On January 23, the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, more abortion-related laws were passed. In New York, the law allows for abortion through the third trimester, permits non-physicians to commit abortions, and repeals protections for surviving babies. In Illinois, Governor Pritzker says his state is now “the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to guaranteeing the right to choose for every single woman.”
While I believe we cannot legislate morality, I also believe what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1963 applies: “It may be true that the law cannot change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless. It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that is pretty important also.”
Though it seems pro-life proponents may have lost a battle of the law (for now), the battle for hearts continues, even as we battle heavy hearts. Obviously, my heart is heavy for the pregnant women who might choose this now-legal option. My heart is heavy for the babies who will be killed. My heart is heavy for those who have had abortions. At the same time, my heart is heavy for other reasons.
My heart is heavy for the lawmakers and the supporters of this bill. The videos of the applause when the legislation passed and the photos of the smiles when it was signed into law made me think of God’s warning: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). These people cheered the fact that it is now legal to inject an unborn baby with poison, wait for him or her to die, and then have the mother still go through the delivery process. I absolutely care about the souls of the children they will allow to be murdered, and I also realize that the people who are in favor of this are also people God knit together— and they will spend eternity somewhere. I pray God places believers around them who will speak the truth in love and let the Holy Spirit change their hearts of stone.
My heart is heavy for the believers in these states because they have a bigger job to do. Theirs is a sphere of influence where they can show by both words and actions that just because the law says these things are permissible, they are not beneficial for anyone. There are better options available—ones that don’t kill a child and harden the consciences of the people involved. Believers also have the responsibility to show that they care for these women and children after they are born and help them find the resources that are available to those who choose life. (We all have these opportunities because abortion is a federal issue too, but this just happens to be a front-page topic of conversation in New York and Illinois.)
My heart is heavy for all people who love Jesus. We have a front-row seat to the truth that “because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:12,13). Wickedness is increasing, love is dimming, and you have the hard work of standing firm. You aren’t allowed to give up. God has put you in this time and place, like the apostle Paul, “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18).
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor. Her mom, who is retired, volunteers at a pregnancy medical clinic that offers ultrasound services, showing the mothers the life inside of them. The clinic also supports clients after they choose life with clothing, diapers, Bible studies, parenting classes, and more.