Friday's Supreme Court decision is "incredibly significant," said Joy Qualls, an associate professor of communication studies at Biola University in La Mirada.
But Qualls added that her colleagues and community at the conservative evangelical Christian school feel that they need to respond with care, compassion, and humility.
It's not a day for a victory lap. But instead, it's a day to respond to those who are hurting over the decision, who feel let down and disappointed, as well as those who are rejoicing in their sense that this is the right thing moving forward.
She was speaking with KPCC's Larry Mantle on our public affairs show AirTalk.
Qualls stressed that abortion is an "incredibly complex topic," including within the evangelical community, and that there's a need for nuance in the discussion.
"Our foundational position is one that comes from a perspective that life is the ultimate ethic for which we have been called," Qualls said. "But we would be remiss to say that subjects like pregnancy, and parenthood, and mothering, and abortion alongside that, [are easy] black-and-white issues. ... There are going to be very difficult decisions that have to be made, and we can't simply say we have to be pro-birth."
Qualls said that there's a need to talk about the complexity of pregnancy, sharing that she had difficult situations with her own pregnancies. She said people need to be willing to talk about the issues pregnant women face, including complex trauma and abuse.
"There's not easy answers that fit into what we want to be our neatly defined political boxes," Qualls said. "Our focus has to be on, what do we do to come alongside our neighbors, so that we can help and aid in their flourishing? That's the priority of the Christian community."