It was forty-two years ago this week, January 22, 1973, that the Supreme Court handed down the decision we know as “Roe vs. Wade” legalizing abortion-on-demand across all 50 states. Since that time, approximately 56 million babies have been killed while still in their mothers’ wombs. To put it in perspective, that exceeds the number of people living in the entire Great Lakes region of the United States! In 1984 President Ronald Reagan inaugurated the Sanctity of Human Life Weekend in order that we might remember and, if possible, overturn this travesty.
We have grown comfortable living with that despicable law. And like the Israelis who, in the days of Nehemiah, felt helpless and defeated because of the opposition and became complacent about rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, it feels like we have thrown in the towel and given up the fight. But as in those days, in which Haggai and Zechariah prophesied that we needed to stop being comfortably resigned and get back to work, so we need to redouble our efforts to turn back the tide of evil in our land.
There has been a dramatic shift in society’s view on the sanctity of life. Not so long ago, the majority of Americans favored capital punishment for convicted murderers, while upholding the sacredness of life and affirming protection for life in the womb. And it had been that way for the past 2,000 years of western history. Today, however, a majority of Americans reject the death penalty, while at the same time favoring the right to kill babies in the womb. And they consider US to be the weirdos; they have labeled US extreme.
We have a choice here. We can wring our hands and remain silent because we are so worried about how we might be labeled; worried that some people won’t like us. Or, we can speak and act in accordance with the convictions of our conscience. What will it be?
Deliver those who are being taken away to death; and those who are staggering to slaughter, O hold them back! If you say, “See, we did not know this,”does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work? (Proverbs 24:11-12)
So what can you do? First of all, there are plenty of different ways each of us can get involved in affirming the sanctity of human life. No one person is called to do everything. Some are out on the front lines; counseling women on the sidewalks outside abortion mills. Others are writing letters to the editor of newspapers and magazines, or publishing blogs, and waging war on the ethical and philosophical front. Some are quietly and lovingly counseling young women in crisis pregnancy centers, urging them to choose life for their babies. Some are counseling women who have had abortions, helping them to experience the forgiveness God offers. And yet others are able to operate in the area of philanthropy; giving to good and godly pro-life ministries.
There is certainly something for each of us to do. But can I ask us to take up the cause afresh? Let’s redouble our determination to engage in this struggle for the conscience of our nation. Let’s get back to the work of rebuilding the wall! The voice of the prophets still speaks today. “Choose life, that you may live!”