The Overturning of Roe v. Wade and the Possibility of Cultural Change

Within hours of Justice Kennedy announcing his imminent retirement, voices on the left began announcing the imminent overturning of Roe v. Wade. May they be right.

Protesters call for a vote on the NIFLA v. Becerra case outside of the Supreme Court on June 25, 2018. The case involves pro-life pregnancy centers and the requirement by California law to provide information on abortion.

By Michael Brown Published on June 28, 2018

Within hours of Justice Kennedy announcing his imminent retirement, voices on the left began announcing the imminent overturning of Roe v. Wade.

David Cole, national legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said, “If Donald Trump, who has promised to overturn Roe v. Wade, picks someone who is anti-choice, the future of Roe v. Wade is very much in question.”

More emphatically, Slate magazine ran a story with the headline, “The End of Roe,” declaring, “Anthony Kennedy’s retirement ensures the Supreme Court will allow states to outlaw abortion.”

And CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tweeted, “Anthony Kennedy is retiring. Abortion will be illegal in twenty states in 18 months. #SCOTUS.”

During his appearance on CNN, he added that there was “just no doubt” that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, stating, “Roe v. Wade is doomed. It is gone because Donald Trump won the election and because he’s going to have the chance to appoint two Supreme Court justices.”

As stated succinctly in a tweet from Planned Parenthood Action, “With Kennedy retiring, the right to access abortion in this country is on the line. #SaveSCOTUS.”

May the Warnings Prove True

May all these fears and warnings prove true! May we see Roe v. Wade overturned speedily, in our time. And may the many women who struggle with their pregnancies find new hope and learn that there are better alternatives than abortion.

Of course, it is too early to proclaim the end of Roe v. Wade. And for more than 55 million babies who have already lost their lives, this is too little, too late.

Today, we stand on the precipice of undoing the monstrous injustice of Roe v. Wade. Who’s to say we won’t live to see the reversal of Obgergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court’s overreaching decision to redefine marriage?

But, based on his performance to date, it’s highly likely, if not almost certain, that President Trump will nominate a solid, pro-life justice. And it is then likely that Roe v. Wade would be overturned in the years ahead.

This would mark a major turning point in the cultural life of our nation, since the overturning of Roe v. Wade seemed like an impossible dream for years.

We Thought the Issue Was Settled

Although I was almost entirely unaware of the battle for life in 1973 (I was 18 at the time and I don’t remember hearing a word about abortion in my church), older colleagues have told me how bleak things appeared at that time. They have even related that pro-lifers were more despised back then than those who hold to traditional family values are today. That’s saying something!

Back in 1973, after the Roe v. Wade ruling, pro-life forces were in disarray. Yet, Nina Martin reported in the New Republic in 2014, they quickly mounted “a push for a constitutional amendment affirming that life begins at conception.” But, she explains:

That first effort fizzled, and it’s only in recent years that a new wave of pro-life activists — many of them born after Roe and educated in fundamentalist Christian settings — have once again seized on personhood as a way not just of weakening Roe, but of overturning it. In state after state, they have been pushing to have their beliefs enshrined in policy.”

So, according to Martin, a lot of the recent success in opposing Roe v. Wade is due to the efforts of conservative Christians born after 1973. In other words, they were born after abortion on demand was considered a settled issue in America. After the battle for the unborn was apparently lost. After our side was told to throw in the towel.

More Cultural Reversals Possible

But that was not the end of the story. As Austin Ruse noted, “Social conservatives point out that the number of young people opposed to abortion used to be equally bleak among the young but is now trending their way.”

What makes Ruse’s point especially poignant is that he made this comment in a short article documenting the rising acceptance of same-sex relationships among young Republicans. In light of that, he suggested, “All this leaves open the possibility that Republican opposition to same-sex marriage may fade with time.”

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That’s exactly what was expected with regard to the battle for life in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade. The die had been cast. The verdict had been rendered. The older, conservative opposition would soon die out. As for the generations that follow, abortion on demand would be the law of the land, unopposed and largely, if not universally, embraced.

And this, of course, is what we are told unceasingly with regard to same-sex “marriage,” almost word for word. Why couldn’t we see a cultural reversal there as well?

Within Reach

Today, we stand on the precipice of undoing the monstrous injustice of Roe v. Wade. Who’s to say we won’t live to see the reversal of Obgergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court’s overreaching decision to redefine marriage?

It is for good reason that CNN is already writing, “What Anthony Kennedy’s retirement means for abortion, same-sex marriage, affirmative action and the future of the Supreme Court.”

