happy that Roe v. Wade is overturned? Maybe it’s symbolism. Christians could feel that America is a righteous nation on this issue (even if only on paper). Maybe it’s a sense of triumph. After many seeming defeats in politics and the culture war (which we Christians should never have waged), it feels good to “win one" against our opponents. But, in many cases including this one, these opponents are children of God to whom we have continually failed to patiently and lovingly listen. They are our hurting neighbors. They even sit next to us in the pews. We’re all living in the same house and we’re not being good “country-mates.”

Quoting some excerpts from David French (veteran, lawyer, Republican and Never-Trumper), who admits, as a 30+ year pro-life advocate, the disquiet in his spirit over the past few days:

The two sides of the great American divide are now staring at each other and asking, “Now what?” The answer from pro-life America should be clear and resounding—the commitment to life carries with it a commitment to love, to care for the most vulnerable members of society, both mother and child.

But life and love are countercultural on too many parts of the right. In a time of hate and death, too many members of pro-life America are contributing to both phenomena.

The culture of political engagement centers around animosity. Church and family life is being transformed, congregation by congregation, household by household, by argument and division. The Dobbs ruling has landed in the midst of a sick culture, and the pro-life right is helping make it sick.

I’m going to close off with the first thing all of us should do, which is the exact same thing I said at the beginning. Everyone, I respectfully ask you to patiently listen to someone who feels differently about the overturn of Roe v. Wade than you. The truth is complicated.


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