Planned Parenthood has ended over 6 million lives since 1970. In the United States, there have been over 57 million lives ended due to abortion. In the US, “22% of all pregnancies, excluding miscarriages, end in abortion.”[i] In 2004, the top two reasons for abortions were basically “having a baby would dramatically change my life” and “I can’t afford a baby now.”[ii] If you check out the links in the endnotes, you can see more reasons given for abortions. Around the world, abortions happen both legally and illegally. My heart breaks for all these children and people whose life has been torn apart through procedures known as abortion. How did we get to this point? How did we arrive at the place where a human life is so disposable and expendable? I am sure many of you reading this post have read statistics on abortion because it is such a debated issue. However, if not, here are a couple websites you can check out which give some statistics for abortions:
You might disagree with these statistics, however, the fact this many human lives have been ended since 1970 is insane. I cannot wrap my mind around this. As a father, from the very first ultrasound when our daughter looked like a bumblebee, we never thought of her in any other way than as a human being who deserves a chance to live. Parents around the world would echo this sentiment. Even parents who have had an abortion have ended up regretting the choice.
So why write a post on abortion when there are already so many voices on both sides of the issue screaming at each other to no avail? Why do I want to add to this madness? The reason I am writing this post is to simply share a few thoughts God has placed on my heart. If we want to bring an end to abortions, we cannot simply vote against it, or picket abortion clinics or boycott stores, companies and agencies that fund Planned Parenthood. Before we can take action against abortion in a manner that will lead to lasting change, we as Christians need to realize what is truly at play when it comes to abortion, factors that have long been plaguing this world. You would also need to take a look at the changes which occurred through the 1960’s and 1970’s. The big case everyone points to when it comes to abortion is Roe v. Wade in 1973 but the move towards this started long before this case, and has been building and gaining momentum ever since. So if we hope to change a whole cultures perspective on abortion, we need to start with the human heart. The heart is what guides people; the heart is what people listen to most even though it deceives us time and again. I found a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt I believe reveals the shift going on during this period in the United States:
Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.[iii]
This seemed to be the motto of a generation. But the heart can deceive. Why do you think people can fall in and out of love? Because they have not realized their very own hearts can play tricks on them. Our hearts can lead us astray. The Bible, in Jeremiah 17:9 warns us the “heart is deceitful above all things…” Why? Because in the heart of every human being, two notions are at work:
We all struggle with this. No one is above pride and self-centeredness. We all have a desire to be right. We all have a desire to live for ourselves. This is why when we wake up, the first thought on our mind is not always what can I do to help make someone else’s life better, but what do I need to do today. It takes work to care about people the same way we care about ourselves. Children need to be taught to care about others. Children need to be taught everything about life. The way they are taught though is not simply with what we say to them, but in how we live. Our lives have to echo what our words are saying for children to truly catch on. But on the other hand, even children with the most caring parents in the world can still turn out to be self-centered and prideful. And this happens when we do not learn to control our heart and not let it control us.
So how does all of this apply to the topic of abortion? Look at abortion. How many reasons involve the unborn child? Basically every single reason people have abortions comes down to the idea of what is best for me. How many people at Planned Parenthood would ask you what do you think is best for the baby? None of them do that. Even if you look at the website for Planned Parenthood, you will see everything is based on you, your health, your life, your lifestyle, etc.; not the unborn child growing in the mother’s womb. There is probably never even mention about the baby in your womb; it is simply a fetus, something that can be terminated on your request. They never talk about the other options you have such as putting the child up for adoption. However, it is interesting that if a woman driving to an abortion clinic to have an abortion were in a car accident and the “fetus” was killed, the other driver could be charged with man-slaughter. How is that possible if an unborn baby is just a fetus?
It all comes down to pride and self-centeredness. Women today are simply following a philosophy handed down to them through the decades; a philosophy of me, all about me, centered on me and depending on me. You and I face this issue to, but in other ways. We are prideful and self-centered as well. But for many of us, we are able to hide it better because it does not involve another individual’s life. Basically we are all dealing with the issue of sin. And the only thing that can change our hearts is the Gospel. Just like we would say these women making these choices to abort their babies need the Gospel, you and I need it just as much.
Tomorrow, I am going to take a look at what we as Christians need to do if we are to make any kind of difference in this fight for life.