Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done? Proverbs 24:11-12
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v Wade which had established abortion as a right protected by the Constitution. This ended a fifty-year fight by pro-life forces in our country and was the answer to many fervent prayers and much passionate effort. It was easy for many to see this moment as the end of abortion in America. But subsequent events have proven such a conclusion to be completely false. Pro-abortion zealots have redoubled their efforts to establish at the state level the right to kill unborn babies. Many elections have been decided by that zeal, and many states have hurried to enact pro-abortion legislation. While fourteen states have made abortion illegal, other states have expanded access to abortion.
It has become clear that the fight for pre-born life goes on. Therefore, it is vital for Christians to renew the scriptural basis of that fight. Fundamental to our pro-life convictions is the sanctity of all human life, created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27) Scripture clearly establishes the humanity of pre-born babies in the case of John the Baptist, who leaped for joy in his mother Elizabeth’s womb when the sound of Mary’s voice reached her ears. (Luke 1:44) At that moment, Mary was only a few weeks pregnant with the incarnate Son of God, yet Elizabeth still called her “the mother of my Lord.” (Luke 1:43) God’s direct activity in knitting every baby together in his/her mother’s womb is clearly taught in these passages:
Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. Job 10:8-12
For you created my inmost being; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. Psalm 139:13-16
The humanity of the pre-born must always be the centerpiece of our pro-life doctrine. It cuts through all political compromises that forget that all babies are human beings, even those conceived by rape or incest. No one advocates killing six-year-olds who were conceived in these terrible ways, because the sanctity of their lives as human beings is protectable under the law. So, it must be when they are still in the womb.
"The humanity of the pre-born must always be the centerpiece of our pro-life doctrine. It cuts through all political compromises that forget that all babies are human beings, even those conceived by rape or incest."
We must have our eyes open for the hard journey ahead. People generally fight so zealously for abortion rights for two main reasons: 1) they desire to be sexually active apart from marriage, or 2) they desire to be free from the relentless and heavy responsibilities of caring for children. Combating these desires can only be done ultimately with the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He alone can deliver us from bondage to sexual lusts, and he alone can enable us to live sacrificially for the benefit of others, including children.
In the meantime, Christians need to continue to fight at the local political level to block laws that establish abortion rights. And Christians need to help women in crisis pregnancies to make loving choices. This help needs to extend into the ongoing care for the child for years after it is born, in pattern of orphan care established in James 1:27. Finally, Christian families and churches need to teach sexual purity in their churches, reestablishing the sanctity of sex within marriage.
The road ahead will be challenging. Though we pro-life Christians should rejoice in and take encouragement from the overturning of Roe v Wade, that energy needs to be put to good use to travel the miles still to go.