No middle ground on this issue

Published 8:56 pm Friday, January 27, 2017

By Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr.

The year was 1984. At a conference in Mexico City, President Reagan announced what came to be known as the “Mexico City Policy,” a measure that prevents any foreign entity receiving U.S. taxpayer funds from advocating abortion.

The reason for the doctrine is obvious: Many Americans believe abortion is a form of homicide, and they find the notion of paying for it to be abhorrent.

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The Mexico City Policy was maintained by President George H.W. Bush, but was rescinded by President Bill Clinton after he took office. It was then reinstated by President George W. Bush, but immediately rescinded by President Barack Obama, when he took office.

Thankfully, President Donald Trump reinstated it this past Monday.

Three measures have been adopted that seek to stand between our tax dollars and the funding of abortions: the Mexico City Policy, the Hyde Amendment, and the Helms Amendment.

The Helms Amendment was adopted in 1973, the same year the Supreme Court handed down its Roe vs. Wade decision, making abortion legal nationwide.

But something has changed since 1973, and it is an inescapable problem for the abortion industry: Modern ultrasound technology now allows us to see that what is growing in the womb is clearly a baby.

As Dr. Albert Mohler puts it, ultrasound images make it obvious that what is growing in the womb “is not a potential life, but a life. Not a potential person, but a person. Not a maybe baby, but a baby.”

Sean Davis, writing in The Federalist, says, “Nothing can obscure the truth that unborn babies are alive. That their hearts beat just as ours do, and that the abortion industry is dead set on killing as many of them as possible.”

The massive worldview divide that now exists in our country on the issue of abortion was on full display in two recent marches.

The first march was held the day after President Trump’s inauguration. It was explicitly pro-abortion. I will not even describe the vulgarity of the signs and the X-rated costumes of many marchers, or the profanity of the celebrities who spoke from the stage. The whole scene perfectly captured a culture of death.

The second march was held yesterday. It was the March for Life, which is an annual pro-life event. There were no vulgar signs. There was no profanity from the stage. There were no X-rated costumes. Just lots of people whose hearts are broken by the slaughter of the most vulnerable people among us — babies.

This is an issue where there really is no middle ground. If you believe what the Bible teaches (see Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139:13, for instance) and what ultrasound technology now clearly reveals, you simply can’t approve of abortion.

But it’s one thing to say you are against abortion. That’s easy. It’s another thing to be willing to come alongside women who are pregnant in difficult circumstances, and walk with them through their pregnancy and motherhood. That’s what Crisis Pregnancy Centers do.

But Christians should also feel compassion for women who have had abortions and now live with heartbreaking regret. They don’t need our condemnation.

They need to hear about a Savior who took the condemnation of sinners like all of us on a cross. They need to hear about the forgiveness, healing and new life that Jesus brings.

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.