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Karen Swallow Prior: How the Church Should Move Forward Now Roe Has Been Overturned

Karen Swallow Prior
Photo courtesy of Karen Swallow Prior

Dr. Karen Swallow Prior is Research Professor of English and Christianity and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is the author of several books, a prolific writer, and gives frequent lectures and talks on her work. Karen has been active in the pro-life movement for several decades.

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Key Questions for Karen Swallow Prior

-Tell us about your work and experience in the pro-life movement. How have you seen the movement change over the years? 

-What was your initial reaction when Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion was leaked, indicating that Roe would be overturned? And what do you think now in this moment?

-How would you suggest we simultaneously advocate for a holistic approach to life and also advocate for the unborn?

-What is your hope for what churches will do now regarding the unborn? 

Key Quotes From Karen Swallow Prior

“I entered into the pro-life movement and became passionate as an activist and wanting to overturn Roe, but sort of not really thinking it would ever happen, it was just so entrenched in our culture. I mean, abortion just had a hold on our culture. And it still does.”

“I was convinced, even if I wouldn’t live to see it, that abortion would eventually be seen for the barbarism and the injustice that it is. And just simply overturning Roe versus Wade won’t do that alone. But we know that the law is a teacher. The law does cultivate attitudes and opinions and values and even forms our imagination. So if we do come to a place where more and more states protect the lives of the unborn and support women who are in these pregnancies, then I think we will have the world that all of us really dreamed of, even if we didn’t know it would really happen.”

“We have to think about how we apply our pro-life ethic, not just in general, but even in in the kinds of of difficult circumstances that the law will have to take into account.”

“​​I’m seeing that that the pro-life position has been almost assumed within the church community for 50 years without us really having to think about how to change the law because we haven’t had the opportunity. We’re going to have to educate ourselves quickly and thoughtfully and not just rush to put legislation in place that would be disastrous or uninformed or medically irresponsible.”

“We must also think about why we think that innocent unborn children’s lives should be protected. It is because they are made in the image of God. Well, so are the lives of immigrants, refugees and others who might be inconvenient to us…if we are going to oppose the taking of of innocent unborn life because that life is made in the image of God, then we do need to be prepared to think about other policies.”