And Vox opines that “a Court without Kennedy is substantially more likely to: Overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states (and maybe the federal government too) to ban most or all abortions … Rule in favor of religious challenges to anti-discrimination law, and perhaps, in an extreme case, reverse some past Supreme Court rulings on gay rights.”

All this sounds within reach today. And it could hinge on the next appointee to the Court. Let’s pray for God’s mercy on our nation, for the continuing turning of hearts towards life, and for righteous justices to adjudicate in our courts.

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  • Karen

    You will have gays in concentration camps by 2024.

    • Paul

      You have a fertile imagination. It is liberals like Obamas mentor Bill Ayers who planned for concentration/re-education camps for those who opposed his groups vision and was accepting of the eventual death of millions, maybe you’re projecting your own deep rooted aspirations and motives onto your political opponents?

      • Karen

        So will you renounce efforts to criminalize gay sex? Will you allow states to have liberal abortion laws or will the whole country be Gilead?

        • Andrew Mason

          Will you denounce efforts to crimalise religious orientation? Will you allow states to have religious freedom laws or will the entire country be Sodom and Gomorrah?

          Gilead? As in Hosea 6:8 – Gilead is a city of evildoers, tracked with blood? Thanks but no thanks. Lets eliminate abortion laws and America’s current Gilead status.

          • Karen

            Gilead is the dystopia in The Handmaid’s Tale, where women are chattel. In other words, conservative paradise.

            No one has ever criminalized religion in this country. Certain practices, like smoking marijuana and selling fourteen year old girls to forty year old patriarchs have been prosecuted under ordinary criminal laws that applied to everyone. You want to use religious freedom to be bigots.

          • Andrew Mason

            You may think The Handmaid’s Tale paradise, conservatives don’t.

            Really? So what do you call the battle the likes of Masterpiece faced? What do you call the disgusting comments by the commission officials who judged the case? What do you call California’s efforts to force abortion onto pro-life organisations? What do you call the demand for pastors to submit their sermons to a mayor’s office? Seems to me you either don’t care about religious equality in America, or are blind to the oppression all too many pursue. Either that or you’re a bigot who simply wants to see LGBTism imposed on the nation.

          • Karen

            At one time I would made an effort to find common ground on this issue. You people then elected Trump. So, if your boy ever allows another election — which I doubt he will, by the way. We will have martial law before Halloween — and the Dems achieve power, I want them to seek to overturn every law protecting any religious practice, or at least drop them to rational basis review. You have beaten people over the head with your restrictive version of the worst parts of the Bible for decades. I want to see you face consequences for that.

          • Ken Abbott

            “You people then elected Trump.”

            Not I. My very blue state was in the tank for Clinton (she got 60% of the vote here). I voted third-party.

            Karen, I wish we could sit down together (spouses/significant others included, of course). You have some very odd ideas of what constitutes conservativism and orthodox Christianity. I’d be fascinated to learn how you have come to the opinions you express here.

          • Karen

            I wish it were possible to have that kind of discussion. You seeom like someone who would be interesting to talk to. I live in a dark red state and grew up among conservatives. My views of the philosophy came from watching how the men in my home town treated their wives and children, and seeing the kind of searing hypocrisy in the differences between the way men and women were treated.

          • Ken Abbott

            I agree. Much can be helped by honest conversation. I regret for your sake that you had those experiences. It sounds as though you were witness to much abuse and corruption, good things twisted and misused.

          • Jim Walker

            I am sorry to read of your unpleasant experiences. However, ugliness is all around us, both from the left and right leaning communities.
            But that doesn’t mean conservatives are all the same everywhere. You can be the change agent to live true to the good values of the conservative community.

          • Andrew Mason

            You’re making a lot of assumptions. Prior to the election I actually debated with others on another forum about whether Hillary might possibly be the lesser evil. While I don’t support everything Trump’s done, I admit I’m happy that he won the election.

            The only way martial law will occur anywhere, whether before or after Halloween, is if the Left rebel, or possibly if an extreme natural disaster strikes. In short I don’t believe Trump will declare it either this term or next.

            The laws protecting religious orientation are already being watered down to the point where those seeking to follow Christ are second class citizens. Based on your subsequent post I appreciate your life experiences are radically different to my own, but I can only say that what I presume is misuse of Scripture isn’t really relevant to this debate. It is the Left that wants to beat people over the head, that clings to restrictive notions, and seeks to deny others their Constitutional rights. It is my hope that righteousness and rationality will return to law, but perhaps a cultural revolution (or rather revival) is needed first?

