I’m rarely speechless, but I must admit the news of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) being passed and instantly signed by Governor Cuomo in New York left me without words. But I was apparently among the few who couldn’t find the words to express my dismay, as I woke a day later to see countless social media postings decrying the new Reproductive Health Act.
I assumed it was because most of my friends and followers are pro-lifers, but everyone on AFL’s staff reported a similar phenomenon! The only folks who didn’t have posts reflecting outrage were our more liberal leaning friends and family.
I wondered why so many people, who are normally silent about the issue of abortion, were now posting their disbelief and anger. I can’t help but think it is because, this time, the pro-aborts have gone too far! The pro-abortion lobby and politicians just stepped over the invisible line of acceptance of what America will tolerate.
The New York law enshrines the right to abort (read: kill) babies right up to the moment of their birth. Now, the reality is that a number of states have laws allowing late-term abortions in certain circumstances, while most use viability as the standard. However, what New York has done is to ensure that when legalized abortion is overturned by the US Supreme Court and returned to the states to decide, their new existing law will allow abortions to continue unfettered.
The new law, in all honesty, is a reaction to the growing fear that Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton will be overturned, based on the current make up of the US Supreme Court. This threat, real or perceived, is motivating and enflaming pro-abortion activism and aggression. And I believe it accounts for the celebrating and cheering seen as Governor Cuomo signed the bill, including the audacious action of lighting up the New York World Trade Center in pink.
In addition to all of this is the militant nature of the “Shout Your Abortion” women—sharing how awesome they feel about aborting their children, displaying graphic depictions of female body parts, and calling aggressively for the killing, rape, and abuse of anyone who is pro-life (including the President) –which was on display at the March for Women’s Lives events nationwide.
These collective actions have led many of us to longing for the days when their slogan—“safe, legal, and rare”—was seen as barely tolerable!
But why does the growing threat to legalized abortion generate this level of vitriolic response from people otherwise kind and compassionate, many of whom would consider themselves religious? I believe it is based in their lack of belief that God really can and does want to forgive us for our sins. Without a saving faith in Jesus Christ, who took our sins upon Himself on the cross, what do you do with your sin? You defend it! You seek to protect and actually encourage others to sin with you. And you go ballistic when anyone calls that sin out, because inadvertently they are calling you out.
I firmly believe that passing new legislation to protect “access to abortion” is really about protecting those who have had abortions from facing the truth—the despairing knowledge that they are complicit in killing their children.
I often wonder if I didn’t know that God’s love was greater than my sin of abortion, would I have had the courage to declare my actions as wrong? Knowing the power of the Cross has allowed me to bring my sin to Jesus. Without Jesus, what does one do with our sin? Deny it, claim it is good, and encourage others to join me in it?
So, what should be our response as the Church?
First, let’s acknowledge the spiritual warfare dimension! This is all about satan hating God, love, and life. (John 10:10)
Second, we must not try and fight back in the flesh but by and through the power of the Holy Spirit, which means less time on social media and more time on our knees. (Zechariah 4:6)
Third, we need to be armored up and always praying (Ephesians 6:10-18) and fasting (Matthew 6:17-18) for the end of abortion.
Fourth, recognize that all the posts on social media, the news coverage, and the conversations or debates among friends and family can serve to “trigger” (a term used to describe sensations, images, or experiences that trigger a traumatic memory) many who have had abortions. Due to the traumatic nature of the abortion procedure and its aftermath, many women, men, and families will be fighting to protect abortion, because they don’t know or trust in God’s love and protection. For that reason, do not be surprised if they react in anger or very vocal support.
But it is because of these people that we cannot be speechless about these awful laws – they are being embraced and passed as a response to trauma and sin without a Savior! We as the Church must not see the legislation in New York as a defeat—we must see it as an opportunity to speak the love of Christ into the souls and hearts of those who have been hurt by abortion, who do not know that freedom can only be found in Jesus. We as God’s people must not remain speechless in the face of this horror, but we also cannot react in frustrated anger toward those who applaud evil; rather, we must speak the truth in love, knowing that without the Redemption found through Christ, you and I could be celebrating this terrible bill, too.
God have mercy on them. God have mercy on all of us. But, most of all, God, use this for Your Glory.
Written by AFL President Deacon Georgette Forney