Pastor and author Tony Evans is encouraging Christians to embrace a "womb to the tomb" agenda in light of the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, saying the body of Christ must "come alongside" women with "spiritual and tangible support."
Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, released a statement over the weekend celebrating the decision while addressing multiple other issues, including the needs of low-income women who are facing unplanned pregnancies.
Further, Evans said, believers must display compassion for women who have had abortions.
"I join with the countless voices heard today, as well as those yet to be heard someday – those who will now have the opportunity to do so through the gift of life, in giving God the glory for His sovereign hand in this historical decision by our Supreme Court," Evans said, referencing the court's June 24 ruling overruling Roe.
"Christians everywhere," he said, "ought to humbly celebrate this decision to overturn the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade. This decision removes the federal constitutional right to an abortion and returns abortion laws to the states, some of which plan to restrict or ban abortion altogether."
Both the born and the unborn, he said, are created in God's image – a concept frequently called the "Imago Dei" (Latin for the "image of God").
"The imago Dei equally applies to protecting the dignity of people once they are born (James 3:9; Psalm 8:4-5)," he said. "Therefore, anything that demeans the value of people's lives must be addressed with the same fervor and passion that has been given to preserving the life of the unborn. All forms of the denial of justice and human dignity, whether racism, classism or degradation of any kind, must be viewed and addressed in terms of, and with respect to, the image of God.
"It is time," he wrote, "for God's people to lead the way in promoting a 'Whole Life Agenda,' from the womb to the tomb, as we simultaneously proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and the gift of forgiveness He offers to all who come to Him for it."
"While doing so, may we never forget to show compassion to those who have experienced abortion as well as kindness to those who believe differently than we do on this issue, or any other issue," Evans said. "Lastly, men, my statement to you remains as it has always been: You are to live responsible lives in your actions and decisions. Men should be held personally and financially accountable for the children they help to produce, whether planned or unplanned. But most importantly, women should never have to bear the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy on their own. We, as the body of Christ, should come alongside those in need through spiritual and tangible support."
Meanwhile, Evans said he expects the Supreme Court decision to have a positive ripple effect on America's crime rate.
"Scripture states that when innocent blood is shed, we can expect more innocent blood in the society to be shed through violence and oppression (Psalm 106:36-42; Joel 3:19). Thus, a decrease in the number of abortions can lead to a decrease in violent crime," he said. "At the heart of the abortion debate stands the imago Dei. Attacking the unborn is tantamount to attacking God since all life is created in His image (Genesis 1:26-28), including the life developing in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16)."
Photo courtesy: ©Creative Commons/The Urban Alternative
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.