Over the years, many people have asked me to pray for them concerning a myriad of problems and difficulties, but a request for prayer from a Christian living in mainland China was a first for me: His wife was pregnant with their second child, and with his country’s draconian one-child policy, having a second child would mean severe fines and penalties for many years to come. Would I please pray for him and for his wife?
While the situation in China is extreme, it is part of a much larger, global picture which includes: children viewed as a burden more than a blessing; the denigration of life in the womb; the deterioration of marriage and family, which itself includes the downgrading of motherhood and fatherhood.
As we approach the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, worldwide abortion figures are staggering. Fairly recent statistics supplied by the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute indicate that China is the international leader in abortions, at roughly 8 million annually (26.1 per 1,000 women), followed by the Russian Federation, with roughly 2.25 million per year (68.4 per 1,000 women), then Vietnam with 1.5 million (83.3 per 1,000 women), then America with 1.35 million (22.9 per 1,000 women), then Ukraine with 635 thousand (57.1 per 1,000 women).
In Russian and Ukraine, it is not uncommon to hear of women who have had 6, 7, 8, or even 9 abortions, since this is a principle means of birth control. What effect does this have on these women and on the men who father these children?
In February 1994, Mother Teresa filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court stating, “America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts -- a child -- as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters.”
She added, “The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.”
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.