The fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the court case that legalized abortion in the U.S., is a reminder of some sobering truths. First, more than 55 million babies have been denied life over the past four decades. In addition, millions of women have been wounded by a society that promotes a cheap version of freedom; a “choice” that falsely promises to erase personal responsibility.
The ongoing struggle over abortion has demonstrated that political and legal efforts often fail to yield significant changes. Nevertheless, some limited victories have been won. Laws have been passed that enforce reasonable regulations on the horrible practice of abortion, but abortion is still the law of the land and millions still suffer each year.
Advances in technology have consistently eroded the argument that an unborn child is nothing more than a blob of tissue invading a woman’s body. Three-dimensional sonograms now yield images of a fetus that are so detailed that one feels as if the baby’s privacy is being infringed.
The photo of a tiny hand reaching out of its mother’s womb to grasp the finger of the surgeon working to save his life is worth far more than a thousand words. The burden of proof is increasingly on those who say that unborn babies are not persons.
Sadly, the accumulating data also proves that abortion is harmful to women. But this is also a reminder of the great grace of our Lord Jesus. As is true with any sinner, anyone who has been involved in abortion can turn to God and experience his mercy. To leave behind the violent ways of this deceptive world and follow Christ is the path to true freedom.
One encouraging development in recent years is the changing attitude of young people toward abortion. A new generation is making their views known and they are more pro-life than the general population. They are expressing reservations about the views of their parents, views that have led to a massive and prolonged killing spree.
The new attitude among young people is a reminder that we can lose political battles and still win the war. The societies and cultures of this dark and broken world establish institutions and traditions that are often dysfunctional. Yet the gospel of Jesus Christ changes individual lives, bringing new life, new hope, and new direction.
Finally, the abortion issue reminds us that our spiritual battles are very real and that they have very real consequences. Lives are at stake. The astronomical numbers can render the issue faceless but we cannot let that happen. Each child and each mother are of untold value.
Recently a baby was born so early that she had to be weighed before doctors could decide if they should help her to survive. The scales said 1 pound, the minimum weight, and so they kept her alive. Later someone discovered that a pair of scissors had been on the scales, tipping the balance in little Maddalena’s favor. A lot of other babies need someone to tip the balance in their favor, too.
Many young people still need to hear the truth. Many not-so-young people still need to experience God’s mercy. And this is only one of many pressing issues we face. What a comfort it is to know that our Lord is capable of the impossible and that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. Let’s fight the good fight!
May the light of God’s love shine clearly through us despite the darkness,
Brother Richard Foster
Grace Baptist Church, Camden, AR