Unlike the past nearly fifty years, on or near the anniversary date of the famed "Roe v. Wade" Supreme Court decision of January 22, 1973 (which allowed a woman to have an abortion without governmental intervention), there was no large "March for Life" march in Washington D.C. this year. Blame the coronavirus, or the January 6 assault on the Capital building…whatever. But it didn't happen this year.
Has this march made any difference? At last year's march the attendance may have been as large as 250,000. That's a good size group of people to get together for any event. But has it made a difference? Has the steady, unending labors of so many people, over these past nearly fifty years, made a difference? That may be the wrong question.
The prophets of the Old Covenant period were known for being an irritant to the people. They spoke up for justice: for the care of the poor, the widow, and for those who were not the power brokers of the day. Phil Keaggy, the wonderful Christian songwriter and musician, many years ago wrote a song about abortion. It began with these words:
Who will speak up for the little ones?
Helpless and half-abandoned.
They've got the right to choose life
They don't want to lose.
I've got to speak up, won't you?
That is the essence of why people still attend the March for Life, why they vote for Pro-life candidates, or why they give to Pro-life organizations and agencies. There is a deep sense that we MUST speak up for the unborn. The hope is, of course, that in time the heart and minds of the American public will change. Some studies suggest that there has been a change: that in increasing numbers, young people are supportive of a "Pro-life" political platform. It is unfortunate that the whole issue of abortion has become politicized when, in fact, it is a moral issue not bound or limited by one's politics.
They say that since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, over 60,000,000 legal abortions have taken place in the United States. If there is any silver lining to all of this it is that the rate of abortion has gone down. Today, an abortion is less likely to be chosen by a pregnant woman than many decades ago. But still, the numbers are grim.
Next Sunday I (Pastor Doug) will be speaking on many moral issues, abortion being one of them. As people who call upon the name of the LORD, we should be concerned about this, and labor to that end that abortions become truly RARE in our land. But the means to that end is not legislation; the means to that end is a change of people's hearts. May God change the hearts of all Americans.