I was shocked by the recent actions of the legislators and governor in New York. It was mind-bending to believe they had decreed an abortion is legal in New York all the way to full-term if it threatens the life and health (“health” was the new determinant) of the mother. I could not believe in a matter that is so tragic they cheered after passing the legislation.
The pro-life position, aided largely by the testimony of science, has been slowly but surely gaining acceptance. For the third decade in a row abortions have been on the decline in the USA. The number now is half of what it was in the late 1970s and 1980s. State after state had placed restrictions on how late in term abortions could occur.
There has not been a day since the actions in New York that I have not thought about this matter. In that numbers are a language that speaks to me, I have delved more deeply than ever before. Here is just a little of what I have found (I am not listing sources here, but if desired I can let you know where I found these. Most of them are from the government):
* 1.3 percent of abortions occur after the 20th week of pregnancy. (Even so, is an abortion at any stage less egregious?)
* For every 1,000 live births there are 188 abortions. (Or put another way, and by rounding off numbers, that is saying for every five live births in the U.S. one is aborted.)
* 58.7 percent of women having an abortion are in their 20s.
* 86 percent of women having an abortion are unmarried.
* The health of the mother or of the baby is one of the least-mentioned reasons women noted for why they chose to abort. The reasons most mentioned were the inability to care for and provide for the child.
So what does this mean to me and many Christian people? What does it mean to those who really do care about other people and are saddened beyond words with the thought of any child being aborted?
* We must seek engagement of youth and young adults who have no church or spiritual foundation in order to lead them to the truth and life found in Jesus Christ.
* We must regularly give witness to the sacredness of life. Each person is made in the image of God.
* We need to stand beside and support in every way possible women who are unexpectedly (and maybe even undesirably in their minds) pregnant.
* We need to provide consistent teaching, spoken kindly, regarding the beauty and wisdom of God’s plan regarding sexual intimacy that is to be reserved for marriage without shaming (or shunning) those who have fallen short.
* We need to offer support to those at the front lines of “crisis,” including pro-life pregnancy centers.
* We need to elect and support legislators who will act (not just talk) in helping to see that we truly are a “pro-life” nation protecting the lives of “the least of these” while seeking to be helpful to would-be mothers.
* We need to support, including financially, young adults who are willing to adopt.
And then let us pray. Pray for those who are considering abortions that they will see other and better options. Pray for those who have had abortions to find mercy and grace in Jesus. And then pray for those who perform abortions to be convicted by the Holy Spirit of their wrongdoing.
And last … we must not give up. We as the people of God must continue to lead through love and godly resolution.