NASHVILLE (BP) -- On Jan. 22, our nation reaches the 40th anniversary of the horrific Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion-on-demand. For 40 years, our nation has sanctioned the killing of more than 1 million unborn children every year, resulting in more than 55 million abortions, with no end in sight.
This is a tragic milestone that should cause us to repent and weep. These unborn children are the most vulnerable human beings among us, yet they are afforded no protection by society. They are deemed the property of their mothers, with no rights except what their mothers choose for them.
At the moment of conception, a human being comes into existence. This is a person created in the image of God, possessing a soul and deeply loved by God. We are well beyond the days when anyone can claim ignorance of the individual personhood of the unborn. Unborn babies have their own circulatory systems, oftentimes with a blood type different from their mother's. Within months of their conception, they are even making personal decisions. Unborn children move in the womb to get more comfortable and in response to pain.
Given the opportunity, these unborn people could join us in this world, live lives filled with meaning and purpose, and come to know the God who created them. Psalm 139 reminds us of God's involvement with the unborn. The psalmist declares, 'I am fearfully and wonderfully made.' Yet every year in our country more than a million of these lives of promise are mercilessly killed.
There are those, even in the Christian community, who believe that the abortion issue is a settled issue and that we ought to just accept it as a national practice and move onto things that aren't as divisive. We must never allow ourselves to accept abortion-on-demand as the new normal. Abortions kill innocent unborn people, wreak havoc on the women who have them, desensitize our culture to the value of human life, and subject our nation to the judgment of God.
As the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaches, I hope you will join me in prayer for the unborn, the mothers and fathers who suffer through the effects of abortion, and our nation. God wants us to respect all human life as sacred. He will lead us to end this horrific practice if we will let Him.
I hope you will also help save the unborn from the abortionist's knife by supporting pro-life legislation and practices. Contact your congressman and senators and insist that they make ending abortion-on-demand a top priority in the new 113th Congress. Also, please consider supporting pro-life ministries, like crisis pregnancy centers. The ERLC's Psalm 139 Project raises money to put ultrasound machines in crisis pregnancy centers. More than 90 percent of the mothers considering abortion who view their unborn babies on ultrasound decide against abortion. I encourage you to visit Psalm 139 Project's website (psalm139project.org) to learn more about this life-saving ministry.
Barrett Duke is vice president for public policy and research for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and also serves as director of the commission's Research Institute of the ERLC. Read more of his work here. He is also a regular contributor to the 'For Faith and Family' radio broadcast. Listen to the audio of this commentary here. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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