Roe V Wade 38 Years Later…


A Catholic News Website reported that there were hundreds of thousands of people marching on Washington DC yesterday protesting the decision of the Supreme Court 38 years ago legalizing a woman’s right to choose.  Politicians of course continue to spout their rhetoric with the intention, not of overturning Roe V Wade, but garnering votes to stay in office another 4 years. But the issue of abortion remains divisive within and without the halls of government and in the pews and pulpits of American churches.

I have a question and comment and then a suggestion.

What has 38 years of protesting, picketing, marches, bombing and blocking abortion clinics achieved?  Answer…
the death of several abortion providing doctors, destruction of property, millions of dollars and thousands of hours spent in the legal system and in the organization of pro-life/pro-choice  events, and the vilification and hatred of individuals/organizations fomenting on either side of the issue. And abortion is still legal with over a million abortions a year still happening in the US.

Is it time to rethink the strategy? Is it maybe time to stop talking, arguing, and hating and start to make a difference?

The church, as a whole is defined by those on the outside as haters and hypocrites. The marks of the Church; love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy are eclipsed by two social/cultural issues, abortion and homosexuality. 

Perhaps it is time for pro-life and pro-choice adherents to put down their placards, tone down the vitriol and actually listen to each other. Maybe instead of wasting time, money, and energy, they can together with the intent of developing  a plan to reduce significantly the number of abortions and to have in place real help for the girl/woman who decides to keep their baby.

Here is one suggestion. Why not develop a program for middle/high schools that teaches age appropriate sex education including a comprehensive look at both abstinence AND proper use of birth control methods?  Helping teens become comfortable with their bodies, the topic of sex and talking frankly about the choices they make when it comes to sex, will help them to learn how to say no confidently and what to do to protect themselves if they say yes. This one thing in itself would reduce unwanted pregnancies and  the number of abortions. 

Unfortunately the need for abortion will always be with us. To outlaw it will not make it go away and babies and more women will continue to die.  Now is the time to try something new. Now is the time to cooperate rather than continuing to  castigate each other.


9 thoughts on “Roe V Wade 38 Years Later…

  1. I agree with all that you said, but I do not agree with your suggestion. I think that we parents are afraid of our own sexuality, and therefore afraid to address the issues with our children. It is on our heads that we lack the parental responsibility to appropriately teach our children about sex. Maybe, if we parents took the time out of our over-worked, money hungry, consumer schedule, and decided to spend time with our children, teaching them how to be ethical and responsible people, then there might be no need for unnecessary abortions or abortion clinics.
    It is we parents that must learn to not fear our sexuality, and we parents that must learn to pass those values onto our children. And if you cant do it, then just turn to GOD for strength. thats why He sent his Son on the first place

    1. Yes, I agree parents need to be more proactive in raising their children and teaching them about sexuality and teaching our values. But I know numerous families who took proactive roles in their children’s upbringing and took them to church. Still, these families have a child who rebels and/ or makes “one mistake” and ends up pregnant. And the fact is not all families hold to christian values nor do all families take hands on training of their children. So do we leave their children without any education on sex just because there are families like yours who teach Christian values?
      If we decide it is all the family’s responsibility, there are a lot of kids who are going to fall through the cracks, experience the heartache of sexually transmitted diseases, unexpected pregnancies. And if they do not take a proactive role in their kids’ lives, then the cycle continues.
      Just because we have experienced the healing work of Christ in our lives and are taking proactive roles in our kids’ lives, does not mean we should deny help to those who are not as fortunate.

  2. then I guess we should have parenting classes that equip our children for the hardships of child rearing. that is the sex education that the adults are missing, too bad they couldn’t teach that in the public school systems .

  3. The reality is that some schools actually do teach what it is like to be a parent and that it is not easy at all, but rather very hard.

