I have personally been hoping and praying for this result since I became pro-life in early 1982, after attending a conference on the topic at the evangelical church I was attending then. For about a dozen years prior, I was one of the ignorant masses who wasn’t sure what to believe about it, up till then. Once I learned the facts (especially legalized murder through all nine months, and lots of facts about fetal development), I immediately changed my mind.
I have been very firmly and actively pro-life ever since, including participating in about 25 rescues, from 1988-1990, where we blocked the doors of abortuaries, as an act of civil disobedience and biblical obedience, five arrests, three trials, and a little bit of jail time (just overnight at a “nice” jail for the one time I was convicted of trespassing). Human beings are literally alive and walking around today (more than thirty years old) because of what we did then. I was honored, humbled, and privileged to have been a part of that. As it is, we had to wait another 32 years (my age in 1990) to see this result we have so longed for.
Apart from my ecstatic joy over this decision, I have two main thoughts.
The first is that we still have a long ways to go. Despite this being a wonderful victory for life (the greatest in over fifty years), after the long battle (akin to the battle against slavery), all we have accomplished is letting states decide if they will be ‘life” or “death” states. This is scarcely better than what we had in the 1850s in the United States, with slave states and free states. We figured out (slowly) that slavery was wrong, after a bloody civil war, and passed a constitutional amendment getting rid of it forever. State governments to not determine if life is valuable or not. God does that. We’re all made in His image.
Even after we figured out that slavery was wrong (why did it take so long!?), we know the subsequent sad history of race relations in America. Institutionally sanctioned racism was pretty much wiped out in 1964 with the Civil Rights Act (which passed with proportionately more Republican votes than Democrat), but we still had a long ways to go. Things were getting much better, until our beloved Democrats decided to race-bait in every single election, make absolutely everything a racial issue, and stoke the fires of strained race relations, making things much worse than they would have been. They decided to push the notion that the vast majority of cops are overtly racist, and to endorse the violence and far-left agenda of Black Lives Matter: all of these things have greatly exacerbated existing social problems.
The analogy to the 1850s is obvious. We have to pass a constitutional amendment that protects the life of human beings from conception to natural death (preventing euthanasia as well as childkilling). That’s when we will rise to the level of civilization again, and leave our present state of semi-barbarity. But at least we are now “semi-“. About half the states (immediately) will outlaw abortion or have relatively strong prohibitions, or abortion illegal at a fairly early stage.
That’s great; hundreds of thousands of lives will be saved. But it’s not nearly good enough, and it’s nowhere near the Christian view that all lives are sacred and created by God (with our assistance in procreation). A question of murder shouldn’t be left up to each state to decide. That’s a ludicrous notion. Nevertheless, at least states can decide whether they will protect the lives of babies in the womb or not. They have been able to do so to an extent, due to subsequent rulings after Roe, but now they will have the full legal prerogative and right to do so, with legal and moral monstrosity of Roe overturned at last.
And that means that the truly progressive, consistently Christian and “enlightened” states will be almost wholly the opposite of what was the case in the 1850s. The least progressive states now are — generally speaking, on the east coast, upper midwest, and west coast. New England was the heart of abolitionist country. Now it’s rabidly pro-death and bloodthirsty. Oh, the ironies . . . The South, which was so pro-slavery, now is the most progressive, consistently Christian, and pro-life region of the country.
It will take a spiritual revival to complete the legal work of enshrining the value of all lives in the Constitution (I’ve been saying this for probably over thirty years). We need the vast majority of people to be pro-life to accomplish that goal, not just 53% or whatever it is now: or partially pro-life (in the case of later-term abortions). Pro-lifers will have to keep doing what they have been doing, to “prepare the soil” for such an amendment. But revival comes through prayer and profoundly Christian lives that bear witness to the surrounding dying and rapidly secularizing culture. Do you want to transform your culture and help bring about revival? Then live your life in total dedication to God (and especially, have lots of children and raise them as committed disciples of Jesus Christ).
The second thing that is in my mind on this great day is to reflect upon how we got here, and who made it possible and who didn’t. I hate to sound any sort of “negative” tone on this day, but if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. There are two main immediate reasons for why Roe was overturned in a 5-4 decision:
1) President Donald Trump,
2) The decision of the GOP-led Senate in February 2016, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, to hold up the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice, after the great Justice Scalia died.
Let it be remembered that all the RINOs, moderates, independents, swing voters, leftist “new pro-lifers”, third-party types, and Never-Trumpers who hated President Trump’s guts: largely for irrational and falsehood-based reasons, would have prevented this result, had they gotten their way. I can understand skepticism against him at first (I was among the skeptics, and he was initially my next-to-last choice in the primaries), but once Trump made it clear that he was committed to pro-life and to nominating Justices that would uphold pro-life, this skepticism should have stopped: seeing that the life issue is the number one, highest priority in importance (akin to slavery).
President Trump proved to be the most pro-life President since Reagan, and nominated three pro-life Justices: 60% of the Justices who just voted to overturn Roe (Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett). We can also thank both Presidents Bush for the nomination of Justices Thomas and Alito: the other two pro-life votes). Needless to say, no Democrat-appointed Justice voted for life. But the Never-Trumpers still hate and despise him. They never learn. They refuse to give up their foolish pride, even though they were clearly on the wrong side. They appear to not understand cause-and-effect. Votes change and affect things.
Otherwise orthodox Catholics like Mark Shea and Scott Eric Alt and Simcha Fisher voted for Hillary Clinton and/or Joe Biden, and justified these atrocious voting decisions with ridiculous rationales that they would be more pro-life than Donald Trump, and that there was no difference between the two parties. May history record how utterly wrong they were. I would cite some of the words they said, but I wish to be at least as charitable as I can on this day, and don’t wish to “pile on”. I heartily thank all of you who have voted Republican, and especially if you voted for Donald Trump. You had a direct role in making this possible. Kudos! I thank you on behalf of all the children in the womb who will now be allowed to leave those wombs and have a life in this world.
We see how voting for Congress also made it possible. Had the Republicans not held the leadership of the Senate in 2016, we would have had another pro-death Justice instead of Justice Gorsuch, and Roe would have been upheld 5-4, instead of overruled. Votes mean things. Republicans are pro-life; Democrats are not. It’s almost the case to a person now (if we are talking about politicians). I don’t always agree with Mitch McConnell: a sort of “moderate conservative” (and he himself is now an enemy of President Trump). But on this issue, he was dead-on, and he played a crucial role in making this result possible. So the deep thanks of all pro-lifers ought to go out to him, too. Thank you, Senator McConnell, and THANK YOU, President Trump, as well as the five pro-life Justices (Roberts being wishy-washy as usual, and half pro-life, half not), and elder and younger Presidents Bush.
Praise God for all the lives that will now be saved; while at the same time we have a long ways to go to achieve complete victory for life: a constitutional amendment putting an end to this monstrosity and ruthless, heartless barbarity of legal childkilling anywhere in the United States. So keep praying, keep voting Republican, keep participating in or funding things like pro-life crisis pregnancy centers and other aids for women considering abortion, and keep being a witness to the God Who creates life and gives all life its inherent infinite value.
I’m very proud of my country today, in a way that hasn’t been possible since 1973. We’ve done the right thing. We’ve fought the good fight. But it’s the first steps of a still very long journey to come. So we must continue to “press on”: as the Apostle Paul wrote.
Photo credit: Official White House portrait of President Donald J. Trump taken by Shealah Craighead on October 6, 2017 in Washington, D.C. [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]
Summary: I express my joy and two main thoughts about Roe being overturned and the individual states again being able to determine if they will be progressive or barbaric.