“Always pray. And don’t give up.” Jesus, Luke 18:1
“I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers [410 U.S. 222] and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. . . As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.” Justice Byron White, 1973 “Roe v. Wade is an unconstitutional decision, a serious and wholly unjustifiable judicial usurpation of state legislative authority.” Judge Robert Bork, 1987
In very early 1980, perhaps even on New Year’s Day, I realized all at once that abortion is nothing less than the murder of an unborn baby. I was in my second year of seminary and had begun to consider the issue more carefully. If an unborn child has brain waves around forty days and a heartbeat at about four weeks, what is that child except…a very tiny person? And how did the Supreme Court ever rule that it could be put to death? That day, I began to pray for an end to abortion in America. That day, I began to pray for a repentant court. That is thirty-eight years of daily prayers (I’m sure I missed a few) and a whole row of Presidents who were little to no help. Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama. Now, the least likely defender of unborn life has the stage. Mr. Trump. That must be from God himself!
It is impossible to find a right to put an unborn child to death in the US Constitution. To do so, one must determine to find it in there before even looking. There is nothing to joke about in this but perhaps an old story will make the point. A bad guy was finally caught out west by the posse. The Deputy said to the sheriff “Why don’t we just hang him?” And the Sheriff replied “No. We can’t just hang him! First, we’ll give him a fair trial. Then we’ll hang him!” Their minds were made up. That’s what happened when the Supreme Court ruled on the unborn.
The above quotes, from Justice Byron White and Judge Robert Bork, are samples of many such observations from legal experts. Prior to their decision in 1973, states regulated abortion as individual governing entities. The Roe decision removed that prerogative from the states. At this point, it is unlikely that Roe v. Wade will be thoroughly over-turned but it may be reduced in its effect. I say that because as states move to limit abortion, as some have done, a “life-friendly” court will accommodate those changes. Thus, some legal experts have suggested that as many as twenty states will become places where abortion is largely illegal. That would return the nation to essentially the way it was before Roe v. Wade. As a Christian, I pray daily for an end to abortion in America nationwide! But any meaningful reduction would be wonderful. I sense we should expect the following:
FIRST, In the months ahead, we will hear a few arguments from those who support abortion on demand. We will hear that the life of the mother must be protected as well as the rights of a woman impregnated by rape or incest. Yet, research shows that far less than one percent of all abortions in America have anything to do with those factors. In the clear majority of cases, abortion becomes post-conception contraception. This is why in many abortion discussions I have said the “Pro-Choice” community is really “Pro-Two Choices!” They want a second choice to undo their first choice.
SECOND, we will hear that “back alley” abortions will become common where abortion is not legal and “safe.” (Note: it is never “safe” for the unborn child.) That may be true but there is evidence that such abortions still take place because they are unrecorded and cheap. But even if that is true, providing the legal means to kill unborn children cannot be justified because illegal abortions will take place.
THIRD, if abortion as a “right” is returned to the states, women will have to travel across state lines to have an abortion. My response is so what? Is that a serious objection?
FOURTH: We will hear about the principle of “Stare Decisis.” This is Latin for “stand by things decided.” In other words, previously decided cases should be honored if possible. When the court does the hard work of thinking through a case, their conclusion should not be easily reversed. That makes sense. But many times, in the history of the court, decisions have been reversed. Indeed, “Stare Decisis” becomes irrelevant when one side or the other really wants a decision reversed. Legal scholar Charles J. Cooper has written in the Cornell Law Review:
“The truth, of course, is that stare decisis has always been a doctrine of convenience, to both conservatives and liberals. Its friends, for the most part, are determined by the needs of the moment.”
A notable example was the case of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. It ruled that “separate but equal” education for blacks was unconstitutional. That ruling reversed a previous ruling from 1896 in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson that had allowed exactly that. My point is that even a quick review of Supreme Court rulings reveals that the highest court at times has changed its mind. But we will hear that Roe v. Wade cannot be re-examined because of “Stare Decisis.” Don’t believe it.
HERE IS THE POINT: We need to pray as never before. The President will undoubtedly present a candidate with pro-life inclinations, but the entire process almost takes place with mirrors. He or she cannot come out and say they favor a pro-life view because senators who need political “cover” will run for the hills. Some would vote to confirm as long as the abortion question remains muted. This is politics. Nothing new here. During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the question of slavery was left in the shadows because the sides were so polarized. Jefferson said that dealing with slavery was like holding a fox by the ears: “You could not do it forever, but you dare not let it go!” The President must appoint a new Justice who respects life but not let that issue be introduced with much attention.
So…a tidal wave of intercessory prayer will be needed. God’s people must overwhelm the forces of evil so that the upcoming hearings will favor the new nominee. There will be men and women in the Senate whose minds will be places of spiritual battle…even if they do not know it! Let’s commit to praying daily and passionately that God’s will be done in these upcoming hearings. And let us remember this marvelous truth and be optimistic:
Proverbs 21:1 (NIV) The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.
Blessings! Pastor Alberta