Many Christians are rejoicing over the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v Wade and what that means for the availability of abortion. I am not going to go into the legal ramifications and what this will mean for abortion access in each of the states. That is not my area. I’m not even American.
How should Christians respond? For pro-life Christians, it is a reason to rejoice. Many people have worked hard to get to this point and it is a goal that has been achieved.
But believe it or not, not all Christians are rejoicing. There are pro-choice Christians and many of them are grieving. Pro-life Christians may not understand how this could be, but it is the truth.
Can a person be a Christian and pro-choice? Many think not but the New Testament says that all that call upon the Lord Jesus are saved. Salvation is based on our relationship to Jesus and not our view of abortion.
I will put my cards on the table and say that I am pro-life. That is not because I am a Christian but it is a position I adopted when I was an atheist.
While I think every abortion is a tragedy, I also understand that many women are grieving right now. They are seeing this not as an opportunity for babies to be born but as a loss of rights and bodily autonomy. Whatever pro-life arguments one might have, those feelings matter.
One can be happy with this court decision and not get nasty toward those who hold a pro-choice position. I have seen some ugly remarks, as if every pro-choice person wants as many babies aborted as possible. The “Molech worship” trope is an example of something that is not helpful.
And for pro-choice Christians, try not to paint every pro-life Christian as a hate-filled, misogynistic bigot. There are people, like myself, whose goal is to value the life of the unborn rather than to be anti-woman.
I also hope that Christians on both sides, will make efforts to provide real and tangible support for mothers who will find pregnancy particularly challenging from a financial or otherwise perspective. Also, consider becoming involved in a adoption or fostering.
I have had my own little bit of grief over this decision, but not because I want more abortions. I fear this decision will greatly widen the chasm between the right and the left, conservative and liberal, both in the church and society.
This is a time for us to listen to one another, to try and be respectful, and take on the posture of a student rather than an angry critic.
One last thing, there is the danger that this taste of victory will lead to attempts to impose (a certain form of) Christian morality on the larger society by legal action. While it is important for Christians to vote according to their conscience, the goal of the church should not be to make everyone else live like us. There is simply no biblical foundation for this.
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