I saw the video early Wednesday morning. It was minutes before our daughter’s catechism and family worship so the images created by the footage were still in my mind as I heard my daughter’s small voice answer the first question: “Jael, who made you?” Her response: “God made me.”
In her answer were the voices of the many tiny image-bearers whose abortions were so callously described by the Director of Medical Services for the Planned Parenthood, Deborah Nucatola. In a video, secretly recorded by investigators, Nucatola details the strategic extraction of intact fetuses for the purpose of organ harvesting. She chews casually on her dinner as she illustrates particular abortion techniques that yield “success” in meeting the needs of her buyers for certain body parts.
Grotesque doesn’t capture the scene. Surely this video serves as a reminder of the conscious-hardening effects of sin and the evil that can dwell in the heart of humankind (Romans 1:18-21). I will admit however that, as I considered the contents of the footage, I was reawakened, not only to the sinful practices of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry but, to my own sins.
There was a time when I reasoned more from cultural ideology than from God’s Word concerning abortion. While I never supported abortion, my thinking was somewhat swayed by partisanship. I gave focus to the hypocrisy of those who, I believed, failed to promote a true “birth-to-death pro-life agenda” in the case of marginalized Americans. This was leaving the main point for a sideline issue—particularly with those who agree with me on the fundamental evils of abortion. In truth, I looked more to sound bites than to our shared and true narrative. I repent today knowing that, far from a political issue, abortion is a gospel issue.
It’s a gospel issue because God made us and that truth is essential to the gospel message (Genesis 1:26-27). Creation tells us that we are not the result of chance but the direct and unique work of God. He made us for His own glory and for His own purposes. So when defenseless human beings, made by and for God, are targeted for death and then sliced apart and sold for gain, the minutia of political loyalties must fade to the brilliance of God’s truth. Abortion is a sin against our Creator (Exodus 20:13).
And offenders like Planned Parenthood are no friend of women— particularly black and brown women. Nucatola’s cold words in the video convey no thought for a woman’s body. Rather her expressed interest appears to be for the baby’s body and the profit it brings. Yet these vulnerable little ones are also our neighbors. And they find themselves among ruthless raiders. Men and women who skillfully mine them for parts. May God help us to be good neighbors to these human beings (Luke 10:25-37).
As a member of the Black church, it seems we have passed by to the other side of the road too often on this issue. Where is the outrage? And where is our heartbreak for the little faces missing from our own congregations? I’m sorry to say that, before today, I had never cried for the children aborted in my church. Who is missing today who may have stood next to my own daughter to declare: “God made me!”
Yes, to mourn is good. And to speak and act with mercy, compassion and boldness is even better. May the LORD help His people to do just that. Daniel Darling offers helpful thoughts on how Christians can speak and act on the issue of abortion.
An updated version of this post can be found at the Reformed African American Network.