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The World and Everything in It - May 11, 2022

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WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It - May 11, 2022

On Washington Wednesday, the primaries and upcoming midterms; on World Tour, the latest international news; and a new Methodist denomination. Plus: Janie B. Cheaney, and the Wednesday morning news.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Wow! Thank you. It makes such a difference and new donors are joining the ranks every day. Maybe you have not given before and if I’ve described you, why not join the Griffins and so many others today? WNG.org/donate!

Well, good morning!

Primary season is underway and today we’ll talk about the early trends.

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Washington Wednesday.

Also today, WORLD Tour.

Plus a new denomination for conservative Methodists.

And WORLD commentator Janie B. Cheaney on creating a culture of life.

REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, May 11th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now the news with Kent Covington.


KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Biden deflects anger over inflation toward Republicans » President Biden on Tuesday looked to deflect anger over soaring inflation toward Republicans.

Speaking at the White House, Biden told Americans…

BIDEN: I know you gotta be frustrated. I know. I can taste it. Frustrated by high prices, by gridlock in Congress.

He said the GOP, particularly what he called “ultra-MAGA” Republicans have scuttled his spending plans in Congress and are largely to blame for inflation.

MAGA is shorthand for Donald Trump’s “Make American Great Again” slogan.

But South Dakota Sen. John Thune pointed a finger right back at the White House.

THUNE: Stop the out of control spending. And I think that’s what—do no more harm. And his administration right now has no solution except to spend more.

The president also said the Federal Reserve plays a critical role in fixing inflation and called on the Senate to confirm his nominees to the agency.

McConnell: Congress closer to passing Ukraine aid package » Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says lawmakers are closer to approving a massive new aid package for Ukraine.

MCCONNELL: I think we’re on the path to getting that done. Discussions are underway between the House and Senate appropriators on the crafting of the passage. It needs to be clean of extraneous matters; directly related to helping Ukrainians win the war.

It is those—quote—“extraneous matters” that have been the sticking point.

Republicans have bristled at attempts by Democrats to include things like funds to fight COVID-19 and food insecurity in the same bill as the aid to Ukraine.

But both sides agree on the need to further bankroll Ukraine’s defense.

President Biden asked Congress to approve $33 billion dollars in additional aid.

Meantime, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy again condemned Russia’s invasion.

ZELENSKYY: [Speaking in Ukrainian]

He also said he has completed the answers to a "special questionnaire” as Ukraine applies to join the European Union.

Russia has pummeled the vital port of Odesa this week, an apparent effort to disrupt supply lines and shipments of Western weapons.

Ukraine said Russian forces fired seven missiles at Odesa, hitting a shopping center and a warehouse in the country's largest port. At least one person was killed.

Shanghai re-tightens on COVID, frustrating trapped residents » The city of Shanghai is doubling down on pandemic restrictions after briefly easing its lockdowns. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Residents in China’s financial center hoped that a more than monthlong lockdown would finally ease as COVID-19 cases fell.

But on Tuesday, the government suspended service on the last two subway lines still in operation, marking the first time the city’s entire system has shut down.

Residents who contract the virus are often taken into quarantine. They’re forced to turn over their keys so teams in white protective suits can spray disinfectant and sanitize their homes.

China's Communist government is showing no sign of backing off from its zero tolerance COVID strategy.

The entire world is feeling Shanghai’s restrictions. The city is China’s major business center, and the lockdown puts further pressure on the global supply chain.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Gas prices hit new record high » Gas prices have once again hit new record highs, climbing to $4.37 per gallon for regular unleaded.

This driver in Brooklyn said he’s definitely feeling the pinch.

AUDIO: This is ridiculous, know what I’m saying? It’s like, the money, your salary is practically the same and everything is going up.

AAA spokesman Andrew Gross says the war in Ukraine is a huge factor.

GROSS: It’s grinding on. You’re having all these sanctions being put on by all these countries who are trying to turn off the tap on Russia’s war machine, and that tap is an oil tap.

The highest average price in the country, as usual, California, at $5.84 per gallon.

The lowest average price right now is in Georgia, $3.90 per gallon. That’s due in part to a suspension of the state’s gas tax.

Minor league players, MLB reach deal in minimum wage suit » Minor league players and Major League Baseball have reached a settlement in a lawsuit alleging teams violated minimum wage laws. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.

JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: Terms of the settlement in the eight-year-old case were not immediately released. But the Associated Press reports that the sides had been discussing a possible settlement of around $200 million.

Several minor league players filed the suit in 2014. They claimed violations of labor laws and wage standards for a work week they estimated at 50 to 60 hours.

Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco wrote in a pretrial ruling that minor leaguers are year-round employees who should be paid for travel time to road games and to practice.

And he found that Major League Baseball violated wage requirements in multiple states.

As of last year, many minor league players earned less than $20,000 per year.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher. 

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: The midterm election battle is officially underway.

Plus, turning back a culture of death.

This is The World and Everything in It.


NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s Wednesday the 11th of May, 2022. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Up first: the midterm battle is underway. 

Only six months remain before Americans return to the polls to decide control of Congress and many other things in this year’s midterm elections.

EICHER: And the primary election season is underway, too. Already, several states have cast their ballots—Texas, Indiana, and Ohio.

What do those elections, and other primary votes, ahead tell us about we might expect in November?

Joining us now to talk about it is Mark Caleb Smith. He’s a political science professor at Cedarville University, a Christian university in Cedarville, Ohio.

REICHARD: Good morning!

MARK CALEB SMITH, GUEST: It’s my pleasure to be with you.

REICHARD: Well, Professor as we said you’re in Ohio, so it makes sense to start there.

I thought it was interesting to see Republican J.D. Vance defeat six others to advance and now face off with Democrat Tim Ryan for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Seems like Vance really did benefit from the endorsement of President Donald Trump. Was that the crucial difference? What can you tell us about that?

SMITH: The contest was really quite interesting in Ohio as you might expect. JD Vance, the best selling author of the Hillbilly Elegy, and then became, of course, a venture capitalist. He's a Yale educated lawyer. As many of your listeners probably know, he was a fierce critic of Donald Trump in 2015 and 2016. But when he decided to run for the U.S. Senate seat, excuse me, he started to angle pretty hard for Trump's endorsement. And that really seemed to catapult Vance in the polls. Donald Trump Jr. came to campaign with Vance and other figures of Donald Trump's orbit came. And he ended up winning relatively comfortably with over 30 percent of the vote in a pretty crowded field.

I think the big takeaway from that race was, honestly, when you consolidate the field, strong Trump supporters won more than two thirds of the vote in that Republican Party campaign. And so I think Donald Trump's influence over the GOP in Ohio is still quite strong. On the Democratic side, it was much less eventful. Tim Ryan, the expected nominee, won handily. And so those two will square off in November.

REICHARD: And as I understand it, JD Vance appears to have the upper hand against Tim Ryan, is that correct?

SMITH: I would say that’s true. Ohio has been tilting pretty hard to the right over the last decade or more. Ryan has some possibilities ahead of him. He's gonna campaign sort of as a middle class, blue collar sort of candidate, I believe. He's going to appeal for manufacturing jobs and he's going to argue about China and things of that nature. But I expect Vance to lean pretty hard into the culture war issues. And right now, I think those are playing quite well in Ohio. So yeah, I think Vance is clearly the favorite.

REICHARD: Let’s talk about Texas now. Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is Republican, was forced into a runoff election with Land Commissioner George P. Bush to be held later this month. But that doesn’t mean the vote was close. Paxton finished with a 20-point edge. Mark, is it reasonable to think that the Bush name no longer carries much weight within the GOP?

SMITH: It’s a really remarkable story, isn’t it? George P. Bush, the grandson of a Republican president, the nephew of a Republican president, still really not enough of a legacy to make a huge splash in that statewide race in Texas. So I think it's safe to say that right now being a Bush is not a net positive the way that it was 10 years ago, much less 20 years ago, in our country. There's been a struggle within the Republican Party—I think it's pretty clear to say—over the identity of the party. Is it where the insurgents and people like Donald Trump are winning? I think that's clearly the case right now. To some extent, I think it's fair to say that Donald Trump and his followers are now the establishment within the Republican Party. And people like George P. Bush just simply have a harder time fitting in.

REICHARD: Well, let’s look at that Trump influence more closely now. Some people are looking at these primary races at least some of them as a litmus test of Donald Trump’s influence. Trump did support Paxton in Texas and so far has had a good success rate with candidates that he has supported.

But in Georgia, different story. Trump is backing former Senator David Perdue against sitting Governor Brian Kemp. And right now, polls show Kemp with a double-digit lead.

