Will abortion be banned in the U.S.?
With a new year begins a new slate of cases to come before the Supreme Court of the United States. After an astonishingly contentious confirmation hearing, Brett Kavanaugh joined that court last October, and his appointment brought with him a possibility that some would have considered impossible even a few years ago: Could the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the Roe v. Wade decision?
Roe v. Wade, an infamous Supreme Court case from 1973, ruled that abortions were protected by the 14th Amendment’s focus on personal privacy. While some states had already legalized abortions, this ruling struck down many states’ anti-abortion laws, which had been on the books since the 1800s.
Many conservative Americans hope that the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh will encourage someone to bring a new case to the Supreme Court—a case that might allow a ruling against legalized abortions. How likely is this scenario? Can America actually backtrack after nearly a half-century of legalized abortions? Will the sanctity of unborn life be respected again?
Regardless of where the new Supreme Court justice may stand or what effect he may have on the political or ideological leanings of the court, there are several reasons why the results of any future Supreme Court case will never completely rid America of abortion. The first is that even if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, it would likely only return legal authority for regulating abortion to the states, and many states are expected to keep abortion legal.
The most vital reason, however, is that any government action against abortion would be a matter of treating the symptom and not the disease. Tragically, the United States seems to have forgotten that nonmarital sex has consequences!
Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, America and other Western nations have seemed driven to remove or ignore any of the consequences of nonmarital sex—which the Bible calls the sin of fornication. Condoms are passed out freely, universal health care is proposed to help deal with the outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and abortions have been legal nationwide for 45 years. Yet sin inevitably brings repercussions, and many Americans have been ravaged with insecurity, anxiety, diseases, regret, and a host of other ailments due to their refusal to reserve sexual intimacy for marriage.
The Creator of the universe designed sex as something for a husband and wife to enjoy within the confines of marriage. When sex is reserved for marriage, many risks are greatly reduced or rendered nonexistent: sexually transmitted diseases are not a concern to faithful couples who abstain from sex until they are married, and pregnancies, while sometimes still unplanned, occur in an environment that maximizes support, both for parents and children. And instead of inevitably producing insecurity, anxiety, regret, and the like, sexual intimacy within the confines of marriage gives couples an opportunity for passion and tenderness, spontaneity and stability, within the safety and security of a larger, transcendent commitment that no man-made social structure can match.
All of this is lost on most Americans today! Instead of looking to the Bible for moral guidance, they look to avoid the consequences of their sins. Rather than repenting of fornication and adultery, far too many simply think that they can live however selfishly they wish! Any changes to abortion laws on the federal or state level will not change the hearts of people who think of their own pleasure as the top priority.
I’m not saying that a reversal of Roe v. Wade would not be a positive step for the United States. However, that positive step is not a magical cure for the nation’s woes. We have come to a point where people believe that they can obey their lusts and ignore the costs. No Supreme Court ruling will change that. Until true repentance occurs and hearts are changed, expectations about changes in laws must be tempered.