Life After Roe

Since 1973, pro-life advocates have gathered annually in Washington, D.C., to march for unborn life. Last year’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has breathed new life into the movement as the work of protecting life takes on new direction at the state level. This year’s first issue of The Lutheran Witness examines what “Life after Roe” looks like.

The lion’s share of the struggle has now returned to the states. Some states have decided to further enshrine the “right” to abortion into their constitutions, while other states have banned abortions entirely. Many states sit somewhere between the two.

But the essential struggle has not changed. As you will hear throughout this issue, legislation does not change hearts. Only the Holy Spirit through the proclamation of the Gospel changes hearts. While we seek to change legislation, we also seek to change hearts in day-to-day conversations we have with those sitting in our pews or living in the house next door, with abortion advocates or with guilt-ridden men and women who chose to abort a child. We speak the Law when needed, and we proclaim the Gospel for every soul wracked by guilt and tormented by sorrow that trusts in Jesus for forgiveness.

January also marks a new year. You will notice a few changes in the issue. First, we thank Katie Schuermann for her stories last year. This year, Adam Koontz is writing a column on Lutheran education, the special challenges it faces and the opportunities the church has to share the love of Christ with the youngest among us. James Baneck, executive director of the LCMS Office of Pastoral Education, is writing a monthly column highlighting the Set Apart to Serve initiative. And the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) writes and publishes numerous theological reports and opinions; this year, the CTCR will provide summaries and explanations of past and upcoming documents, most of which can be downloaded for free.

Finally, this year’s Searching Scripture will be an ongoing study of St. Paul’s epistle to the Philippians. You will notice that, to include more teaching, we have removed the space provided for your answers. You will need to write your answers on a separate sheet of paper, but we believe the extra instruction is worth the extra work. As always, Andy and Sarah, hosts of KFUO’s “The Coffee Hour,” will discuss the answers with this year’s study writer, the Rev. Tony Oliphant. Visit to listen to the interviews.

Defending Life,

Roy S. Askins

Managing Editor, The Lutheran Witness

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