After Roe v. Wade is overturned, we must find new ways to turn our mourning into action.
For 15 years, my mother headed each week to the back room of a small office suite to sort baby clothes.
A stalwart volunteer at our community’s crisis pregnancy center, my mother processed thousands of donations over her years of service—clothes, car seats, cribs, maternity wear, even infant formula. She had watched in sorrow as Roe v. Wade passed in 1973 and viewed caring for expectant mothers as a way she could make a difference, to give her grief legs.
On visits home from college, I’d sometimes accompany my mother to the back room where she worked. I never met the new moms who arrived each week to gather supplies. I never sat and held the hand of a woman contemplating termination.
Nonetheless, I, too, grieved for all the lives lost to abortion. My faith had taught me that all life was precious from the cradle to the grave. Unlike my mother’s, however, mine was grief over an intangible loss—of babies I never held and would-be moms I never knew. My sadness, like that of many pro-life evangelicals, was an ambiguous grief, deeply felt but tragically unresolved.
For almost 50 years, pro-life evangelicals have grieved abortion statistics, procedures, and court documents. We’ve worked behind the scenes to support women choosing life for their unborn babies, and we’re more than ready for this grief to end.
And while the Supreme Court decision might present the illusion that our sad days are over, abortion will remain an ambiguous loss. Abortions past, present, and future will continue to provoke complex sorrow.
Like it or not, we’re here to grieve for the long haul. But how do we do it well?
Grief Without a Face
In the late 1970s, therapist and researcher Pauline …