It’s great that another conservative-leaning person was nominated for the Supreme Court, but what if Roe v. Wade is never overturned? If abortion remains legal in the U.S., could Christians still engage the pro-life effort beyond protesting Roe v. Wade?
Ever since the Supreme Court ruling in 1973 that legalized abortion as a Constitutional right, American Christians have fervently appealed to both heaven and the government to overturn this decision. However, 45 years (and over 60 million terminated pregnancies) later, Roe v. Wade still stands.
These growing numbers can zap the hope out of any pro-lifer, but recent events have sparked inklings of hope among Christians that the likelihood of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade perhaps might be somewhat possible, maybe.
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Momentum is Building
First, in 2017 President Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch, a conservative, to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Then, Pres. Trump appointed another conservative, Brett Kavanaugh, to replace Anthony Kennedy, who often acted as a swing vote in split decisions.
Also, news has surfaced about a Roe v. Wade movie from a pro-life perspective. The co-director, Nick Loeb said, “It is being filmed at the right time for it to get attention, with the nation embroiled in a debate over Roe and the next Supreme Court justice,” Christian Headlines reported.
CH reported that Loeb hopes to release the movie in January 2019, but the film team is running into issues. RelevantMazagine.com reported, “Crew members are walking off the set in protest, actors have quit with accusations the movie is ‘propaganda’ and the movie’s director is locked in an ongoing legal battle himself.”
If the film manages to reach fruition, Christian audiences are bound to watch it, even if it’s only to show support for pro-life causes and to spite the individuals and institutions who tried to thwart it.
All this momentum might end in a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, but it also might just end. If, in the years to come, the U.S. continues to count 46, 50, and 75 years of abortion’s continued Constitutional standing, what can Christians do to impact this issue in their communities and in their nation? If Roe v. Wade is never overturned, is there still hope for Christians to effectively advocate life and liberty for all?
Here are three ways passionate pro-life Christians can still engage the battle beyond advocating for the overturned decision of Roe v. Wade. But first, a quick trip around the world to see how other societies are handling the problem of abortion.
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Abortion Legislated and Practiced Globally
The Guttmacher Institute reported numbers on how many women have abortions worldwide, which has increased “mainly because of population growth,” they said. The percentage of abortions actually decreased per 1,000 women.
“Switzerland had the lowest abortion rate at 5 per 1,000 women. The U.S. rate is 13 per 1,000 women, the same as Britain's, the report found. Colombia and Mexico had abortion rates of 34 per 1,000 women. Pakistan’s estimated abortion rate was the highest at 50 per 1,000 women,” NBC reported.
In these countries and around the world, the legal status of abortion does not completely determine if women will or will not have abortions.
Abortion is legal in Switzerland during the first trimester. In Mexico, the legality of abortion varies by state, but the most liberal laws in Mexico City allow abortion during the first trimester. Colombia restricts abortion only to circumstances like rape and incest, and abortion is only permitted in Pakistan only to save the mother’s life.
Swiss Info, a branch of the public Swiss Broadcasting Company, says the factors that better indicate whether a woman will pursue an abortion are her education, access to contraception, and socioeconomic level.
Christians can learn from these statistics and indicators to more effectively influence people’s approval and pursuit of abortion in America.
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God is Bigger
Believers in Christ Jesus have hope for a perfect government when he returns to establish the kingdom. Until then, believers also can have hope that God is bigger than government, and he has the heart and authority to do amazing work in people’s lives with or without support from human law.
If the practice of abortion breaks your heart and you want to live-out your pro-life principles, there are things you can do, even if Roe v. Wade isn’t overturned anytime soon. Here are three ways for Christians to get involved beyond protesting this Supreme Court decision.
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This is not a cop-out. It’s not passive. And it’s not avoiding the issue. Prayer is vital. Jesus showed us the necessity of prayer by giving it priority over eating, sleeping, and arguing. If Jesus came to show us what it looks like to live life as a human who honors God, then prayer is an integral part of a God-honoring life.
To engage the battle, Christians can pray. Other than praying for abortion to become illegal, Christians can pray for the hearts of women considering it. A woman may be pressured or abandoned by the father of her unborn child. Pray for these relationships. Pray for her family and friends to act in compassion and mercy rather than judgement. Pray against fear and hopelessness and pray that women who feel alone and trapped will find belonging and freedom in Christ.
Rather than praying to make it more difficult for a woman to go to a doctor and have an abortion, Christians can pray for a woman to more clearly see beauty and hope in letting her baby keep growing.
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People are in a desperate state when deciding whether or not to abort. Christians can invest in young men and women before they even reach this point of desperation by discipling them in God’s good plan for marriage, sex, and family.
We know from Scripture that teaching and investing in young people is important. Secular leaders notice the value of education as well.
A 2015 Finnish report tried to understand if “family planning services and sexuality education” affected abortion rates. Different countries yielded different results. In the U.S., they found low education and low income to be associated with a higher likelihood of unintended pregnancy. This factor – the panic of an unwanted pregnancy – is what makes women more likely to consider abortion.
“A higher likelihood of experiencing an unintended pregnancy is associated with a higher likelihood of an abortion.”
In teaching and discipleship, Christians can offer sexuality education that goes far beyond teaching young people how to wait as long as possible before having sex and then how do it without getting pregnant. A biblical education about sex is enriched by the story of God’s heart for individuals, families, and communities.
Secular sex education is limited, but a when Christians disciple young people in a biblical worldview, they holistically include the science and spirituality of the heart, body, and soul.
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As Christians pray and disciple women who are likely or are currently facing the panic of unwanted pregnancies, believers can also advocate for policies and programs that provide other viable options to desperate women.
The Finnish report, mentioned above, showed that poor women with little education are at higher risk for unintended pregnancies. Since we know this, pro-life Christians can direct advocacy efforts to them, even before they become pregnant.
Advocating for life can mean more for Christians than protesting Roe v. Wade. It could mean that Christians advocate for other laws that affect poverty. It could also mean getting involved by developing economic opportunities for the vulnerable or supporting non-profit pregnancy homes.
Abortion’s legal status matters, but it’s not the only thing about abortion that matters, and it might not even be the most effective thing that matters.
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Roe v. Wade Matters
The Supreme Court and its decisions matter. They interpret laws that affect millions of lives. Christian Headlines reported on the powerful effects of the court’s other decisions throughout history:
“The Supreme Court infamously declared that blacks were not and could never become citizens of the US (the Dred Scott case of 1857). Conversely, it abolished segregation in public schools in 1954. It protected an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with military service. It upheld the right of corporations to spend money on political campaigns.”
If God has led you to the kind of work that specifically advocates overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, then obey the Father. But if you’re wondering if there are other ways that are also deeply impactful, know that you can pray, disciple, and advocate in other powerful ways.
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