On January 22, 1973, a day which has gone down in infamy, the US Supreme Court, with a 7 to 2 majority, struck down the abortion laws of 50 American states, and basically invented the “right” for a woman to kill her own unborn baby for more or less any reason at more or less any time.
Appealing to a “right of privacy” the seven activist judges not only rewrote the history books but declared war on the unborn, on basic morality, and the most fundamental of all human rights. And of course like dominos one nation after another also liberalised their abortion laws after the US decision. The only two dissenting Justices were Byron White and William Rehnquist. In his dissenting opinion White said in part:
“I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant women and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the woman, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.”
It most certainly was a case of “raw judicial power”. Indeed, for decades now activist judges have been rewriting the US Constitution as they seek to implement radical social agendas. I have looked at this very worrying development elsewhere: billmuehlenberg.com/2008/11/02/the-threat-of-judicial-activism/
So now, 40 years on what do we have to show for all this? The main thing we have to show is 55 million dead babies. The seven judges should be real proud of themselves. Very few men in history have that much blood on their hands. And so do many Christians, and Christian leaders, who have refused to speak out on this greatest human rights issue of our time.
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition put it this way: “Over the past 36 years of ordained ministry, I have worked tirelessly on issues of human rights and social justice. Whether that has been; establishing emergency shelters for the homeless along with food pantries and soup kitchens, racial reconciliation, affordable housing, shipping medical supplies to emerging nations, establishing medical clinics for impoverished people and establishing homes for women dealing with domestic violence.
“However, without question, the greatest issue of social justice and human rights facing our nation today is that of ending the horror of abortion. Therefore, it is extremely troubling and disturbing that America’s mega churches are not publicly and prophetically confronting the violence of abortion, its diminishing of women and the tragic loss of 55,000,000 innocent children from our communities.
“It is inexcusable and shameful to exclude ending abortion from other social justice and human rights issues such as providing clean drinking water, fighting poverty, homelessness and human trafficking. Sadly, the silence of America’s largest churches on the issue of abortion will add years to the struggle toward providing a society which treats every person with dignity and respect and bringing an end to the violence of abortion.
“My hope and prayer is that as our nation marks the 40th Memorial of Roe v. Wade, America’s mega churches will embrace the heart of Christ for justice and human rights and speak up with passion and purpose about ending this senseless violence against our children.”
Quite right. Yet despite the shameful silence of so many professing believers, much has been done by many. So much so that even a recent cover story by Time magazine spoke of the wins of the prolifers. On the cover of its January 14, 2013 edition it had these words: “40 Years Ago, Abortion Rights Activists Won an Epic Victory With Roe v. Wade. They’ve been losing ever since.”
Sounds good to me. Steven Ertelt explains some of the reasons for this: “Pro-life feminism has captivated a new generation of young women who reject the illusion that to be pro-woman is to be pro-choice. Gallup polling showed that among 18-to-29-year-olds, there was a 5% increase in those labeling themselves ‘pro-life’ between 2007–08 and 2009–10.
“The past few years have seen the emergence of young leaders like Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America, who is responsible for organizing more than 675 pro-life groups on college campuses across the nation, and Lila Rose of Live Action, whose undercover video work has forced the abortion industry to confront and amend practices it cannot defend, as well as dozens of other future leaders who have assisted our organization as staff members and interns.”
And Dr. Benjamin Wiker says that developments in science and technology are also a part of this: “The problem for the pro-choice side boils down to this: more Americans, even pro-choice Americans, now see what is being chosen. Seeing is believing, and seeing inside the womb changes beliefs.”
He concludes, “The right to abortion is suffering the same difficulties as those that helped end the right to slavery. Abolitionists shifted the debate from the right to slavery, to the humanity of the slaves. They showed who slaves were, real people. Not partially human, not merely having a human shape, but truly, really human. They showed the cruelty inherent with slavery—the deadly ships into which men, women, and children were packed by slavers, the chains, the whips, the welts, the scars, the broken families, the animal toil.
“Abolitionists showed that slavery was about people not property. Pro-life activists are following in the footsteps of the abolitionists. Like the abolitionists, they will not allow us to make a blind decision.”
Yes quite so. And as Bethany Monk informs us, “2012: A Good Year for Pro-life Legislation”. She writes, “A total of 43 new pro-life laws went into effect in 19 states last year, making 2012 the year with the second highest number of pro-life legislation passed at the state level…. There were 92 pro-life laws enacted in 2011, making it a record-breaking year for pro-life legislation.”
That’s a good start, but of course much more needs to be done. However, changes are taking place. Nicole Lange offers this news about America: “Four decades after the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion throughout the United States, a new KofC-Marist Poll shows that more than eight in 10 Americans (83 percent) favor significant restrictions. The poll reveals that support for significant abortion restrictions has increased by four points since last year—rising from 79 percent to 83 percent.”
While we desire complete abolition rather than just restrictions, the momentum seems to be going in our direction, so we can take heart here. Jill Stanek also addresses these changes: “We don’t see our movement as just a political movement. We see it as a movement for culture change and social justice. We do not want to participate only in lobbying and voter mobilization. We want to be involved in organizations that create dynamic, lasting, empowering change that lift up the experiences of those with the least power. We don’t want to be involved in organizations that have pursued the same strategies for decades that lead us to the dismal place we are today. We want a bold, pro-active vision for a future of our own creation. And we aren’t getting that from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the Feminist Majority Foundation, or NOW.”
Many different people and many different organisations need to be congratulated for all they have done for the prolife cause. The very fact that Time could post such a cover story may be terrifying to the pro-aborts, but it is good news indeed for all who cherish life.
All our many efforts have been paying off. Sure, there is a long way yet to go, but we are seeing some real runs on the board. This simply demonstrates the importance of putting feet to our beliefs and prayers. We must not only think right about these issues and pray much, but we must also act.
Thus now more than ever, we need to get fully involved in this most important moral issue of our time. And let this thought of R.C. Sproul be both a prayer and a reality in your life: “I pray God for a multitude of Wilberforces who will relentlessly speak against this monstrous evil, until such a day that our nation will wake up.”