Growing Up Roe


I was born in October 1973.  That means I was conceived (yuk!) sometime in January 1973 when seven Supreme Court justices gave birth to twins: Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.  On January 22, 1973, Roe was born just minutes before Doe.  And abortion became a constitutional right that day.

You could say we have all grown up together in the neighborhood.

They have accomplished far more than I have in our (now) 44 years together.  I have a wife, a few kids, and a few trophies I chunked in the last move.  They have directly affected 54 million lives by last count.  Little did they know what their lives would mean four decades later.  They could not have imagined the long-term consequences the day they were born.  I’ll be forgotten in a couple of generations, but not Roe and Doe.  They have a limitless legacy.

Word has it Roe and Doe have far more regrets than I do, though.  Even still, God must forgive us all for the damage we’ve caused no matter the extent.

It’s difficult to quantify their impact.

  • With tens of millions fewer workers our age, our top-heavy social security and Medicare system totters under the weight.  Fewer people must bear a growing tax burden.
  • With tens of millions fewer able bodies, our military and police forces struggle to keep up with personnel demands.
  • With tens of millions fewer Americans, there are exponentially fewer entrepreneurs, inventors, teachers, doctors, statesmen, missionaries, and homemakers.
  • Now that Roe and Doe have matured, assisted suicide at the end is becoming as much a right as assisted homicide at the beginning.  If death can be “assisted” in the womb then it should be allowed any time it becomes no longer viable.
  • Accounting for multiple abortions, perhaps 50 million mothers wake up regrettably next to What If every morning.

And the list goes on.

But statistics and sociology aside.  We are now raising our second generation under the influence of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.  A generation growing up in a milieu of cheap life and easy death.  And those ideas have costly consequences.

suicide ratesSuicide rates continue to rise, especially for pre-teen girls.  From the early 1970s to the early 1990s, homicide rates more than doubled. Murder-suicide incidents are hardly front page news anymore.  While the U.S. suffers fewer mass murders per capita than other countries, the incidents are rising (372 in 2015).

Human trafficking has grown to a multi-billion (with-a-b!) dollar industry.  Violent crime rises every year.

This typically devolves into a gun control fight among politicians.  But, there is a more fundamental and broader (and more sinister) impetus.  We’ve raised a generation generally assuming life is cheap.  It can be abused, traded, and taken if it’s profitable or an inconvenience.  We define personhood in terms of viability and utility rather than personality and humanity.

Obviously, Roe and Doe didn’t start these crimes in 1973.  We started them in Genesis 3.  Roe and Doe should be no surprise to those living outside of Eden.  But they did exploit our fallenness and still shape the American version of Wilderness life.  Antichrist hijacked the court on January 22, 1973 (1 Jn 2.18).

Roe and Doe will have more days in court.  Their influence might be restrained from time to time, but likely never undone.  The courts are no match for Antichrist.

Christ’s church is surest refuge for a Roe-and-Doe generation.

This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer (Mk 9.29).

The Church has live to give, not take.  Jesus lives in her and through her.  All of us born dead.  But there is life for us.  A Life for us.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6.23).

Roe, Doe, and I have grayed together.  But, by God’s grace, our great-grandkids will know we also prayed together.



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