A godly response to the overturning of Roe v Wade

A godly response to the overturning of Roe v Wade by J John for Christian Today

The overturning of the fifty-year-old Roe vs Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that allowed abortion in the USA, has provoked all sorts of reactions. For Christians such as myself, who have long campaigned for the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception, it is a pivotal and momentous point in history. As our Holy Bible says:

‘When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.’ (Proverbs 21:15 NIV)

Yet to our rejoicing can I suggest we add a few other things.

The first is reflection. Here can I suggest the need for all of us to recognise that we are dealing with sensitive and painful matters in which great hurt has often been experienced. Many women silently bear deep mental scars over an abortion and so any triumph must be seasoned with grace.

A second reflection is that while this is a victory, it is not the victory we wanted. What we have seen is the legal verdict, undergirded by bitter politics, that the earlier 1973 Supreme Court ruling which mandated legalised abortion nationally was flawed.

What would have been infinitely preferable would have been a universal recognition of the moral argument against abortion, which is that it involves the taking of a defenceless human life. Without such a recognition, this legal decision may simply breed further division and fuel the already bitter culture war.

A third reflection is that this victory is a restatement of two great truths: one, that what a woman bears in her womb is not merely ‘foetal tissue’ but a human life; and two, that abortion is not an acceptable means of birth control. Indeed, it is worth remembering that in the fifty years since Roe v Wade the quantity and quality of contraception available has improved enormously.

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