Whatever I thought I’d be waking up to this Friday morning, I sure as heck didn’t expect to wake up to Roe v. Wade getting overturned. I was on YouTube, scrolling around, and I came across a video title of President Biden dropping remarks in the aftermath of the decision.
I felt so much dread reading the news and then anger. Even though many of us had a horrid suspicion that this would be the outcome, even for a guy like me, this is contemptible.
Not only that, but Justice Thomas dropped hints that he’d like to see previous cases involving the 14th Amendment “reconsidered”. One of these is Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized gay intimacy. The fear of Roe v. Wade merely being the beginning of rights getting revoked now has more basis than we knew.
One tiny bit of hope that my best friend shared with me earlier today is the Senate passing the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act“. Finally, we’re seeing bipartisan action to end gun violence in America. It shouldn’t have taken any loss of a child’s life for legislative action, however.
How am I supposed to feel about this? In the weeks leading up to this decision, I remember that male pastors on YouTube were expressing irritation with female pastors not expressing joy at this upcoming ruling. Talk about Christian guilt-tripping.
Oh, and today is the Catholic feast day for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. People have already drawn a connection between the ruling and this celebration.
Are we Christians not allowed to be upset with today’s ruling? I understand that this is already seen as a “victory for life”, but this is still a source of terror for many.
Here’s a tweet today from the ACLU that stood out to me:
Forced pregnancy has serious consequences, including:
▪️ Enduring serious health risks from carrying to term and giving birth
▪️ Making it harder to escape poverty
▪️ Derailing education, career and life plans
▪️ Making it more difficult to leave an abusive partner
— ACLU (@ACLU) June 24, 2022
Forced pregnancy is a nightmare for so many, and now, that nightmare feels closer to home. One of my own nightmares as a big brother is worrying about what the worst-case scenario is for my beloved little sisters. If they were told to carry an unwanted pregnancy to fruition, especially if they were the victims of sexual violence, I’d raise havoc.
How is violating their free will God’s will? The story of Dr. Savita Halappanavar’s death in Ireland from being denied an abortion (during a miscarriage) still haunts me. Dr. Halappanavar lost her life because of the laws at that time, and her story is a tragic example of potential anti-abortion scenarios.
“Think of the Children!”
I don’t think that anybody “likes” abortion. It’s not like getting a haircut or buying a fun new video game. The only personal comparison I can think of is having to get periodontal gum-grafting surgery done.
It’s a painful choice that has to be made to prevent long-term consequences.
Nobody enjoys the thought of ending unborn life. Why would they? I highly doubt that the majority of abortions are done on a whim, without any second thoughts.
Also, if we’re really trying to “think of the children”, then what’s the deal with this baby formula shortage? And why did it take the recent wave of horrific mass shootings before we finally made progress towards protecting our children from guns?
I read this article from a fellow blogger here on Patheos about what to realistically expect in the aftermath of this ruling (written a while ago). He made it clear that contrary to what some believe, this ruling won’t save as many unborn lives as they think.
As he pointed out, the odds are that we’ll see a massive upsurge of abortions in states where they’re safe to have, such as California. While America’s had an overall decline in abortions over the last 30 years, we’ve already seen a bit of an uptick. That uptick will likely rise even higher because of today’s ruling.
I’m all for protecting children. Again, I’m not a fan of abortion, like most of us. I consider myself “pro-choice with restrictions”, because, in all honesty, third-trimester abortions make me queasy (though, in some cases, they’re unavoidable).
That being said, I don’t really see Roe v. Wade getting overturned today as a true victory for pro-life stances. We have much work to do in America before we can truly call ourselves “pro-life”.
I’m relieved that we’re finally seeing bipartisan action against gun violence. But why, why, WHY wasn’t Sandy Hook the last straw?! It took this country 10 years and more children killed before we finally did something about it.
Not to mention, I have trouble believing this country takes gun violence seriously in general. Why did we keep seeing calls for arming teachers in the wake of the most recent shootings instead of the source issue (guns)?
Ignoring Women in the Equation
While I dislike abortion just as pro-life folk do, I take issue with stances that ignore the plight women deal with that can lead to them choosing abortion.
Even in the 21st century, women get shamed for unexpected pregnancies. Even when they refuse to get an abortion, society still treats them with undeserved scorn. That’s a crippling “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.
A misconception about birth control, on that note, is that it’s infallible. Unfortunately, birth control isn’t always guaranteed to prevent pregnancy, and that’s nobody’s fault.
On top of birth control sometimes not working as expected, overall health care for American women is poor compared to other countries. If women can’t access affordable, effective healthcare, they risk their safety and the safety of their unborn child.
Not only that, but childcare keeps going up in cost. I found this online calculator for the yearly costs of childcare in each state. In my home state, the yearly cost of childcare for an infant is only $329 less than a year’s worth of college tuition ($9,697 under 10,026).
I appreciate pro-life groups who acknowledge these issues that women face and work to end them. Nobody should ever feel like they have no other choice but to choose abortion.
Women don’t gleefully pursue abortions; it’s a hard decision made after deliberation, never on a whim.
Life is “Precious”, Right?
For some dark humor in these trying times, enjoy this “sermon” from my favorite “Christian apologist”, Miss Betty Bowers:
It’s impossible for me to rejoice today alongside other Christians when so many of my friends and family are understandably grieving. I won’t believe for a second that our country is “pro-life” until it actually works to protect the lives of all children.
That includes children who survive the foster care system. I came across this article on Psychology Today, written by a former adoptee. What she said rings true, that adoption isn’t a failsafe solution to abortion.
In order to reduce abortion in America, we need to address the systemic failures that coerce mothers into choosing it. Roe v. Wade getting overturned won’t fix any of these issues and could, in fact, compound them.
Until and unless America guarantees the safety and wellbeing of every woman and child, through much-needed reform on multiple levels, we can’t objectively call ourselves a “pro-life nation”.
Featured Image by Greyerbaby/Pixabay