I won’t write much today since I’m traveling home, but I did want to update you on the Texas abortion law, known as S.B. 8 or the “heartbeat bill,” which has become so incredibly controversial. Yesterday U.S. District Judge Robert L. Pitman granted the Justice Department a temporary injunction which blocks the enforcement of the law. This is not entirely surprising, of course, and it further signals that 2021 will shape up to be a monumental year when it comes to the sanctity of human life in America.
I’ll quote Judge Pitman directly: “From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution … this Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right.” He went on to describe the law of the Lone Star State as “an unprecedented and aggressive scheme.” Today this ruling is being celebrated by pro-abortion advocates and many in our government, and some consider this an open rebuke of the Supreme Court.
Here’s why. The Supreme Court has already agreed to hear a case involving a Mississippi law that bans abortions at 15 weeks (the Texas law is six weeks). So we can expect critical developments surrounding the viability of Roe v. Wade (pun fully intended) in the near future. Between now and then, this ought to be a season of prayer for the body of Christ.
What I’d like to offer today is a little levelheadedness (I hope) when it comes to a topic that is clearly dividing an already divided nation. First of all, and I say this as a pastor who tries to help people reassemble the broken pieces of their lives, we need to remember that abortion exacts a huge physical, emotional, and psychological toll on the women who choose it. It is no easy way out of a tough situation. I’m not meaning to condemn anyone by that comment, but I’m simply pointing out a pervasive reality that often gets overlooked by the media. Surely a general concern and compassion for women ought to be something which motivates us as God’s people, and which serves to unite people across the political spectrum.
Secondly, facts still matter. I’d like to point out an overuse of the term “extreme” in contemporary social rhetoric. We seem to be calling everything with which we disagree “extreme,” and this serves only to shut down helpful conversation. When it comes to abortion, 90% of the countries of the world place limits on abortion access. In fact, only four countries on earth permit abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Sadly, the U.S. is on that shortlist, along with China and North Korea. I mention those other two countries so that you can get the sense of the civil rights which have to be trampled on in order to champion unrestricted abortion.
Thirdly, and this really gnaws at me, what about the fundamental human rights of the unborn? Amidst the noisy clamor of our generation, who will care about the totally voiceless? Who will defend the most defenseless among us? Surely that point of basic civility and decency ought to extend at least a few arms across the aisle in Washington, D.C.
Just one more thing before I wrap this up: what we do about abortion in the U.S.A. has global repercussions. Like it or not, we tend to set the prevailing moral tone. That’s both an awesome opportunity and a grave responsibility. We live in perilous and sobering times, friends.
For the glory of Christ and His gospel of reconciliation, we need our great God to raise up reasonable and sensible pro-life voices in the public square. Leaders resembling the winsome and trusted statesmen of earlier chapters of our history seem few and far between these days, but our Lord can enlarge the platform of whomever He wishes. Until then, we’re called to knock on heaven’s door. We must intercede, for our nation and for the high court, before the highest throne. You and I, as personal agents of reconciliation, must do our part as well. Don’t lose heart. Keep the faith!
Today and always, like our Savior, let’s be full of grace and truth.