A Call to Prayer
You are no doubt aware that Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri have recently joined Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi in passing laws to severely curtail the plague of abortion. Louisiana, West Virginia, and South Carolina seem poised to follow suit. Several states, including Texas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, are working to ratify laws designed to protect the survivors of failed abortion attempts (these laws are commonly called “Born Alive” acts). We are witnessing an upswell of legal challenges to our country’s hideous abortion regime.
Predictably, the ghouls that support legalized abortion in the United States have swarmed out of their crypts to attack these new laws. Governors Steve Bullock and Roy Cooper have vetoed Born Alive bills in Montana and North Carolina, respectively, though the North Carolina General Assembly is close to overriding Governor Cooper’s veto. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already filed suit against the State of Ohio, and there will likely be court challenges against the other states’ laws as well.
The recent laws in Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri are especially exciting because of the opportunity they represent. After more than 45 years of legalized abortion, now is the closest that our country has come to reaching the light at the end of our abortion regime’s dark tunnel. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement and Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Court has created a slim chance that the new SCOTUS could vote 5-4 to overturn the two Supreme Court precedents upholding the modern abortion regime, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. We are not guaranteed another such chance at escaping this terrible period in our history.
Even now, the whole thing hangs on a thread. The state courts could rule that the laws violate their respective states’ constitutions, and the district courts could decline to hear the states’ appeals. The district courts could rule that the laws violate the precedent set by Roe and Casey, and the Supreme Court could decline to hear the states’ appeals. Or, assuming that the states pass those hurdles, one of the newer Justices could defect; we need Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh all to agree to reverse the precedent set by Roe and Casey. As you can see, the fight against court-sanctioned legal abortion stands on a razor’s edge.
The most important thing that disciples of Christ can do now is to pray about these legal challenges in the days to come. Pray that the cases brought against these states will make it through their state supreme courts. Pray that they will make it through their district courts. Pray that the Supreme Court of the United States will hear at least one of these cases. Pray that Court will decide against the precedents set in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
If it comes about that Roe and Casey are rolled back, then the real work will only have just begun. More than likely, at best, the Court will return power to the states to decide how to regulate abortion. We will still need to pray and work to protect life in the State of Florida, as it will almost certainly be a battleground state. All of the states nearby us—Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina—will pass very restrictive laws. The abortion lobby will see Florida as their only chance of keeping abortion legal and available in the Southeast, and they will fight hard to make us a destination state for women seeking abortions. We must be ready.
We must also continue our work to advance the cause of life in its biblical fullness, for those in and out of the womb. One of the side-effects of our abortion regime is that it has obscured and even poisoned our thinking about other biblical priorities. Abortion looms so large in our thinking—as it should!—that it may be easy for us to forget our Lord’s teachings about how we are to care for others.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire” (Matt 5.21-22). Our Lord teaches that the prohibition against murder (including abortion) is a bare minimum when it comes to the way we treat other people. “Not murdering babies” hardly counts as righteousness at all! “When the Son of Man comes in His glory” and levies His judgments against the goats who neglected their fellows, the goats cannot excuse their negligence by saying, “Well, Lord, at least we didn’t murder them.” We will do well to remember that if we win this abortion fight.
So finally, let us pray that when we have won the fight and restored justice to the unborn, we will not grow weary of doing good. May the Lord keep us in His love.