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HOW OUR CULTURE REACTS TO THE REVERSAL OF ROE V WADE
Molly Roberts is a talented editorial page writer, editor and producer for the Washington Post. Now in her late twenties, she recently penned an opinion piece for her newspaper following the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v Wade titled, "My Pregnancy was Unlucky. My Abortion Wasn't."
Her autobiographical story is riveting. She details her bad luck as a student at Harvard University one year away from graduation when, despite practicing near perfect birth control, she discovered she was pregnant. When she informed her pro-life boyfriend that she would have an abortion, the relationship ended.
Molly then stated, "So in a lot of ways, yes, I was unlucky. But in so many others, I was lucky as could be,"
She had supportive friends (once the boyfriend was gone), an understanding doctor, enough credit to cover the $500 procedure, a Planned Parenthood location only twenty minutes away, and a mother who responded to her situation by stating she had decided on two abortions herself. And she lived in a country where abortion was legal in every state and had been for over forty years.
Molly's concluding paragraph: "Now, thanks to a handful of justices on the Supreme Court, the future of women in the United States will depend on a roll of the dice. We're either lucky, or we're not. I know a little bit about both."
Let's compare Molly's story with another. The year was 1973, and two high school sweethearts were discussing their perceived predicament. They were hopelessly in love and wanted to get married, but they (and their parents) thought it prudent to wait until after obtaining bachelor's degrees from college. As Christians, they believed that sexual intercourse should be reserved for marriage and waiting that long (five years) didn't seem possible. But the possibility of pregnancy served as a deterrent to becoming sexually active.
Then the Supreme Court's landmark ruling (Roe v Wade) brought legal abortion as an option for birth control, and our Christian couples' resolve to wait for marriage evaporated as the 'last resort' of abortion became available.
They did end up pregnant and did decide on abortion. In college, in separate cities, they grew apart and their relationship eventually ended. Using Molly's vernacular, do you think our Christian couple was lucky or unlucky?
I want to begin thinking about these issues in the context of one's worldview. What is Molly's worldview. and what was the worldview of these high school sweethearts almost two decades ago?
I don't know Molly Roberts. I don't know whether she was brought up in the Christian faith of has any faith at all. By worldly standards, Molly has been a huge success. She has an ivy league education and an intelligence that has propelled her to the top of her field at a very young age. I wish her nothing but the best. But it's clear that her worldview is secular, meaning that she is driven by our post-Christian culture's definition of success and achievement that revolves around herself. In her essay, she talks about the hardships surrounding abortion for women in situations more difficult than her own. But she believes that "there are so many more cases like mine, where a choice is just a choice, and nothing more."
In Molly's worldview, luck (good and bad) plays an important role. I believe she would consider our 1970's Christian couple very lucky because they had come of age just after Roe v Wade was made the law of the land by the Supreme Court.
As a biblical Christian, I refrain from thinking about luck the way Molly does. In the biblical Christian worldview, good luck really represents blessings from God. And bad luck represents those times when life presents us with trials. Here is the apostle Paul on life's trials:
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5 NLT)
Let's think next about the Supreme Court of the United States overturning its ruling known as Roe v Wade. In Molly's Worldview, this ruling changes the luck of American women depending upon where they live. Blue state - lucky. Red state - unlucky. But let's dig a little deeper into what this ruling really means.
The world has never seen a document defining the rules of a nation quite like the United States Constitution. It deters man's lust for power through the separation of power among the three branches of government. Its checks and balances make it difficult to make changes if only a slim majority are in favor of change. And the process to amend the Constitution also requires a super-majority to agree on those changes.
Laws can only be written and passed by elected lawmakers, and an elected chief executive must agree to the law. Additionally, an appointed Supreme Court's chief duty is to make sure that laws passed by the legislature do not violate any of the provisions of the Constitution.
Roe v Wade became the best example of the Supreme Court moving beyond its Constitutional mandate by usurping the authority of other branches of government. Even liberal justices such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg are on the record stating that the Roe decision was a heavy-handed judicial intervention. Because the Constitution does not specifically address abortion or give the federal government power to regulate it, it is up to each individual state's legislature to decide. In 2022, that means that fifty state laboratories are working on the issue searching for the best answers.
Finally, let's bring up the elephant in the room that Molly's story ignores. The abortion issue differs from all other contentious issues of our day because there is another life involved. In 1973, this was less evident, but with scientific advancements in ultrasound technology, it has become abundantly clear that another human life is involved very early in pregnancy, if not at conception. And today, every textbook on embryology affirms that with fertilization, the resultant single-cell zygote marks the beginning of each of us as an individual.
Life is a fragile gift from God. The Unites States Declaration of Independence from Great Britain begins with listing certain inalienable rights, the first of which is life. If both science and religion believe that abortion is the taking of a life, what rationale is there for legalized abortion?
As a biblical Christain, I understand that our culture has separated the biblical connection between marriage, sex and procreation. No law will have the power to undo this. But I do believe that creating fifty laboratories, each working on a cultural solution to this currently unbridgeable dichotomy is the best way forward. And it is the way our Constitution was designed to work; a concept known as federalism.
My goal in writing essays like this one is to explain to the Molly Roberts of the world that there is another worldview shared by tens of millions of Americans that is often in conflict with her worldview. It is a worldview with a 2,000-year-old foundation that has endured the tests of time. My goal is not to impose this view on her, but to let her know that those of us who subscribe to it are looking for cultural solutions that allow both sides to live together in peace. We just want the opportunity to attempt to persuade her that Christian salvation is a gift from God we all can accept, if we so choose. It is on this question that Christians are pro-choice. And no matter what you choose, we still love you.
And, by the way, the boyfriend in our Christian couple from 1973 has seen his Christian faith greatly mature over time. He regrets having participated in the decision to abort their baby but knows his Lord and Savior has forgiven him.
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