The Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision heralded the end of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. At the drop of a hat, every organization and company opined on the outcome. While coastal corporations and liberal academia decried the ruling, a hardy group of Christian schools celebrated the good news and the impact that it will have on generations to come. For the students that attend these colleges and the communities that surround them, these institutions that are willing to speak up are a beacon in a culture otherwise transfixed on death.
Liberty University, consistently rated among the largest Christian schools in the country, was among the first to speak on Dobbs after the judgment came down on June 24. Jerry Prevo, President of Liberty University, ascribed the 6-3 decision to God, and redoubled Liberty’s commitment to biblical principles in what he dubbed the “Post Roe-v-Wade generation”. Regent University, a fellow Virginia Christian school, helped publish an amicus curiae brief during the court’s proceedings, and also celebrated what their law school dean called “a generational victory for the pro-life movement”.
Many other Christian schools seem to be engaging in real pro-life mobilization; while schools like Regent University and the University of St. Thomas published briefs in support of the pro-life position, other institutions life Ohio’s Cedarville University bring pro-life activism into the classroom. Not only does it support the Dobbs decision, but it actively prepares their students to take on leading roles in the pro-life movement now that Roe is overturned. The president of Free Lutheran Bible College and Seminary also calls students to understand the threat and opportunities of the post-Roe world, noting how the media commonly misrepresent statistics to drive their own agenda on life issues.
The Roman Catholic church in America has been at the center of the pro-life movement since Roe became the law of the land; fittingly, many Catholic institutions lauded the high court’s ruling. Presidents of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Christendom College, Benedictine College, and Catholic University of America supported the decision. Marquette University also supported the prevailing opinion, with an added emphasis on support for the poor and vulnerable in society.
Ave Maria University, a Catholic school in Florida, has stood for life for years. Following Dobbs, it kept its message simple: a single tweet on June 24 that read, “Status Update: Post-Roe… Ave stands for life.” So too did the University of Mary in a tweet posted that same day: “Every single human person. Women and men. Born and unborn. Young and old. Love them all.”
Notre Dame, a Catholic university that has come under fire for its diminishing orthodoxy, did not celebrate the decision. Instead, a statement by Notre Dame’s Rev. John Jenkins marked the present as a time for “sober deliberation and respectful dialogue”— a far cry from Pope Francis’s stance that “abortion is murder”.
Make no mistake: there is room for orthodoxy to improve at Christian colleges and universities. There are many schools that use the Christian moniker and nonetheless promote deadly violence against the unborn—Emory University is perhaps chief among them, as their president failed to mention preborn or infant life in his statement on Dobbs. Yet even with these detractors, biblical Christians can rest assured in the fact that many Christian institutions are taking a biblical position on Dobbs and the issue of abortion. For this, we should rejoice and be thankful, for the momentum of history will doubtless align with those who advocate for life.
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