Isn’t it true that at the time it was passed, most evangelicals were silent in response to Roe v. Wade? So doesn’t that give doubt to their sincerity in opposing abortion now?
Yes. In the three decades I’ve been involved in the prolife movement, I have never once heard someone make the claim that evangelicals mobilized in direct response to Roe v. Wade. On the contrary, many of us have publicly bemoaned the fact that we did NOT do so. We were several years late coming out of the gates.
That many evangelicals originally didn’t see the horrors of abortion testifies to how deeply and undiscerningly the evangelical church had embraced the sliding mindset of the culture, and how unbiblical our worldview was (and for the most part still is).
In 1976, three years after Roe v. Wade, Francis Schaeffer’s book and film How Should We Then Live? stimulated evangelical opposition to abortion, including my own. His 1979 book and film Whatever Happened to the Human Race? took some of us to the next level.
But the fact that evangelicals came to oppose abortion late has no bearing whatsoever on whether the prolife movement is sincere or legitimate and whether unborn children and women exploited by abortion are a worthy cause. (Many evangelicals were also silent about racism, and shamefully, some still are; but it would be a poor argument to suggest that because we were late getting there, racism isn’t worth evangelical opposition.)