What should we do now that Roe v. Wade is overturned?
This is a very divisive question. There is celebration and lamentation across the nation. While there is dire disagreement over this topic hopefully both sides can treat each other with dignity and have dialogue where needed.
There were three Justices that did not agree with overturning Roe. Their opinion, known as “the dissent,” talks a lot “about the effects of pregnancy on women, the burdens of motherhood, and the difficulties faced by poor women. These are important concerns. However, the dissent evinces no similar regard for a State’s interest in protecting prenatal life.” Why is no concern shown for “prenatal life,” or what is termed, “potential life”?
As Americans, we have super slow speed limits in school zones. Why? Because we want to protect children. We don’t know for sure that a child will die if we speed but we still have laws and don’t speed—and infringe our freedoms—to protect kids. Why? Because life is precious.
So, even if you believe that life inside of a womb is just “potential life” remember school speed zones. We infringe our freedoms all the time to protect against possible death.
Why do we do that? Because we as a country value life. So, we take precautions and inconveniences to protect it. I believe, as Roe was overturned, we turned back to that precedent. And we as a country became more consistent. And for that, I thank God.
As a Christian, I believe abortion is not morally justifiable so I rejoice at the overturning of Roe v. Wade. But I also realize the massive needs that will quickly be apparent. So, I can somewhat understand my friends that are lamenting. I disagree with them, but I feel for them. I want all those that are feeling burdened to find help.
So, what should we do?
1. Praise the Lord Roe v. Wade has been overturned!
Christians believe in the sanctity of human life—all human life. Abortion is not morally justifiable. Therefore, Christians rejoice in the ruling that was announced on June 24th. The Guttmacher Institute reported 930,160 abortions in 2020 and the CDC reported 625,346 in 2019. We rejoice that the overturning of Roe v. Wade should drastically reduce that number. Christians rejoice because they believe all lives are precious. And so, they shouldn’t be jerks to those who disagree with them. They should know and show that they too have value.
2. Pray for our country that is very divided over this issue and for states that will now have the power to make their own abortion laws.
We should pray and do what we can to see laws passed across the states to protect life. Pray also for peace and that we would be united as states. A recent Gallup survey reports that 52% of Americans consider abortion morally acceptable (though 71% say it shouldn’t be legal in the third trimester).
3. Pray that the Church and communities across America will care for mothers and their babies; that babies that otherwise wouldn’t have been in the world would receive help in the world.
Christians must continue to care for the most vulnerable amongst us. As Roe falls there’s a massive opportunity and need for the Church to rise up and love. The Church has the answer. My we employ our minds, wallets, and houses to tangibly care for those in need.
Because Christians believe in the sanctity of human life and in justice, we also care about the moms that would have had the abortion and we care about the babies that will now be born. In the U.S. in 2017, about 1 in 5 pregnancies ended in abortion. And around 75% of abortion patients in 2014 were poor (income below $15,730 for a family of two) or low-income. This shows the massive needs that will arise in the coming months. Let’s pray. Let’s also consider how we can be part of the solution and love our neighbors well.
The church has a long history of carrying for mothers and children in need. This is because Jesus modeled caring for those in need. That’s a big part of what the good news of Jesus is all about. We are sinners in need of a Savior and Jesus is that savior. And so, we love because He first loved us.
The Bible calls us to action. The Bible calls us to stand up for the oppressed (Is. 1:17) and to speak for those who cannot speak (Prov. 31:8-9 cf. 3:27). Birth rates will go up but so will infant mortality rates. But as more babies are birthed may hearts of compassion and care be birthed. May Christians meet the new challenges with Christ’s tangible love. As Roe v Wade falls, the church must rise.
4. Read the opinion on Dobbs
If you are going to be strongly for or against the ruling it would be wise to know what it says and why. So, I’d encourage you to read the opinion on Dobbs as well as the opinion on Roe. It was certainly helpful for me. The argument in the Dobbs opinion shows that “procuring an abortion is not a fundamental constitutional right because such a right has no basis in the Constitution’s text or in our Nation’s history.”
So, I encourage you to do those four things.
Now on to the work of loving and serving our communities well!
 “The church responded to the practices of infanticide and exposure through their care of exposed infants. From the earliest days of the Christian church, Christians collected funds for distribution to the poor and sick. As part of their concern for the vulnerable members in their community, the early Christians acted to protect exposed infants… Indeed, the Christian church gained such a reputation for their care of exposed infants that churches became the established site for abandoning infants” (Louise Gosbell, “’As long as it’s healthy’: What can we learn from early Christianity’s resistance to infanticide and exposure?”).