Since the monumental Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, 55 million children have been legally aborted in this country, an average of more than 1.3 million a year. Twenty-two percent of pregnancies end in abortion in this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the annual number of legal induced abortions in the United States doubled between 1973 and 1979, and peaked in 1990. There was a slow but steady decline through the 1990s. Overall, the number of annual abortions decreased by 6% between 2000 and 2009, with temporary spikes in 2002 and 2006.
These numbers may tell us something about the current situation, but they also remind me of a scene in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. The main character, a student named Raskolnikov, encounters a young girl no more than sixteen who is drunk in the streets. He tries to help her, but it’s no good. Disturbed by this encounter, he thinks to himself, “A certain percentage, they tell us, must every year go…that way….” Then he saw how this kind of reporting affects the thinking: “A percentage! What splendid words they have; they are so scientific, so consolatory…. Once you’ve said ‘percentage’ there’s nothing more to worry about.”
It’s easier to accept abortion when you see it by the numbers. I’m not a fan of the practice some have of shocking audiences with grotesque pictures of abortion procedures, but I understand why they do it. Americans don’t pay attention to the numbers anymore. Without the pictures, maybe they don’t understand that for the last 43 years, we have accepted the legalization of murder in this country.
David knew the Creator knitted him in his mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13). His son Solomon declared children to be a “reward” from the Lord (Ps. 127:3). This is enough to give us God’s view of abortion—it is murder committed for selfishness.
Keep praying for this country. Evils like abortion sometimes tempt us to forget about the good in America. But it is still a free country. Pray for an end to abortion and all the other evils that Americans have accepted under the banner of “rights.” Pray that America will one day learn that “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).