What Should Christians Know about the Possible End of Roe?
On Monday evening, Politico published a leaked copy of an initial draft majority opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health written by Justice Samuel Alito—showing that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Politico describes the draft opinion as “a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision” as well as the supporting 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Alito argued in his opinion that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and that the majority believes “Roe and Casey must be overruled.” He added that “it is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
The Supreme Court’s plans to overturn Roe came as welcome news to activists in the pro-life movement, who asserted that the issue of abortion will now be sent “back to the states” if the Supreme Court does not change its decision. Conservatives and liberals alike are preparing to renew legislative battles over abortion—with Democrats calling for the codification of Roe at every level of government.
First and foremost, as James Silberman of Free the States wrote on Tuesday, sending abortion law “back to the states” flies in the face of the Fourteenth Amendment—ironically, the very statute from which the Supreme Court fabricated the “right to privacy” in its 1973 ruling on Roe. Instead, the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees that “no state shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” A consistent, constitutional application of the Fourteenth Amendment would therefore guarantee the right to life for all preborn babies—who are human persons—rather than letting states and their citizens continue to deny equal justice under the law to image-bearers of God.
In the absence of such an application and laws to support it, how should Christians rightly think about this groundbreaking development in the battle to abolish abortion? Presuming that no Justice changes his or her mind and Roe is shortly scrapped, the Christian strategy for ending abortion remains the same—calling for the abolition and criminalization of abortion, without exception or compromise, such that the laws against murder equally protect all humans.
For decades, ending Roe and sending abortion to state officials has been core strategy for the pro-life movement and Republican leadership. It is marketed every four years to religious voters as an encouragement to flood the polls and vote for Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, or anyone who could appoint “just one more” conservative Justice during his time in the Oval Office.
Meanwhile, state officials have argued that their hands are tied with respect to abortion until the Supreme Court at last overturns Roe. Take, for example, the various “trigger bills” already passed by many conservative states. Such bills purport to end abortion as soon as Roe is overturned—yet governors often pass over bills of immediate abolition in order to sign them.
If Roe is indeed overturned, conservative lawmakers will no longer be able to hide behind federal tyranny—which they should have already been defying—as an excuse for not abolishing abortion. However, it appears that Republicans have already been thoroughly discipled by the unjust legislation forwarded by the pro-life movement.
You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live long and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
— Deuteronomy 16:19-20
Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano—a frontrunner in the Republican gubernatorial primary—rejoiced over the potential end of Roe in a statement released Tuesday. His suggested policy response to such a development? Passing another heartbeat bill instead of the equal justice act already filed in Pennsylvania. Because having a heartbeat does not confer humanity, Mastriano’s proposal would leave countless Pennsylvanians at the mercy of their parents—even though the strawman of Roe would no longer be in the picture.
As Redeemer Church of South Hills elder Luke Griffo recently wrote for Abolish Abortion PA, godly justice is marked by impartiality and proportionality. Whether Roe is in play or not, protecting some children and not protecting others is unjust. The law should protect every image-bearer of God equally—regardless of age, degree of dependence, or level of development. Any bill that falls short of this standard is a bill that God hates.
Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!
— Isaiah 10:1-2
Whether Roe remains intact or not, believers must be prepared to continue pressing forward with the goal of abolishing and criminalizing abortion. Pray, speak to legislators, rebut the faulty presuppositions advanced by the pro-life movement, and continue interceding for babies brought to slaughter at the abortion clinics.
No matter what the coming months may hold, take heart! Jesus Christ is footstooling His enemies. We, as His Bride, are blessed to be our Lord’s helpmeet in fulfilling the Great Commission. Come hell, high water, or something in between, the church militant in Pennsylvania must continue to strive for the abolition of abortion.
Learn more about the Equal Justice Act of Pennsylvania.
Written by Ben Zeisloft.
Ben Zeisloft is the education director of Abolish Abortion PA and a writer for The Daily Wire. He is a member at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, which he attends with his fiancée, Neilee.