The Focus on Life initiative was undertaken by the Compassion, Mercy and Justice Team (formerly Social Concerns) to call attention to man-made or natural conditions that are taking, endangering, or denigrating human life from conception to old age.
Jesus said in John 10:10 “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”. But unfortunately, this abundant life promised by Jesus is cut short for millions each year as a result of war, crimes, elective abortions, and natural disasters such as famine and floods.
Our goal is that by calling attention to these conditions, our church family will be more sensitive to these issues and respond with compassion, prayer, and action where possible to help relieve the suffering. Jesus is relying on us to be his hands and feet to minister to those in need and his voice to call for justice in the world.
What is abortion?
This month we focus on protecting life in the womb from the willful termination of pregnancy.
Webster’s dictionary defines abortion as “the expulsion of a nonviable fetus”.
A miscarriage is referred to as a “spontaneous” abortion, but the thrust of this monthly write-up is with “elective” abortions; the decision of a mother to end a pregnancy by chemical or surgical means.
Since the legalization of abortion in the US in 1973 by the Supreme Court, the nation has been sharply divided into two camps; pro-life and pro-choice.
How widespread is elective abortion? According to statistics compiled by the Guttmacher Institute:
- Since 1980: 1,516,351,011 babies have been aborted worldwide.
- Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973: 60,911,673 abortions have been performed in the U.S.
- The highest number of abortions in the US was in 1990 with a total of 1,429, 247. If there is any good news, it is that abortions in the US have been on the decline, falling below the 1973 level in 2014 and continuing to decline.
- In 2014: 6,050 abortions were performed in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin abortion rate has also been declining due to more restrictive laws, less clinics, and better contraceptive use.
What does the Bible say about abortion?
While there is no direct mention of abortion in the Bible, the creation and protection of life is a strong theme. The sixth commandment handed down to Moses as written in Exodus 20:13 reads “thou shall not murder”. Pro-life advocates have long held that abortion is a form of murder and therefore against the will of God.
Jeremiah 1:5 reads “I knew you before you were formed within your mother’s womb; before you were born, I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world”. Again, terminating a pregnancy would seem to be very much contrary to God’s intent for a child.
Psalm 127:3 reads that “Children are a gift from God. They are His reward”, showing God’s special concern for children.
What is the position of the Evangelical Covenant Church regarding abortion?
At its 2004 Annual Meeting in Dearborn, Michigan, delegates approved the following language regarding abortion:
- We deplore the use of abortion as an alternative to abstinence or, within the covenant of Marriage, other appropriate contraceptive measures.
- We affirm women who continue their pregnancies to full term despite personal hardship, distress, suffering, and even the risk of death.
- We affirm and encourage women who choose to place their newborn infants for adoption, preferable through Christian placement agencies.
- We believe abortion to be wrong and grieve whenever an abortion takes place.
- However, we recognize that in some tragic instances abortion may need to be considered to safeguard the life of the mother. In all cases we urge immediate steps to seek medical and pastoral assistance. Aware of our own frailties and living in an imperfect world, we humbly seek God’s guidance in all matters of sexual behavior, and pregnancy.
What can we do?
We can pray:
- That lawmakers and judges will make wise decisions regarding legislative restrictions on abortions as well as legal challenges to Roe v. Wade and other abortion related cases.
- For the work of Pierce County Right to Life, an affiliate of Wisconsin Right to Life.
- For our partner organization, Options for Women, the local pregnancy resource center for women and men facing unwanted or unexpected pregnancies. Options has been serving the Pierce and St Croix area for over 30 years and provides a supportive, nonjudgmental, environment in which clients can explore alternatives to abortions as well as receive help with adoption and parenting should they choose that option.
Other ways to help:
- Donate to Options for Women through their baby bottle campaign to be kicked off at the church on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, January 20, 2019.
- Volunteer with Options for Women. Volunteers are needed for:
- Serving as a Client Advocate to meet with and assist clients
- Assisting clients with the “Earn While you Learn” Program
- Baby Boutique organizing
- Supporting group and class leaders
For further information about how to help: Call 715-425-8539 or visit the office at: 214 Main St., River Falls, WI.
Thank you for prayerfully examining your own beliefs about abortion and considering how you might help in the effort to reduce this global loss of life among the unborn.
From your FirstCov Compassion/Mercy/Justice (CMJ) Ministry Team