When New York passed a bill in late January that greatly expanded abortion rights, lawmakers clapped and cheered.
Not even a week later, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam further showed the hand of the pro-abortion position, saying the following regarding the instance of a baby surviving the procedure:
“The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
I wonder if they knew the consequences those events would bring. Since then, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Georgia have all passed pro-life bills prohibiting abortion at the detection of a heartbeat, typically six weeks’ gestation. The passage of a Missouri bill this morning outlaws abortions at eight weeks’ gestation. On May 15 Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the nation’s most stringent anti-abortion law, eliminating the practice in virtually all cases.
The opposition’s response has been vitriolic … and expected. And as much as you may have heard otherwise, Georgia’s bill won’t imprison women who have miscarriages.
As arguments – regardless of the topic – get more heated it’s easier to get away from the central point. Here, it’s about life. If science confirms life begins in the womb, then that’s where a living person should begin receiving his or her rights. Those rights don’t start the second he or she breathes air. It certainly doesn’t start sometime after “a discussion.”
Another argument from those less-than-pleased with the current wave of pro-life legislation points toward the resulting “unwanted” children. The accusation is that those who are pro-life care only for the unborn. After that, the pro-life crowd disappears.
The best, nicest response I can give to those who think this the case is they must be terribly isolated from the pro-life movement and Christians. I see people caring for children who don’t have a home, providing literacy lessons, and helping others escape sex trafficking. There’s a reason organizations like Compassion International have strong relationships with churches when seeking sponsors for children. My personal experience with volunteerism places me in direct contact with other Christians compelled to do so through the Gospel.
And even as critics paint a picture of non-involved Christians and pro-lifers uncaring toward societal ills – a position I see as untrue – I welcome those charges. Because even with the number of fellow believers I see living out and sharing the Gospel, we always need more. Check in with your town’s homeless shelter. Odds are it’s operated by a Christian (the one in my town is a member of my church) who will quickly let you know how to help. Call the social worker for your school system and they’ll connect you with a child needing mentorship. Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate for a child felt abandoned with no one on his or her side.
As I covered Governor Kemp’s signing of the LIFE Act, otherwise known as the fetal heartbeat bill, I couldn’t help but get excited as he spoke of this signifying a greater cultural change when it comes to life. The foster care system needs to operate better and weed out those only seeing it as a monetary benefit. We can’t have parents wanting to adopt relegated to the sidelines because they can’t afford the fees. Elder care must be addressed to give senior adults the dignity they crave and deserve.
Taking these steps will be messy, if for no other reason than people will be involved in the process. But if it brings about a cultural transformation where all are seen as created in God’s image, it will be worth it. That will be a discussion worth having.