Post-Roe Reduction in Abortions
FiveThirtyEight has an article up on the change in abortion rates in the U.S. following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. The most significant information is found in these paragraphs.
That topline number conceals an enormous amount of fluctuation between states. In all states that saw declines in their abortion numbers — which include the 15 states in which abortion was banned or severely limited over the summer — the number of abortions fell by about 22,000. Some of those women appear to have traveled out of state, because in other states, the number of abortions rose by an aggregate of about 12,000.
But nationwide, the movement of abortions from states with bans and restrictions to those with fewer restrictions on access wasn’t enough to make up the shortfall. Between April and August, the number of abortions declined by 6 percent, and it’s likely that the decline in abortions represents thousands of women who sought abortions illegally or didn’t get one at all. If these trends persist, there could be at least 60,000 fewer abortions in the next year as a result of the Dobbs decision (emphasis added).
Banning abortion reduces abortion. In fact, banning abortion is proving to be the single greatest tool for reducing abortion. For years there were evangelicals and conservatives who argued that overturning Roe was not a good use of energy, that there are more effective means of reducing abortion besides banning it. Even after the Dobbs decision I heard pro-lifers talk about how it would be counterproductive and not the best approach.
Dobbs has directly led to a 10% decrease in abortions in the United States, even as abortion is still legal in a majority of states with the majority of the population. That is easily the single greatest drop in abortions in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade. There will be illegal abortions, and people will travel to states where it remains legal to procure them, but the more abortion is banned, the less it will occur. Banning it on the state level should become the top strategic priority of the pro-life movement.
For those who think that 60,000-a-year number represents a repressive injustice, I suggest waiting until 2040 and listening to the interviews with 60,000 18-year olds who would have otherwise been killed.
Book Review on ‘Reparations’ up at Mere Orthodoxy
My book review of Duke Kwon and Greg Thompson’s Reparations: A Call for Repentance and Repair is up at Mere Orthodoxy. Kwon and Thompson make the case that White churches owe African Americans reparations. I expect that their work will be a starting point for a lot of reparation discussions in Presbyterian circles in the near future. The book was compelling, but overreached. Here’s an excerpt of my reivew,
I was persuaded of the biblical arguments for reparations before reading Kwon and Thompson, and their work only strengthened that conviction. But the application of that biblical principle into the life of the church? My church, where I pastor? The duty of Christian love and sacrifice in working towards repair does not go away if fault is cleared, but the bedrock of Kwon and Thompson’s argument is that reparations is the complicit returning what was stolen. It is not ethical bean counting or an evasion of loving obligation to take that aspect of their argument seriously and then to assess its claims of historical moral responsibility for my congregation.
Additional Warrants for Abolition from the Westminster Larger Catechism
I have written previously on how the teachings of the Westminster Confession and Catechisms proscribed chattel slavery as practiced in colonial and Antebellum America. An additional basis for this position was brought to my attention in John Murray’s excellent book on Christian ethics, Principles of Conduct. Murray includes a brilliant chapter on the ethics of labor and its implications for slavery…
A Quick Defense of Abolition from the Westminster Standards
I have recently been reading a good bit of 19th- century American Presbyterian history. Many Presbyterian ministers in both the Antebellum and Post-War South defended the institution of American slavery. Prominent Southern theologian Robert Dabney defended his church’s position by asserting that the Westminster Confession and Catechisms were silent on the issue, so it would be inappropriate for the church to take a definite stand on the rightness or wrongness of slavery. This is incorrect. While neither the WCF and WLC explicitly state, “Slavery is right/wrong,” they both contain several doctrinal points which should have led Antebellum Presbyterians to condemn the institution of chattel slavery as sinful.
First, WLC 142 states that the 8th Commandment forbids “man-stealing…
On the Civil Religion and Kneeling
If you think that when Neo-Nazis and the KKK protested in Charlottesville, with a white supremacist murdering and injuring counter-protestors, that there were “some very fine people on both sides,” that this represents an insignificant fringe of American culture, and that media blew it out of proportion,
But also believe that black men kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism directed at their community is hugely disrespectful, and that they should be fired, you are probably racist.
If you think efforts to remove flags and monuments to the Confederate rebellion to preserve slavery, most of which were erected during the Civil Rights era, is a liberal assault upon American heritage, and that they should be left up…