William Wilberforce fought against slavery for twenty years. To state the matter differently, Wilberforce witnessed the import and practice of buying and selling human beings as normative in Great Britain nearly the whole of his life. As a member of parliament, he led the campaign to end the immoral and vulgar practice. For nineteen years his efforts did not produce the outcome he desired. I’ll return to Wilberforce later.
Lost in the mist of the political fog in the United States was a procedural vote Monday in the U.S. Senate. Needing sixty votes to move a bill that would ban abortion after twenty weeks gestation, supporters gained only fifty-one votes. Three democrats cast yes votes while two republicans voted no. Our two Minnesota senators, Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, voted no without comment to the press or their constituents.
For decades abortion providers and proponents have said abortion needs to be available to all women as a matter of modern healthcare. They argue women who have conceived because of rape should not be forced to carry the child to term. They argue a woman whose life is endangered by a pregnancy should not be forced to carry the child to term. For the record, both of these exceptions were included in the bill previously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and rejected Monday by the senate.
The fact remains abortion providers and proponents will accept nothing less than abortion on demand without any restrictions. The slogan of those who promote the infanticide of children in the womb is that abortions should be rare, safe, and legal. This is not true. While they may be legal in the US, they are neither rare nor safe. A human being always dies in an abortion. A mother always bears the scar in her soul that she killed her baby. Society always loses a gift from God.
Today, abortion providers will kill 3,315 human beings in a mother’s womb.
Abortion on demand without restriction is the official position of the Democrat party. Their position embraces partial birth abortion and rejects parental notification. Their position advocates the federal government supplies and distributes condoms for all so that consenting persons may have sex whenever and with whomever they want.
Should a pregnancy occur, they have a solution for that. No woman should be forced to carry or to care for a child she does not want. For reference U.S. abortion laws are consistent with only seven nations on the planet. On this issue we look more like China and North Korea than Uganda or Peru.
When asked to defend the position, politicians raise the straw man argument of rape, incest, and life of the mother. The facts are these: abortions because of rape are 3/10 of 1% of all abortions. Abortions because of incest are 3/100 of 1% of all abortions. Abortions because of the safety of the life of the mother are 1/10 of 1%. Together, these are less than ½ of 1% of the abortions performed in the US. The fact is 99% of abortions are purely elective. For whatever reason (and there are many), the mother determines that she does not want this baby, and she finds a medical professional who will kill her baby for her.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and at least fifty-one members of the U.S. Senate are trying to put an end to this. They face stiff opposition.
It has been 45 years since the Roe v. Wade SCOTUS decision. Little by little some states and portions of the federal government have chipped away at the legal standing that allows the killing of human beings in the womb. To date seventeen states ban abortions after twenty weeks.
Back to Wilberforce, he won election to the English parliament in 1784. In the coming year he came into contact with John Newton of Amazing Grace fame and soon was born again after hearing the gospel. He was a new man and took up the cause to stop slave trade making initial political moves in 1787. The next two decades of his life were given to that single cause. Year after year, the politics of failed votes, broken agreements, and setbacks marked his endeavors until the passage of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, twenty full years after he began.
The fight to end abortion in the United States continues. We’ve been at it for a very long time. Brave and bold women and men continue to stand against the economics of abortion and the immorality of abortion just like Wilberforce stood against the economics of the slave trade and the immorality of the slave trade. We have witnessed incremental movement away from the wickedness that is the taking of life in the womb. I pray we will see the end of the taking of life in the womb just as Wilberforce saw the end of the slave trade.
As heaven was on the side of Wilberforce so heaven is on the side of those who stand to protect the lives of the yet to be born. Let’s allow Wilberforce’s example to inspire us. He was a Christian who led the charge, and likely, Christians will lead the charge against abortion. And let’s remember God’s Word.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
As always I welcome your feedback and any ideas you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.