Sixty years ago, one of six Americans belonged to seven historically liberal mainline Protestant denominations. Today it’s less than one of every 20 Americans. Their demographic collapse aligned with their emerging support for abortion rights in the 1960s, years before the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade made the claim of a constitutional right to abortion.
In some ways, mainline Protestantism, which was then the predominant religious force in America, prepared the moral and cultural way for Roe. Justice Harry Blackmun, an active United Methodist, authored the Roe decision. So, it’s no surprise that mainline Protestantism has reacted angrily to Roe’s recent overthrow.