I am sure many of you have heard of the recent developments of Planned Parenthood’s attempts to profit on the murder and dismemberment of unborn children, and if you are like me it has no doubt caused a swelling of emotions that span from utter sadness to horrified anger. But I wanted to share a few thoughts that can be overlooked in the wake of such terrible deeds being brought to light.
First of all, if you are unaware of these recent developments let me give you a few facts. Planned Parenthood is one of the largest performers of abortion procedures in the country reporting approximately 327,166 procedures in 2014 alone and over 6.8 million totally estimated abortions since 1970 (1). They also receive about $487.4 million dollars a year from taxpayers through government financial assistance—that’s our money funneled through the government to abortion providers.(2)
Some recent undercover videos have been released by The Center for Medical Progress revealing that not only is Planned Parenthood performing abortions but they are also going about it in such a way as to harvest viable tissue samples in order to sell them for medical research purposes. I will say that the way that this organization goes about getting the information it has is somewhat shady, but of course the very secretive and evil nature of these practices seems to require this type of tactic (that should tell us something in and of itself).
Now that those details are in front of us, the questions is how should we as Riverside area college students respond to these atrocities. I want to offer three things for us to consider
Let us not forget that the reason these actions are so egregious is because we are specifically designed by a loving Creator in His own image (Genesis 1:27). God specifically fashions ALL human life from our earliest stages:
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
The reality is that life does not begin at conception, but rather, according to the psalmist, it began in the very mind of God before time even existed. This truth is mind-blowing. While we might think that some people are unplanned and others are prepared for, the truth is that God has planned all people from eternity past and all parenthood is planned by Him.
This brings up an incredibly important point. Even though we may be angered by the destruction of the unborn, we should show just as much compassion toward those who are committing these atrocities as we show to the children. We are ALL made in God’s image and deserve respect, love, and honesty. That does not mean we don’t hold people accountable for their sins, it only means we afford them the same amazing grace that we have been shown by God and call them to repentance. We are not to cast final judgment, but we should proclaim to all people that there is coming a day when all will be judged by God (Galatians 6:7-8, James 4:12).
Our Fight is Not Physical
Our anger needs to be properly placed on the reality of sin and the sinful one himself, Satan.
“We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Our fight is not physical, but spiritual. And that is why the Apostle Paul gave clear instruction for all of us to fight this battle firstly by dependence on God alone. The answer is not to lash out in violence or vitriolic anger towards those committing what we believe is evil, but rather to pray:
“…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance…” (Ephesians 6:18).
The battle to end abortion begins on our knees, but it does not end there.
Our Hands are Not Tied
While we must never turn ourselves into judge and executioner, there are still plenty of actions we can take to abolish abortion. Here are just a few things you can do right now:
We cannot change the system if we don’t understand it. Get informed about abortion laws, statistics, and local and national political candidates. Gathering information on these topics can take some time but it will create the foundation for you to make informed decisions in order to take action.
Understand why you are prolife from multiple vantage points. Arguing from the Bible to irreligious or anti-religious people will be nearly impossible so arm yourself with scientific facts and logical persuasive techniques. One great book on the topic can be found in the Harvest Book Store from pastor and author Randy Alcorn of Eternal Perspective Ministries. His book called Why Pro-life? Is a great, easy-to-read book that both informs and persuades. That would be a good place to start.
In addition to understanding the problem we need to be able to provide solutions. Our primary solution is the eternal salvation found in Christ, but there are also immediate physical needs that we should be prepared to help with. If you know any woman who finds herself in a crisis pregnancy situation the right thing to do is to lovingly and sensitively lead her to make the right decision through discussion and especially prayer. A few great national organization that provides counseling and medical services for women in this situation are Care Net and Option Line.
We are immensely blessed to live in a country whose laws allow its citizens to stand up for just causes in a lawful manner, and we would be remise if we didn’t use these simple constitutional avenues to effect change.
Firstly, get involved with the voting process! You can register to vote here. Then, learn whose running and their stance on the issues and get to the poles to make your voice heard. Don’t believe the lie that your vote is insignificant. We can make a difference if we rally together for good.
Secondly, contact your current representatives. You can find your Congressman here and Senators here. There you will see options for writing a letter and either mailing it or emailing it to your representative. One action you can take right this moment is to tell your senators to co-sponsor the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (which would ban abortions after 20 weeks when babies have been scientifically proven to feel pain). The Susan B. Anthony List provides an online form that is quick and easy to do on this webpage. For more tips on how to contact your representatives go HERE.
Lastly, don’t be silent. Use your constitutional right to publicly and respectfully engage in civil protest. Just two days ago around the country thousands of prolife men, women, and children filled up government lawns and parking lots to call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood in a campaign called #WomenBetrayed. A couple of good political organizations that you can partner with to stay up to date on these type of events are March for Life and Students for Life.
Don’t let the complexities of the political landscape keep you from doing your part as a citizen and a Christian with convictions.
Probably the area of our lives where we can make the most impact is within our immediate sphere of influence. After you have grieved over the issue, prayed about it, and informed yourself use every avenue you have to “rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11). One great thing about the recent news about Planned Parenthood is that it affords us yet another opportunity to have the conversation about abortion with our family, friends, co-workers, classmates, and neighbors.
Tactfully and graciously bring up the problem of abortion, defend the right to life for the unborn, and seek ways to love and comfort the mothers who are going through crisis pregnancies. It’s also important to keep in mind that this issue is a symptom of a greater problem. People need the gospel more than good logic, and preaching the salvation that is found in the perfect life, atoning sacrifice, and miraculous resurrection of Christ should be our primary focus. We shouldn’t be silent about our feelings on abortion, but we must not lose the gospel message in our advocacy for life.
The good news is that this issue is slowly decreasing more and more each year as the scientific reality of the situation is clearly revealed to students like us, and because of the tireless efforts of people who continually and lovingly advocate for change. Don’t just sit back and shake your head. Get active by loving all parties involved, praying for them, and doing everything in your power to fight for life.