          • Karen

            The fact that you would accept martial law in the event of ‘an extreme natural disaster’ is bad enough, but what terrifies me is your statement ‘if the Left rebel.’ Precisely what does that mean? We will demonstrate loudly but peacefully. If someone throws rocks in Seattle, is that enough to cancel the elections in Pennsylvania? How rowdy a demonstration counts as a rebellion?

          • Andrew Mason

            So if an earthquake or a hurricane were to wipe out a major city you don’t think martial law might be an appropriate measure whilst authorities work to restore law and order?

            Rebellion: Open, armed, and organized resistance to a constituted government.

            I think that’s pretty self explanatory. Are you suggesting that if oh lets say the Tea Party took up arms and refused to obey Sacramento you’d just shrug and say hey it’s their right? (No pun intended by the way).

            Civil disobedience generally isn’t rebellion. Perhaps if 99% of the population were engaged in civil disobedience which impaired the functioning of the country that’d equate to rebellion, but that term usually means armed conflict.

            If you demonstrate peacefully there shouldn’t be any major issues. The problem is the violence and lynch mob mentality. Stoning people in Seattle still isn’t a big enough issue to declare martial law across the entire country, probably isn’t even a big enough threat to consider it more than a law an order issue, but is sufficiently violent, and deadly, for authorities to crack down. It’s not the rowdiness of a demonstration that counts as rebellion but the activities of it. Sabotage, killing, and violence would be needed. Remember, back when the KKK wing of the Democrats were active they were seen as criminals not rebels.

          • Karen

            We have had earthquakes and hurricanes wipe out major cities recently — LA in the 70’s, San Fransisco in ‘89, hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, and Harvey — and we did not declare martial law, so no, no natural disaster would justify such an action. Lincoln held elections during the Civil War and Roosevelt during WWII, two rounds for each, in fact, so no, I would not support martial law and election cancelling during wartime. You would.

            And can we finally kill off the ‘Dems are racists because Klansman in 1960?’ All those bombers and racists became Republicans, or do you thing Alabama is a paradise for black people now? Why do think that the number of black Republicans is a statistical rounding error?

          • Andrew Mason

            The fact your examples didn’t entail martial law doesn’t mean it may not be required. And note I’m probably conflating martial law and the use of the military in a law enforcement capacity, which generally requires congressional approval. Any elections Lincoln held could likely be disputed as one part of the country wasn’t involved. And while Roosevelt held an election you need to remember that the US largely wasn’t threatened by Axis forces, and military personnel were largely unable to vote.

            Did I hit a nerve? I never said Democrat=racist because KKK. As for the bombers, did they become Republican, or did they simply die of old age? And of course independent is always an option. Is anywhere a paradise? Not sure why Alabama should be unique. I honestly have no idea why Blacks vote Democrats. It strikes me as an exercise in stupidity – plantation voting and all that.

          • Karen

            If none of those examples required martial law, it should NEVER be necessary here and if you had any sense you would know this.

            I am not offended by the knowledge that lots of Democrats were racists. History is what it is. What I do know is that in 2018 the Nazis and Klansmen run as Republicans. Black people also notice things like that.

          • Andrew Mason

            The only Nazi I’m aware of who’s run did so in spite of the wishes of the Republican party. As for KKK, the last I recall hearing about was a Democrat, though I can’t recall if he’s still in, or deceased. Given the Democrats are catering more to Black supremacists and the like it’s not entirely surprising that Nazis and Klansmen would decide they need to find a new home.

          • 0pus

            The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel – that is what is called “fiction.” No place like Gilead has ever existed.

            Some people apparently cannot distinguish between the real world and fiction.

          • Ken Abbott

            Having read the book, I’d call THT progressive projection porn, but that’s just my opinion.

          • GLT

            Maybe you should find something better to read than the absolute tripe Margaret Atwood produces. Also, it is advisable to remember The Handmaid’s Tale is fiction, and poorly written fiction at that.

        • Paul

          Personally I think homosexuals need help and treatment not incarceration. It used to be correctly identified as a psychological disorder. Even more so is the whole trans nonsense, when a person thinks they are something they are not, that is derangement.

          As for abortion, I would support a national ban. A fundamental function of govt is to address unwarranted violence by one person onto another, and abortion is essentially lethal violence against the unborn. The exceptions I would make are for situations where the mothers life is in jeapordy by carrying the child to full term.

