UK pro-lifers celebrate overturning of Roe v Wade

(Photo: Unsplash/Maria Oswalt)

Christians and other pro-life campaigners in the UK are celebrating the monumental decision by the US Supreme Court to overrule Roe v Wade. 

The 1973 ruling imposed abortion across the US but the decision released by the Supreme Court justices on Friday declares that there is no right to an abortion. 

The decision hands the matter back to states to enact their own abortion laws, with Missouri becoming the first to enact a near total ban. 

In the UK, pro-lifers have welcomed the historic ruling and spoken of their hope that it will lead to change here too. 

In a video by Christian Concern responding to the ruling, evangelist Canon J John said: "I believe in miracles and I am delighted by the US Supreme Court ruling regarding Roe versus Wade. God is pro-life and I am pro-life.

"Abortion does not prevent women from being mothers. It just makes mothers of dead babies and my hope and my prayer is that, on this side of the Atlantic, we here in the United Kingdom will listen to what has taken place in the US and that we too would become a nation that is pro-life.

"The good news of Christianity is [that] when we have failed, when we have regrets, when we've done what opposes God and his word, and his values and principles, in Jesus there is redemption.

"We can be ransomed, healed, restored, and forgiven and that is offered to every one of us, irrespective of what we've done, where we've been, and that is the good news of Christianity."

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said she was "delighted" that the court had overturned Roe v Wade.

"A civilised society will always work to protect every human life including the most vulnerable. In the western world, the most vulnerable among us are unborn children," she said. 

"It's great, at last, to see some sense and common humanity prevail.

"This week in the UK we tragically saw record high abortion numbers released for England and Wales - 214,869 lives deliberately ended. We will soon reach 10 million in total. We are determined to see this number come down.

"Our UK abortion policy offers no meaningful protection to these small but precious humans. A woman's decision is all it takes to end each life.

"We praise God for this decision and pray that we will see preborn babies protected in the UK as well."

John Deighan, CEO of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), called it "a monumental day for justice, the rule of law and, most of all, for the US unborn and their mothers". 

"Roe vs Wade has been deadly, enabling a hostile environment that has been harmful to unborn babies, as well as to mothers and their families," he said.

"Its repeal is a significant step forward and will doubtless save millions of lives. It shows the world that a civilised alternative to abortion is possible.

"We all have a vital role to play in building a true culture of life, in which every life is respected and where no woman feels that abortion is her only choice.

"The impact in the US will, no doubt, be profound, and it is a sure sign that the era of extreme abortion is coming to an end."

Reflecting on how the ruling might impact the UK, Mr Deighan noted the "very different legal and cultural context" as abortion was legalised here through a vote in Parliament rather than being handed down in a court case, but he said the decision showed that things are "moving in the right direction" and that the UK pro-life movement can "take heart" from it.

"But we will take inspiration from this decision, which shows that change is possible," he said.

"The scientific fact that life begins at conception is as true here as it is in America, as is the fact that all those unborn lives should be protected and cherished. We continue to fight towards that goal.

"This will not be easy. During the past month, since it became known that the Court was poised to overturn Roe vs Wade, pro-abortion activists waged a campaign of violence to thwart justice.

"As SPUC has stated before, abortion is violence, violence against unborn babies and their mothers. We should not be surprised when abortion apologists therefore turn to violence to threaten pro-lifers. The pro-abortion lobby has shown its true colours.

"Given this violence, and the increasing vilification of pro-lifers here in the UK, we expect opposition. The pro-abortion pushback might be extreme, but pro-lifers must stand their ground. Violence must not win."

March for Life UK said Friday's decision on Roe v Wade had provided "a strong talking point for us in the UK".

"Let's use this to our advantage and not shy away from discussing this issue," the pro-life group said.

"We don't want abortion to become illegal as much as we want it to be unthinkable and paradoxically what we need to do for it to become unthinkable is to get people to think about it. As always, this starts with ourself."

The Christian Institute's Ciarán Kelly said: "This is great news. It's a historic day.

"This is a ruling that recognises there is no constitutional right to abortion and hands abortion law back to state lawmakers. Many of them want to do more to protect women and the unborn and now they'll be able to do that.

"In the generations to come there will be hundreds of thousands, even millions of people, that look back and realise that they owe their lives to this moment."

Ross Hendry, CEO of Christian social policy charity Care, said, "Care believes the lives of mothers and babies have equal value. The most compassionate societies esteem and protect both. We therefore welcome the US Supreme Court's historic decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

"At Care, we believe there is no right to take another human life, including a preborn baby's life. And we affirm the democratic norm that sees decisions about important issues taken by citizens and their elected representatives.

"In marking this ruling, we recognise that limiting access to abortion must be accompanied by appropriate support for women experiencing crisis pregnancies, and families raising children. This is what a true pro-life ethic looks like.

"We will continue to advocate for a society that celebrates, respects, and protects human life from conception until natural death."

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: "The pro-life movement in the US will now be working to build consensus for the strongest protections possible for unborn children and women in every legislature.

"Alongside this, they will continue their existing work to support pregnant women and children in need. There are thousands of pro-life pregnancy centres and maternity homes across the United States. The pro-life movement in the United States will continue to grow to meet the needs of these women and their families."

She added, "There are many who will rush to declare that the Supreme Court's decision somehow goes against the will of the people. This disingenuous argument claims that the law is settled, that there is little demand for change. The data from polling suggests otherwise.

"Recent polling shows that 69% of women in the United States believe that there should be significant restrictions on abortion."