Roe v. Wade Is Overturned! Now What?

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Following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday, Mississippi Attorney General Eric Schmitt enacted his state’s “trigger law” by signing a proclamation banning abortions.[1] This makes him the first attorney general in our nation to effectively end abortion.[2] Throughout the country, a dozen other states with trigger bans are expected to follow suit, outlawing abortion shortly, while others are likely to reinstitute court-suspended laws restricting abortion in their states.[3][4] For many, today is a glorious day, decades in the making. But now what?

Bridge Michigan reports:

In a 6-3 majority opinion penned by Justice Alito, the court determined the Roe decision was wrong to conclude the U.S. Constitution protects abortion rights while weighing the legality of Mississippi law that would make most abortions illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Roe allowed, at a minimum, roughly 24 weeks.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

It is time, Alito concluded, “to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”[5]

However, not all are of the opinion of the Court. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced:

The Justice Department strongly disagrees with the Court’s decision. … The Justice Department will work tirelessly to protect and advance reproductive freedom. … The Department strongly supports efforts by Congress to codify Americans’ reproductive rights, which it retains the authority to do. We also support other legislative efforts to ensure access to comprehensive reproductive services. And we stand ready to work with other arms of the federal government that seeks to use their lawful authorities to protect and preserve access to reproductive care.[6]

Similarly, President Biden declared, “Today, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly took away a constitutional right from the American people that it had already recognized. They didn’t limit it. They simply took [it] away. … but this decision must not be the final word. This is not over.”[7]

Indeed, the overturning of Roe v. Wade is not the end of our struggle to protect the lives of unborn babies in America. If anything, it is just the beginning. Those who participated in the decades long fight to overturn Roe deserve to celebrate today, but tomorrow we must be prepared to continue the fight.

Contrary to popular opinion, the Supreme Court has not outlawed abortion. Instead, it has returned the issue to the states to decide. Now the responsibility rests with each of us to persuade our representatives to vote for legislation that will further limit or ban abortion.

We must become informed and vocal on the subject of abortion. No longer can we blame the Supreme Court for not doing anything because the responsibility now rests squarely on our shoulders. This legal victory only secured for us an environment where truth has the ability to compete against the lie that a child does not become a full human being, created in the image of God, until it takes its first breath.

Unfortunately, while many of us considered persuasion on this subject to be a futile effort until the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, our opponents never slackened in their efforts to persuade the next generation. Consequently, abortions in America are on the rise for the first time in 30 years, and births are declining. According to new findings from Guttmacher’s latest Abortion Provider Census—“the most comprehensive data collection effort on abortion provision in the United States”—there were several notable trends:

  • In 2020, there were 930,160 abortions in the United States, an 8% increase from 862,320 abortions in 2017.
  • Similarly, the abortion rate increased from 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in 2017 to 14.4 per 1,000 women, a 7% increase.
  • In 2020, about one in five pregnancies ended in abortion. More specifically, the abortion ratio (the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies) increased from 18.4% in 2017 to 20.6% in 2020, a 12% increase.
  • The increase in abortion was accompanied by a 6% decline in births between 2017 and 2020. Because there were many more births (3.6 million) than abortions (930,000) in 2020, these patterns mean that fewer people were getting pregnant and, among those who did, a larger proportion chose to have an abortion.
  • The number of abortions increased in all four regions of the country between 2017 and 2020. The rise was largest in the West (12% increase) and Midwest (10% increase); abortions increased 8% in the South and 2% in the Northeast.[8]

Legal victories will eventually fail if we do not persuade people that abortion is immoral. On this front we are failing. Our silence is losing the next generation in this struggle. Therefore, while we should certainly revel in our latest victory, we cannot breathe a sigh of relief and relax. Instead, we must become more engaged than ever before. Our next step needs to be to become informed and vocal about the issue of abortion so that we can persuade others. Perhaps we can begin by contacting our state representatives and senators to inform them of our feelings about what kind of abortion laws are now needed.

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Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Hoft, Jim. “BREAKING: Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt Signs Proclamation Ending Abortion in State.” Gateway Pundit, June 24, 2022, 10:00 a.m. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/06/breaking-missouri-attorney-general-schmitt-signs-proclamation-ending-abortion-state/.

2. Schmitt, Eric (@AGEricSchmitt). 2022. “THREAD: Today is a historic day, but we also remember over 60 million innocent lives lost. There was a lot of work behind the scenes before we achieved this incredible victory. Here are some of our efforts to protect all, including the unborn.” Twitter, June 24, 2022, 10:23 a.m. https://twitter.com/AGEricSchmitt/status/1540339949550981121.

3. Kitchener, Caroline, Kevin Schaul, N. Kirkpatrick, Daniela Santamarina and Lauren Tierney. “Abortion Will Soon Be Banned in 13 States. Here’s Which Could Be Next.” Politics. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/06/24/abortion-state-laws-criminalization-roe/.

4. Saavedra, Ryan. “Multiple States Ban Abortion after SCOTUS Ruling.” News. Daily Wire, June 24, 2022. https://www.dailywire.com/news/breaking-multiple-states-ban-abortion-after-scotus-ruling.

5. Gibbons, Laren, Jonathan Oosting and Yue Stella Yu. “Roe v. Wade Overturned in Blockbuster Ruling. Abortion Still Legal in Michigan.” Bridge Michigan, June 24, 2022. https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/roe-v-wade-overturned-blockbuster-ruling-abortion-still-legal-michigan.

6. Garland, Merrick. “Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Statement on Supreme Court Ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.” Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, June 24, 2022. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-merrick-b-garland-statement-supreme-court-ruling-dobbs-v-jackson-women-s.

7. Watson, Kathryn. “‘This Is Not Over,’ Biden Says after Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade.” Live Updates. CBS News, June 24, 2022, 2:04 p.m. https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/biden-roe-v-wade-supreme-court-decision-dobbs/.

8. “Long-Term Decline in US Abortions Reverses, Showing Rising Need for Abortion as Supreme Court Is Poised to Overturn Roe v. Wade.” Abortion Provider Census. Guttmacher Institute, June 15, 2022. https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2022/06/long-term-decline-us-abortions-reverses-showing-rising-need-abortion-supreme-court.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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