A former police officer killed thirty-six people, including twenty-four children, during a rampage at a day care center in Thailand yesterday. Most of the children, aged between two and five years, were stabbed to death, police said.
In 2020, 9,152 children between the ages of one and fourteen died in the US, which works out to twenty-five a day. Like the children massacred in Thailand, each of these deaths is an unspeakable tragedy. I cannot imagine the pain parents and families must feel at the loss of a child.
By contrast, 629,898 babies were aborted in the US in 2019, the last year for which the CDC reported a yearly national total. This averages to 1,725 babies aborted every day in America.
In other words, sixty-nine times more children die each day in the US from abortion than children ages one to fourteen die from all other causes combined.
How Disney and Google are promoting abortion
The subject of abortion is back in the news after the Biden administration unveiled new measures this week intended to protect abortion rights. The president also called on Americans to pressure Congress to pass legislation that would ensure abortion is legal across the country.
The Health and Human Services Department has already declared that doctors and hospitals must provide an abortion under federal law when a doctor deems it necessary for a pregnant woman in an emergency medical condition to be stabilized. The federal government has also instructed (PDF) pharmacists not to deny patients access to abortion medications.
In related news, Disney and Google are supporting a program that will award film students a $25,000 grant toward creating movies that promote abortion rights. Sheryl Sandberg, the former chief operating officer for Meta Platforms, has donated $3 million to the ACLU to support abortion rights.
And Planned Parenthood is planning a mobile abortion clinic that will travel close to the borders of states that have banned abortion, making it easier for women in these states to abort their children.
The preeminent right of our day
Two centuries before Christ, the Jewish Mishnah forbade abortion except to save the life of the mother. The Didache, the earliest theological treatise after the Bible, likewise states, “You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child.” From then to now, the sanctity of life from birth to natural death has been a central tenet of orthodox Christian faith. Millions of Americans—including 47 percent of Catholics and 63 percent of evangelical Protestants—object to abortion as a consequence of their religious beliefs.
But the “right to life” today runs headlong into what is euphemistically called the “right to choose.” (This “right” does not extend to the unborn baby, of course.) And the “right to choose,” whatever the subject, is the preeminent right of our day.
I noted recently that many people dismiss biblical truth on LGBTQ issues, not because they identify as LGBTQ, but because they want to dismiss such truth when it pertains to sexual sins they do want to commit (such as premarital sex and adultery). The same logic pertains here. A woman’s “right to choose” to end the life of her unborn child is commensurate with the right to choose one’s spouse (whatever their gender or number), the right to choose one’s manner and timing of death, and a host of other personal “rights.”
In this view, so long as your “right to choose” does not impinge on my “right to choose,” you are as free to make your choices as I am to make mine.
Satan’s one strategy
Four biblical conclusions follow.
One: Christians should expect to face increasing attacks on our First Amendment religious freedoms from abortion advocates just as we do from LGBTQ advocates.
In the former case, it will be Christian health care providers on the front lines, as in the latter it is currently Christian wedding service providers. In both cases, we are seen as discriminatory and hateful toward minorities and thus undeserving of the protections of civil society. This is just one way Jesus’ warning is coming to pass: “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).
Two: On this and other “culture war” issues, we should decide today what stance we are willing to defend tomorrow.
When opposition comes, we will need to know what we believe and why we believe it. For example, I recently consulted with a Christian hospital executive who has decided that if his hospital system begins performing elective abortions, he will resign. He has thought and prayed about his response and is ready if it is needed. All Christians in all dimensions of our secularized culture need to follow his example as we “count the cost” before we must pay it (Luke 14:28).
Three: We must beware the lure of the “right to choose” in our own lives and souls.
You may be as adamantly pro-life as I am, but the “right to choose” is nonetheless tempting for us in other areas. Any thought, word, or deed that conflicts with God’s word is sin. Satan has only one strategy—“you will be like god” (Genesis 3:5)—because this strategy is all he needs. Every temptation is a variation on this theme. Surrendering every day to the lordship of Christ (Romans 10:9) and the authority and power of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) is thus vital.
Four: We must earn the right to help others choose God’s will for their lives.
From women considering abortion to patients considering euthanasia and everyone in between, every person you meet today needs to experience the love of God found in the community of faith. Jesus assures us that he stands in such solidarity with those in need that “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).
How will you serve Jesus today?