In the story commonly known as "The Woman Caught in Adultery," Jesus elegantly distracted the crowd from the woman’s shame, brought about justice, and showed her the path of righteousness.
If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God,
From the perspective of feminists, the woman in this story is unjustly accused. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is labeled but also urged to divulge her lover.
In contrast, the woman brought before Jesus as recorded in John chapter 8 was not asked to reveal her lover. Of course her accusers were trying to trap Jesus, not bring justice. Jesus, however, knew the law and therefore knew the man was missing from the accusation. Leviticus 20:10 tells us that both the man and the woman must be put to death in order to follow the law justly.
Jesus eloquently distracted everyone's eyes from the woman's nakedness by drawing in the sand. What did Jesus write? We don't know, but perhaps He wrote Leviticus 20:10.
Before Jesus changed my life, I heard sermons on the Woman Caught in Adultery from an angry perspective—Why wasn't the man accused?!
After Jesus changed my life, I thanked Jesus for how compassionate He was with her.
Roe v Wade was decided when women did not have access to child support, paternity testing, or equal rights to work. Women were shamed for crisis pregnancies, and men were considered studly for spreading their seeds. Women were held responsible for their crisis pregnancies. Men were not.
Women felt—and still do today—labeled and judged while men remained anonymous. An organization named Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights keeps the injustices of pre-Roe crisis pregnancies fresh in the minds of today's women.
Frederica Mathewes-Green, who was an "anti-war, mother-earth, feminist, hippie college student," said "We... thought, back then, that few abortions would ever be done. It’s a grim experience, going through an abortion, and we assumed a woman would choose one only as a last resort. We were fighting for that 'last resort.'" ("When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense" in National Review, January 22, 2016)
As I pointed out to a protester at a church-sponsored celebration of life after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we women have rights that we did not have 50 years ago. Likewise, men are more likely to be held responsible. It's not 1973.
It's no longer 1973.
We have access to child support,
we have equal rights to work, and
we have maternity leave.