Christian Ethics Today

Us? The “Moral Ones”? – The Other Side of the Abortion Ban Coin

By Sandra Cook

I remember the day Roe fell. It was one of those “where were you when. . . .?” days, especially shockingly marked by all the women crying — crying for joy, but also crying for what millions and millions experienced as an instant “stroke-of-the-pen” total redefinition of who they are now in the world they occupy.

That sounds heavy and dramatic, but it’s real none-the-less. The Supreme Court decision of that day will challenge and shape the experience of being female in America for generations, maybe forever.

Recently, since that ruling I have seen the feelings of appalled women on protest signs with angry words: “We are NOT breeding chattel!” and “Keep your laws out of our uteruses!” One even referenced feeling subordinated to little more than an “ejaculation vessel.”

The sociologist in me craved to explore this primal-scream angst — to mine the deep recesses of a human mind upon learning that women no longer will have full-personhood and self-rule, feeling their bodies are now “owned and controlled” by others (mostly men). I have considered myself to be an evangelical Christian. I have spent months inquiring and investigating what the demise of Roe means to evangelicals, but also what it means for U.S. Constitution-embracing citizens, fully aware of our republic-democracy’s historically developed and promoted ideals.

“In the world, but not of it,” right? This involves stepping in and out of two world-view paradigms – both constitutionally legitimate, right? The endeavor to apply the Apostle Paul’s admonition to “let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:4), took me to viewing abortion bans as a coin with two affecting sides – two affecting realities.

As evangelicals, too many of us have restricted and isolated ourselves in the anti-abortion perspective, its pet quotes and invocations, making us disinterested in an “in the weeds” dive into the evangelical pro-choice perspective held by very many of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We should not be afraid to genuinely and empathetically confront and explore the pro-choice perspective. In my case, I found some “come let us reason together,” cold, hard realities to consider in contrast to those from the celebratory feelings shared by the anti-abortion believers:

When anti-abortion evangelicals celebrate the enactment of abortion bans, we need to remember they are also at the same time celebrating the government’s being able to seize the bodies of women and girls against their will, forcing them under the command and purposes of government without their consent.

When anti-choice Christians hug each other over all the microscopic two-inch, 12-week pictures of pregnancies, the population that comprises 93% of all abortions, and celebrate the fact that any potential abortion within that group can now be prevented, we need to be mindful they are also hugging each other over the resulting removal of female full-personhood, full-citizenship, full-humanity and self-rule, as no woman can continue to authentically fundamentally retain those standings under this level of required government bodily regulation, surveillance, tracking, monitoring and what’s experienced as uterine confiscation.

When “pro-life” legislating Christians among us thank God for the victory of anti-abortion laws, we need to note they are also thanking God for what millions of women and girls will now experience as repeated sexual assault due to the unwanted coerced / forced vaginal-pelvic exams required during abortion ban enforcement investigations; forced-birth; forced prenatal care exams; forced-birth; forced labor multiple cervix measurement exams; and the labor- related forced vaginal cutting and stitching episiotomies (forced genital mutilation) imposed on them against their wills.

Additionally, being joyful over government-enforced pregnancy translates to being joyful over what very many women and girls will now experience as disempowerment, dependency, desperation, invalidation, subjugation and all the trauma, fear, suffering, torture and possibly even bodily/organ impairment and death that accompanies it.

When anti-choice Christians congratulate one another on passing essentially total abortion bans (six week), we need to remember they are also congratulating themselves over what has evolved into women and girls now being medically subordinated to their pregnancies – now being medically and legislatively considered acceptably expendable collateral damage in the “superior quest” to elevate even first trimester pregnancies above the lives, health and worth of the fully formed, fully conscious, fully sentient, fully present women and girls walking among us, standing right in front of us.

Evangelicals brave enough and who might seek full-disclosure can google the words: “medical care being denied to pregnancy complications due to doctor’s fears of arrest.” This search will provide multiple articles documenting the increasing life and death reality facing too many women and girls (God’s daughters) just a year and a half post Roe[i]. For instance, doctors treating women for cancer existing prior to pregnancy are placed in an untenable dilemma by state laws that prohibit any termination of pregnancy, to either cease chemotherapy care which would help a woman survive cancer or face being arrested and imprisoned. The woman would need to be nearly dead before an abortion would be permissible.

As Tennessee’s Dr. Zahedi-Spung expresses this transparent, growing fear:

“I don’t know anybody that would feel comfortable treating a pregnant patient with cancer because I don’t feel like they’re nearly dead enough…The threshold that I am holding in order to provide abortion care is basically almost dead to try to avoid being arrested and jailed.”

“Pro-life” laws, when legislated and enforced by Christian evangelicals, actually result in unconstitutional and unbiblical use of secular law to idolatrously bow down and worship six- or 12-week pregnancies, while dismissing and even abusing the women and girls who carry them.

When anti-abortion evangelicals rejoice the overturning of Roe, we need to keep in mind that the joy expressed is for the reinstatement of a form of birth-enslavement in the United States of America, in the 21st century, unconstitutionally and unbiblically proclaimed in the name of Jesus.

Whether we accept it or not, all the above are just some of the expressed reasons why pro-choice evangelicals and pro-choice Americans in general will only claim and support “pro-life” on a personal level and not on a legislation level. They view “the end” here as not righteously justifying the oppressive immoral “means” employed on women and girls to achieve it. They view faith as a personal moral consciousness shift and not a domination directive to unconstitutionally impose on the entire population – to impose on those of other faiths and those of no faith who do not agree.


— Sandra Cook is a seminary-trained sociologist, retired co-pastor, speaker and writer. As an evangelical Christian, she has engaged in domestic abuse education in the church and wider community.


[i] For example, see:,to%20continue%20receiving%20her%20cancer%20treatment%20while%20pregnant

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