The failure to gain passage of a pro-life measure in Kentucky or to defeat constitutional amendments that guarantee abortion rights in California, Michigan and Vermont dealt a troubling setback to Southern Baptists and other Americans who welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June. In addition, the vote totals reported in Montana by midday Wednesday (Nov. 9) seemed to indicate a pro-life proposal would fall short of passage.
By overturning Roe, the high court had returned regulation of abortion to the states and brought an end to a legal regime throughout the country that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 63 million-plus preborn children since 1973.
Abortion-rights advocates have now prevailed in at least five state initiatives since Roe fell. In August, Kansas voters defeated an amendment that would have affirmed that the state constitution does not protect the right to abortion or require public funding of abortion.
Southern Baptist leaders called Wednesday for perseverance in the pro-life cause.
“As a 52-year-old pastor, I recognize that the generation ahead of me fought for 50 years before they saw the reversal of the unconstitutional Roe v. Wade decision,” SBC President Bart Barber told Baptist Press in written comments. “I pray that my generation and the pro-life generations after me will apply the same steadfast diligence to the cause of ending abortion state by state."