South Carolina’s legislature has passed a ban on abortion after nineteen weeks. Twelve other states have similar laws. Why nineteen weeks? The bill’s supporters believe that a fetus can feel pain at twenty weeks. This legislation is just one of many ways pro-life supporters are responding to the tragedy of abortion.
The numbers are staggering: globally, one in four pregnancies ends in abortion. This equates to fifty-six million babies killed each year. The number of babies aborted in America is one-and-a-half times the total population of Canada. (For more, see my Abortion and the Mercy of God.) However, in addition to legal efforts restricting abortion, a number of other strategies are also making a difference.
One: Women’s health care.
A number of clinics are now providing alternatives to Planned Parenthood, the leading abortion provider in America. An example in Dallas is Thrive Women’s Clinic. It offers pregnancy testing, sonograms, registered nurses, licensed doctors, nutrition and childbirth classes, clothing and furniture support, and referrals to social services—all free of charge. Similar clinics exist in other cities around the country.
Consider BraveLove, a movement dedicated to changing the perception of adoption and increasing domestic infant adoptions. Its newest video, “(un)Wanted,” tells the story of brave mothers who placed their children for adoption.
Three: Foster care.
May is National Foster Care Month, calling attention to the nearly 400,000 children and youth in the American foster care system. One of our ministry team members is caring for a foster child. I invite you to read her remarkable story at www.christianparenting.org, one of the ministries of Denison Forum.
It is easy to be discouraged by the moral trajectory of our culture. Marriage has been redefined; gender is being redefined as we speak. Euthanasia is gaining momentum. Genetic manipulation of human embryos is now a reality. Jihadist terrorism continues to dominate the news. Many Americans are discouraged by the tenor and direction of our politics.
But it’s always too soon to give up on God. Consider these facts: in AD 100 there was one professing Christian for every 360 non-Christians in the world. By AD 1500, the ratio was 1:270; by AD 1500, it was 1:85; by 1900, it was 1:21; by 1970, it was 1:13. Today? The ratio is one to two.
Here’s a related fact: the number of Christian missionaries has grown from 17,400 in 1900 to more than 400,000 today. During the twentieth century, the number of believers in Africa has risen from less than ten percent to nearly fifty percent. Christianity in Asia is growing twice as fast as the population. The country with the fastest Christian growth rate? Iran, at twenty percent. God is still on his throne.
How is the Lord calling you to support life? Perhaps he wants you to volunteer time or finances with pro-life health clinics and adoption ministries. Perhaps he is calling you to consider adoption or foster care. Undoubtedly he is calling you to pray for at-risk children and their parents and care providers.
We are called to be pro-life, not just pro-birth. How does God want you to support life today?
Whatever your Father calls you to do, he will empower you to do. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). Pope Francis was right: Jesus wants to turn “your energy into moral virtue, your good will into genuine self-sacrificing love! This is the path you are called to take. This is the path to overcoming all that threatens hope, virtue and love in your lives and in your culture.”
Let’s take the path of moral virtue today.