The Protestant right likes to say it was in the trenches against abortion from day one.
It wasn’t. I’ve pointed this out before here and some readers said I was wrong.
The Roe v Wade decision happened in 1973. Mostly, there was either support or silence for several years.
My impression looking back was Protestant evangelicals were saying, “That’s a Catholic issue. It’s not ours.” I have referred earlier to articles in Christian magazines supporting Roe.
The Protestant right was involved in politics during those years, just not anti abortion politics. It was still mad about integration of schools and, just as it now says it will stop gay marriage, it said it would reverse integration.
Some four years after Roe, 1977, Jimmy Carter moved into the White House. He started saying religious elementary/secondary schools needed to integrate or lose their tax exempt status. This enraged the religious right, who sent their children to these schools just to circumvent integration.
Carter’s effort galvanized the religious right. The Republican Party asked Jerry Falwell to form a group, which became known as the Moral Majority, and it began experimenting with issues.
It was not until almost 1980, over six years after Roe, the Moral Majority began calling abortion murder. Other things did happen during the 1970’s related to this, but none changed the fact the religious right did not oppose abortion until several years after it was made legal.
Being anti abortion is not indigenous to Protestants.
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