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January 22, 2019 marked the 46th anniversary of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that continues to tear at our national conscience. That was the date when the Roe v. Wade case legalized abortion throughout the United States.
Coming on the heels of the Vietnam War and the social unrest that marked the 1960s, the activist court had already begun undoing legal precedents that had guided our nation for generations. In 1963, the Warren Court ruled that official prayer in schools could no longer be tolerated.
By 1973, the liberal justices were willing to push the boundaries even further. In the Roe decision, Justice Harry Blackman resorted to citing "penumbras of the Ninth Amendment" -- a reference to the mysterious outer region of a shadow cast by an opaque object. If that sounds like legal Gnosticism, it is -- because only self-styled higher thinkers can reduce the Amendments to the U.S. Constitution to opaque objects casting faint shadows that only they can discern.
Over the past 46 years, the Pro-Life Movement has taken on a life of its own. It has become a political force to be reckoned with, especially within the Republican Party. And, while pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood still outpace the pro-life cause in fundraising and power within the Democratic Party, the culture has trended toward a pro-life position for several years.
Lost in the politically explosive issue of life is a historical and prophetic understanding of this stain on America's soul.
The Historical Background
The "Wade" in the original case refers to Henry Wade, the District Attorney of Dallas County, Texas. He was tasked with defending the Texas statute prohibiting abortion against a legal steamroller determined to create a landmark case to impact the nation. That legal team actively sought a pregnant young woman to be the subject of their legal battle. They found her in Norma McCorvey -- aka "Jane Roe."
McCorvey was not what legal scholars would describe as a sympathetic litigant. The product of a troubled and sometimes violent childhood (she was repeatedly raped by a cousin over one three-week period), she was an abrasive, alcoholic drug user who was disowned by her own family. She already had two children by different men, and she had signed over both children for adoption. Pregnant for a third time and divorced at age 22, she sought an illegal abortion but found that all abortion clinics had been shut down by the authorities.
Eventually, McCorvey connected with a team of pro-abortion lawyers (headed by the daughter of a mainline minister) who realized that she could become the "victim" they had been looking for. They coached her to falsely claim she had been gang-raped, hoping to make her circumstance more sympathetic. When her request for a legal abortion was denied due to lack of credibility, they ran her case for the next three years all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ironically, McCorvey never appeared in court and her third baby was born and given up for adoption. She later testified that the team of feminist lawyers never made an effort to help her after they secured her "Jane Roe" signature.
In the years that followed, Norma McCorvey became a high priestess of the same false religion that had used her and spit her out. She helped lure in young women to the Dallas abortion clinic where she worked for minimum wage and even comforted them with words she knew to be lies.
For a season, Norma basked in the notoriety. Caught up in the leftist feminist agenda, she declared herself to be an avowed lesbian. Anyone observing Norma McCorvey's pro-abortion attitude and ungodly lifestyle would have declared her to be reprobate. But that is not the end of her story.
During her tenure as a committed lesbian and abortionist, pro-life activists from Operation Rescue began targeting her facility. Instead of screaming at Norma and the women who bought into the lies she helped spread, those intervening Christians primarily prayed and offered positive encouragement. They shined the light of truth and love where darkness seemed to prevail.
When I had the opportunity to meet Norma personally, she told me that what broke through her hardened heart was an 8-year-old girl named Emily Mackey who repeatedly told her, "Miss Norma, God loves you and so do I." That simple statement made her realize that she had never experienced such grace and love -- totally unexpected and undeserved. It melted her heart.
The other experience that caused her to reject the lie of abortion was seeing a baby on a modern ultrasound. No longer could she fool herself and others into believing the lie that a fetus is merely a clump of cells. What God miraculously knits together in each mother's womb is fully human -- from conception to birth.
A Radical Change of Life
In 1995, Norma McCorvey gave her life to Jesus Christ and renounced her former lifestyle and occupation. McCorvey became an outspoken advocate for life, which is how I met her. In 2008, she spoke at the annual "Kentucky Doctors for Life" dinner. As the leader of the Pro-Life Caucus in the Kentucky Legislature, I was asked to speak as well. I sat next to Norma and spent most of the evening thrilling at her testimony of how God changed her life and gave it eternally-relevant purpose and meaning.
Where Our Nation Stands
There can be no doubt that our nation has bought into the lie of abortion. So many people worship at the altar of the false god of "choice" that the Democratic Party has made advocacy of unencumbered abortion a foundational tenet of its political platform. Ironically, the United States is joined only by North Korea and China in perpetuating the most liberal abortion laws in the world.
So dramatic is the darkening of hearts that rational thought is often impossible. During my re-election campaign in 2018, I stood on the doorstep of a self-professed witch and committed advocate of abortion who declared that an unborn child is not human "because that clump of cells could turn out to be a cauliflower." I tried to explain to her that no human has ever given birth to a cauliflower, but she would not be moved.
