Fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which critics regard as one of the most overreaching decisions in Supreme Court history. Citing an expansive interpretation of the 14th amendment and the “right to privacy,” the court determined that abortion on demand should be legal in all 50 states.

As I have written earlier, the fallout from Roe v. Wade remains one of the key reasons that many evangelicals, including those I call “paleo evangelicals,” remain attached to a Republican Party that at least pays lip service to the right to life.

As we reflect and pray on this anniversary, here are some valuable online resources to find out more about the legacy of Roe v. Wade.

— Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition, 9 Things You Should Know About Roe v. Wade

— Kathleen Nielson, The Gospel Coalition, Anniversary Pictures: Remembering Roe v. Wade

— Tom Strode, Baptist Press, Roe, legalizing abortion in 1973, caused Baptists to embrace life [h/t Trevin Wax]

— Albert Mohler, Washington PostHow abortion became an evangelical issue

Finally, here’s the late Richard John Neuhaus, from “We Shall Not Weary, We Shall Not Rest,” speaking in 2009 [read the whole address here]:

We contend, and we contend relentlessly, for the dignity of the human person, of every human person, created in the image and likeness of God, destined from eternity for eternity—every human person, no matter how weak or how strong, no matter how young or how old, no matter how productive or how burdensome, no matter how welcome or how inconvenient. Nobody is a nobody; nobody is unwanted. All are wanted by God, and therefore to be respected, protected, and cherished by us.

We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every unborn child is protected in law and welcomed in life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until all the elderly who have run life’s course are protected against despair and abandonment, protected by the rule of law and the bonds of love. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every young woman is given the help she needs to recognize the problem of pregnancy as the gift of life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, as we stand guard at the entrance gates and the exit gates of life, and at every step along way of life, bearing witness in word and deed to the dignity of the human person—of every human person.


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  • kierkegaard71

    The pro-life issue is a case where there appears to be progress in public opinion. In a CNN survey last summer, 62% of respondents said that abortion should be illegal in all cases or legal only under certain circumstances. To me, it is staggering that 38% of the survey couldn’t agree with this basic idea. Nonetheless, this appears to be a good development. My only question is this: what does it say about the GOP when their 2012 candidate, a committed religious man who claimed the pro-life banner, couldn’t make the case for pro-life that 3 out of 5 citizens say they basically agree with? I do realize that the media centers in this country can shape opinion in a tremendous way. My only conclusion is this, though: the major political party leadership circles are filled with people whose chief ambition is personal popularity among their elite peers rather than a commitment to righteousness. I don’t believe real change on this issue will come from or through Washington, DC.

  • You’re right, “real change” (except perhaps change for the worse) will not come from D.C. I also think that nominating Romney and McCain in consecutive elections says a lot about the Republicans on this issue.