Four people were killed and dozens more were injured at a mass shooting during a Sweet 16 birthday party Saturday night in Alabama. This makes the 163rd mass shooting so far in 2023; today is the 107th day of the year.
When we cannot deal with the pain of such tragedy, we objectify it. “Another shooting,” we say as we grimace and shake our heads. But the families of the four people who were murdered will never say that of a mass shooting again as long as they live.
Many do the same with abortion. As of this writing, nearly thirteen million babies have lost their lives to abortion so far this year. This number is equivalent to the populations of West Virginia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming—combined.
In the US, nearly 20 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion. Those who defend such tragedies must shift their focus from the dead child to the issue of “reproductive freedom,” “democracy,” partisan politics, and so on.
Case in point: Vice President Kamala Harris made a surprise appearance at a pro-abortion rally in Los Angeles on Saturday. In her speech, she warned against “those who would dare to attack fundamental rights and, by extension, attack our democracy” and urged those in attendance to “stand up and fight” for abortion.
I want us to do the opposite today: I’m writing to “stand up and fight” for the victims of abortion.
“Roe wasn't the beginning of abortion”
A woman in attendance at the LA rally held up a sign that read, “Roe wasn’t the beginning of abortions—Roe was the end of women dying from abortions.” A more accurate sign would read: “Roe wasn’t the beginning of abortions—Roe was the beginning of babies dying legally from abortions.”
Recent conflicts over abortion pills and Florida’s six-week abortion ban are just the latest examples of George Will’s observation that Roe v. Wade “inflamed the issue and embittered our politics.” This is because there is something intrinsic to human nature that knows that taking the lives of innocent humans is wrong.
As a result, some say they are not pro-abortion but pro-choice, claiming that this should be the mother’s decision, not that of the government. But they obviously do not extend this logic to other decisions regarding the mother and her child.
Once this entity in its mother’s womb has changed locations and is now outside her womb, her choice regarding abortion vanishes. But if that entity is a human being after it is born, what was it before it was born? From a scientific point of view, “human embryos from the one-cell stage forward are indeed individuals of the human species; i.e., human beings.”
Because we know a newborn baby is a human, we confer on it all the protections of the law and thus make infanticide illegal. By what logic do we not do the same in the womb as outside the womb?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was right
Some point to “viability,” claiming that an unborn child is a “person” and thus deserves our protection only when it can live outside the womb. But what do we mean by “viability”? Left alone, a newborn child will soon die. It can breathe without its mother, but it cannot feed itself or protect itself. It is no more viable without the mother after its birth than it was before its birth.
Others say that in a democracy, we have no right to force our values on others. But the founders disagreed. Our founding creed proclaims, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” The Declaration says we are “created” equal, not “born” equal. We are endowed by our “Creator”—not our mother—with “certain inalienable rights,” the first of which is “life.”
In his famed “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged America to “live out the true meaning of its creed” regarding the equality of all humans of all races. I want us to do the same regarding the equality of all humans of all ages, from conception to death.
This issue is obviously urgent for the millions of unborn babies whose lives hang in the balance. However, it is no less urgent for the future of our nation.
Moses “stood in the breach”
When the Israelites compromised with Canaanite culture, “they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan” (Psalm 106:38). Is elective abortion for financial gain or personal convenience a similar “sacrifice”?
As a result, “The anger of the Lᴏʀᴅ was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage; he gave them into the hand of the nations, so that those who hated them ruled over them” (vv. 40–41). Can our nation claim to be exempt from the justice of God?
Here’s the good news: one person can change the trajectory of a nation.
When the Israelites in the wilderness “forgot God, their Savior” (v. 21), “he said he would destroy them—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him” (v. 23). When centuries later Israel again rejected God’s word and will (Ezekiel 22:23–29), he said, “I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none” (v. 30).
Will you “stand in the breach” for America?
Will you pray daily for our nation to embrace our founding creed that all lives are “created equal”?
Will you pray for our elected leaders to protect their most innocent and vulnerable constituents and for our judges to rule righteously?
Will you ask God to use you to help women considering abortion to choose life?
The longtime pastor and statesman Paul Powell was right: “We are the light of the world—not just of the church.”
How will you use your light for life today?
NOTE: “Father, show me your will.” Have you ever prayed that prayer? It’s one we should often pray, always seeking his ways over ours. So why do we sometimes struggle to choose his ways? Why do we wrestle with God’s calling on our lives? Jesus’ timeless wisdom in the Sermon on the Mount offers answers—if only we’ll have ears to hear. Delve into his Sermon in our latest book, The Path to Purpose, which I encourage you to request today.
Image credit: Maria Oswalt / Unsplash
The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
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