Just a few weeks ago, on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the state legislature of New York voted to approve the Reproductive Health Act. Previously New York law allowed for abortions up to the 24th week of pregnancy. This new law allows for abortions at any point in the pregnancy if the baby will not survive outside the womb or if an abortion is necessary for the mother’s health — a broad term that includes psychological, emotional and even familial health.
On Jan. 22, 2019, the governor of New York ordered One World Trade Center to be lit up in pink in celebration of the abortion-at-any-stage act. Lit up on the Manhattan skyline, a pink rod pointed straight to heaven, announcing that we are proud to have abortion in our midst.
New York is not alone. Legislators in Vermont are debating a bill that would ensure an unborn baby “shall not have independent rights,” effectively allowing abortion whenever the expectant parent wants one.
What will we do?
There is a beautiful scene from “The Fellowship of the Ring” in which Frodo is overwhelmed about what he has been asked to do and the difficulty and danger that has handicapped his mission.
“I wish none of this had happened,” he confided to Gandalf.
“So do all who live to see such times,” Gandalf replied, “but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
Tolkien used his characters to speak to all of us, because every generation has their own “such times” to navigate. One generation had World War II. Another had the Vietnam War and the upheaval of the 1960s. Others faced economic crises or severe racial tension and abuse.
Like our parents’ and grandparents’ generations before us, we face several challenges. But one significant question will likely define our generation: What will we do about abortion?
Here are two reasons why abortion is such a big issue right now.
Ultrasound technology has revolutionized the abortion debate, and Focus on the Family’s Option Ultrasound Program reports that 54 percent of women choose life with counseling and an ultrasound. The “it’s-only-a-clump-of-cells” argument is much shakier than it used to be. Parents see that their child is alive, a living human being, and that eclipses any financial or personal reason for an abortion.
Ultrasounds reiterate why ending abortion should be a high priority for all Christians. Our God is the author of life (Acts 3:15), and life is central to the gospel. Jesus gives life — new life, eternal life, abundant life — through His overwhelming victory over death’s grip. We were once dead in sin, but now are fully alive and serving the God who creates life and sustains it every moment (Colossians 1:16–17).
Abortion ends a life. All humans bear God’s image, so to end the life of one of His image-bearers is in opposition to everything God has called us to be.
Nearly eight percent of all U.S. abortions take place in the state of New York, and even before January’s legislation, 28 percent of all pregnancies in New York Citynded in abortion.
Nationwide, according to the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, we have nearly a million abortions every year, which translates to more than 2,200 children dying daily. Internationally, from 2010–2014 there were 56 million abortions annually, which means 153,424 babies dying every day. Every day. Every. Day.
None of these ridiculous numbers is anything to celebrate.
These crazy-high numbers and facts about late-term abortions should cause pro-choice people to pause and think about the magnitude of what we’ve lost and cause pro-life advocates to double-up our efforts to share facts like these. Even many pro-choice people are not in favor of late-term abortions given the added level of sickening violence.
This is our time (to do something)
Tomorrow more than 150,000 babies around the world will be killed before they’re born. Hundreds of tiny, beautifully formed human beings will be murdered as we’re driving to work and school or shopping at the grocery store. While we talk with friends or sit at stoplights, tiny hearts will stop beating.
Fathers and mothers will be lied to about the gift they are losing as their children slip out of this world before ever getting a chance to breathe in it. Brothers and sisters will lose siblings, grandparents their grandchildren, and the world will lose a significant part of our future.
We are not OK with this. But just how much do we care?
Will our generation see a change in abortion? That’s hard to say. The potential is there, and the ball is in our court. Will we act on opportunities to change people’s minds about abortion?
Pro-life advocates have started organizations that help abortion workers find employment outside of the industry. Others like Option Ultrasound provide grants for ultrasound machines and sonography training as well as creating life-affirming, medically accurate resources. Still others expose the behind-the-scenes reality of abortion providers and prepare college students to have respectful pro-life conversations with their peers. Each of us can speak up for life in a number of ways.
Focus on the Family just launched a campaign titled See Life Clearly to bring attention to the tragedy of abortion. It will culminate on May 4 with a Focus- created and sponsored event in Times Square, New York City. As part of the event, Focus will project a live, 4-D ultrasound on a Times Square jumbotron to prove to the watching world that this baby in the womb is undeniably a child.
In the meantime, we can join our voices (like our own Lisa Anderson did) and make an immediate and substantial impact by signing the Declaration of Life.
Men and women of all ages creatively follow God’s leading, doing what they can where they are right now. We can be faithful with what we know to do now, as God leads us, and pray for opportunities to do more.
What will we do with the time that is given to us?
What will you do?
Copyright 2019 Lauren Dunn. All rights reserved.