Recently my wife Liz and I attended the Advice and Aid banquet celebrating 30 years of coming alongside women who find themselves in the often-difficult realities of an unplanned pregnancy. For many years Christ Community has linked arms with Advice and Aid, and we continue to look for ways we, as a local church community, can be more involved and supportive in our advocacy of the unborn.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Pope Francis compared elective abortion justified by prenatal fetal maladies to Nazi eugenics. Pope Francis made the point that today we are doing the same thing the Nazis did although our destruction of the unborn is “practiced with white gloves.” (WSJ, June 18, 2018)
I am grateful for the courage and moral clarity of Pope Francis and I only wish more spiritual leaders would speak out in our troubled times. Although I have spoken out many times before on the matter of abortion, I want to again make it crystal clear where I stand and where Christ Community stands when it come to the destruction of the unborn.
I believe legalized elective abortion on demand is the most grievous injustice of our time, both in its unconscionable evil, as well as its massive scope. The numbers of the unborn that have and continue to be destroyed through legalized elective abortion is staggering. Somewhere around 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since 1973. The landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision has unleashed an unimaginable holocaust of human destruction.
Behind much of the current cultural and political polarization lurks a wide and fundamental divide between those who assert “reproductive rights” of women and those who assert the “right to life” of the unborn. Many “pro-choice” advocates say they want abortions legal yet rare, but the inconvenient truth is the abortion holocaust continues to be driven by a relentless government lobby and a highly profitable death industry.
As followers of Jesus, one of our most compelling stewardships is to seek justice and to care for and protect the most vulnerable among us. While we must up our game in confronting other grievous injustices in our time, we must also keep in mind the most vulnerable human beings are those in the womb.
The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision is erected on a faulty legal, scientific, and a moral foundation. In a recent Christianity Today article, Matt Reynolds lays bear the judicial malpractice of Roe v. Wade:
“Taking the life of an unborn child is a sin against God and man. Roe, by contrast, is an offense against America’s democratic order, a renegade ruling utterly untethered from the text, logic, structure or history of the Constitution it purports to enforce. Supporters and opponents of abortion ought to find it equally indefensible.” (Christianity Today, October 2018, p. 28)
The legal architects of Roe v. Wade discovered a right to privacy as well as created an arbitrary determinate of personhood around the idea of fetal viability. The arbitrary line of fetal viability established in 1973 has been scientifically debunked as fetal viability is now seen much earlier in human development. Clearly, on scientific and moral grounds, the most compelling line of personhood is conception, not viability.
And even if there was a question as to when human personhood begins, with so much on the line, would we not be wise to err on the side of caution? Abortion on demand has provided a legalized mirage of a bankrupt situational morality. Let’s be clear, just because a human court deems something legal, does not mean it is morally right in God’s eyes. Clearly, this was the case for America’s dark history of racism where humans of African descent were legally deemed less than persons.
The Holy Scriptures remind us that every human person is made in the image of God and has intrinsic worth and value. The Bible points to God’s sovereign involvement in our lives even before we are born. In Psalm 139, we read David’s words of rapturous wonder,
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
The Bible’s advocacy of the unborn is anything but silent or clouded. Yet the moral confusion, obfuscation, and willful blindness of our cultural moment in regard to abortion is glaringly seen when, on the one hand the medical community pulls out all the medical stops to save a wanted premature baby, and on the other hand is performing a surgical abortion snuffing out the life of an unwanted baby.
In the midst of so much moral confusion, it is my prayer that we might, both as individuals and as a faith community, have moral clarity, compassion, and courage. So how should we respond to the ongoing holocaust of the unborn? How might we be Christlike advocates of the unborn?
- First, we need to have moral clarity and conviction that elective abortion on demand is wrong and unjust.
- Second, we need to pray for the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens to change and for the end of the legalized slaughter of the unborn.
- Third, we need to look for ways we can care and support women who have had abortions, as well as those who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. Abortion recovery services, adoption services, and organizations like Advice and Aid need our prayerful and generous financial support.
- Fourth, we need to consider ways we can work through legal and political processes to change abortion laws and to seek the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
- Fifth, for some, advocacy of the unborn will mean lawful protest.
May I also encourage you to make it a priority to see the recently released movie, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. This movie is not easy to see, but it captures the barbaric horror of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell, and I pray it serves to awaken a nation to the white-gloves holocaust that continues unabated.
With humility and hope, may we heed the timeless words of the prophet Micah, “to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.”
Thank you, Pastor Tom, for writing this piece. As a mother to a child who had a life-limiting diagnosis, I was given the option to terminate his life at 21 weeks gestation. My husband, Adam, and I chose to continue his life, without question. We were richly blessed with 36 weeks of life in utero and one breathing week of life with our son Simon in May 2014. To have taken his life into our own hands, thinking that would be more merciful to Simon or eliminate suffering both for Simon, Adam and me would’ve been foolish, but certainly does make sense so many. We received comments of being heros, which we were not, to comments of being selfish and that Simon would suffer.
I am a leader of a support group for mothers who have had babies die during pregnancy and infancy called You Made Me Mom here in Kansas City. I am thankful to speak to women like me who have experienced a life-limiting diagnosis for their child in utero. Several of these women have chosen early induction and abortion. Please pray for these women as it is a very confusing time as they believe they have absolutely made the very best decision based on medical counsel, pastor advice and family support. I love these women and pray for the laws to change – at minimum, to give life-limiting diagnosis longer than 21 weeks gestion to choose to continue the pregnancy. Women often find out at 18-20 weeks gestation that their baby is terminally ill and have sometimes less than 24 hours to decide if they want to continue the pregnancy as by law in both Kansas and Missouri women must terminate before 22 weeks gestation. I believe if women could feel and carry their babies longer, the termination of the sick child in utero would decrease. The ultimate goal being the end of abortion.
I want to thank you for your passionate article speaking to the sanctity of life and tackling the cultural moral deprivation facing not only this nation but the world. You couldn’t have been more clear in describing this immoral practice in our culture and as Christian our rightful moral response.
Thank you Tom for your article!