    As far as Christians teaching their children about sex, many of them are ignorant, misinformed, and even biased in what they teach, One example here may suffice. I have heard several “experts” in the Christian community claim that condoms have a very high failure rate and that HIV is small enough to pass through the pores of a condom. Both of these “facts” are false.
    So there is wisdom in the hope that parents will be responsible to teach about sex correctly and without fear or shame but most of them will not.

    And I do agree with Leanne that even if every Christian parent taught sex to their kids, there are many parents that do not and there must be something in place to teach children to respect themselves and others when it comes to sex.

  4. Mark, Here’s an objective and detailed answer to some of what the pro-life movement has done in the 38 years since Roe v Wade http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2011/01/2380

    I’m sure if you read the above link you would see that much good and Christ like behavior has been demonstrated by the pro-life side. I understand the criticism that the abortion issue has been an eclipsing issue however, it is an issue involving the death of millions of innocent lives – I can’t think of too many issues more important. I’m certain the abolitionist Christians of the 1800’s were also accused of being one issue Christians. Slavery was horrific but more have died by abortion than by slavery. Don’t we all say to ourselves “if I were alive at that time, I certainly would have been an outspoken abolitionist”? Decades from now, when the horrors of abortion are clearly seen by the majority (as the horrors of slavery are seen now) don’t we want to be counted as the Christians who stood up for the ones being slaughtered?

    I appreciate the sex ed argument too but it needs to start in the home with parents teaching their children about the One who created sex and how wonderful sex is when used as God designed it and how dangerous it is to use it otherwise. To my mind, the biggest part of “sex education” is relating it to God and how He designed sex to be between a man and woman in a marriage relationship ordained by God. And how there is an intimacy in that committed relationship that cannot be attained through any other means. Moreover, how the world cannot come anywhere close to copying that true intimacy but simply encourages us to pollute it. If our kids see that passion from their Christian parents, it would seem they’d have more to think about than how to use a condom. They would want the full measure of God’s incredibly good and generous gift of sex. We sell our kids so short by thinking they can’t/won’t wait. Perhaps, in part, kids don’t wait because we aren’t passionate enough for God and His goodness and how His ways are truly the very best ways for us!

    Sure, some may still rebel and sin but that does not make it ok for us to follow the world’s way of “they’ll do it anyway so here’s a condom and here’s how you use it…”.

    1. I appreciate the link that you shared and it would be good for people to go it and read the information there as well. It is good to see some other positive things being done as alternatives to abortion. But all of those things can be done without the murder of abortion providers (definitely an anti-life position) protests, angry rhetoic, and name calling.
      You also made an interesting comment that you…
      ” …understand the criticism that the abortion issue has been an eclipsing issue however, it is an issue involving the death of millions of innocent lives – I can’t think of too many issues more important.” Unfortunarely there are many issues as equally important that a pro-life person should be concerned. Read this quote from Starvation. net.

      “Every day in the developing world,
      30,100 children die from mostly preventable and treatable causes such as diarrhea, acute
      respiratory infections or
      malaria. Malnutrition is
      associated with over half of those deaths.

      More than 800 million people in the world are
      malnourished —
      777 million of them are from the developing world. 177 million of them are children.

      In the last 50 years, almost 400 million people worldwide have died from hunger and poor sanitation,
      according to the report.
      That’s three times the
      number of people killed in all wars fought in the
      entire 20th century

      This is just one statistic, but it certainly reveals the horrific situations that exist in the world outside of abortion. And this does not even look human traffiking, human rights abuses and other life ending issues.

      Comprehensive sex ed would reduce the number of abortions, delay sexaul activity, and protect our young people from disease and unwanted pergnancy. There are many studies that show this. I agree with you that the best sex ed is presented by well informed parents with a focus on God’s intent for sex. But that does not even happen in most Christian homes, and it leaves some Christian kids vulnerable to misinformation. Compounding that are the multitude of kids that come from other religious traditions or no religious tradition. They too need to be taught and protected. Just saying wait until you are married is a poor and unrealistic substitute for in depth teaching that helps kids to know themselves and how to say no if they choose abstinance, or giving them the tools to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and disease.

