Confronting the barbaric reality of abortion
A horrific story out of D.C. reminds us of the role of Christians in protecting the unborn
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Last week, pro-life advocate and Live Action President Lila Rose tweeted a gut-wrenching thread of graphic images of five recent abortion victims, each of whom was clearly aborted in the second or third trimester.
Live Action reported the analyses of several specialists who confirmed that these babies were likely aborted through illegal methods. Neonatologist Dr. Kendra Kolb said that the child known as “Baby Girl #1” was aborted between 28 and 30 weeks of gestation, when a baby is viable (can survive outside the womb), can likely recognize her mother’s voice, and can feel pain.
The baby’s “deep lacerations” on the back of her head and her crushed skull indicate that she probably suffered an illegal partial-birth abortion. In this procedure, the living baby is partially delivered, then an incision is made in the base of her skull, where a vacuum is inserted to suck out the baby’s brain. In the photos, one of her eyes is still open.
“Baby X,” whose gender is unknown, was delivered while still in the amniotic sac. It is unclear whether the baby was killed using a poison like digoxin—the chemical injected into the amniotic sac or into the baby’s heart in the second trimester to cause a fatal heart attack before delivery—or if he or she was delivered and simply left to die.
The babies’ bodies were reportedly recovered from the Washington Surgi-Clinic in Washington, D.C. According to WORLD’s Leah Savas, representatives from Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising claimed that a driver from Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services, who was outside the Washington Surgi-Clinic, gave PAAU members a box containing the remains of 115 babies, including five who were well-developed and appeared late-term. The activists brought the remains to one of their homes, where they contacted law enforcement and requested that officers pick up the remains and investigate the abortion methods used.
As of now, police are denying pro-life activists’ demands to investigate the abortion center. And the D.C. medical examiner has refused requests to perform autopsies on the babies to discern the methods of abortion employed.
While there are lingering unknowns surrounding this story, the heartbreaking images remind us of this incontrovertible truth: Abortion is a horrifying, grotesque, and evil tragedy. There is no nuance here. No caveats. It is not possible to be “personally pro-life” but politically pro-abortion. There is no “pro-life ethic” that does not include legal opposition to abortion.
Theologian R.C. Sproul often said, “If I know anything about the character of God … I know that God hates abortion.” If the Christian understands anything about the God who made each of us with dignity in His image (Genesis 1:27), who knitted us together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:15), who demanded the death penalty for child sacrifice (Leviticus 20:2), who took on the form of a helpless baby to become our redemption (Luke 1:35), and who, against His disciples’ protestations, beckoned the little children to Himself (Matthew 19:14), we understand that God hates abortion.
Christians should show abundant grace and compassion for women who have chosen abortion, because there is no sin God cannot forgive (1 John 1:9). Indeed, no matter our past, we were once dead in sin without Christ and needed His power to save us (Ephesians 2:1–6). But this does not preclude us from standing firmly against the greatest moral atrocity of our time.
This means that we must meet the needs of women in crisis—as so many Christian pregnancy centers already do—but we must also work to abolish abortion legally. We must vote for politicians and advocate for legislation that supports a child’s right to life from conception.
Christianity’s view of children has always been countercultural. Ancient Greek and Roman culture largely regarded children, women, and enslaved people as nothing more than societal burdens available for abuse and sexual exploitation. Christianity was massively disruptive to this view.
Rather than weighing a person’s worth by their societal status, education, wealth, or power, Christianity introduced a radical concept: equality in God’s image. Because we are all made by God and are equally lost without Christ, neither the great nor the weak have any special standing in the church or before God. Everyone is equally worthy of respect and unworthy of salvation apart from Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
This meant that those rejected by society could find a home in the church. It meant that the unclean could be touched, the sinner could be forgiven, and the marginalized, including children, could be brought into the fold. It is impossible to overstate how significantly Christianity’s view of human beings changed the culture and, consequently, the course of history.
The vulnerable still need our voices, especially the little children in the womb who cannot speak up for themselves. May this horrific story remind us of our obligation to fight on their behalf.
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