Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in this country. Most Supreme Court cases fade into history, but this one remains far from settled.
All you have to do is glance at recent headlines to find evidence of that. The news this time of year is full of stories about where we are as a nation as a result of Roe -- pro and con. Depending on the point of view, the stories usually reference how far there is left to go in securing abortion "rights," or how much ground our side has gained toward full protection of unborn babies' right to life.
One recurring theme concerns numbers: How many abortions there have been since 1973 (54,559,615 in the U.S.*); how many per year worldwide (approximately 44 million*); how many pro-life laws have been passed; or how many tax-dollars Planned Parenthood gets from the government each day ($1.5 million).
Numbers can boggle the mind, but don't tend to move people to lasting action. They seem to only make us angry or overwhelm us into inaction. And then we're on to the next atrocity.
Meanwhile, which side is winning or losing is scored with as much precision as presidential election polling, but we really don't know the pro-life side has won until a "vote" is cast . . . until a woman chooses life for her child. And we only get that information if we're privy to the counseling room in a pregnancy care center, or to conversations taking place on the sidewalk at an abortion clinic.
You can also feel closer to the "action" through involvement with a pro-life ministry as a regular supporter and/or prayer warrior. If you're not enlisted that way already, I recommend finding a "front lines" pro-life ministry to pray for. Choose one that's good at communicating prayer requests on a regular (even daily) basis via Facebook, Twitter, or email. It could be a pregnancy center in your neighborhood or across the ocean. We can make recommendations.
Numbers in the millions are too many to fathom, so concentrate on one at a time. One baby at risk. One mom tempted by abortion. One pregnancy care center offering abortion alternatives.
One life lost is too many. You can be sure one life is on the line right now.
One life at a time is, after all, what God demands an accounting of. In Genesis 9:5, He said:
"From every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man."
As God demanded an accounting from Cain over the loss of Abel, so God will demand from someone an account of every unborn baby lost to abortion. He doesn't miss a single one, even if the official counters do. The blood of the innocents cries out to Him (Gen. 4:10, Psalm 9:12).
America will have a lot of explaining to do, for first legalizing abortion and then exporting it around the world.
There's one more that needs our attention: the woman regretting her abortion at this moment. She needs to hear of the blood of Jesus "that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." It's a word of invitation, not accusation. He wants her to unload her burden of sin at His feet. He's offering forgiveness and a new life. We are privileged to bear that message.
*We're forced to rely on abortion providers and the government for figures on abortion because otherwise we'd have no access to them. Corrected 1/22/13: The link given above is to a National Right to Life compilation of figures through 2011; adding another year of 1.2 million abortions to the that total yields 55,772,015 abortions since Roe v. Wade.
Time & Abortion
Roe v. Wade: 40 years later
Roe v. Wade month - part 1, part 2
40 years after Roe, human dignity hangs in the balance
You Can Change Our Culture's Mind on Abortion - tools to use
Better Reporting for Abortions