So, just what is the historic and prophetic significance of this issue? I would submit that the insidious impact of progressive policies beginning not just in the 1960s and 70s, but going all the way back to the 1860s finally bore their unholy fruit in more recent years. Why the 1860s? Because that is when Charles Darwin asserted that life did not originate with God. Instead of Creation being a manifestation of God's glory and design, he declared that life is an accident and that Mankind is descended from lower forms of life.
His evolutionary worldview is diametrically opposed to everything the Bible teaches. For a time, such ideas were confined to liberal universities and dismissed by the public at large as so much wind. But today, that false ideology has permeated our culture and is taught in every public classroom. And, once again, the evil seeds of such an ideology are bearing much destructive fruit in our society. After killing several classmates at Marshall County High School in Kentucky, the teenage murderer told police, "My life has no meaning, and neither does anyone else's." Is it any wonder that we are reaping the whirlwind?
Over the course of the past century, as America became more fixated with its growing material prosperity, we wandered away from the very God who poured out blessings upon us -- individually and collectively. I am absolutely convinced that the immediate response of the Church in America to Supreme Court decisions banning prayer in schools and legalizing abortion on demand was a collective yawn. Many believers are finally waking up to the existential threat those and other secular policies represent, but we are playing catch up to the Devil.
Lately, Satan's deceptive activity seems to have gone into overdrive. In January, the advocates of abortion doubled down on their agenda in New York. Not satisfied to have been known as the most pro-abortion state in the nation prior to 1973, Governor Andrew Cuomo and a conspiratorial legislature determined to push the abortion envelope once again. They passed legislation guaranteeing the legality of unrestricted abortion -- literally up until the moment of live birth.
Governor Cuomo proclaimed that this would lock in unfettered abortion access in the Empire State just in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. He gleefully celebrated this bold leap forward by ordering the Freedom Tower to be illuminated pink!
The Prophetic Significance
So, what of the prophetic significance? Scripture tells us what happens when a society abandons God and the truth He has revealed. Paul foretold of people who would know God, but not honor Him as God or give thanks. Inevitably, such a society is destined to become futile in its speculations and its foolish heart becomes darkened. Certainly, our society has indeed been given over to lusts and impurity, degrading passions and a depraved mind (Romans 1:24-26).
Many in our Christian nation are quick to condemn Adolf Hitler for murdering six million Jews but celebrate Cecile Richards (the former president of Planned Parenthood and daughter of former Texas governor Ann Richards) who proudly defended the murder of 60 million babies. How long will God, who condemned the abomination of sacrificing children to the false god Molech, tolerate our society sacrificing its children to the false god of choice?
The fact that our national foolish heart has become darkened -- and that virtually every other "Christian nation" thinks likewise -- is a dramatic sign that we are living in the last days. How else to describe the apostasy and lies that are embraced by people who ought to know better? God truly has given our nation over to a depraved mind.
Hoping for the Hopeless
How many Jane Roes do you know? I'm speaking of people who are living a lie, caught up in a false identity that tells them to reject biblical truth and the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- individuals that nobody could realistically hold out hope for a change of mind, a melting of heart and an embracing of the Savior.
And yet, for Norma McCorvey-Jane Roe herself, who became the poster child for unfettered abortion and dedicated years of her life to perpetrating that lie -- the grace of God still abounded. She was not beyond redemption and adoption into the family of God.
Sharing the Gospel message with such people might seem as futile as preaching to a set of dry bones. And yet, that is exactly what God commanded Ezekiel to do. Consider the apparent futility of that task. Preach to a valley full of bones so dry and scattered that hope is not even part of the equation. God certainly realized that from a human perspective such instruction must have seemed vain. That is why He asked Ezekiel, "Can these bones live?" In one of the greatest statements of faith-filled wisdom found in Scripture, Ezekiel correctly answered, "O Lord God, You know" (Ezekiel 37:3). Indeed, He did.
Only God knows how long He will withhold judgment on our nation. But the day of His wrath will certainly come if our nations persists in its stubborn rebellion against His Word. Romans 2:5 says, "...because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God."
As Lamb & Lion Ministries proclaims the soon return of Jesus Christ, our goal is to pierce the hardened hearts of those who do not yet know Him as Savior and Lord. God the Father's delay in sending His Son to gather His bride is a demonstration of His patience, grace, and love -- allowing time for all who will believe to come to faith in Jesus (2 Peter 3:9).
We also want to motivate those who already know Jesus as Savior to allow Him to reign as Lord. That means dedicating ourselves to holy living and urgent evangelism. The Norma McCorveys of this world are lost in a world of deepening darkness, but we have Jesus -- "the Light of men that shines in the darkness" (John 1:4-5).