Growing Up Roe


I was born in October 1973.  By bird-and-bees math, I was conceived (yuk!) in January 1973 when seven of nine 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 took its first constitutional breath.

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

They have accomplished far more than I have in our (now) 46 years together. I have a wife, four kids, and a few trophies I chunked in the last move. They have directly affected 60 million lives by last count plus countless others indirectly. 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, whatever the extent of our sin, God must forgive us all for the damage we’ve caused.

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.

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, mass shooting incidents are rising (417 in 2019).  Human trafficking has grown to a multi-billion dollar industry.  Rape and sexual assault rates rise every year.  Public schools have won the race to the bottom, insisting there’s no such thing as a thing.

This typically devolves into political fight over gun control, immigration, program budgets, rights, and “equality.” But, there is a more fundamental and broader (and more sinister) undercurrent: Roe and Doe raised a generation to assume life is cheap and disposable.

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 obvious and costly consequences.

Someone’s life can be abused, bought, sold, reconstructed, and ultimately taken if it’s profitable or more convenient. Personhood is about viability and utility rather than personality and humanity. Children’s lives especially are a commodity driven by market value as mere tissue or toys.

Gender is a mistake that should be corrected (for a fee, of course). Marriage is a maddening social construct that is better avoided. If you fell for it there’s an easy way out (for a fee, of course). Sex is bohemian and should be inconsequential. You can easily prevent and/or remedy the unfortunate consequence (for a fee, of course).

Those genuflecting at the altar of equality suffer an insidious hypocrisy. In fact, not all men are created equal. Nearly 900,000 American lives per year aren’t actually equal.  Genocide by any other name still smells as rotten.

Obviously, Roe and Doe didn’t start these crimes in 1973.  We started them in Genesis 3.  We’ve been sacrificing our kids and one another since there was “another.” 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 court may reverse a decision but it will never reverse the consequences.

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

This kind [of demon that torments children] cannot come out by anything but prayer (Mk 9.29).

The Church has life 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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