My first thought in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision reversing Roe v. Wade was that the pro-life movement still has a lot of work to do. As the dust continues to settle, and churches and crisis pregnancy centers are vandalized, it is becoming abundantly clear the past 50 years were just the warmup to the real work ahead, which is going to involve persuasively making the case for choosing life.
The proverbial hornet’s nest has been disturbed — and there are a lot of hornets in every fabric of our culture. I expected the standard sermonizing from celebrities and politicians who viewed the Supreme Court decision as an untenable blow to Constitutional rights. And I will get over being “banned” by certain pop music stars from purchasing their music.
What I have found, and am certainly going to continue to find — that will be much harder to navigate as a pilgrim in a strange new world — is the sense of onslaught. Everyone, and I mean everyone, I work with in my day job is outraged at the ruling. Several of them have broken the Golden Rule of not talking about religion and politics at work. I have remained silent, and I feel a little less about myself for doing so.
The Dobbs decision certainly struck a nerve. The anger of those who consider abortion in almost sacred terms first boiled over in rage but now seems to have settled down to a steady flow of hot lava.
The challenge facing the pro-life movement is not the red-hot side; they, we will have with us always.
The formidable obstacle is the quiet middle. Most states will have legal abortion in one form or another. It is clear that most Americans are comfortable with the procedure in the early weeks and months of gestation or if the conception was the result of a crime.
Further evidence of the acceptance of abortion as normative is the ever-growing list of corporations promising to pay for travel and expenses for women who want to terminate their child’s life. If I decide to boycott them all I will not be able to eat, fly in an airplane, or buy deodorant. If I free myself from the sports teams and entertainment goliaths who are promising the same thing, I will be left with a 55-inch TV showing only a test pattern.
Even once-traditional institutions like professional sports leagues and the military have all fallen into line behind the abortion dreadnaught.
Fifty years is not much time when we think of how old the universe is, but it is roughly 20 percent of the lifetime of the United States of America. Just think of the technological advancement that has taken place between 1973 and the present.
Cultural renovations, or demolitions, have also taken place. In that short span of time, the majority of our fellow citizens and a sizable portion of our co-religionists have accepted a wide variety of “types” of abortion as a part of ordinary life.
The battleground in our new post-Roe world is in the hearts and minds of people who still view a fetus in some stage of development as nothing more than a clump of cells.
The strategy to persuade them is right out of the movie “Ben Hur”: the best way to challenge an idea is with another idea.
As the pro-life movement recalibrates and the whiff of victory from overturning of Roe v. Wade fades, there is a company that is already thinking this way. In Texas — ground zero of the post-Roe world — in the midst of all the entertainment companies, corporations, military, and professional sports teams telling us how they will pay for employees’ travel to abortion-friendly states, comes Buffer Insurance.
Buffer Insurance has just announced their own post-Roe protocols. They include paying medical costs for employees who give birth to their children — sounds like a good, pro-woman idea to me. They will also provide paid time off for employees to have maternity and paternity leave — and they will pay for the medical costs associated with adopting a baby.
If all of the aforementioned conglomerates who have pledged “abortion care” to their employees were really “pro-choice,” would they not offer a similar economic package?
Let us hope and pray “Buffer” zones begin to appear in life-affirming companies from coast to coast, and let the pro-life battle of ideas commence.