  5. Thanks, you make many good points worth considering. Certainly there is no shortage of human suffering which we should all be concerned about and doing what we can as Christians to positively impact that suffering.

    While all of the suffering you mention is horrible, abortion is a bit different. Different in that it is a deliberate one on one “choice” to end the life of someone who cannot defend themselves. That makes it murder and it’s murder that many in our society fight to keep legal. A comparatively wealthy person selfishly keeping more than he reasonably needs and not reaching out to desperate people in need of food and care is not good but it is not the same as a woman or couple killing their child. I understand both result in death but certainly the latter have a more direct and personal accountability for the resulting death. The well fed selfish person contributed to death by starvation while the Mom or couple aborting their child directly caused the death of that child.

    Moreover, there are not too many people advocating that starving people and not giving them needed care is the right thing to do. In other words, there are no pro-starvation groups I’m aware of whose mission is to keep food from starving people. There is, however, no shortage of pro-abortion groups.

    Abortion is a passionate subject for many Christians because it’s an issue where there’s actually an accepted “side” to the argument which says it’s OK to end an innocent life and “how dare you infringe on my right to end that life if I so choose”. No reasonable person would argue that starvation is needed and disease prevention should be withheld. Yet “reasonable” people on the pro-abortion side vehemently argue that abortion is needed and is a right that should be made available to every pregnant woman.

    The slavery analogy is on point. All of the same suffering and injustice was going on at that time yet people could and did see that slavery was a different issue. It was an injustice that could be pinned directly on the slave owner who claimed it was his right to own a slave.

    I know your point was that we should try and find middle ground and work toward less abortions. And that “Christians” should not be hateful in their opposition to abortion. I understand as well that you are not necessarily arguing a pro-choice position. I wholeheartedly agree that we should not be hateful in our opposition to abortion. But, we also should never hint at compromising or watering down the gross injustice and sin of abortion and we should not be afraid to speak the truth in love. Let’s face it, if you’re speaking with a pro-abortionist, they will not like or want to hear the truth. No matter how gently you say the truth you’re likely to be accused of being hateful by someone who doesn’t like that truth. The gospel is an offense because it begins with bad news – i.e. we are born God haters and sin lovers; no non-believer wants to be confronted with that fact.

    As always, the gospel really is the answer as God’s grace is the only thing that can change a person from being a God hater to a God lover.

  6. Yes the arguments and hatred need to end. But the issue of sex education comes under scrutiny. As a former Crisis Pregnancy supporter and educator, I wonder how contraception will be discussed. Do people understand that

    ALL forms of contraception DO NOT prevent pregnancy, only the adherence of the feritlized embryo to attach to the uterine wall?

    So what could be taught about contraception that agrees with a no abortion stand? Abstinence does not work and not talking about sex to a teenager does not work, we saw that in the rapid rise of abortions and unplanned pregnancies that arose after that big debacle. So what will work? Yes education is needed, maybe reality teaching where teen women and men undergo one week in the house of a newborn. They undertake all the responsiblities of feeding and care for that child. Would that work? Maybe. Then the need to educate in sexuality itself. Raging hormones and lack of parental input. So many issues here.
    The anger over the issue of abortion does need to stop. It’s time to get to the solutions and get away from the problem.

    Lynn

  7. On the subject of preventing abortions:
    I think most teenagers know that unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy. I also think that teenagers make their own choices even if they have been taught about sex from their parents, school, peers, internet, etc.
    I think as Christian parents, we may “bury our heads in the sand.” We don’t want our kids to have pre-marital sex so we don’t do anything to help our teenagers avoid an unwanted pregnancy. So some of us may have teenagers with strong convictions who stay out of temptation and the rest of us have teenagers who are testing the waters.
    So our hands are tied – do we tell our kids, “if you are going to have sex, make sure you use protection” and risk sounding like we giving the “go ahead” for pre-marital sex.
    Or do we tell our kids, “no sex till marriage” and then look the other way and pretend that may not be the case with our “little bundle of hormones”?

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