It is done. Roe v. Wade is overturned. Abortion is no longer a constitutional right.
June 24, 2022 is a monumental day in American history and will be remembered alongside other significant dates like June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth) when the news of the abolishment of slavery was brough to Galveston, Texas, freeing the last enslaved people after the signing of the Emmancipation Proclamation. And just like on Juneteenth, there are a significant number of people in the United States who are furious about this ruling.
Social media is littered with both praise and riots. Personally, I stand as a member of the Church in praise that this ruling has come down because Christians affirm the intrinsic value of human life from the moment of conception. Those opposed to the Church—whether they call themselves Christians or not—are crying out in protest that this ruling is a violation of women’s rights for bodily autonomy. Within this volatile environment, you might find your sharing of a celebratory post about the end of Roe vs Wade has prompted someone, or many, to object with an opposing viewpoint. I have received many of these and so I will now respond to one of these objections formally.
Next week will be same sex marriage, and any other personal liberties opposed by the evangelical right. Kinda sad this is what a “free country” looks like. Turning back rights we’ve had established for over 50 years.
Why don’t we require burka’s to be worn for every married woman? Oh, because it doesn’t fit a certain religious pattern we have in this country, got it. There’s no room for religion in politics, sorry man. Freedom of religion is a foundation of this country, I’ll be dammed if I like one sect of it claim the countries government.
This is a sad day for women’s rights.
This comment was made on my personal Facebook account’s sharing of a dead Roe v. Wade meme. I believe that there are some fatal flaws in this argument so I will take some time now to address them.
First, this person immediately ties into the abortion topic the concept of same-sex marriage, which was legalized in all fifty states on June 26, 2015 in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. This person tied these two topics together by making the claim that abortion and same-sex marriage are ‘personal liberties’ that are now in jeopardy because they are opposed by the ‘evangelical right’. I believe this is nothing more than a red herring in that this person is trying to pull into this conversation topics that are not relevant to the ruling by the SCOTUS and I’ll explain why.
The legal discussion of abortion has no part in the legal discussion of same-sex marriage because they are both radically different concepts. At the core of the abortion debate is the question of whether a fetus (which is Latin for ‘baby’ by the way) is a person or just a clump of cells, and if the fetus is just a clump of cells inside a woman’s body (because it’s impossible for a biological male to be pregnant), the pro-choice crowd insists that the woman is free to do whatever she wants with the clump of cells in the name of bodily autonomy. At the core of the same-sex marriage debated is the question of whether people should have the right to enter into a legal contract with someone of the same sex in the name of bodily autonomy, but that logic no more connects abortion with same-sex marriage than abortion with any other law forbidding me from doing anything with my body. Why single out this specific example of same-sex marriage? Why not bring up the topic of drug use rather than same-sex marriage? Because same-sex marriage is a topic that rouses all sorts of emotional responses by those who think it is evil to suggest to anyone that he or she cannot ‘love who her or she wants to love’. This is a red herring intended to invoke an emotional response and distract people from the biological topic at hand: human right to life.
See, abortion isn’t about the mother’s right to her own body; abortion is about the human child’s right to life by virtue of not having his or her body destroyed and life taken without due process, and the SCOTUS has ruled that a fetus is a person by deciding that the due process clause of the 14th amendment does not grant constitutional provision for abortion—which is where Roe stood in the name of abortion—because it inversely does grant the right to life for children in the womb. Abortion and same-sex marriage are two entirely different topics and invoking the idea of same-sex marriage on this post is a red herring.
Second, the commenter on my post suggests that the SCOTUS ruling on abortion and potential overturning of same-sex marriage or “any other personal liberties opposed by the evangelical right” means that this country is no longer a “free country”. But what does a ‘free country’ actually look like? The logic of this person seems to be that if anything is forbidden by our country that a person wishes to do with his or her body, that removes personal liberty. But this logic does not stand scrutiny. True freedom is not the absence of restrictions, but the presence of the right ones (read more here).
