I was reminded this week of the life changing impact that abortions have on women, their spouses / significant others, and our nation. I was reading the latest news from the MSNBC website and ran across a provocative article from Newsweek magazine. What initially got my attention was the title “The Abortion Evangelist.” (You can read it in its entirety here.)
The article tells the story of Dr. LeRoy Carhart, one of the few doctors in America who still will perform late term abortions, and his desire to champion the cause of women and their rites to have an abortion. It struck me as interesting that the author of the article chose to use the word “evangelist” (a herald of good news) to describe the mission of Dr. Carhart. Yet the descriptor adequately describes the passion that Dr. Carhart has and feels regarding his job. One of his goals is to train and encourage other doctors to perform late term abortions. As I read the article my stomach turned and heart broke thinking about how these helpless babies were being disposed of and the long term impact it has on their mothers and our society as we continue to place less and less value on life.
As I was reading the article I saw a link to another article entitled, “Watching My First Abortion.” (You can read it here) I followed the link and read about how the author who published the previous article watched her first abortion. She describes her struggle to decide whether or not to watch and then her experience of seeing an abortion first hand. I thought her final paragraph was interesting. She said:
“Abortion may be a simple procedure medically, but it is not cancer surgery. It’s an elective procedure that no one—neither its defenders nor its detractors—expects to elect for themselves. I had (and still have) difficulty understanding my own reaction, both relieved to have watched a minimally invasive surgery and distressed by the emotionality of the process. Abortion involves weighty choices that, depending on how you view it, involve a life, or the potential for life. And my reaction, complicated and conflicted as it was, may have been a reflection of our national ambivalence about a private medical procedure at the center of a very public debate.”
Yes, the abortion itself may be simple and minimally invasive, but think about the consequences that are physical, emotional, and spiritual. I have the privilege of serving on the board of Salem Pregnancy Care Center here in Winston. Every day the staff their deals the very real damage that abortions cause…IT IS REAL. So as followers of Christ, how should we respond to this hot button issue within our culture?
Let me share a few suggestions:
- Be compassionate…not judgmental. Condemnation, shame, and guilt are not going to solve the crisis or get to the core of the issue. Let’s remember that as Christians we are saved by grace through faith…both of which are gifts from God! We don’t deserve it and certainly didn’t earn it…and apart from His work in our lives we are dead in our own trespasses.
- Remember that the core of the issue is spiritual and the Gospel is the answer. We should ask the question, “Why are there unwanted pregnancies?” At the core we must realize that unwanted pregnancies begin with men and women who are seeking to find their identities in something other than Christ. Perhaps they are looking for love, acceptance, fulfillment, or value…and for them the answer is found in a sexual relationship with someone from the opposite sex. As followers of Christ we must proclaim the beauty of Jesus, our need and His sacrifice, what His sacrificed accomplished, and how through Him our deepest longings are satisfied.
- Get involved! How are you investing in students? How can you get involved in your local pregnancy care center? One of the things I love about Salem Pregnancy is their passion for the Gospel and how it remains at the center of their message. The staff loves on families in crisis and they love them enough to share with them the truth. There are centers throughout the country that spend everyday pouring their lives into women in crisis…maybe it’s time for more of us to get involved.