It’s easy to get lost in the slew of national celebrations. In January alone, one could recognize National Hobby Month, National Kazoo Day, or the domestic season of Home Re-organization. However, a much more consequential issue demands our attention. January is the Sanctity of Human Life Month, during which we remember that all people are made in the image of God and deserving of protection. Centered around the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion, we take this month to educate ourselves on the issues, confess the sanctity of life, and uphold the existence of every person.
We live in a time in which death has been allowed, even heralded, as the solution to many a problem in society. It’s the answer to women’s every hurdle to success, security, and happiness. It’s the response to a wasting disease or painful situation near life’s natural end. Death has become a goal, a business, and a rallying cry to so many in America. As LCMS President Matthew Harrison recently stated:
Life, not death, is the goal of humanity. History testifies that death is never the means through which justice and human rights prevail. We do not advance on the graves of our children. Germany, which sought eugenics as the solution to problems, now has strict abortion laws. To defend and support life is the goal of every just government, and the right to life is the hallmark of a good society.
Since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing abortion in 1973, over 61 million young lives have been lost under these laws. And while there have been legislative achievements since then, new laws passed this very month in New York and Illinois have pushed the bounds of legalized abortion even further, right up to the baby’s due date. In addition, at the other end of life, seven states and the District of Columbia now allow physician assisted suicide.
Armed with a solid understanding of the issues, much can be done to stand up for life. Each year near the anniversary of Roe v. Wade hundreds of thousands gather for the March for Life in Washington DC and at satellite marches around the country. Since legislation is critical to changing the landscape of legalized forms of death, it is important to communicate the pro-life message to our state and local representatives. As Rev. Harrison said,
“We cannot stand silent when people elected to positions in which they are to protect citizens continue to pass laws and advocate for legislation that undermines the sanctity of human life. Our conscience is bound by both the Word of God and reason to speak for life as a precious gift of God and to speak against any and all who promote the killing of unborn children. We cannot hide the evil of these laws under the banner of “rights” or “privilege.” Children’s lives are at stake. They cannot speak for themselves. We will speak for them, and we will work to protect their lives.”
Finally, as Christians called to love our neighbors and share Christ’s saving gospel, we can reach out to those most affected by these issues. There are many local and national organizations working to support women and families in crisis, as well as those who have had abortions, without compromising the lives of the unborn. And as society trumpets “Women’s health” and “the right to choose,” we can be a public witness for the sanctity of each life, created in God’s own image. We can confess the truths of scripture as the psalmist writes,
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)
Let us continue to pray to our Heavenly Father, who creates and sustains all life, that the light of the Gospel may be known in the world and comfort those who are in need.