By this person’s logic, people should be allowed to do anything with his or her body in the name of personal liberty. But would this person really concede that people should be allowed to do anything with their bodies? What about actions like suicide? Drug-use? Name-calling? Walking down the sidewalk fully nude? Or does this person think that we should be able to do anything with our bodies that doesn’t directly affect other people? If so, this person must then push back against human biology in light of this ruling and demonstrate that a fetus is not a person, and until he can demonstrate that abortion does not infringe on the personal liberties of a child in the womb by denying that a fetus is actually a human child, his argument is not with me but with biological science. And if this person does decide to take that avenue, he must then demonstrate that his version of morality is objectively grounded, lest it be dismissed as a personal fancy. Read more of why non-Christian morality cannot be objective here.
Third, this person seems to have an issue with the overturning of Roe v. Wade on the grounds that we should not be removing liberties we’ve had “for over 50 years” (Roe v. Wade was actually decided on January 22, 1973, which is less than 50 years ago). This is perhaps the fatal flaw of this person’s argument. The entire case of Roe v. Wade hinges upon the 7-2 decision by the SCOTUS that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment provides a fundamental right to privacy by a woman who wishes to have an abortion. The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits the government from depriving persons (including yet-born children in the womb) from life, liberty, or property without a fair procedure (due process) and was written as a Reconstruction Amendment following the abolition of slavery in 1865 via the Emmanicpation Proclamation and the ratification of the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
If we are to adopt this person’s logic, the 13th & 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution—which overturned the liberty to own slaves that American citizens had for well over 50 years—should also be torn down, but with the tearing down of these Amendments would also come the tearing down of his entire argument for the right to have an abortion, for his entire argument is dependent on his interpretation of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. If this person wishes to remain consistent in his interpretation and worldview, the reinstating of the right to abortion on the federal level would necessitate the reinstating of the right to slavery on the federal level.
Fourth, this person then asks and answers the question of why we don’t require married women to wear burkas (Surah 33:59 actually doesn’t limit it to married women only), citing that it is because it doesn’t fit a particular religious pattern (seemingly Evangelical Christianity) in this country and that religion has no part in politics. Again, I think this is a self-defeating argument because his worldview—which is impossible to divorce from his religious disposition because it is entirely shaped by his religious disposition—also does not believe that women should wear burkas. If he believes it is acceptable that we have a liberty granted by our constitution (freedom of not wearing a burka) that aligns with his own religious worldview, why is it not acceptable that we have a liberty granted by our constitution (freedom of life, liberty, and property for all persons) that aligns with my worldview? The answer is simple: because he wants his religious pattern to claim the country’s government rather than mine all while claiming that religion has no part in politics.
The fact that this person has an issue with religion influencing politics in the United States demonstrates that he either does not understand that no personal decision or political ruling can be divorced from religious disposition or that he is intentionally manipulating the conversation with red herrings in an effort to convince people that his worldview is superior and should be the law of the land rather than anything else. If the former, I excuse his ignorance on the grounds of a lack of logic and philosophy classes being taught at the high school level of this country; if the latter, I am disappointed yet not surprised being that I see that often as I scroll through social media. But the end of the matter is this: this person’s reasoning is self-defeating and should not be accepted as a logical, coherent argument.
Fifth (and last), this person ends his comment by saying that this is a sad day for women’s rights. I assume that he, unlike Associate Justice-designate of the SCOTUS Ketanji Brown Jackson, is able to provide a definition for the word woman, otherwise this statement also cannot hold to scrutiny. I believe, however, that June 24, 2022 was a joyous day for women’s rights in that women’s rights are now protected in the womb. Every aborted female human being had her rights taken from her without her consent; how can someone not celebrate the end of such a moral atrocity? Those who, like this person, are saddened by the new SCOTUS ruling on abortion speak out of both sides of their mouths. In one sentence, they invoke the principle idea that women’s rights ought to be protected by means of taking their rights from them in the womb against their wills. This is doublespeak at work.
In conclusion, I believe that the arguments presented by this person’s comment are void of any logic or rationality and I hope that I have properly explained why. I have no personal qualms with this person and I hope that by this response he is able to see the flaws I have identified in his argument and that he chooses either to clarify these issues or abandon the argument altogether. But at the end of the day, I am sure that these illogical and irrational arguments will continue to spread by those who wish to suppress the celebratory nature of June 24, 2022; it is our job, Christians, to push back by speaking truth and bringing the light into the darkness for the glory of God.