Why Overturning Roe v. Wade is a Good Thing for Women
Why Overturning Roe v. Wade is a Good Thing for Women
I used to view abortion as something I hoped I would never need but wanted access to just in case.
Then, I became a Christian and my personal views on abortion quickly shifted: I knew that my belief in a creator God who knows us intimately and made us in his image meant I’d never have an abortion.
But I still identified as pro-choice because, although my personal views had changed, I didn’t think it was right to push those views on other women. I’d make my choice, and they could make theirs.
I would never get an abortion, but who am I to push my beliefs on others?
I spent a semester in college working as a legislative intern for a Democrat in the Missouri House of Representatives and felt irritated by the number of bills brought to the House floor proposing abortion regulations. To me, it looked like pro-life pandering during an election year. And I mentioned my annoyance to a friend of mine who interned for one of the Republican reps.
“Roe v. Wade makes all these bills unconstitutional, so why are they wasting floor time on them?”
He said, “Well, they and many of their constituents believe abortion is wrong, so they’re using their platform to represent that belief. Maybe it won’t go anywhere, but maybe it will and this will be the start of overturning Roe v. Wade. Nothing will change if they never try.”
To be honest, I thought that was a dumb answer. Roe v. Wade wasn’t going anywhere…
And then my English professor assigned Frederick Douglass’s memoir, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. In it, Douglass shared that some of the most frustrating people to him were those living in the border states who personally thought slavery was wrong but refused to resist the institution of slavery in the South. They’d even return escaped slaves to the slaveowners because it was the law.
Their reasoning: I believe slaves are people, but my neighbor believes they’re his property. I would never own a slave, but who am I to push my beliefs on others?
“I would never get an abortion, but who am I to push my beliefs on others?”
It hit me: I was like the abolitionist who values the law of the slaveowner over the life of the enslaved.
In that moment, I moved from pro-choice to fervently pro-life.
Hear Keith Simon reiterate this point on our recent podcast episode.
Abortion Is Anti-Woman
As I write this piece, I see faces in my mind of smart, compassionate women I know and love—women who know and love Jesus—who are mourning the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade because they are horrified and outraged by what they genuinely perceive as an attack on women. The degree of despair is overwhelming and makes me hesitant to publish a piece like this while the pain is so fresh.
But I’ve got to be honest—as a woman, I find the view that abortion is a good thing for women deeply offensive.
I want to speak against this lie that feeds the blinding fear I’ve seen running rampant since June 24. So here are three reasons why legalized abortion is anti-woman:
- Supporting abortion assumes that the best thing for women is to be like men.
We live in a society shaped by men. Most of our institutions were established by men and therefore default to a male perspective. The fight for female empowerment in the United States has always pursued equality: for women to have what men have and to be viewed as men are viewed in society.
While this is an important standard when it comes to legal protection, enfranchisement, and access to the workforce, it’s a bad measure of what’s valuable and worthwhile.
When we as women use a man’s point of view to define what’s good, successful, and lovely, we end up overlooking and devaluing those things that are uniquely feminine. We abdicate our ability to shape society, allowing ourselves to be shaped by it, instead.
Abortion seems good in a world where the best option for an unplanned pregnancy is to cut and run—an option that men have but, without abortion, women don’t. Abortion seems good in a world that says children aren’t worth the setback women face socially, professionally, and economically. Abortion seems good in a broken world with messed-up priorities.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not content with that kind of world—where women are convinced that to be as valuable/successful/happy as men, they must fight for a man’s ability to abandon his child before it’s born.
I hate that world. I mourn that world. And I want to fight to make it better.
- Abortion pits women against their children.
One argument on the pro-choice side of the debate is that their opponents are really “pro unborn life.” In the case of unwanted pregnancy, you’re either on the mom’s side or the baby’s side. And pro-choice people prioritize the woman—putting it on her to then decide between herself and her child.
This assumes an unnecessary dichotomy. Mom vs. baby is an unnatural warping of a miraculous relationship. Let’s get some perspective: for nine months (max), these two beings are inseparable. After that, both have a lifetime to grow and thrive and struggle and live.
Pregnancy isn’t a zero-sum game. Except in very rare, very sad situations, it’s not a choice between one life or the other. We can all be for both—unless we destroy one of them during that initial nine-month stretch.
- Supporting abortion permits the death of women.
I feel like this should go without saying, but here we are. Roughly half of all babies are female. This means half of the babies destroyed in abortions are little girls who would have grown up to be women. And because of the disparity in how men and women are valued around the world, the rate of women killed in abortions is likely greater than 50 percent.
The Bible is not silent on the value and importance of baby lives. Hear more on that in our past episode.
Fight for Flourishing
We live in a broken world where sacrificing others—even your own child—might indeed be the most expedient way to escape a hard situation. But that does not make it a good option. I refuse to throw up my hands and say, “I guess abortion’s a necessity—how else will women flourish?”
I’m not ready to cede that ground.
Because, despite the brokenness, we also live in a world created and governed by the God of the universe. A God who created human beings in his image, gave his life so they could live, and has invited us to follow him on the path to true flourishing.
Overturning Roe v. Wade is a good thing for women because it allows us to reject the lie that says abortion is ever a good and noble option.
If abortion is off the table, we can put our energy toward fighting for truer, long-lasting answers to the question of how to promote flourishing for women and their children.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." - James 1:27
We must fight for flourishing, to shape a world that recognizes, celebrates, and honors women for what only we can offer. This includes rewriting the narrative around childbearing so that even if a woman decides she isn’t in a place to raise a child herself, she never believes her survival depends on her child’s destruction.
Want to hear more on what this looks like? Don't miss our recent episode, "FAQs on the Overturning of Roe v. Wade."
Posted by Anna Lynne Frazier