Home Voices Life Still Matters From Womb to Tomb

Life Still Matters From Womb to Tomb

pro-life womb to tomb

At the beginning of each year, Christians in the United States bring special focus to the cause of the unborn and our biblical conviction about human life. This focus is often accompanied by churches throughout the United States observing a special “Sanctity of life Sunday,” complete with sermons preached on the sanctity of life.

What’s more, those who write frequently on a variety of issues where culture and church intersect often give special focus to writing articles about the sanctity of life. (You can see my article at Focus on the Family, about how pastors can be pro-life in an election year.)

While this beginning-of-year pro-life push is helpful and necessary, we need to advocate for the unborn all year long. It’s a never-ending conviction. And it is a conviction that is rooted within a view of life that holds fast to the biblical conviction that all of human life is sacred, from the womb to the tomb. 

2022 gifted pro-life advocates with something that many doubted would ever happen—we saw the overturning of Roe v. Wade. But that was not the end of the work for the cause of life; in many ways it was the beginning. The ruling should embolden Christians to continue to speak boldly and unapologetically about the value of life. 

In the past, I’ve spoken at several March for Life rallies. I’ve consistently championed the value of life whether a baby, the elderly, refugees, or any others who might be treated as less than human. We each, equally, bear the image of God.

As The New York Times reported in late October 2023, the number of legal abortions in the U.S. has not gone down, even though 21 states have banned or limited greatly access to abortions. In fact, by some estimates, the decades-long steady decline of the abortion rate has reversed since 2017. So while the reversal of Roe made abortion virtually non-existent in many states around the country, it has done little to halt the overall practice of abortion, when examining the national statistics.

This is partially because states where abortion is legal are taking patients who would have previously had abortions in states that now outlaw the practice. But other factors can attribute to the uptick, such as the “expansion of telemedicine for mail-order abortion pills, increased options and assistance for women who traveled, and a surge of publicity about ways to get abortions.” 

So, although it is safer to be an unborn child in, for example, Texas, it’s not safer in America.

While the reversal of Roe is certainly cause for celebration, we dare not think the pro-life cause been won. The figures are staggering. Data from the CDC indicates that in 2020, over 615,000 abortions were performed in the United States. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that same year’s abortions may have been as high as 930,000.

Stop and think about that.

Roe v. Wade was one of many examples of our nation saying one thing while practicing another. On the one hand, we say we care about justice. We say we care about the protection of rights. The American founders themselves sent a letter to the King of England telling of their belief in the concept of God-given, inalienable human rights that no political leader had the power to strip away. For them, the safeguarding of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, according to the signers of that declaration, were central to what it should mean to be an American.

Yet despite these ideological commitments, we live in a nation where the defenseless are too often discarded. The unborn are often euphemistically called tissue or formless clumps of cells instead of the human beings that Scripture—and science—tells us they are.

All Human Life Is Sacred

History has shown us time and again that one of the most effective ways people convince themselves to do harm to others is to no longer see people—or certain groups of people—as human. Dehumanizing people makes it possible to ignore their plight and to look the other way when violence is done against them.  

But the Bible weaves throughout its pages a narrative of God’s love and grace. People—all people—are created in the image of God. We dare not overlook the persistent theme of God as our Creator across the pages of Scripture. As our heavenly Father, he knows our hearts and numbers the very hairs on our heads. Imperfect, sinful, wrestling with shame and guilt, and with our deep fears of inadequacy and nagging insecurities, he calls us his beloved. We are a reflection of his own image.

While this might be a radical, revolutionary thought to many living in our world today, Christians must declare the truth: What the Creator makes is always good. He doesn’t make mistakes; there are no lives he couldn’t love or stories he wouldn’t redeem. Our God is a redeeming, restoring, reconciling God. 

Every human being, from the child with Down Syndrome to the senior citizen with Parkinson’s Disease and the unborn infant, is deeply loved and intimately known by God. 

Love God, Love People

This fact is also why I encourage all who champion the pro-life cause to do so in love. We remember the Great Commandment, calling us to love God—who first loved us—and our neighbor. We should recognize that shouting, screaming, or chanting in judgment over our community members is not the best path.