Why This Pastor Grieves the Overturning of Roe Vs Wade
Although we knew it was coming, I am terribly grieved by the supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
“But you’re a pastor!” you say. “You HAVE to be pro-life.”
Actually, I’m pro-choice because I am pro-life. Pro WHOLE life.
Abortion is a difficult topic to talk about, because, contrary to what a lot of people would have you believe, it’s an extremely complex issue.
First of all, taking away the right of autonomy over one’s own body from a large portion of the population moves us down a very slippery slope. It is very odd indeed that the removal of this right is being championed by a population that considered a mask requirement invasive and a violation of their rights.
And we are talking about life. As Christians (as humans), we believe strongly in the sanctity and value of life. Life is, indeed, a holy and precious thing. But a pregnancy always involves more than one life. There are two to consider.
In my perfect world, a woman would never have to make the choice about whether or not to keep her baby because:
- all women have access to birth control
- birth control is 100 percent effective
- sex education is mandatory in all schools
- rape no longer exists
- birth defects are eradicated
- all babies are carried to term fully alive
- every woman can safely carry and deliver a baby without risking her own health and safety
But none of these things are true right now. And because they are not true, the government telling women what we can and cannot do with our bodies is particularly unconscionable.
Now that Roe vs Wade has been overturned, it will be up to the states. (Nevermind that the same court said that they would not leave gun control laws up to states. Women’s bodies, yes. Guns, no.)
Pay attention to your state’s laws. You’ll find that the ones already in place less “pro-life” and more anti-woman. In Alabama now, the penalty for a doctor performing an abortion due to a rape is more severe than the penalty for raping someone. Seriously.
I don’t think the advocates of these highly restrictive abortion laws deserve to be considered pro-life. The people who support them are the same ones who want to cut health care, restrict access to birth control and criticize women for having “welfare babies.” They are the same people who support the death penalty. They are not pro-life. They are pro-birth, and show no evidence of giving a damn about what happens to the babies once they are born.
Over and over again, it has been demonstrated that the best way to curb abortions is not to make it illegal, but to provide access to healthcare and free birth control. In fact, abortion rates are falling the fastest in countries where abortion is legal and contraception is widely available to all.
So if we are really serious about saving lives–both of babies and of women–we should be advocating for the policies that actually work, rather than seeking to usurp the autonomy women should have over their own bodies.
I am very much pro-life, therefore, I am pro-choice. I trust women to make good decisions about their own bodies, and I know that the best way to reduce abortions is to advocate for women to have access to healthcare and free birth control. That will do far more to save lives than draconian, anti-woman legislation.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.