In 1984, Ronald Reagan proclaimed Sanctity of Human Life Day to be observed each year on the closest Sunday to January 22. This date was the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade verdict which legalized abortion in all 50 states. This Sunday is Sanctity of Human Life Day for 2019.
In a recent interview at Evangelicals for Life Conference, pro-life advocate Kristen Waggoner stated that, statistically speaking, millennials are more pro-life than their parents. And as technology advances, pro-life support increases. With 4D imaging ultrasounds, we can now watch babies cry, drink and play in the womb. In light of all we know, it is mind-boggling that there is still genuine debate on the humaneness of dismembering a baby in the womb to make the abortion process easier on the mother. We must advocate for the unborn.
While I am certainly pro-life in the traditional sense, the pro-life cause encompasses more than opposition to abortion. The pro-life cause is also expanding to include the sanctity of life for the whole life. We’re increasingly seeing the importance of justice ministries, fighting gendercide, showing hospitality to immigrants and refugees, caring for orphans and widows, giving dignity to the aging and dying, befriending people with special needs, and ministering to prisoners and their families.
We hold these convictions because of what the Bible teaches us about the value of life. John 10:10 says that Jesus came so that we may have “life and have it abundantly.” We are God’s workmanship – the masterpiece of his creation. Leonce Crump, pastor in Atlanta, said,
When you consider the sun, and the moon, and the stars of the universe, and the galaxies and all of the mind-blowing aspects of creation, and then hear God say that human life is the pinnacle of all of that, that should be enough for any believer to want to see human life treated with the value and dignity that it should be.
We are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and this includes all human beings, regardless of ethnicity, gender, social status, religion, health condition — or, yes, whether they’re in the womb or outside.
Being pro-life is about taking a stand against abortion. It absolutely involves giving a baby the opportunity to be born. But being pro-life shouldn’t stop after birth. We want to see each child flourish for the amount of days he or she has been given on earth. We are both against abortion and for the orphan, widow, refugee and the vulnerable — and these two do not contradict. We advocate for human dignity from conception to death.
As you consider ways that you can be an advocate for dignity of human life from the womb to the tomb, here are some practical tips to live out your pro-life convictions.
Be a voice for the voiceless.
Proverbs 31:8 challenges us to advocate for those who have no voice. So, speak out on behalf of the unborn — who literally have no voice from the womb. Also speak out on behalf of other sufferers, such as the orphan and widow. If God has given you people who are listening, then speak freely as you have opportunities.
Ask for God to show you where you he wants you to invest your time, talents and resources.
Seek the “God of justice” (Isaiah 30:18). His plans are not kept secret from his children. He will be faithful to show you what you need to know in his perfect timing.
Consider foster care and adoption.
These options aren’t for everyone, but you have to at least consider the possibility. Is foster care or adoption a viable option for your family? Seek answers to your questions about opening up your home to a child.
Support families who are fostering and adopting.
The opportunities to serve these families are endless. Mow yards, bring meals, babysit children, clean, tutor or be a listening ear. Give your friend an opportunity to vent and have adult conversations. Just listen and be available. Practice the ministry of presence.
Educate yourself and others.
Does this conversation about the pro-life cause — and being pro-life for whole life — sound intriguing to you? Read, study and teach your sphere of influence what you are learning.
Be hospitable and intentional to befriend people from different ethnicity and cultural backgrounds. Be curious and ask questions to learn more about your differences. Create a safe place for conversations that will spur you on to look more like Christ — and be holistically pro-life.
Partner with credible ministries and non-profits.
So many organizations are doing great kingdom work in the pro-life cause and the sanctity of whole life. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Partner with them where you can.
Obediently engage as God opens doors.
Herbie Newell, president of Lifeline Children’s Services explained, “We have to be as excited about championing life outside of the womb as we are about championing life inside of the womb.” How can you be more engaged for advocating for the sanctity of pro-life for whole life in 2019?