Studies continue to show that the tide of public opinion is turning against abortion. In that sense, pro-lifers are steadily winning the fight as more Americans recognize the evil of abortion. But in another sense, pro-lifers lose the fight each and every time an innocent child is murdered.
Pro-life activists are selfless and courageous people. They possess the strength of conviction needed to boldly stand against the American abortion juggernaut on behalf of the voiceless unborn. Their stance against the prevailing tide of murderous injustice has doubtless served to ignite a movement that, Lord willing, will continue to grow and expand until those unborn humans who are the most weak and vulnerable among us are finally valued and protected by law.
But for now, the scourge of abortion is still an American institution, with over three thousand children slaughtered each and every day. Even though almost forty years have passed since the Supreme Court handed down Roe vs. Wade, politicians have accomplished little to stop the bloodshed. And with the rising popularity of abortion-causing contraceptive methods like the Morning After Pill, it’s clear that any estimates of the abortion toll since 1973 are probably greatly understated. Untold millions of children are dead because of our cultural addiction to abortion.
This addiction is primarily a theological problem. Every human reflects the image of God (Gen. 1:26), and the Bible prevents the murder of fellow image bearers (Ex. 20:13). Scripture’s teaching that each of these image bearers was knitted together in the womb by God himself (Ps. 139:13-14) is foundational to the belief that human life is deserving of legal protection from conception onward. Furthermore, evangelical Christians affirm Christ’s teaching that their actions toward the most defenseless members of society reflect their true attitude toward Christ Himself (Mt. 25:40). God has clearly condemned murder in His Word and has promised judgment for those societies who embrace murder. Frankly, we as a culture have refused to believe God, even at our own peril.
Pro-lifers must remember that abortion has always been, and still is, a Gospel issue. There is no change in our culture without a change of heart, something only accomplished through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pro-lifers must continue to build their case against abortion on the Word of God. Some people argue that pro-life activism should be based primarily on science, reason, and emotional pleas. While these types of arguments have their place, they should only be used secondarily to the enduring and life-changing Word of God. Why rely primarily on statistics and psychological arguments for our opposition to abortion? It’s sin! We must not lose sight of the most important reason to oppose abortion: God does.
Finally, Christian pro-lifers must remember that God is sovereign. Driven by the strength of Biblical conviction, we must continue to love the least among us. God calls us to faithfulness, regardless of the possibility of success. Our hearts’ longing for justice must compel us to keep working for the protection of our fellow image bearers, but that longing also reminds us of the sure promise that one day, God will let “justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24).