So some analysts see these elections as a test of Trump’s remaining influence. But isn’t it also true that local elections are affected by local issues? Mark, how are those sometimes competing dynamics playing out in these big races everyone is watching?

SMITH: The conventional wisdom for a long time has been that, of course, all politics is local. We think of Tip O'Neill's famous statement. I think now we're tempted to view all politics as national. In reality, I think right now neither one of those are necessarily accurate. And I think as your question implies, politics is always sort of a combination of those things, and we look at a campaign, it's going to have a national dynamic to it most likely. It’s going to have some local element to it, especially when we're looking at a statewide office like governor or U.S. Senate, or something like that. So there's always going to be a combination of different dynamics at work, and what takes place in Ohio is going to be very disconnected from what takes place in a place like Georgia, for those reasons as well. I do think that it's safe to say, though, now that national issues are having more of an influence on state and local elections than they did before. Primarily, I think, because for many people, the news that they digest tends to be from a national platform as opposed to a local platform. And so the issues that are so prevalent in national politics become talking points in local elections and statewide elections also. I'm not sure that's good for the country, in some ways, but I think that's clearly the direction that we're headed.

REICHARD: What do you see as the most interesting and most telling races to watch this year in regards to the Trump influence?

SMITH: You mentioned Georgia before. I think Georgia really is kind of ground zero for this discussion about Donald Trump's influence, for a couple of reasons. Georgia was really the place that Trump seemed to put the most intense, direct pressure on elected officials over the 2020 election results, whether it was Kemp or whether it was Raffensperger, who was the Secretary of State there. They both came under extensive pressure from Trump and his supporters to intervene in the 2020 presidential election. They both refused to do that. And Trump has really gone out of his way to try to punish both of them as a result. So I think those elections are going to be interesting to watch. I think the Secretary of State's race between Brad Raffensperger, who's defending that seat, and then Jody Hice, who's a U.S. Representative who is challenging him, I think may be one of the most interesting races of the year. Not as high profile as the gubernatorial campaign, of course, but also, I think, an important battle between Trump and people who are trying to hold on to a different understanding of the GOP, as well as a different understanding of what happened in 2020.

REICHARD: Let’s go back to Texas for a moment. Both GOP Gov. Greg Abbott and Democrat Beto O’Rourke easily cruised to their nominations. Democrats have long dreamed of turning Texas blue or at least purple. Do you think this is the year they do that? How do you see that gubernatorial race playing out?

SMITH: I think that Abbott has to be considered the favorite here. He's an incumbent, obviously, and that carries with it particular kinds of advantages, which he will utilize for sure. I also think that Beto O'Rourke is probably not as strong of a candidate as he was when he challenged Ted Cruz. So I think Abbott is clearly in the lead. Let's go back to the question you asked before. These national trends and state and local trends all sort of flowing, I think it's safe to say that the political climate, nationally speaking, is running against the Democrats. And so I think this will help someone like Greg Abbott. He's going to talk about inflation. He's going to talk about the economy. He's going to talk about the border. And those issues are going to play toward Republican voters I think. And so it's I think it's a really difficult for Beto O'Rourke to really pull that off.

REICHARD: Let’s talk about demographics now. It’s really interesting. One thing Democrats were counting on in years past as they hoped to flip Texas their way… was the growth of the Hispanic population in that state. But they haven’t been able to count on the Hispanic vote. And in fact that vote might be shifting to the Republicans.

It was really interesting in Newsweek, Darvio Morrow at Newsweek had an interesting piece recently about the changing demographics of the Democratic party. He said Democrats aren’t just losing Hispanic voters but black voters too.

Mark, why are the demographics changing for both parties? How do you see the future of each?

