Let us give thanks to God! Friday, June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson which overturned Roe v. Wade’s Fourteenth Amendment Right to an abortion. June 24 certainly will be a day to remember for the protection of the unborn – maybe supplanting January 22, 1973, as a day of celebration rather than a day of mourning.
However joyous the Supreme Court ruling might be in the moment, the decision did not make abortion illegal throughout the United States. The right is reserved to the states. The reality is that most states still permit abortion on demand until a predefined time rather than conception. Abortion can (and assuredly will) be performed in almost every state. Being illegal in a state does not mean that abortions will end. Recent stories reveal a refusal of prosecutors to respect the law and protect life, funding for abortion pills, and big businesses offering transportation for out of state abortions.
Dobbs is not the end of our need to support life.
We need to continue declaring a Biblical view of life given by God and beginning at conception. David reminded us that we are God’s creation “13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” (Ps. 139:13). Jesus had just been recently conceived when Mary visited Elizabeth. Yet, Elizabeth confesses the presence of her Lord – as a newly conceived child. “42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:42-43). The Fifth Commandment means that we preserve and protect the health of others, including the unborn and the mothers bearing them.
We must continue declaring the Biblical view of supporting adults and children in need through life-affirming causes like crisis pregnancy centers. These organizations know how much Christ loves these mothers in their times of emotional and financial need. The Mid-South District (and the wider LCMS) encourages churches, pastors, and individuals to provide financial and volunteer support crisis pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, and other worthy causes that preserve life. The Mid-South District would like to take this opportunity to remind our churches and pastors of the Life Ministry Million Dollar Life Match grant through the LCMS which will match up to $50,000 raised by churches for life-affirming causes. More details can be found through the LCMS, here: https://www.lcms.org/serve/grants/life-grant
The Mid-South District remains encouraged by the Dobbs decision, but the decision must be kept in perspective. The District continues looking for ways in which we can further support life-affirming programs and practices in our communities.
For more information on the Synod’s response, read:
- A statement from LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison;
- A statement from LCMS Life Ministry; and
- A joint letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland from Harrison and the presidents of the WELS and ELS regarding increased violence against churches, pregnancy resource centers and pro-life organizations.
Also, LCMS Worship provides prayer petitions for congregations to use following the ruling.
Rev. Dr. Roger Paavola
President of the Mid-South District