Psalm 139:13-15 (New Living Translation) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
By Chuck Griffin
The U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, sending the regulation of abortion back to the states, has generated plenty of news the past few days.
For me, it seems like the news has come full circle. In the late 1980s, I spent some of my earliest days as a reporter covering Operation Rescue blockades of abortion clinics. These events seldom became violent, but they certainly were tense and sometimes loud, with a heavy police presence always nearby.
Even then, it wasn’t hard to grasp that the two sides were at an impasse. One group passionately argued for women’s rights, while the other group, equally passionate, argued for the rights of the unborn child. Two opposing worldviews were present, each with a very different emphasis on which life to value, the mother or the infant inside of her.
As Christians, we do not have Scripture overtly telling us, “Thou shall not abort babies.” Those of us who see life as being present and worthy of protection from the moment of conception have to rely on a broader view of what God has revealed about life.
The above verses from Psalm 139 are clearly poetic, but Scripture in all of its forms reveals truth, and these words reveal something important about God’s love for life. The God who knows when a sparrow falls also is aware of even deeper, tinier matters—the complex, rapid division of cells that align to make reality from a unique, microscopic DNA blueprint.
Even in our brokenness, with our bodies and souls damaged by sin from the start, God sees enormous potential in us as we are being made. I am glad Roe v. Wade was overturned simply because there now are new conversations to be had about the power of what is happening in those wombs.
I also need to remind myself, however, that a court cannot resolve the real problem of abortion, and state legislatures will not resolve it either, regardless of the direction they go in their lawmaking. Women mostly seek abortions because they perceive their circumstances as being desperate. Right or wrong, they fear the future, believing the birth of the babies they carry within will irreparably harm their lives, or that the children’s lives will not be worth living.
As we go about properly fulfilling the mission of the church, we promote hope over fear. When we are effective, we move beyond words to actions very quickly. More churches need to do a better job of offering desperate women both the spiritual guidance and the resources they need, helping them to incorporate their children’s existence into a bright vision of the future.
Abortions will not end in our lifetimes. Sadly, some occur as part of a culture of callous convenience, and the hearts of those women will be much harder to reach.
We can prevent many abortions, however, simply by being the people who look at the frightened woman and the child inside her and say, “You both count. You both are valuable—you both are children of God.” And then we take action to prove what we say.
Lord, there’s so much to do in regard to abortion and many other difficult matters troubling our society. May every living Christian find his or her niche in the kingdom, going to work on your behalf. Amen.