SMITH: Not long ago we were talking in political science circles about demographics being destiny, that there is almost some sort of an iron law that once a demographic event started to happen, the political results would just sort of flow from that. And so as minority populations—African Americans, Hispanics—became a majority in our country, the thought was that this would irrevocably change our politics and the Democratic Party would benefit. But that view, I think, assumes a static nature of politics that just doesn't really seem true to history. Parties change, issues evolve, groups change over time, as well, they become more diverse. And so it's not unusual to see significant transformations occur within a demographic group. A good example would be white Southerners who transferred from the Democratic loyalty to strong Republican loyalty over the span of a generation or a little bit more than a generation. African Americans were staunchly Republican, and then fragmented toward the Democratic Party and eventually realigned fully into the Democratic Party. So I don't think you can assume anything about Hispanic voters or other voters moving into the future. I think it's safe to say, though, that the issue for the Democrats at the moment is that socially speaking, they are not really appealing to a variety of African American and Hispanic interests. And so discussions of gender and sexuality, discussions of defunding the police and things like that—regardless of whether you think those issues are critically important for politics or not—I think that they're really creating some fractures within those minority communities, and are going to erode Democratic support. And so what you're looking at now, I think, is tension within the Democratic Party between white progressives on the one hand, and then Hispanic and African American who are a little bit more conservative, socially speaking, on the other. And so those groups are going to compete within the Democratic Party. And I suspect the Republicans will benefit from that competition.

REICHARD: Mark Caleb Smith from Cedarville University. Professor, thanks so much!

SMITH: My pleasure.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Well, next up on The World and Everything in It: World Tour. Here’s Onize Ohikere.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Nigeria considers making ransom payments illegal—Today’s World Tour begins in my home country, Nigeria.

AUDIO: [Sound of women crying, men talking]

Heavily armed gangs in the northwest Zamfara state attacked three villages over the weekend, killing at least 48 people.

Criminal gangs have terrorized northwest and central Nigeria for years. In addition to raiding and looting villages, they target schools and large groups for mass abductions.

Families often pay ransoms to bring their loved ones home. And that’s become a big source of revenue for the gangs. According to a report by the Lagos-based risk analysis firm SB Morgen Intelligence, kidnappers brought in more than $18 million in ransom payments between 2011 and 2020.

And now lawmakers are trying to cut off those funds by punishing families. Under a new bill passed by the Nigerian Senate last week, anyone who pays ransom to abductors would face up to 15 years in prison.

Relatives of kidnapping victims oppose the bill. They say it doesn’t make sense and blame the government for not doing enough to stop the attacks.

Egyptian committee approves new churches—Next, to Egypt.

AUDIO: [Sound of chanting, prayers]

A government committee granted legal status to 239 churches in April. That brings the total number of new churches approved since 2017 to just over 24-hundred.

A 2016 church construction law sought to simplify the approval process, a move church leaders applauded. But the policy still discriminates: Only Christians must apply for legalization of their churches.

Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population.

Taliban orders women to cover their faces—Next, we go to the Middle East.

AUDIO: [Man speaking Pushto]

Taliban officials have ordered women to cover their faces in public—the most severe restriction placed on them since the group took over Afghanistan in August.

Under the new order signed Saturday, women are required to cover every part of their faces, except for their eyes, preferably with the traditional burqa.

And those who don’t have what the order called “important work” outside their homes should not leave them.

AUDIO: [Woman speaking Dari]

This 21-year-old in Herat said women would stand up to defend their rights. But their husbands and fathers face serious consequences if they do.

Government workers whose wives and daughters do not comply will lose their jobs. Men could also face arrest and prosecution if their female relatives continue to disobey the order.

Dictator’s son win’s Philippine presidency—And finally, we end today in Southeast Asia.

AUDIO: [Crowd cheering, shouting]

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won the Philippines presidential election in a landslide on Monday, reclaiming the office once held by his father, dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

A popular revolt deposed the elder Marcos 40 years ago. That ended a brutal and corrupt regime that democracy activists fear could soon return.

AUDIO: [Sound of yelling]

Police in riot gear beat back a group of protesters who gathered outside the election commission headquarters in Manila on Tuesday. Voters also elected the daughter of outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte as vice president.

Democracy activists warn the Marcos-Duterte pairing unites two political clans known for authoritarian and harsh rule.

The new administration inherits a slate of problems, including high rates of poverty and unemployment.

Marcos Jr. ran on vows to unite the country. But he also defended his father’s legacy and refused to apologize for or acknowledge the atrocities committed during his dictatorship.

That’s this week’s World Tour. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Here is Maison Des Champs, free-climbing to the top of The New York Times building.

AUDIO: I’m up here on the Boss Level and no one’s up here. This is strange, like the calm before the storm.

"The boss level." By day, he’s a college student in Nevada. By night, he’s Pro-Life Spiderman…

AUDIO: See if I can sneak down through The New York Times building and get out before they arrest me.

Risking arrest, not to mention death is nothing new for Des Champs, I mean Pro-Life Spiderman. Weird things happen to him all the time.

