Who will take care of the babies?
Psalms 139:13-16 (NRSV) 13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
These scriptures from Psalms have never been more vitally important than they are today. On January 22, 2019 Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into legislation protecting womens’ reproductive rights in New York. Amid the increasing fear that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, the State Legisture moved abortions from the state criminal code to the health code. The law further permits those who are not doctors to perform the procedure, even into the third trimester.
While people cheered the decision, the above words kept echoing in my brain. The God of the Universe, our Creator, our Father, takes such care in our formation, but mankind has decided they know more than God.
I can understand that desperate people do desperate things. But how many people opt for terminating a pregnancy because of convenience? As a pastor, I try to avoid weighing in on political arguments, but this is not political, it is spiritual.
Our country has reverted to the sins of the Old Testament where infants were sacrificed to the pagan gods Molech and Baal. Except today, unborn babies are being sacrificed on the altars of convenience. And with this most recent law in New York, babies in their third trimester of life can be poisoned and suffer what has been described by OB/GYNs as an excruciating death.
Leviticus 20:2-5 (NRSV) 2 Say further to the people of Israel:
Any of the people of Israel, or of the aliens who reside in Israel, who give any of their offspring to Molech shall be put to death; the people of the land shall stone them to death. 3 I myself will set my face against them, and will cut them off from the people, because they have given of their offspring to Molech, defiling my sanctuary and profaning my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land should ever close their eyes to them, when they give of their offspring to Molech, and do not put them to death, 5 I myself will set my face against them and against their family, and will cut them off from among their people, them and all who follow them in prostituting themselves to Molech.
At the time Roe v. Wade was passed into law, young girls and women submitted themselves to people, many of whom had no medical training, for what was then termed “back-alley abortions.” It was a time when mothers either shunned their daughters or sent them away for the remainder of the pregnancy. For the girls who were sent away, there were homes for unwed mothers and the babies were placed for adoption. Sometimes family members would take the baby and raise him or her as their own.
Many of these women who were on their own had no good option–they found both education and jobs were scarce. I doubt that few women underwent abortions without serious soul-searching during that time.
Times have changed. The rallying call for abortion rights is “My body, my choice.” I would like to believe that some women still agonize over their choice, but to others it is less daunting than having a bad tooth removed.
As a woman of faith, I pray the scales can still be tipped toward the side of valuing all life, but I fear that time has passed. Many states have fetal protection laws in the event an unborn child is killed through an act of violence to the mother. Yet, there is no protection under the law against abortion. In the first instance the fetus is considered a life, in the second, it is not. Make sense? I think not.
As a minister, I love preaching encouragement. But today, I must warn those who declare this is a political issue or even a medical issue that you are wrong. The issue of abortion is a spiritual issue. If you state men have no place in this debate, you are wrong. If you believe the lie that even though a heart beat exists there is no life, you are wrong.
I pray that God will begin to soften hearts that have been hardened by rhetoric and that there will be a time of repentance in America, a time where all lives are valuable and time where God will heal our land. If it has a heartbeat, it has a life. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Father God, help us to take not one knee in opposition to something as meaningful as our National Anthem, but move us to take both knees in submission to You, the One, True and the Living God, in repentance and in the prayer that You will turn our hearts, you will move us to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and You will heal our land. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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