On January 22nd 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court discovered a new right previously unknown hidden between the words of the Fourteenth and Ninth Amendments to the constitution which has since granted abortion on demand to women across the land. This decision has made the abortion of around 57+ million unborn children a legal reality. Albeit many have been working since this decision to restrict and abolition abortion, the fact remains that everyday pre-born babies’ lives are ended, public opinion is stagnated, and the churches of America response tacit. Worse yet, as much as those who claim to be Pro-Life in government have little to look back on to call success when new laws such as New York’s infanticide law pushes abortion to new heights. Still, abortion could have been eliminated by now instead of the fight continuing for over 40 years but except for two reasons.
Desire Fueled Abortion
In September of 2013, zookeepers in Halle, Germany were horrified after the long awaited pregnancy of Bibi the African elephant ended in her violently killing her own infant child. Earlier the same year zookeepers were barely successful in saving another baby elephant from being stomped to death by its mother in a Chinese zoo. At the national zoo in Washington DC, a sloth bear devoured two of its own children after giving birth before zookeepers were able to rescue the remaining child. Animal infanticide occurs not just in captivity, but also in the wild and is repulsive to watch, even by researchers.
There is much debate between “experts” in zoology as to why this phenomenon happens. But most agree it is because it confers some implicit benefit to the parent to destroy their own child, whether it is survival, nutrition, or stress-relief. In short, motivation is based on the perception and desire of the parent’s own needs.
In 1888 a research journal published what it called “Notes on the Natives of the Solomon Islands.” In this is a disturbing account regarding a group of people which the author labeled the “Beach People” who regularly killed their own children shortly after birth by digging a hole in the ground and, to quote the author, the mother lets the child drop into the hole and covers it up immediately. The shocking reason given for this atrocity as told by the perpetrators of this crime was because it is too much trouble to rear a child. The solution to this human desire to maintain personal freedom without the responsibility of another life was to kill the babies and purchase full grown children from a neighboring tribe. It comes as no surprise that this same people group also practiced abortion.
The motivation is always the same; a desire to have personal freedom not restricted by the care of another. This is the first reason why abortion in America is still legal. In biblical terms, it is called covetousness. As defined by the Baker Bible Dictionary, to covet is to desire inordinately, to place the object of desire before love and devotion to God. Covetousness expressed sounds like this: I’m too young/old to start a family, I can’t be tied down to this man/girl for the rest of my life, I’ll be disgraced if my family/friends found out, and this wasn’t planned. This covetous is the outworking of our broken and sinful nature. Until the sight of this sin is realized and brought to Godly sorrow and repentance in Jesus Christ, the cycle of its expression in abortion will not be broken.
Apathy Fueled Abortion
The second reason is moral apathy towards what has become a modern genocide. The grotesqueness of the reality of abortion is so disturbing that to dwell too long on it can drive a man crazy. Yet, the outcry from the church at large requires sharp ears to hear. The average Christian is more stimulated by traditional versus contemporary music debates than the murder of unborn children. Meanwhile, the advocates of abortion are becoming even bolder in their public acknowledgment that abortion is indeed murder. The debates of when life begins have become a moot point to them as the desire for personal unrestricted freedom without consequences trumps unborn life, and possibly extend to infants in the future.
Eliminating the Fuel for Abortion
What this means for Christians is two-fold. First, a realization that the battle against abortion is a battle for souls trapped under the power of sin. To minimize this by degrading the argument into constitutional debates on state-rights or other political talking points is to misunderstand the enemy. Once this is understood then the fight against abortion can take shape into what it should be; a gospel-centered attack on sin and a call towards repentance and faith. The second part of that is for Christians and the visible church at large to recognize that it is from a lack of spiritual discipline that our eyes have become blind to the high-level attack on the image of God that is abortion. Our apathy becomes blasphemy when we develop contentment with bumper-sticker and hash-tag wars against abortion when the enemy is using the nuclear option. The first step towards victory is to know your enemy; the second step is decisive and disciplined action. How are you responding to the war on abortion?