Gen Z and the Responsibility of a Post-Roe Generation

As I sat on my couch on June 24th, 2022, continually refreshing the Supreme Court opinion page, something within me whispered that this was a moment for the history books—and we all knew it.

Forty-nine years earlier, when Roe became law, my grandparents were the same age I am today. It seemed incredible and surreal to me that within two generations, we had witnessed the beginning and end of the unconstitutional ruling called Roe v. Wade. Gen Zers like you and I (and our younger siblings, Gen Alpha) are something our parents and grandparents once only imagined and prayed for—a post-Roe generation.

That June day, the casket containing Roe was nailed shut. However, the spirit of Roe still lives.

Over the forty-nine years that Roe ruled the land, millions of lives were lost and countless battles fought. And throughout those forty-nine years, a worldview was formed. This worldview boiled down the value of life to a question of viability, desirability, or usefulness. This worldview extended the definition of the word choice to include the right to kill an innocent life. This worldview took freedom and liberty and distorted them to mean unfettered autonomy—regardless of the consequences inflicted upon others. This worldview settled deep into the bones of our country and is festering and spreading even now, fifty years later.

Looking back at the beginning of this saga, it’s clear that the heroes and heroines of the first chapter were our grandparents—the ones who saw the initiation of constitutionally sanctioned abortion and burned with a desire to see it one day demolished. They were the first to fight for life in a nation that declared an unborn baby was bereft of human rights. Yet now the page has been turned and a new character introduced—Gen Z.

You and I, as the next generation and the next individuals in line to grasp the baton and continue fighting for life, have roles and responsibilities before us. The objective of our battle is the same as ever (the protection of innocent life), but with the overturn of Roe, the battle has taken a turn and our weapons and methods must turn with it. Our grandparents and parents fought to overturn a law. We must fight to overturn a perspective.

The objective of our battle is the same as ever (the protection of innocent life), but with the overturn of Roe, the battle has taken a turn and our weapons and methods must turn with it

June 25th, 2022 did not find America any more of a pro-life nation than a few days prior. While abortion was banned or restricted in many states, resulting in saved lives and shut-down abortion clinics, the eruption of protests in the streets and the push for individual states to cement pro-abortion laws revealed that the general mindset of society was just as anti-life as before. As I wrote in my book Stand Up, Stand Strong, “Laws matter greatly and can either protect or endanger life, but laws alone cannot change hearts and minds. Even if laws change, perspectives remain. And it’s perspectives and ideas that are the biggest danger to the unborn—and born. What we’re witnessing is a battle of ideas. Sadly, death masqueraded as autonomy and choice is the narrative loudest in today’s culture.”

The law was changed. The perspective remained. Many pro-choice state laws followed in the wake of Roe’s demise, my own home state of Michigan being one of them. Only five months after Roe was overturned, Michigan voters cemented Proposal 3—one of the most radical abortion proposals in the country—into the state constitution. It would be easy for pro-life Michiganders to throw up their hands in defeat and cry, “I give up!” After all, what else can we do? Written into the state constitution, Proposal 3 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

But instead of there no longer being any work to do in Michigan, the real work is just beginning. The work to change the environment of Michigan by targeting the hearts and minds of its citizens. Laws are only as powerful as the mindsets that back them up. Hypothetically speaking, a law allowing for abortion would be powerless and weak in a society that highly valued the lives of the unborn. The same principle applies in the reverse: a law eliminating abortion would not convince society of the humanity of the unborn.

Laws are only as powerful as the mindsets that back them up

That is where our work begins—in the hearts and minds of the people around us. Gen Z is arguably the most pro-choice generation ever, with 72% of eighteen to twenty-nine-year-olds claiming that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. As pro-life Gen Z, our audience awaits—and it’s not far away. It’s our peers—coworkers, classmates, maybe even fellow church members. Impacting the landscape of society begins with impacting individual lives, changing worldviews one perspective at a time.

Here are three things pro-life Gen Z needs to share:

1. We Must Defend the Sanctity of Life

The pro-life versus pro-choice argument hinges on the humanity of the unborn. Pro-choice advocates understand that and seek to dehumanize children in the womb by redefining a fetus as a “clump of cells,” or “pregnancy tissue,” instead of recognizing it as a living human being. The argument is simple: if the unborn are not valuable human beings, you need no justification against killing them. If they are, no justification exists for killing them. This is why we fight for life and why the core of our argument is the value of all life—born and unborn.

