The appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in 2020 emboldened legislators across our country to defend the lives of unborn babies in America. Of the approximately 500 restrictions passed on abortion since 2011, 90 were approved after the start of 2021. Included among these is one of the boldest measures to date: Texas Senate Bill 8, which prohibits doctors from performing an abortion unless they have first tried and failed to detect a heartbeat.
Not only is the Texas law our nation’s most aggressive measure to protect the lives of unborn children, it is also the most creative. The legislation forbids state officials from enforcing it, instead granting private citizens the power to file lawsuits against anyone involved in supporting or performing an abortion that violates the law. Since the fetal heartbeat is detectable after only six weeks of pregnancy, it is estimated that the Texas Heartbeat Act is saving 100 lives a day.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the majority in a 5-4 vote rejecting a petition to temporarily block the Texas law, allowing it to take effect on September 1. Former president Trump’s other Supreme Court appointees, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, also joined in this decision. This has greatly encouraged those who are looking ahead to the Supreme Court oral arguments on December 1 challenging Roe v. Wade.
In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that women have a constitutional right to kill their children up until the point when the baby is capable of surviving outside the womb (roughly the third trimester). Nevertheless, Mississippi bans most abortions after 15 weeks—well before the child reaches “viability.” Similar bans have been struck down, since 2019, as unconstitutional in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Tennessee. However, the effort to strike down the Mississippi law has been appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, who has agreed to receive the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. The Court’s decision will determine whether all state laws that ban pre-viability abortions are necessarily unconstitutional. Moreover, it has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“In its original appeal to the Supreme Court, Mississippi argued that its law complied with existing precedent,” reports National Public Radio, “and it said the court should only overturn Roe if it concluded there was no other way to uphold the state law.” However, a new filing from Mississippi’s Attorney General Lynn Fitch asks the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The filing argues against the arbitrary standard of viability, addresses advancements in medicine, and challenges that fetal pain was never taken into consideration in the original Court rulings. “The Constitution does not protect a right to abortion,” writes Fitch. “The Constitution’s text says nothing about abortion. Nothing in the Constitution’s structure implies a right to abortion or prohibits states from restricting it.” Consequently, Fitch argues, “The national fever on abortion can break only when this court returns abortion policy to the states – where agreement is more common, compromise is often possible and disagreement can be resolved at the ballot box.”
The once elusive hope of overturning Roe v. Wade is finally reality, thanks largely to President Trump’s bold Supreme Court nominations and the iron backbone of Mississippi’s Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “The Mississippi case has drawn widespread attention,” writes NPR, “with more than 1,125 friend-of-the-court briefs filed so far, most of them from conservative, religious, and anti-abortion groups.” Unfortunately, this excitement has largely been relegated to the political and legal spheres. Why isn’t every church in America talking about this lawsuit and blanketing it in prayer for the next few months?
Terrified that Roe v. Wade may, in fact, be overturned, U.S. House Democrats passed the most pro-abortion bill in history on September 24. The Women’s Health Protection Act passed in a party-line vote, with only one Democrat voting against it. Although Democrat leaders portrayed the bill as the “codification” of Roe v. Wade into federal law, the legislation goes far beyond Roe. If approved by the Senate, this bill would erase nearly all of the 500 hard-won restrictions on abortion and prevent states from enacting even the most modest protections for unborn babies. It would eradicate the women’s right to know laws in 35 states, the parental involvement statutes in 37 states, the pain capable unborn child protection laws in 19 states, the waiting period laws in 26 states, and more. Moreover, it would legalize partial-birth abortion up to the point of birth for any reason.
Prior to the vote, Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) challenged, “This bill constitutes an existential threat to unborn children and to the value of life itself. For the first time ever by congressional statute, H.R. 3755 would legally authorize and enable the violent death of unborn baby girls and boys by dismemberment, decapitation, forced expulsion from the womb, deadly poisons, or other methods at any time, for any reason, until birth.” Smith appealed to a little known United Nations treaty to which the United States is subject, “The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the U.S. has ratified, is concerned about unborn children being killed. It states in Article 6 that ‘Every human being has the inherent right to life’ and that ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.’”
Far more impressive was Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s appeal, on the House floor, to a greater authority:
Heading into this week, perhaps the most evil and disgusting thing that is going to happen in this 117th Congress is the bill that’s going to be introduced that makes it a federal law to allow abortion up until the day of birth. This wall says, “In God we trust,” and if that is the case, then this congress will reject this evil bill and protect the innocent unborn. If this nation becomes a nation where we have such a federal law that can kill a baby up until the day of birth, then God will no longer provide protection, in His grace, over America.
Indeed, the abortion of unborn babies is murder. In God’s mind an unborn baby is a person (Isa. 44:24), created by God in His own image (Psa. 139:13–16; Gen. 1:27), and capable of experiencing emotions and of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41, 44). One of God’s earliest commands can be found in Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” And this command is repeated throughout Scripture (Exo. 20:13; 23:7; Rom. 13:9).
Abortion is the shedding of innocent blood—something that God hates (Prov. 6:16–17). It is the sacrifice of innocent life upon the altar of self-centered convenience. Representative Greene is correct when she warns that abortion up to the point of birth is a form of murder for which God judges nations (Jer. 19:3–6). The Bible frequently speaks about how the shedding of innocent blood makes a nation guilty in God’s sight and pollutes the land until the guilt of that murder is purged from the land (Deut. 19:10; Psa. 106:37–38).
