Did you know that Norma McCorvey, known more widely by her pseudonym “Jane Roe,” never actually had an abortion? All three of Norma’s little girls were given up for adoption because she felt unfit to raise them. Norma only had a relationship with her oldest daughter, Melissa, during her lifetime. Little is known about “Baby Roe’s” life except that she was never aborted because she was born before the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case was decided in 1973.
Twenty-two year old Norma was pregnant with her third daughter in 1969, when she was referred to lawyers Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, who were looking for a woman to represent in a legal case to challenge Texas’ anti-abortion statute. Norma was unmarried and unemployed, and she wanted to abort her third child, which was illegal in Texas, except by a doctor’s order to save a woman’s life. Norma said that her pregnancy was the result of rape and that she couldn’t afford to travel to the the six U.S. states where abortion was legal at the time (Alaska, California, Hawaii, New York, Oregon, and Washington).
Representing Jane Roe, Weddington and Coffee argued that Texas’s abortion Laws were unconstitutional, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas heard the case and ruled in Jane Roe’s favor. The state of Texas appealed the ruling directly to the U.S. Supreme Court who agreed to hear the case. In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a “right to privacy” and protects a pregnant woman’s right to chose to have an abortion. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without a fair procedure.
In 1980, Norma revealed to the world that she was Jane Roe and that she had lied about being raped. During the course of her life, Norma wrote two books, I Am Roe and Won by Love, and she wavered between championing and opposing abortion rights. Norma died at the age of 69 of heart failure in an assisted living center in Katy, Texas Norma with her oldest daughter, Melissa, at her side.
So why in the world am I writing about such an emotionally and politically charged topic this morning? Because it is good for people to understand the basis for what they believe. Let me first start by saying that as a man, I have no right to tell another person, male or female, what they should do with their body. The same God who created man and woman in His image, and the miracle of child birth, also created freedom. The Bible also says that we will all ultimately be held accountable to God for our actions.
I know that I do not have the right to talk about abortion from the perspective of a woman, but I do have the right to talk about this topic from the perspective of a man. Before you throw your waffle at the screen and cancel me on social media, please give me a chance to explain myself. When we discuss or argue about the topic of abortion, why is it that nobody talks about the accountability of the biological father? I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I do know that it takes a sperm and an egg to create a human life. The rubber hits the road, however, in who has to carry the emotional, financial and literal burden for the next 8-9 months after the sperm and egg join together to create a baby.
Jesus was pro-woman, pro-child and pro-family, so shouldn’t His followers be too? Why are some of us in the church so quick to pick up stones to judge the woman who finds herself in a difficult situation while seemingly forgetting about the man who shuns his responsibility to come along side the woman who is carrying their child? Thankfully, many in the church have chosen to drop the stones and to come alongside vulnerable women in their time of need; to assist them in their choice to become a mother and raise their child or to give up their child to a loving home through adoption.
My wife were already blessed with three biological children when we chose to become adoptive parents. We adopted our youngest daughter when she was 13 months old, and she is now an adult, and is making plans to go to college in the fall. I can’t imagine our lives without all four of our children. I know many other wonderful people who have chosen to become adoptive families, and my wife and I are currently looking at ways to help others overcome the barriers of adoption.
The Bible says that Jesus was born of a woman without the need for a biological father, and that His early father, Joseph, took Mary to be his wife and “adopted” Jesus as his own son.
The Bible has a lot more to say about death, life, choice, freedom and adoption. Ephesians 1:5 says, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Adoption is close to God’s heart. As believers who truly want to serve and love God and others, we would do well to come alongside and support women and life, and to live out James 1:27 which says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
I challenge you to ask my daughter what she thinks about adoption, and her biological mother who loved her enough to give her a chance to live out her life. A mother who gave her a chance to know her God and to become anything that she wants to be in life. If it were possible, I’d also challenge you to ask Baby Roe her thoughts on abortion and adoption too.