Do the research and familiarize yourself with the facts of the pro-life case. Study how life begins at fertilization and how a child is formed and begins to grow in the womb. Learn mind-blowing facts like how, at the moment of fertilization, all the necessary DNA for a new life is present, or how around three weeks later, the baby’s heart begins to beat. Watch videos like Live Action’s Baby Olivia or view 3D ultrasounds and glimpse for yourself the stunning beauty of a new life—and then share with others. The goal of understanding these facts is to communicate them and persuade others that all life is valuable and worthy of protection. Study these facts and learn to succinctly communicate them. To get you started, here’s a brief paragraph that hits the highlights of the pro-life argument from my free resource 5 Basic Answers on 5 Controversial Topics (In 60 Seconds or Less):

Abortion is morally wrong because abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being and it is wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings. Abortion doesn’t simply remove a ‘clump of cells’ or ‘unwanted pregnancy tissue.’ Instead, 96% of biologists agree that the science of embryology proves that life begins at fertilization and the unborn are fully human, unique individuals at every stage of development. There is no fundamental difference between a fetus and a fully formed child. Size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency make no difference to someone’s status as a human being and these variables are not good reasons for making it okay to kill an unborn child. Abortion takes the life of a valuable person and therefore abortion is morally wrong.

2. We Must Share the Truth About Rights and Choice

Abortion has been called a woman’s “constitutional right.” Michigan’s Proposal 3 was called “Reproductive Freedom for All.” Pro-choice protestors regularly declare that their “rights” are under attack. “I believe women should have a choice,” is a common argument for abortion.

Statements like these reveal a faulty understanding of rights, freedom, and choice. Freedom is now equated with unfettered autonomy and a person’s autonomy is given the highest authority. The anti-life worldview permeating our society has reached a point where pro-choice advocates can, in the same breath, affirm the humanity of the unborn as they declare a woman’s full autonomy to be more important.

Rights are good—but people should not have the right to kill another innocent human being. Freedom is good—but even true freedom requires some restrictions to ensure order. Making personal choices is good—but allowing a baby to live versus ending its life before birth should not be a choice on the table.

To unravel a pro-choice worldview and rebuild with better ideas requires targeting and dismantling these faulty opinions on rights and freedom and replacing them with the truth of how true freedom, healthy rights, and moral choices lead to the flourishing and good of every soul involved—not simply the fulfillment of personal ambition and desire.

3. We Must Share the Gospel.

The worldview allowing for abortion has been able to grow because it has been built by hands fisted against a holy God. In sin, humanity rebels against God, seeking our own desires and suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). Abortion is clear rebellion against God, a sign of a heart seeking to “be like God” (Genesis 3:5) and to rebel against his holy authority. Abortion tears down what God has called good and goes against the mandate God gave humanity to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). It is simple rebellion against God, taken out on the most innocent and vulnerable of society.

Abortion is clear rebellion against God, a sign of a heart seeking to “be like God”

That’s why we cannot fight abortion apart from the gospel. Anything done apart from God in our own wisdom and strength will become just as broken and sinful as what we were attempting to fix. The only true way to change hearts and minds is to point to the One who changes hearts and minds—Jesus Christ.

Life is precious because life is a gift from God. Each baby is a miracle. Each cell coming together to form a life is an act of his love and grace in which he is intimately involved and connected. Children are “a heritage from the LORD” (Psalm 127:3), each one “fearfully and wonderfully made” in his image (Psalm 139:14).

The only way that we, Gen Z, can scale this mountain before us is by living out this truth, even in a culture that is antagonistic to it. Day by day, heart by heart, life by life. It’s not an easy calling, but, Gen Z, it’s our calling. For the sake of life, for the sake of truth, and for the glory of our God, will we accept it?


Sara Barratt is the Editor-in-Chief of theRebelution.com and the author of Stand Up, Stand Strong: A Call to Bold Faith in a Confused Culture. Connect with her on her website sarabarratt.com.