Advocating for Life in a Post-Roe World

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Editor's Note

This article is courtesy of our friends at Stand for Life. Join thousands of people and hundreds of partners as Stand for Life works to affirm and defend the dignity of every human life created in the image of God – from conception to natural death. Learn more.

In 1973, Roe v. Wade became the framework for legal abortion in the United States, setting a precedent that would last 50 years until it was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2022. It was a landmark ruling that was a long time coming, but the overturning of Roe didn’t mean our role in advocating for life was finished. In fact, I believe it’s more critical than ever to advocate for life in our communities and in our churches in a holistic manner.

After the news broke that regulation of abortion was returned back to individual states, we sat with  pastors and church leaders from around the country. Based on their individual state law, they knew they would each face unique challenges as they led their congregations in this era. Two years later, the conversation remains front-and-center and laws continue to shift. Many states reverted to or instituted stronger abortion protection laws, opening their arms to women traveling across state lines seeking abortions. And medication abortions continue to increase, now comprising 63% of abortions, with women typically experiencing the full impact alone in their bathroom.

Abortion is still happening, and it’s still happening in our churches. If we believe the statistics are true, and at Stand For Life we do, 1 in 3 women in the church have been impacted by abortion and 45% are at risk of repeat abortion. We have a long way to go to reach abortion vulnerable women. Recent research we commissioned found that among women of childbearing age in the America who have had abortions, only 3% of them used their church or parish as an information source in the decision process. A culture of death has taken advantage of the vulnerable, but we as Christians can usher in change by supporting a culture of life.

A culture of death has taken advantage of the vulnerable, but we as Christians can usher in change by supporting a culture of life.

At Stand For Life our goal is to equip and mobilize the Church to cultivate a culture that believes everyone is made in the image of God and therefore has inherent value and should be treated with dignity and respect. From the preborn to the disabled to the elderly, Scripture doesn’t put limitations on the value of a life.

What does this mean practically as we desire to cultivate a church culture and a society that embraces a holistic view of life?

1. Recognize the human dignity in all people.

God created each of us with intrinsic value. The biblical concept of inherent dignity is so foundational that even the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in Article I, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

Believing all life is sacred helps us have compassion for those around us. How can we follow Christ’s example and care for those in our community who are in pain or need? How can we treat others with the dignity they deserve?

2. Come alongside women in your church and community to support them practically and compassionately during an unplanned pregnancy.

We as Christians should be the safest, most compassionate and helpful place for women to turn when they are making decisions as a result of an unplanned pregnancy.

Recent research we commissioned revealed the most valued services that could impact decisions for choosing life would be affordable housing, health care, cost-free pregnancy resources, assurance of a livable wage and paid maternity leave. In your community, you can meet emergency needs like opening your home to a woman escaping domestic violence so she doesn’t feel trapped and knows she has a safe place to run to. But could you help by offering safe and affordable long-term housing for a vulnerable family? How could you employ the Old Testament principle of leaving gleanings in the field for people to have meaningful work to provide for and nourish their families in seasons of vulnerability? Maybe you could offer career development jobs at a livable wage and ensure your team gets maternity and paternity leave.

3. Language matters.

As advocates for human life and dignity, we must choose our words carefully when speaking about another created in the image of God. To be truly pro-life is to be pro-woman and pro-family too. We can stand for life in all its forms, even in the language we choose.

It may at times seem overwhelming to advocate for life in a post-Roe world, but take heart. I believe we have the ability to impact our culture and society for the good, to influence it with a culture of life as we love those around us and see them as God does.

Editor's Note

Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash

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  • abortion
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Elizabeth Graham

Elizabeth Graham serves as CEO for Stand For Life. Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Richmond, enjoy raising their two children in east Tennessee.

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