Tuesday, the day before I wrote this post, it finally dawned on me that it was the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I felt I needed to write something here about the topic.
Although I lived in another country at the time Roe v. Wade became law, I was affected deeply by it. My second daughter was born the year it came into being. My father died that year too. But I digress, as usual!
It probably didn’t affect me in the ways you might expect. When I talk to people today, particularly women, and comment to them, “For me, Roe v. Wade had a positive side to it.” They cringe! How could that be?
I believed in the value of human life. I believed that a baby was human. I absolutely had NO plans to have an abortion myself or encourage anyone to have one. By then, I had already had a miscarriage and a full-term still born baby. There was no way I would have ever have had an abortion!
But I was not confident in telling another woman that it was absolutely wrong. How could I tell her not to have an abortion? Was I forcing my views on her when she wasn’t even a believer and had no reason to obey GOD or follow His ways?
Maybe it was a personal decision between her, her husband/boyfriend, if he was still around, and GOD. By comparison to many, my life was rather easy. I knew something about the complexities of many women from talking to women at work. I wasn’t confident that I could say with certainty that there was no time when an abortion wasn’t the right choice in a group of horrible choices!
I was confused. Particularly in the case of rape, I was not confident that I could face a woman and say with confidence that this was murder and by aborting her baby she would be compounding this horrible crime.
But with the coming of Roe v. Wade, those of us who were floating along had to get serious about our theology when it came to life and pre-born infants. I grew up in a time when many of those related topics weren’t discussed in mixed company, much less at church. Yet it was a topic that touched so many aspects of soul and spirit for men and women! Many women I talk to now can’t even believe there were christians then who were unsure regarding aspects of whether abortion might be OK. That is a good thing that has come from Roe.
As a result of Roe v. Wade and the clear speaking out of Christians re what GOD’s word says about it, I became convinced that abortion IS killing a baby. Pure and simple. That is what it is. There is no doubt that it is a difficult and painful decision. It isn’t as simple as many in the media present it. A fetus isn’t simply a “blob of tissue.” And for those who have made the abortion choice, I’m definitely not here to point my finger. That isn’t my job. The finger I point is to Christ, the One who forgives over and over…and doesn’t hold grudges and remind you of past failures and sins. He also takes us from where we are and leads us toward truth…as He did me.
- I realized that we humans are created in GOD’s image. It is clearly taught in Genesis 1:26-31, 2:4-25; Psalm 8:4-6; as well as many Psalms.
- A fetus is a human baby. The terminology of the pro-choice groups is careful to use that term “fetus” rather than baby for a reason! cf. Psalm 139, especially vss. 13-16.
- If we choose to kill a baby for our own convenience, to keep a secret, to lessen personal pain, etc. it won’t solve our problem! It sounds so neat and tidy. No one needs to know. Sadly, it turns out that many women can’t live with that secret. It eats away at them.
- Abortions, especially multiple ones, are harmful to our health. Results have shown that abortions increase the chances of breast cancer in women. That is one reason the Komen’s Race for a Cure organization attempted to distance themselves from Planned Parenthood. Because the money they were giving was increasing the chances that those women getting abortions would have breast cancer someday.
- I also followed the money in this argument. There is only one group that makes money in this industry. The abortion industry brings in a lot of money. The people who are pro-life are volunteers. They depend on donations to fund the local crisis pregnancy centers and mother’s homes where a variety of assistance is given to help the mom before the birth of the baby, including helping her decide whether to raise the child herself or adopt.
- Of course, the most important argument against abortion is found in the Ten Commandments: THOU SHALT NOT KILL. It is a difficult command to avoid. What does GOD have to say about it? But over the years, I have been blessed to hear and talk with many women who despite having an abortion, came to know Christ either for the first time or in a new way as a result of this horrible event in their life. For the first time, they came to understand the truth of GOD’s forgiveness for a sin so big that they often found it difficult to forgive themselves.
So this week, as we remember the day that abortion became legal, stop and pray for women who are in the throes of deciding right now about a pregnancy they are struggling over. You may not even know the struggle is going on.
What can you do to encourage women with difficult timing to a pregnancy that results because of sinful behavior or children that are coming faster than she can manage?
- How can you encourage her?
- By words you say?
- By enjoying her children?
- By smiling at her when you see her rather than criticizing her children for being lively and boistrous?
- By praying for her and her family?
This is the time to encourage young mothers, both married and single. Pray for them and find concrete ways to encourage them as well!
P.S. In case you are thinking I’m incredibly egotistical to think that I should go around telling people what to do on this issue, I am often asked some of these specific questions. In the nearly 45 years I have been a pastor’s wife, I have been asked about this issue both from people in the throes of making the decision and those who made the choice and have been struggling with the aftermath of their decision.
Just to set your mind at ease, I don’t go around grabbing women and telling them what to do on this issue if I haven’t been asked. martha