AUDIO: Ooh, yeah. The city that never sleeps. Well, sleep on this. Woo-hoo!

He unfurled a large banner that read “Abortion kills more than 9/11 every week!”—referring to the September 11th attacks, which happened when he was an infant.

Des Champs instagrams not only the journey up, but the escape down. To his surprise, no police.

His goal is to capture attention for the purpose of raising money for groups that provide ultrasounds and adoption services.

Now there are safer and lawful ways to spread the message, but certainly an admirable cause.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, May 11th. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we’re so glad you’ve joined us today! Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.

Fifty-four years ago last month the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church joined together to form the United Methodist Church. From almost the beginning, though, the denomination hasn’t been as “united” as its name says it is. Its most vigorous debate has been over issues of marriage and sexuality.

REICHARD: That conflict took center stage in St. Louis three years ago.

WELCOME: Let us be in order…the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church is now in session…

That special session was to decide if the UMC would endorse the “One Church Plan”—allowing for individual churches to hold varying views on homosexuality—or to maintain and enforce traditional Wesleyan doctrines across the denomination.

MERAB: It is better to be divided by truth than united in error.

A coalition of conservative conferences from around the world defeated the “One Church Plan” and affirmed the “Traditional Plan.”

EICHER: The UMC Book of Discipline currently identifies the practice of homosexuality as being “incompatible with Christian teaching.” Yet the council of bishops has by-and-large refused to take disciplinary action against gay clergy or ministers conducting so called “gay weddings.”

And as liberal forces within The United Methodist Church vow to keep fighting for acceptance, many traditionalists are looking for an amicable way out. A new Wesleyan denomination hopes to be a place where conservative UMC churches and conferences can land—if they chose to leave. WORLD’s Paul Butler reports.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: Even though the 2019 Special Conference ended with a victory for “traditionalists,” the writing was on the wall for many about the future of the denomination.

KEITH BOYETTE: The institution has sought to preserve unity for institutional purposes. The institutional unity, instead of unity around what we believe, teach, preach and practice.

Keith Boyette used to be an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.

BOYEETE: The conflict has grown so intense, that it has basically neutralized the ability of the church to pursue its mission. And all of its focus has become internal over contesting which of the visions is going to emerge.

Delegates at the 2019 special conference also passed a disaffiliation plan—or exit strategy. It laid the groundwork that at least in theory allows churches to leave the UMC over this issue.

But the details on how to leave remain largely unsettled. And as The United Methodist Church commission keeps postponing the next General Conference—those delays are keeping the future of many churches in limbo.

JAY THERRELL: These issues have affected local churches profoundly.

Jay Therrell is outgoing president of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, Florida. He was ordained in The United Methodist Church—even serving as a district superintendent in the greater Jacksonville area.

THERRELL: There really are only two exit ramps that are available to churches at the moment.

The first disaffiliation option includes paying two years of apportionments—the funds each local church gives to the larger United Methodist Church and its programs. Additionally, the local church must agree to pay its prorated share of unfunded pension liabilities. For some, these two things together can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

THERRELL: And so it feels like a very bitter pill to have had your family be there for generations—invested in that community, helped to build it up for Jesus—and then you have to pay all this money to get out when you've already paid for decades to build what's there.

The other exit ramp requires a case-by-case negotiation with the UMC. Something called a “comity agreement.”

JAY THERRELL: And so far, the conferences and the Council of Bishops have not indicated a willingness to do that. So there's just no good options right now.

Another hurdle is that churches seeking to leave the UMC haven’t had a place to go…until now. On May 1st, the Global Methodist Church began. Once again, Keith Boyette:

BOYETTE: The Global Methodist Church is a new expression of Methodism that holds to the historic classic tenets of the Christian faith, focused on the distinctives of Wesleyanism that we've received since the days of John Wesley.

Boyette currently serves as the chief executive and administrative officer of the newly launched denomination:

BOYETTE: Within the United States. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of churches that are at various stages of withdrawing from The United Methodist Church.

But American churches aren’t the only ones ready to leave. Boyette says about 30 churches in Bulgaria have already withdrawn from The United Methodist Church and are now affiliated with the GMC. He’s confident many other international conferences will follow Bulgaria’s example.