Thank God for the boldness of Representative Greene! Nevertheless, one can’t help but ask why this prophetic warning is coming from a politician inside our capital building rather than from our nation’s pulpits. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached from his pulpit, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”
It is time for God’s people to engage! This should be an easy call for every pastor and every Christian because the call to action is not political (although we do need activists who will resist the new abortion bill in the senate). Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is confined to the Supreme Court where we the people have no power or influence. However, there remains one Judge who can access and influence the Court’s proceedings. It remains in our power to pray to Him! Let us, then, cast our sorrow and our hope upon our Lord Jesus Christ.
And let us not grow weary in our prayers these next couple of months. The admission of our error in permitting Roe v. Wade is a necessary step in purging our nation’s blood guilt for 60+ million murdered babies. Deuteronomy 21:9 teaches, “So you shall remove the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the eyes of the LORD” (NASB).
This reveals the heart of our God. He is not looking for an excuse to judge. Instead, He is looking for obedience. His heart is that people come to Him in obedient faith, renouncing their evil deeds. When a nation does this, it is sanctified, and it becomes the recipient of divine mercy. Jeremiah 18:7–8 promises, “If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.” Likewise, 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
There remains hope for our nation if we will do what is right. Let us persevere in prayer, believing our prayers to be effective (James 5:16). And let us share this call to action with as many others as possible so as to recruit more prayer warriors!
1. Stieber, Zachary. “House Approves Bill Barring States from Restricting Abortions.” Epoch Times, September 24, 2021. Last updated September 26, 2021. https://www.theepochtimes.com/house-passes-bill-barring-states-from-restricting-abortions_4014908.html.
2. “Texas Senate Bill 8.” 2021–2022 87th Legislature. Passed May 19, 2021. https://legiscan.com/TX/text/SB8/2021.
3. Stieber, Zachary. “Texas Ban on Most Abortions Takes Effect after Supreme Court Doesn’t Intervene.” Epoch Times, September 1, 2021. Last updated September 1, 2021. https://www.theepochtimes.com/texas-ban-on-most-abortions-takes-effect-after-supreme-court-doesnt-intervene_3975586.html.
5. Liptak, Adam, J. David Goodman and Sabrina Tavernise. “Supreme Court, Breaking Silence, Won’t Block Texas Abortion Law.” New York Times, September 1, 2021. Last updated September 23, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/us/supreme-court-texas-abortion.html.
6. Parma, Rebecca. “The Texas Heartbeat Act Is Saving 100 Babies’ Lives Every Single Day.” Federalist, September 28, 2021. https://thefederalist.com/2021/09/28/the-texas-heartbeat-act-is-saving-100-babies-lives-every-single-day/.
7. Liptak, “Supreme Court, Breaking Silence, Won’t Block Texas Abortion Law.”
8. Totenberg, Nina. “The Supreme Court Sets a Date for Arguments in Case That Could Challenge Roe V. Wade.” National. National Public Radio, September 20, 2021, 8:02 p.m., ET. https://www.npr.org/2021/09/20/1038972266/supreme-court-date-roe-wade-dobbs-jackson-womens.
10. Totenberg, Nina. “Mississippi Is Trying to Get the Supreme Court to Reverse Roe.” National Public Radio, July 23, 2021, 12:35 p.m., ET. https://www.npr.org/2021/07/23/1019746478/on-abortion-mississippi-swings-for-the-fences-asks-the-supreme-court-to-reverse-.
11. “Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—Brief for Petitioners.” No. 19-1392 (2021). United States Supreme Court. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/21014766-dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization-brief-for-petitioners-final.
12. Liptak, Adam. “Mississippi Asks the Supreme Court to Overrule Roe v. Wade.” New York Times, July 22, 2021. Last updated September 13, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/22/us/politics/mississippi-supreme-court-abortion.html.
14. Totenberg, “The Supreme Court Sets a Date for Arguments in Case That Could Challenge Roe V. Wade.”
15. Hoft, Jim. “Pelosi Cheers as Dems Pass Radical Abortion without Limits Bill – Legalizes Partial Birth Abortion, Dismembering Babies, Lifts All Restrictions.” Gateway Pundit, September 25, 2021, 9:02 a.m. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/09/pelosi-cheers-dems-pass-radical-abortion-without-limits-bill-legalizes-partial-birth-abortion-dismembering-babies-lifts-restrictions/.
16. Smith, Chris. “‘This Bill Is Far outside the American Mainstream and Goes Far beyond Roe v Wade’ – the Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act.” National Right to Life News, September 28, 2021. https://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/2021/09/this-bill-is-far-outside-the-american-mainstream-and-goes-far-beyond-roe-v-wade-the-abortion-on-demand-until-birth-act/.
17. Hoft, “Pelosi Cheers as Dems Pass Radical Abortion without Limits Bill – Legalizes Partial Birth Abortion, Dismembering Babies, Lifts All Restrictions.”
18. Smith, “‘This Bill Is Far outside the American Mainstream and Goes Far beyond Roe v Wade’ – the Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act.”
20. Forbes Breaking News. “JUST IN: Marjorie Taylor Greene Accuses Biden of Treason, Calls for His Impeachment.” Youtube video, 1:22. September 20, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzUs3M8VmOA.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.