Restoring a Culture of Life in Post-Roe America: A Reflection From the Day Roe Fell

Jan 23, 2024

By Emily Wood Hawley, Liberty Counsel writer

Millions of children since 1973 have been sacrificed on the altar of convenience by a culture that sees children as a curse rather than a gift – a culture that prioritizes death over life, ease over responsibility, and pleasure over the preservation of life itself.  What is to be said about a nation that kills its own children, its future?

Reflecting on the Day Roe Fell

This Sanctity of Human Life Month, I’m reminded of the eerie contrast I witnessed outside the U.S. Supreme Court just hours after the overturn of Roe v. Wade and in the days that followed. It's hard to describe the intensity and heaviness of the atmosphere outside the Court on the hot summer day Roe fell. I’ll never forget how our jubilant celebration of the Dobbs ruling that affirmed no constitutional “right” to abortion was met with hate-filled vitriol as activists shouted at the top of their lungs over women losing their supposed “right” to kill their unborn children.

As a Capitol Hill staffer at the time, I was thrilled to be part of this historic moment and commemorate the triumph of life over death on an issue I had been deeply passionate about since writing my first argumentative essay on abortion in middle school.

Our celebration of the overturn of Roe was not hindered by the dark and twisted reaction of pro-abortion activists lamenting over the loss of the “right” to infanticide and so-called “reproductive freedom,” but the dissonant chord it struck was tangible, nonetheless. It was such a stark depiction of good and evil.

One of the most heartbreaking images from that day, June 24, 2022, is one of an expectant mother holding her toddler son on her hip with the words “Not A Human” written across her pregnant belly. How does a pregnant mom, with a small child in tow, not acknowledge that the squirming, developing baby inside of her is alive? This sad image of the pregnant mom refusing to acknowledge the humanity of her own unborn child personifies the cognitive dissonance of the pro-abortion movement. Even worse, some on the pro-abortion side now openly acknowledge that a baby in the womb is a human but are willing to kill the child anyway.

Up until the day Roe fell, pressure had mounted after the Dobbs opinion was leaked the month prior. Protests broke out, pro-life Supreme Court Justices’ homes were targeted, and pregnancy resource centers were violently attacked and vandalized (including one in Washington, D.C., where I volunteered with my church).

After weeks more of waiting and praying for the final decision, the Dobbs opinion was dropped, and the High Court declared Roe “egregiously wrong from the start” and affirmed that there is indeed no constitutional right to abortion, sending the case that was a dark blot on the soul of our nation for nearly half a century to the ash heap of history – a day many of us wondered would ever come.

On what I consider one of the most significant days in American history, states with trigger laws immediately became abortion free. In these states, expectant mothers planning to proceed with abortions were sent home from abortion clinics that day, the lives of their babies spared.

Culture of Life vs. Culture of Death

Since the fall of Roe, the pro-life movement has celebrated tens of thousands of lives saved but has also experienced some losses in pro-abortion states. Still, the overturn of Roe delivered a resounding blow to the culture of death that has caused millions to forsake their own offspring and pursue child-free convenience at the expense of human life.

An estimated 26 million babies from my generation, Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, were aborted in the United States. The number of babies aborted from my generation exceeds the entire population of Florida in 2020. How tragic it is that more than a quarter of the lives that would have been a part of my generation in America were never even born. How different would the world be if these lives were allowed to live outside of the womb?

An issue that is so black and white – life and death – is perhaps the most polarizing and weighty issue in the national debate. Nothing seems to divide quite like abortion does. If people understood the reality of this gruesome procedure, that abortion requires an unborn human being to be poisoned, suctioned, or dismembered to death, I wonder if they would finally wake up to the evil that abortion is.

An unborn baby in the womb has a heartbeat as early as five weeks and is a human being with unique DNA from the moment of conception. An unborn baby’s size, location, circumstance surrounding conception, prenatal diagnosis, or inability to defend himself does not determine the value of his humanity.

What does it take for mothers to realize that an abortion is snuffing out the life of a human with a soul? What does it take for a culture to understand that perpetuating abortion is condoning genocide? What does it take for society to wake up to the fact that abortion marginalizes a completely vulnerable class of people: the unborn?

When you think about the lies and euphemisms being propagated by abortionists, it’s nauseating. They exchange “baby” for “clump of cells,” “mother” for “patient,” “abortion” for “health care,” “killing a baby” for “terminating the pregnancy,” and “pro-abortion” for “pro-choice.”

Life and Death: A Spiritual Battle

To understand the blindness regarding the morality of abortion, it is apparent the battle over life in the womb is spiritual in nature. The enemy is the father of lies and comes to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). The enemy deceives women into ending innocent human life, and sears consciences into believing this is warranted.

In Deuteronomy 30, God says to Israel, “ … I have set before you today life and good, death and evil” (v. 15) and “… blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live” (v. 19). While these words were directed toward Old Testament Israel, they reflect the choices we are faced with today when it comes to abortion: life or death, good or evil, blessing or curse.

The Bible is overwhelmingly explicit in affirming the humanity of babies in the womb, each of whom are created in the image of God. In fact, God used an unborn baby to be first to recognize the Messiah when John the Baptist leaped in Elizabeth’s womb upon hearing the voice of Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus (Luke 1).

As Christians, we know the truth that sets free, and we must be bold in declaring it to a lost and blinded world as we stand for unborn lives and against a culture of death. The path forward for the pro-life movement is to lead on the legal and political front, and in advocacy, education, policymaking, and in supporting new and pregnant mothers and their babies.

I’m thankful to be alive for such a time as this in a post-Roe America and will continue marching onward to restore a culture of life for all. If we don’t stand up for the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalized, then who will? The fall of Roe v. Wade was just the beginning, and life is winning!

Originally published in The Stream.

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