It's not too often that you get antiabortionists and pro-abortionists celebrating the same event as good news. When it was reported recently that the number of abortions being performed in the United States had dropped to 1.2 million a year, both sides found something to celebrate. It was good news. Or was it?
1.2 million abortions per year means that abortions are at their lowest since 1976. At least this is what a new report claims. Obviously, every abortion less than the grisly norm of recent decades is something to be grateful for. But a closer look at the underlying reality soon wipes the gloss off any celebration.
Some researchers claim that the impositions of more restrictions on abortions accounts for some of the decline. If this is so, I rejoice and hope that more states will place more restrictions on the barbarism that is daily executed-an accurate word under the circumstances-in the nation's hospitals and clinics. A more immediate reason for the drop seems to be the widespread use of the controversial abortion pill RU 486. How many conceptions this early form of abortion has terminated is anybody's guess but one thing seems clear: America's abortion rate is not declining because of any revival of moral standards.
Whatever the reasons, the trend was welcomed by both antiabortion and abortion rights advocates. If pro-abortionists are applauding these latest figures, believe me there is no real reason for pro-life advocates to celebrate. Let the figure sink in: this nation gives the sanction of law-indeed the protection of the Constitution-to the killing of one million two hundred thousand babies per year. And we are supposed to celebrate that as representing a drop of something like a couple of hundred thousand per year?
Here's the cold reality. We live in a nation where sexual morality is trampled in the gutter. Young people who maintain virgin purity are often viewed as oddities. Living together without the benefit of marriage is so common that for anyone to raise an objection to it makes him sound as up to date as a dinosaur. This is the ME generation. Even the life of a baby can be snuffed out if it happens to inconvenience all-important me. With the availability of RU486 more women can live in sin and comfortably destroy any child they may conceive-all without the inconvenience and guilty feeling of having to undergo an abortion procedure. So despite the apparently encouraging figures on declining abortion rates the moral situation in America is as bleak and godless as ever.
That's why these figures are cold comfort to Christians who oppose abortion on demand, as all Christians should. It's why we should continue to oppose the abortion industry by all lawful means. But it is also why we should realize that fighting abortion is not the great answer to America's moral depravity. More than ever we need to see this country caught in the spiritual blaze of the old-time preaching of the law and the gospel-the law to let men know what sin is and does and to drive them to cry to God for mercy; and the gospel show them that mercy in the person and through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the only real answer to the moral and spiritual needs of this or any other nation.