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The significance of overturning Roe

Supreme Court, abortion
Anti-abortion campaigners celebrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 24, 2022. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ended the legalization of abortion nationwide in one of the most divisive and bitterly fought issues in American political life. The court overturned the 1973 "Roe v Wade" decision and said individual states can permit or restrict the procedure themselves. |

Remember where you were on Friday morning, June 24, 2022, a few minutes past 10:00 AM, Eastern time. History was made this morning. The seemingly impossible happened. At last, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

To be sure, this is just the beginning of a new battle to be fought for the unborn, state by state, life by life, heart by heart. But this is also a massive, unprecedented victory, one that, for many years, seemed completely out of reach.

After all, Roe became law in 1973. That was almost 50 years ago, and in many ways, American values have become much less conservative since then.

To give just one example, more children have been conceived out of wedlock, and that means more abortions.

Back in 1996, the Brookings Institute reported that, 

“Since 1970, out-of-wedlock birth rates have soared. In 1965, 24% of black infants and 3.1 percent of white infants were born to single mothers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 64 percent for black infants, 18% for whites. Every year about one million more children are born into fatherless families.”

This is a staggering increase.

By 2016

“28% of all births to non-Hispanic white women (i.e., white) occurred outside of marriage, a figure that is almost twice as high as the 15 percent of births among this demographic that were nonmarital in 1990. In 2016, 52% of all births to Hispanic women occurred outside of marriage, up from 34% in 1990 (a more than 50% increase). The percent of births that occurred outside of marriage also increased for non-Hispanic black women (black) between 1990 and 2016, from 63 to 69% (a 9% increase).”

These are massive increases in illegitimacy, and the more the family breaks down, the more abortion becomes a way of life.

Marriage itself has been redefined by the Supreme Court, and for many conservative, family values, it seems as if the ship has sailed, especially with the Court actually taking Roe further in the 1992 Casey case when it should have done the exact opposite.

The battle for abortion in America has been lost, forever – at least, that’s how it seemed.

Whole generations of women have been born into a pro-abortion culture, to the point that it is not just an accepted moral right. It has also become a sacred rite.

But pro-lifers, both Catholic and Protestant, never gave up the battle, and for a number of different reasons, the number of abortions has been steadily declining, almost without exception, from the late 1990s until today. (Some would point to declining percentages beginning in the early 1980s.)

And now, at last, Roe has been overturned.

The Court could easily have ruled in favor of the Dobbs case in Mississippi, further gutting Roe and with Chief Justice Roberts joining in for a 6-3 decision. (See here for the official ruling.)

Instead, it went one step further, exposing Roe for the travesty it is.

And to think. Just a few years ago, this still seemed impossible.

It was only because President Trump (himself an unlikely hero in this story) was able to appoint three new justices to the Court, all of whom voted the right way. And that, in turn, only became possible because of the sudden death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the quick approval of Justice Amy Coney Barrett in Trump’s last months in office.

Talk about a series of unexpected events, with the narcissistic, bullheaded, former pro-abortion playboy playing a central role.

Now, states can pass their pro-life laws without restriction.

Now, the murderous, angry spirit of abortion will be further exposed, as violent mobs will attack pro-life centers and pro-life people, and as other states will pass more extreme, pro-abortion (and even pro-infanticide?) laws. This has already happened in New York, Maryland, Virginia, and California.

May the light shine all the more clearly in the midst of the darkness.

May love overcome hatred.

May the Lord make a separation between those who choose life and those who choose death.

And may the Church rise up and make an even more compelling case for the humanity of the baby in the womb, also offering even more compassionate care and hope to expectant moms and dads who are contemplating abortion. May life prevail!

It is true that the overturning of Roe is decades late, which means tens of millions of slaughtered babies late. It is true that there is much blood guilt on our hands.

But it is also true that only in America has a pro-life movement pushed back with such tenacity for so many years. What has happened here is truly unique.

In his 2016 book, Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections): A History of the Religious Battles That Define America from Jefferson's Heresies to Gay Marriage Today, legal scholar Stephen Prothero argued that our “culture wars have always been religious wars, progressing through the same stages of conservative reaction to liberal victory that eventually benefit all Americans.”

That’s why this victory is all the more significant. A massive trend has been stopped. A destructive tide has been turned. And in the end, this will benefit all Americans.

May the Lord see this landmark ruling as an act of repentance from the nation. May He show mercy and restore. May a culture of life sweep our land!

Dr. Michael Brown(www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or YouTube.

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