Jan. 22 is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. The day gives pause for all Americans to reflect on more than 50 million lives lost and countless others damaged by the national license to conveniently destroy human life at will.
From the more positive perspective, followers of Jesus Christ use the day to honor the gift of life because it is the unique creation of God. We cannot be weak in the issue of life. Loyalty to scripture does not allow for neutrality on the subject. Our convictions must be expressed. Our voices must be heard.
Since the Supreme Court’s grievous Roe v. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973, two presidents of the United States who were members of a Southern Baptist church did not stand on pro-life principles. Some Baptists in the Congress joined them. I find that embarrassing and unconscionable.
The shortage of biblical preaching on the value of life in the past five decades is perhaps more troubling than the positions of political leaders. Too many preachers have been more concerned about offending church members and less interested in following the call to bold, prophetic proclamation of truth.
It is commendable that in the 33 years since the court’s Roe v. Wade decision, preaching on the sanctity of life has increased in evangelical pulpits. And I believe most of that preaching is growing in the balance of truth, grace and compassionate action.
The impact of truth has now reached the halls of Congress. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Jan. 5 that defunding the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) will be included as part of a bill to repeal ObamaCare.
According to a report in The Hill, “Ryan said cutting off federal funds to the organization will be included in a ‘reconciliation’ bill that also repeals the core of ObamaCare. The reconciliation process prevents Democrats from launching a filibuster against the measure, meaning Republicans won’t need 60 votes to win on defunding.”
“Planned Parenthood legislation will be in our reconciliation bill,” Ryan said, without providing any more details, The Hill reported.
It’s about time! Planned Parenthood is a private organization that should never have been funded by taxpayers. Although they deny it, the facts show they are a major abortion provider and money-making machine. They must be defunded now.
Bill O’Reilly, whose evening show on the Fox News network boasts the highest cable ratings in prime time, said on a recent program, “People who don’t believe in abortion, who believe it is the taking of a human life, are then forced to participate in abortion, because that money goes to Planned Parenthood, which performs, or makes possible, about 350,000 each year. So it’s more of a ‘look, abortion is legal in the USA, but I don’t want to pay for it, and I shouldn’t be forced to pay for it.’ That’s the beef.”
Well, that’s part of the problem, Mr. O’Reilly. The greatest issue is that it’s simply wrong! It violates every standard of human decency, dignity and civility. It is immoral.
O’Reilly offered a simple solution. He suggested that private donations could fund PPFA saying, “if all the true believers … who believe in abortion want Planned Parenthood around, certainly those donations will make it possible.”
I agree! Let the entertainment and media elites who believe in PPFA spend less of their energies forcing the rest of us to pay for it and more of their resources to pay for it themselves.
Many states have already removed Planned Parenthood from their budgets. It’s time for our debt-ridden federal government to defund PPFA.
The Biblical Recorder reported in 2012 that in the previous year, eight states passed legislation that diverted a combined $61.7 million in family-planning funds from PPFA to state or county agencies for health screenings and other services that don’t include abortion. Soon after that, the Obama administration bypassed the law in Tennessee to directly fund Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis.
In 2012 North Carolina, Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma and New Hampshire defunded PPFA according to the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA), which has assisted all the states in the move to defund the abortion seller.
A story on the popular pro-life Live Action News website said, “Defunding Planned Parenthood is about taking money from a scandal ridden organization which does not deserve to be a monopolizer of funds for legitimate health services, especially when those health services have decreased over the years, and there are Federally Qualified Health Centers outnumbering Planned Parenthood locations 20 to 1 which provide more comprehensive care and are more deserving of federal funds.”
The Daily Signal website posted a story on Jan. 4 titled, “6 Alarming Findings in House Panel’s Planned Parenthood Probe.” The report exposes the raw immoral code of conduct that is common in the abortion industry. It is very disturbing.
The first finding reads, “Several Planned Parenthood affiliates made a profit from the transfer of aborted body parts and other fetal tissue, in violation of federal law prohibiting that.”
The second item in the report says, “It didn’t ‘bother’ a Planned Parenthood executive that one vendor, StemExpress, appeared to make a 2,800 percent profit on a baby’s brain harvested from a Planned Parenthood clinic.”
The sixth statement is “Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics ‘routinely’ violated privacy regulations imposed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, seeking to ease the process of harvesting body parts and other fetal tissue.”
More Americans are pro-life than at any time since the passage of Roe v. Wade. They are demanding action at the federal level on the matter.
Much helpful information on pro-life issues is posted on the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s (ERLC) website.
I encourage every Southern Baptist to read the resourceful article by Travis Wussow and ERLC president Russell Moore titled, “6 pro-life priorities for the president and Congress in 2017.”
The writers said, “We work for protections, in law, for the unborn, because we believe every person is created in the image of God and has dignity and worth. So we are encouraging our elected officials to highlight these six pro-life priorities ... .”
Number four on the list reads, “Eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood from the federal budget.”
Wussow and Moore add, “... we will work with Congress to use the next available budget measure to defund Planned Parenthood.
“We were supportive of the defund effort that was vetoed by President Obama, and we will continue to work to support this effort in the coming Congress.”
As you and your church family honor God’s gift of life, pray for your pastor and other church leaders to stand together and strong on the sanctity of life for the glory of God.
Pray for everyone who serves us in government at every level. Let them know you are praying for them.