        • GLT

          God has condemned gay sex, as such, whatever we do vis a vis legislation is beyond moot.

      • Karen

        Oh, nonsense. The Obamas never suggested anything like this. Quit reading Breitbart.

        • Paul

          I never said Obama suggested it did I? I was speaking of his mentor Bill Ayers. Nice try though at deflection

    • Andrew Mason

      The only nations that pursue anything vaguely similar to a homosexuals in concentration camps type approach are those the Left support. Note too that it’s not our side advocating violence or discrimination but yours. It’s far more logical to fear what homofascists will do if they ever get power. Remember, it was Ernst Röhm and the Brownshirts that aided Hitler’s rise to power between 1920 and 1934.

      • Karen

        Rohm was murdered by Hitler during the Night of the Long Knives. Gays were imprisoned after that.

        • Andrew Mason

          And? Homosexuals established the Third Reich.

    • Jim

      Gays were never in concentration camps before, why would you get so hysterical as to even go there? Let’s try to be rational adults for a change.

      • GLT

        Gays were in concentration camps in Nazi Germany. However, I would not worry about that happening in the future simply by the appointment of a conservative Supreme Court Justice. To make such a claim is hyperbole of the highest order and palpable nonsense.

  • JP

    This could mean the end of the abortion holocaust and the correction of what a marriage is i.e. only between a man and a woman. May it be so.

    • Paul

      that would be two great changes

  • LgVt

    Overturning Roe is a necessary first step. But don’t forget that it’s just that–the first step. Barring a determination of pesonhood under the Fourteenth Amendment, it won’t lead to a nationwide ban on abortions; it will merely return the issue to the states, most of which have legalized abortion on their own. The fight will then move to the legislatures. (By the time Obergefell gets overturned, gay marriage laws will likely be in the same state.)

    What it will do, though, is allow us to make progress, however incremental or slight, without the threat of a liberal judge immediately swooping in and striking down everything. There will still be a lot of work to be done, and I doubt it will be completed in my lifetime–but it will be possible to do it, which is no small thing.

  • ARB

    And it’s good and right that abortion should be ended with the recognition of the humanity of the unborn, since this is precisely the human right to life which abortion violates. That’s exactly why abortion is wrong.

    I fear we will on the other hand have much more difficulty finding common ground on a solution to gay “marriage.” Many people believe it’s still okay for the government to have its sticky fingers all over the institution of marriage, and to merely favor real marriage with legal benefits while denying gay unions those benefits; but such a solution is to me painfully short-sighted, failing to recognize that such a state of affairs is not sustainable; it will simply shift the next time the radical left gains power. We ought, in my opinion, to be working towards extricating marriage in its entirety from the domain of the government and placing it back in the hands of the religious community, complete with total 1st amendment protections for consciencious abstention from “marriages” one does not believe are legitimate.

    • michael

      I disagree because that is dangerous because it could lead to all kinds of dark holes . Would you be ok with polygamy or people marrying kids. Plus how are you going to divide property between people who decide to divorce.

  • Hannah

    Personally, I’ve never really understood how one can say they’re “thinking of the children” in light of gun control and the protection of nuclear families at the border, but then, in the same breath, proclaim that “it’s a woman’s right!” when the matter of abortion and the right to life become the focus. These are two completely opposite beliefs that cannot be reconciled, no matter how good you are at mental gymnastics. The unborn are children (a fact that Judeo-Christian values have stated unwaveringly for the past six thousandish years), and any who say otherwise go contrary to Scripture. There is no middle ground on this, according to God and His Word.

    I realize that abortions will not completely cease should Roe v. Wade be removed. Just as the drug trade hasn’t ceased despite it being illegal, there will always be doctors who perform abortions. My hope is that, with the striking of Roe, the pregnancy care centers across America will be given much more freedom to help women in need without the monster Planned Parenthood looming overhead.

  • Up_Words

    Well said, Dr. Brown: It feels like we are on the cusp of a rare moment in history, hearing the warning of a Jonah walking through Ninevah, or witnessing angels walking through an “un-gay” town, just before the fires fall. Will we awaken to our moment of opportunity and heed the warning, or will the church go back to sleep, or into entertainment mode; refusing to engage the culture wars in a prophetic manner—to let the fires fall?

    Either way, the real battle is for the soul of our nation and (more) of its people.

    This really is a time for those who truly know God to bend the knee, and petition for the Lord’s intervention. For without Him all of this will only be a dream of “what could have been.”

    “This is the word of the LORD . . . : ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)

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