WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2022— The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention applauds the monumental Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court’s ruling today and the long-awaited overturn to the disastrous abortion precedent set by the court. This ruling is a culmination of nearly 50 years of focused work by the pro-life movement to overturn Roe v. Wade and protect the unborn.
Brent Leatherwood, ERLC’s acting president, calls the Supreme Court’s decision a “true turning point in the pro-life movement.”
“More lives are now protected today than yesterday. The release of the Dobbs decision marks a true turning point in the pro-life movement, a moment that Christians, advocates and many others have worked toward tirelessly for 50 years. Their commitment to uphold human dignity and justice has achieved the most significant victory in the history of the pro-life movement.
“As this chapter comes to a close, we must understand this is not the end of our important work. The issue of abortion has now been turned over to the states, many of which have either implemented or are considering some of the most abhorrently permissive pro-abortion proposals ever. A consistent, convictional pro-life witness is needed now more than ever in state legislatures and local communities. So let us rejoice that we live in a nation where past injustices can still be corrected, as we also roll our sleeves up to save preborn lives, serve vulnerable mothers, and support families in our communities.”
In taking Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court agreed to revisit a previous decision “by reviewing a Mississippi law that would replace the ‘viability standard’ with a limit on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.”
Elizabeth Graham, ERLC’s vice president of life initiatives, responds to the court’s decision:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a historic moment for the dignity of human life, and we celebrate that thousands of lives will now be saved. Yet, while we are grateful for any law or ruling that protects and defends life, the ultimate goal is for every person, born and preborn to be protected and seen with inherent dignity and value.
“Laws are critical, but they cannot change the fact that tomorrow there will still be many women who will face an unplanned pregnancy—afraid, unprepared and unsure of what to do and where to turn. The Church has a significant opportunity to serve and support these women in crisis and their preborn children in their time of need.
“Only when we all see life holistically with inherent value will there be widespread change on this issue. Until then, our critical work and our ceaseless prayers continue.”
Chelsea Sobolik, ERLC’s director of public policy, comments on the court’s ruling:
“Today, the justices took this once-in-a-generation opportunity to rightly recognize and protect the inherent dignity and worth of the preborn. By doing so, the lives of thousands of our littlest neighbors will be saved.
“For too long, the Roe and Casey decisions have allowed our nation to turn a blind eye to the plight of those who have no voice—to view these lives as a burden instead of a blessing. While this ruling is a significant step toward establishing a true culture of life, the issue of abortion will now be sent back to the states. We must continue to use our time, talent and treasure to protect the preborn, care for their mothers, and advocate for state laws that protect them both.”
The ERLC and other pro-life organizations filed an amicus brief in the Dobbs case. Additionally, the ERLC created an explainer when the case was granted a hearing before the Court.
The Dobbs ruling sends the question of abortion back to the states, where the pro-life movement will look different in all 50 states. The ERLC will continue to be on the frontlines of caring for vulnerable women and children and working towards a day when a true culture of life is established across America.
The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 14.5 million members and a network of over 50,000 cooperating churches and congregations. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.