There is just no way of writing something on this topic without, 1. Getting something wrong, and 2. Having others who differ in opinions tell me how much I get it wrong. Thus, I avoid this topic.
Yet, this is a huge day. I can write this and get it out and it will be nothing in the midst of the huge storm of articles and posts flooding the internet. I can get some thoughts out and process this early on and it will go unnoticed and I can move right along.
I am pro-life. This is how: I am womb-to-tomb pro-life. I am not perfect in this position. A couple of reasons: 1. I believe there needs to be a lot defining around “abortion” and I also believe a discussion on rape, incest, and the health of the mother needs to be extremely well thought out. (This, of course, will not happen.) 2. I am against capital punishment. It’s a position I’ve come to. But… there are mass murderers that test me on this one and there are days I want those folks strapped to an electric chair and the switch thrown. (I’m very imperfect here.)
Generally, I am womb-to-tomb pro-life. I came of age in the time of marches for “right to life,” etc. My early years watching the political game began to sour me. The Republicans would campaign hard for evangelical votes, but when they had the House, the Senate, and the White House… they did nothing to pass legislation that would restrict abortion. That work began in the state houses. I gave up on political parties.
Theologically, I am still very much pro-life womb to tomb. But that is beyond babies being born and convicted murderers being put to death. I am RADICALLY pro-life when it comes to better healthcare, better prenatal care, better education… all of it. I don’t just want people born, I want a society where people are born into flourishing opportunities. And we don’t do this well at all.
So, on a day I thought 20 years ago would be a good day, I am seriously conflicted. There are a few reasons. First, the Supreme Court. Six conservative justices promised that “Roe” was set “law” and then followed an opinion today that basically said it is NOT set law and it never was set law. In essence, they lied in their hearings to get their jobs. (Here is one spot I will get pushback, so I write this knowing I got it “wrong.”)
Second, Justice Clarence Thomas has urged looking again at cases that put federal law in place to make sure states behaved better. He wants those certain cases thrown out now so states can go back to things like banning same sex marriages, setting tough restrictions on contraception, and throwing out due process. More HERE.
Third, this decision throws the issue of abortion back to the states. I’ve lived mainly in three states: Kansas, Minnesota, and Alabama. Each of those states are incredibly different and what has happened over time is that states have become more balkanized so generally legislatures get tied to ideologies and govern by ideology rather than for the good of the people.
I currently live in Alabama. They are ready to immediately outlaw all abortions. Mississippi wants to pass laws that criminalize the women who would get abortions, even if they went to another state that had legal abortions.
I don’t trust states anymore. Not with cultural issues like this. Alabama thinks they passed legislation that outlawed “teaching CRT” in our schools. It’s crazy stuff like this that just gives me pause.
So, on a day like today, I’m conflicted. Roe is overturned. States now need to act. All of this in an atmosphere that is full of anger. Things will get overlooked. Health issues will be ignored. Poverty won’t be addressed. Neither will education. We won’t have conversations about certain contexts where abortion may be the thing needed. None of it.
We will balkanize further as a country. That doesn’t bother ideologues to the left or the right. It bothers me. It means we want it easier to not talk to each other. We won’t get involved as readily.
This I cannot do. I need to be IN life. Life with others. Whether they agree with me or not. I know I am getting to know people on Facebook who are so pro-abortion they will block me out of rage (and not knowing me well) just because I say I am pro-life. If I have any right wing extremists left in my list, they will block me because I dare to mention there is a place to discuss the term “abortion” and when it may actually apply. I want to live in the tension and disagreement. Too many don’t want that any more.
Today I am conflicted. Today I am still womb-to-tomb pro-life and still not exactly celebrating what has happened at the Supreme Court.
I want the way of love. I want to love caring for women, for men, and for children. Wherever they are. Whatever their situation. We have harder work to do now. This is the way I need to walk.