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Reflect on Sanctity of Human Life Day

In the next seven days, nearly 20,000 babies will be killed legally in the United States.

Let that sink in a minute. And in that one minute, three children will be killed.

Decisions to abort unborn babies are made in Spokane, Kootenai and surrounding counties every week. This is not happening “over there” someplace. It’s right here.

So don’t let next Sunday pass by you unnoticed.

Jan. 22 is Sanctity of Human Life Day, a day first set aside by President Ronald Reagan to mark a court ruling allowing the killing of unborn babies through abortion. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, an estimated 40 million unborn babies have been killed.

I hope next Sunday is a day marked by prayer among Christians; prayer for mothers considering abortion, prayer for those who have had abortions, and prayer for discernment to know how God’s people can do more than merely shake their heads and lament the tragedy.

Here are some suggestions:

• Don’t let familiarity with the abortion issue numb you into complacency.

When we’re surrounded by evil long enough, we get desensitized to it. I’m afraid too many Americans have heard so much about abortion that they are no longer shocked by it. We have become like those in Jeremiah’s day, of whom God said: “Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all – they don’t even know how to blush!” (Jeremiah 6:15, New Living Translation).

That’s why we need to remember we’re talking about legally ending human lives. Abortion, by definition, does that. Others may call it choice; God calls it murder.

• Don’t be afraid to take a stand for what is true, moral and pleasing to God – defending human life.

Opposing abortion will not necessarily make you popular with co-workers, friends or family members. But God’s people throughout history have trusted him for the courage to stand up for righteousness. We should follow their example.

• Don’t let your opposition to abortion create a hardened, loveless heart toward those who consider abortion or have had abortions.

The message of Jesus is one of redemption, restoration and compassion; there is no place in the fight against abortion for violence, condemnation or self-righteousness.

Jesus once said to a condemning crowd: “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (John 8:7, NLT). His words are no less sobering today.

• Do something to help women facing a decision to end their pregnancy. It’s sad when Christians oppose wrongdoing without offering any alternatives.

Christian-based pregnancy clinics operate in the Inland Northwest and they need our help. All of them need financial support, volunteers and prayer – the key ingredients to offering real help to expectant mothers.

Many Christians have brought mothers into their homes, supported them through their pregnancies, and helped them decide to raise their child or allow the baby to be adopted into a nurturing family. May their number increase.

• Do encourage your church to take a stand on the abortion issue; Christians need to know the biblical basis for opposing abortion. They need to be encouraged to do more than just quietly disapprove.

Yes, Sanctity of Human Life Day comes and goes every year. For many Christians, it is unnoticed. And as it passes by, the murder of the unborn continues unabated.

Let’s pray that it stops soon. And let’s pray for courage and compassion to be part of the solution.

Steve Massey is pastor of Hayden Bible Church ( He can be reached at (208) 772-2511 or

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