Earlier this month, the initial draft majority opinion of the Supreme Court decision regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade (the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion) was leaked. The leak was the first of its kind in that the entire document was made available; in other words, it wasn’t simply someone “whispering” that Roe v. Wade had been overturned. Following the leak, something else was made very public: the addresses of the six Supreme Court justices that are expected to overturn Roe v. Wade. Since then, there have been protesters in front of at least three of these homes, in a blatant attempt to intimidate them into “changing their minds” before the final decision is made. Listening to all the posturing and screaming from those who are opposed to this decision, one would think that abortion is about to become illegal, which is not true; it just means that the issue of abortion will be turned over to the states. In other words, instead of nine judges making the decision, voters and state legislatures will be able to decide.
The leak of the Supreme Court decision was clearly a felony, and prayerfully, the leaker will be identified and brought to justice. There has been some question of whether protests in front of the justices’ homes are also illegal, but it appears that they are. Even apart from that, the purpose–intimidation–is clear. One would hope that the Biden administration would speak out against these protests, or at least against the leak. However, here is what Jen Psaki, former White House Press Secretary, said: “We certainly continue to encourage protests outside of judges’ homes.” She added, “We want it, of course, to be peaceful, and certainly the president would want people’s privacy to be respected.” Right; as if the protesters are respecting conservative justices’ privacy. And while those protesters have not resorted to violence yet, some of their language has been extremely vitriolic–certainly things that you would not want your children to hear or read. And how about the coat hanger images; would you want to explain that to your child? On the other hand, protesters have already resorted to violence elsewhere; there was an arson attack on a Wisconsin pro-life group’s offices, and how ironic that it happened on Mother’s Day.
Here are some other notable responses. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called her city an “oasis” for women seeking an abortion, “a safe haven for all who are unjustly denied the rights, privileges, immunities, resources & opportunities they deserve.” And Michelle Obama, former First Lady, couldn’t resist getting in her two cents, either: “If it [reversal of Roe v. Wade] comes to pass, we may soon live in a country where millions of women — not to mention our children and grandchildren — lose the right to make decisions about their bodies and their health.” Notice the irony that she’s not even aware of–even double irony–speaking of “our children and grandchildren.” Well, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, we will indeed have more children and grandchildren; one early estimate is that legal abortions would be reduced by at least 13%. That may not seem like much, but that’s ~82,000 more babies being born over the next year. 13 states already have “trigger laws” which would go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned, banning abortions in most cases.
Another response comes from U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib, who said that she “welcomes” church protesting “in many ways,” although of course (?) not including violence. Some of the protests have indeed been outside churches, particularly Catholic ones. In that regard, I suppose one might expect that President Joe Biden or Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, both avowed Catholics, might speak out against the pro-abortion protests, at least in some contexts. Instead, Nancy Pelosi praised the protesters, saying that they have “channeled their righteous anger into meaningful action.” Notice the word “righteous” in her statement. She also referred to even late-term abortion as “sacred ground.” Other politicians have also used rhetoric which is strangely religious in nature. John Fetterman, who just won the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, called abortion a “sacred right,” and he is not the only politician to do so. Even protesters have gotten into the act; one protester’s sign even said, “Thank God for Abortion.” The use of these kinds of religious words in an attempt to justify abortion makes me shudder.
This brings us to the most important question: What does the Lord God think of abortion? Scripture makes it very clear; for example, here’s what Psalm 139: 13 says: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Abortion is the killing of an unborn baby. This is not to condemn those who have had abortions, those who have encouraged them to do so, or those who have performed the abortions; the Lord will forgive those who repent of their sin, including this one. I have written about this elsewhere, including a story of repentance; click here if you’re interested: https://keithpetersenblog.com/2021/09/23/abortion-and-vaccination-your-body-your-choice/.
The first word in the title of this post is “Responses.” I have already mentioned my response to the leak; it is a felony, and I hope that the leaker is punished. However, now that we know the Supreme Court’s decision (which prayerfully will not change before being finalized), here’s my response to it, which I hope would be echoed by Christians everywhere: Thank you, Lord, for the lives that will be saved as a result! Many years ago, my wife volunteered in a pregnancy center; there are still such places and people (not just at pregnancy centers) who demonstrate God’s love, including giving options other than abortion, to those women who are experiencing an unwanted pregnancy.