Why Overturning Roe Is Good for Women – Anna Lynne Frazier

I used to view abortion as something I hoped I would never need but wanted access to just in case. Then I became a Christian and my views on abortion quickly shifted. I knew my belief in a Creator God—who knows us intimately (Ps. 139:13–18) and makes us in his image (Gen. 1:27)—meant I’d never have an abortion.

But I still identified as pro-choice. Although my personal views had changed, I didn’t think it was right to push those views on other women. I’d make my choice. They’d make theirs.

Then my English professor assigned Frederick Douglass’s memoir, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. In it, Douglass shared that some of the most frustrating people to him were those living in the border states who personally thought slavery was wrong but refused to resist the institution of slavery to the South. They’d even return escaped slaves to their slaveowners because it was the law.

Their reasoning: I believe slaves are people, but my neighbor believes they’re his property. I would never own a slave, but who am I to push my beliefs on others?

It hit me: I was like the abolitionist who valued the slave owner’s legal right over the life of the enslaved.

In that moment, I moved from pro-choice to fervently pro-life.

Abortion Is Anti-Woman

I know many smart, compassionate women who are mourning the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade because they’re outraged by what they genuinely perceive as an attack on women.

But I’ve got to be honest—as a woman, I find the idea that abortion is a good thing for women deeply offensive. Here are three reasons why legalized abortion is harmful to women.

1. Supporting abortion assumes the best thing for women is to be like men.

Our society is shaped by men. Most of our institutions were established by men and therefore default to a male perspective. The fight for female empowerment in the U.S. has focused on women having all the same things that men have, which is a helpful standard when it comes to legal protection, enfranchisement, and access to the workforce. But focusing only on getting what men have perpetuates a society structured in reference to men, downplays the value of women embracing what they uniquely have, and undermines their ability to shape society.

When we as women use a man’s point of view to define what’s good, successful, and lovely, we end up overlooking and devaluing those things that are uniquely feminine.

When we as women use a man’s point of view to define what’s good, successful, and lovely, we end up overlooking and devaluing those things that are uniquely feminine.

In a world where women believe they must be like men in order to thrive, where the best option for an unplanned pregnancy is to cut and run, abortion can seem like a good thing. If men can easily “escape” the situation of unplanned parenthood, why can’t women? Abortion can also seem like a good thing in a world that makes us feel as though childbearing is not worth the social, professional, and economic sacrifices it might incur.

But I’m not content with this. I’m not content with a world where women are convinced that, to be as valuable, successful, or happy as men, they must fight for a man’s ability to abandon his child before—or after—he or she is born. I’m not content with a world where women see fertility and motherhood not as God-given gifts but as liabilities and challenges to overcome on the path to becoming more like men.

I hate that world. I mourn that world. And I want to fight to make it better.

2. Supporting abortion pits women against their children.

One common pro-choice argument is that abortion opponents are really “pro unborn life.” In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, you’re either on the mom’s side or the baby’s side. Not only does this either-or framing put a huge burden on the pregnant mother, essentially forcing her to choose herself or the unborn life, but it’s also a false dichotomy.

Mom vs. baby is an unnatural warping of a miraculous relationship. Far from an oppositional relationship, a mother and her child represent one of creation’s most beautiful bonds. Let’s get some perspective: for nine months (at most), these two beings are inseparable. After that, both have a lifetime to grow and struggle and thrive as individual lives.

Pregnancy isn’t a zero-sum game. Except in very rare, very sad situations, it’s not a choice between one life or the other. We can care about both a mom and her baby, but not if we kill the latter before he or she even has a chance to live outside the womb.

3. Supporting abortion permits the death of women.

Roughly half of all babies are female. This means at least half of the babies destroyed in abortions are little girls who would have grown up to be women. How is the killing of millions of girls each year an empowerment for women? And because of the disparity in how men and women are valued around the world—and the availability of sex-selective abortions—the global rate of girls killed in abortions is likely much greater than 50 percent.

How is the killing of millions of girls each year an empowerment for women?

Studies mapping Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB, the number of males born per every 100 females) demonstrate imbalances that have increased significantly since the 1970s, when prenatal diagnostic tools (such as ultrasounds) and legalized medical abortion became more widely available. The expected SRB falls around 105 males per 100 females. The highest SRBs are in countries in Asia and North Africa, many of which have a strong cultural preference for sons. Here, the ratios are as high as 121 boys per 100 girls, with some regions reaching over 130. Given the large populations of the regions in question—particularly in China and India—these imbalances represent millions of women killed as a result of sex-selective abortion.

Messaging Battle

We live in a broken world where sacrificing others—even your own child—might seem like the most expedient way out of a challenging situation. But I refuse to throw up my hands and say, “I guess abortion’s a necessity—how else will women flourish?”

Overturning Roe is a good thing for women because it helps us to reject the lie that ending the life of a child in the womb is ever an empowering option.

Overturning Roe is a good thing for women because it helps us to reject the lie that ending the life of a child in the womb is ever an empowering option.

Though now illegal in some states, abortion is still legal in others—and in many places around the world. The legal fights will continue, but Christians must also fight the messaging battles around abortion—communicating truer, longer-lasting answers to the question of how to promote flourishing for women and their children.

We must fight to shape a world that recognizes, celebrates, and honors women for what we can uniquely offer as women, not as people who are interchangeable with men. This includes rewriting the narrative around child-bearing and rethinking our ideas about what female empowerment means. With time, maybe we’ll get to a place in society where, even if a woman finds herself in an unwanted pregnancy, she’ll never consider the evil equation that says her life can go on only if her child’s life does not. Instead, by God’s grace, she’ll choose to carry the child even if the circumstances are incredibly hard, not seeing this as a compromise of her God-given power and calling as a woman, but as an embrace of it.

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