BOYETTE: I don't wish ill on the United Methodist Church, I do pray that they will see the benefit of ending the conflict, blessing and sending those of us who have different visions of the church and allowing both visions to move forward. We’ll reach whoever God enables us to reach.

The question remains. When does a church know when to stay and pray for renewal, or when to leave?

THOMAS LAMBRECHT: The unity of the church is important. But the unity of the church doesn't trump the truth of the gospel.

Thomas Lambrecht is the general manager of Good News—a reform-movement advocacy group working for more than five decades within the denomination.

LAMBRECHT: We've always encouraged people to stay within the church and to work for reform and for renewal within the church. However, over the last five to 10 years, we've become convinced that the United Methodist Church is not able to be reformed.

Lambrecht was encouraged by the stand so many delegates took at the 2019 General Conference. But it hasn’t really changed anything.

LAMBRECHT: But the overwhelming majority of United Methodists in the United States have decided they're not going to abide by what the General Conference decided.

And that’s why leaders like Jay Therrell have withdrawn from The United Methodist Church. Therrell is president elect of the Global Wesleyan Covenant Association. He’s hopeful for the future.

THERRELL: I truly believe that when the church has been placed in difficult places throughout its history, that is when it has thrived the most. And so I just trust that's going to be the case. And you know, John Wesley has always purported to have said on his deathbed: “best of all, God is with us.” And I don't just believe that Paul, I am counting on it.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Paul Butler.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Wednesday, May 11th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Here’s WORLD commentator Janie B. Cheaney on building a culture of life.

JANIE B. CHEANEY, COMMENTATOR: We will all have to think more deeply about this.

Almost 50 years ago the Supreme Court handed down a decision about abortion rights that was hasty, medically unsound, and poorly reasoned. Many legal experts, even some who support abortion on demand, believe Roe v. Wade could have been handled better. The decision that was supposed to settle the conflict of women’s rights versus fetal rights broke it wide open instead. The leak of Justice Alito’s draft decision that overturns Roe has hurled another grenade into the discussion, which already looks more like a mud fight.

My Facebook feed is a soap opera. Friends who support a, quote, “woman’s right to choose” list every possible scenario of unwanted pregnancy, from the frightened teen whose college plan just got derailed to the traumatized rape victim literally carrying her trauma. I see trigger words like “force” and “patriarchy,” dress-up handmaids in bright red robes and billowing white headgear. This among the pictures of unbelievably cute babies and grandchildren and sonogram images. Life goes on, I think, while obsessively scrolling. Among the movie reviews and vacation pics and crowded selfies we’re debating—again—the most basic questions of life and death. But as so often happens in public debate, complex arguments melt down to memes. “My body, my choice.”

Advocates for abortion like to frame it as a battle-of-the-sexes thing, a feminist victory constantly threatened by men. That is specious. But it’s also powerful, to women who find themselves in a crisis. They are not open to philosophical discussion about when life begins and which value is higher when rights conflict. They squirm away from descriptions of preborn babies at eight weeks. Justifications for having the abortion are louder than justifications for having the baby. More convincing too, even though they are shallow arguments, skimming along pressure points of anxiety and terror. Those in crisis, and those advising them, need to think more deeply.

But we prolifers do too. We need to think not just with our head but with our heart. I know many on the prolife side already sacrifice untold, unpaid hours staffing crisis pregnancy centers and sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics. But now that overturning Roe, the goal we’ve cried and prayed for, is a distinct possibility, we must get ready. Abortion has gained a foothold because it meets a need. It’s a bad solution that sears our national conscience over the tens of millions of little lives destroyed, but the need is real. What can we do to meet it? There’s room for adoption, for mentoring, for support groups and respite care, even for government checks.

Turning back a culture of death isn’t easy, but it’s a picnic compared to building a culture of life. Yet that’s what the moment calls for. Let’s be thinking.

I’m Janie B. Cheaney.


NICK EICHER, HOST: May is the month for WORLD’s new-donor drive. If you benefit from this daily program but haven’t yet made a gift to support it, I do hope you’ll consider becoming a first-time donor. WNG.org/donate. Anything and everything helps.

Tomorrow: lessons from Texas. We’ll hear from leaders at crisis pregnancy centers in a state where abortion has already been reduced by more than half.

And, embracing minimalism. We’ll meet a man who thinks that Americans just have too much stuff.

That and more tomorrow.

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Jesus said: I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 ESV)

Go now in grace and peace.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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