‘Assure the right to life’: Lewis urges Southern Baptists to support pro-life amendment in U.S. Constitution
Lewis was among many Southern Baptist pro-life advocates who rejoiced, June 24, when the high court overruled its 1973 Roe v. Wade opinion – as well as the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling that affirmed Roe — and returned abortion policy to the states.
The Supreme Court’s opinion in Dobbs v. Mississippi Women’s Health Organization brought an end to an abortion rule established by Roe that cost the lives of more than an estimated 63 million preborn children.
The Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe was a decision for which Lewis had long prayed. He was pastor of Tower Grove Baptist Church in St. Louis when he wrote and defended from the platform as a member of the 1980 Resolutions Committee the first pro-life resolution approved by messengers to the SBC’s annual meeting. After his election as president of the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) in 1987, the board inaugurated the same year under his leadership the Alternatives to Abortion Ministries to help churches and associations establish crisis pregnancy centers.
He is “delighted” the Roe v. Wade ruling has been overturned, Lewis said. “Roe v. Wade is probably the worst decision ever rendered by the [U.S.] Supreme Court, with the possible exception of Dred Scott,” the high court’s 1857 opinion that said free and enslaved Black Americans were not U.S. citizens, he said.
“Never in the history of our republic has any court ever found in the Constitution a right for a mother to kill her children, either born or unborn,” he wrote in a statement for Baptist Press.