Today is Kansas’ birthday. While I wasn’t born in the land of Oz, I’ve spent enough years here to have fallen in love with the windy state I call home. And on this day in 1861, Kansas was born – amid a storm of controversy.
In the years leading up to the Civil War, Congress decided to let the settlers in the territory that would become Kansas determine if it would be a slave state or free state. The violence that broke out as a result of Northerners and Southerners each grappling to claim another star on the flag gave my state the nickname of Bleeding Kansas. Finally, after five years and three unsuccessful attempts at a state constitution, Kansas was established as a free state on January 29, 1861.
But that would not be the last time Kansas was known as a battleground.
I will never forget the Sunday in May 2009 when I heard that the local abortion doctor was shot and killed at his church, less than five miles from my house. Dr. George Tiller’s death was national news – even mentioned in Abby Johnson’s dramatic book “Unplanned.”
Once again, my state was bleeding.
Feeling like a broken record
Last week, January 22nd marked the day in 1973 when the U.S. legalized abortion in all 50 states. In the decades since, the debate over abortion has only grown louder.
Millennials have never known a world without widespread abortion; we’ve grown up in a society that assumes its presence. And now, in a world of #shoutyourabortion, some even want us to brag about it.
It’s easy to assume that abortion will always be a fact of modern life. Over and over, we’ve talked about the pain and tragedy and wrongness of abortion, and about our responsibility to defend human life at every stage and circumstance. A search for “abortion” in the Boundless online archives brings up around 100 results.
So why bring it up again?
There are at least three big reasons why we should still be talking about abortion.
1. Babies are still being aborted every day.
As huge and tragic as these numbers are by themselves, there are even more lives affected. Each baby aborted represents moms, dads, grandparents and many others who will forever be without someone who should’ve been in his or her life.
When we think that everything that needs to be said about abortion has already been said, we forget that there are unborn babies alive right now who won’t make it to their birthday. There are women – and men – who will feel like abortion is their only choice and will walk into a clinic tomorrow or next week or next month.
We must keep talking about abortion because abortion still exists.
2. We are called to speak out
When God told Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, Moses thought it was a bad idea. “It won’t work,” he essentially told God, listing all the reasons why Pharaoh or even the Israelites wouldn’t believe his message.
When Moses finally went to Egypt, Pharaoh flatly told him no – then made the Israelites work harder. This made the Israelites angry with Moses, yet Pharaoh was no closer to emancipating God’s people.
But Moses kept sharing God’s message. He came back again and again, even after the ninth time Pharaoh said no. Moses faithfully said what God had told him to say. He shared the truth even when it didn’t seem to be doing any good.
Like Moses, we are called to speak and to be faithful with sharing truth even when we don’t see results. God will take care of the results. We only need to be faithful.
3. Change is possible
Last month, I received an e-mail update from one of the pregnancy clinics in my city. It told of a young woman who came to their center wanting DNA testing to determine the father of her child so he could pay for her abortion. When she learned the center didn’t offer DNA testing, she left. The staff assumed she would soon get an abortion and they would never hear from her again.
But a few weeks later she called and scheduled a sonogram. She returned to the clinic, still unsure of what her decision would be, but open to talking with a counselor.
Change is possible, and it happens every day because God moves hearts and minds in alignment with His will.
Not just talk
As long as abortion exists, we are called to talk about it. But we are called to action, too. That doesn’t mean we all pursue full-time pro-life work, but we can all do something to help.
Donate to your local pregnancy medical clinic. Volunteer there. Hold a baby shower for a nonprofit program for single moms. Write a letter to the editor at your local newspaper. Organize a fundraiser or a prayer focus. Pray. Give. Share. Find your place.
Do something. Tell the world that every life – born, unborn, mother, father, child – matters. Then show them that they matter to you.
Copyright 2020 Lauren Dunn. All rights reserved.