After almost 50 years, the US Supreme Court made a historic decision and overturned the “Roe v Wade” ruling. This means abortion is no longer considered a guaranteed right in all the states. Individual states now have to rule whether abortion is allowed, banned or restricted. With the 1973 ruling being overturned, it is believed that half of the states will ban the procedure, reports Premier Christian News.
Religious Americans are divided with the June 24 outcome and reactions from church leaders ranged from gratefulness and elation to anger and frustration.
A recent poll revealed that the majority of Americans who are evangelical Christians tend to have pro-life views. Many evangelical churches and Christian organizations lauded the overturning of the ruling that allowed the abortion of 60 million unborn babies.
Retiring pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church wrote on Twitter: “The Supreme Court has overturned ROE v WADE ending the federal support of abortion! Millions of unborn Americans say thank you!”
Pastor Jentezen Franklin of Free Chapel said the verdict was an answered prayer. “I honestly never dreamed in my lifetime I would see this happen. We do not gloat or dare say anything but praise to our God for this courageous and just decision by the Supreme Court. Now we must support, love and demonstrate God’s grace and goodness to would-be mothers and the precious children this decision has rescued.”
The National Association of Evangelicals (NEA) pointed out that, “God is the author of life, and every human life from conception to death has inestimable worth.” The organization welcomes opportunities “to engage in substantive conversations around the moral complexities that surround the issues of life.”
Bart Baber, newly-elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, declared that the community is happy with the ruling. He said the SBC has supported “both the pro-life movement and our consistent support of crisis pregnancy centers, ministries to low-income families, foster-care and adoption agencies, and other ministries of mercy to people in need.”
Another major evangelical denomination, Assemblies of God, praised the latest pro-life news. Doug Clay, superintendent of the group, is thankful for the historic day, saying, “A day to celebrate life. Not to gloat, but to rejoice and give thanks to the Lord of life. To continue our efforts in creating a culture of life in the communities we serve.”
Protests on the verdict
While many rejoiced at the Supreme Court’s decision, it was rejected by some religious leaders including Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.
In a written statement, Curry expressed his grief over the SC’s decision. “We as a church have tried carefully to be responsive both to the moral value of women having the right to determine their healthcare choices as well as the moral value of all life. Today’s decision institutionalizes inequality because women with access to resources will be able to exercise their moral judgment in ways that women without the same resources will not.”
Rev. Gay Clark Jennings called the ruling “a blow to people of all faiths and none, who have cherished for nearly 50 years the hope of equal access to reproductive health care.”
In a joint statement, general ministers of the United Church of Christ wrote, “Today’s Supreme Court decision…discarding nearly 50 years of precedent, will endanger the lives and well-being of birthing people who do not choose to continue pregnancy. God loves and cares for people who have abortions, and so does the United Church of Christ.”
“I support the right to life. … But it’s not my choice,” said Rev. Clinton Stancil, lead pastor of Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Louis. “Once a child is born, there are disparities in health care, education, housing and employment. We could care less about a child outside the womb. It’s a sad day in America.”