The light from the 58 candles on the courtroom bench cast a warm glow as I entered the historic room. I was honored to be a part of the “Evening of Prayer Where It All Began” sponsored by the Texas chapter of Concerned Women for America (CWA) on the evening prior to the anniversary date of the U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized the murder of unborn children. Stepping into the courtroom the gravity of the decision made January 22, 1973 was magnified as CWA’s Texas Director Ann Hettinger opened the evening with the reading of Psalm 139:13-17:
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Following the scripture reading Ann asked that those in attendance form a line leading to the courtroom bench, remove one of the candles, turn off the switch (they were battery operated) and place it in a basket representing a casket. The 58 candles each represented one million babies whose lives have been extinguished so their mothers could exercise their “right to privacy” protected by the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. As an educator who consistently handles statistics I know that the 58 million is a conservative statistic—more than likely it is much higher!
How Did It All Begin?
Roe vs. Wade, the life altering 1973 legislation that was legalized in Dallas, Texas, was rendered in behalf of a single woman living in Texas, who did not want to continue her third pregnancy. Under Texas law, she could not legally obtain an abortion. The case, filed in 1971 by Norma McCorvey, is known in court documents as Jane ROE against Henry WADE, the district attorney of Dallas County from 1951 to 1987, who enforced a Texas law that prohibited abortion, except to save a woman's life.
On January 22, 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, answered the Constitutional Question: “Does the Constitution embrace the right of a woman to obtain an abortion, nullifying the Texas prohibition?” by affirming the legality of a woman's right to have an abortion under the Fourteenth amendment to the Constitution.
The Court held that a woman's right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy (recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut) protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision gave a woman a right to abortion during the entirety of the pregnancy and defined different levels of state interest for regulating abortion in the second and third trimesters. The ruling affected laws in all 50 states.
Research suggests that the case was conceived and processed by deception and lies. Those directly involved in the case later confessed that they defrauded the public in order to present their case for abortion. The confessions, however, do not neutralize the reality that in excess of 58 million babies (more than the population of the state of California) lost their lives as a result of this decision. Daily more than 4000 pregnancies are terminated by abortion in the United States. The residual result of the decision to abort often creates a quiet heartbreak that can, without intervention from our loving heavenly Father, lead to a loss of hope. At best abortion is a silent epidemic that bears intervention from the Christian community.
Beyond Sanctity Sunday
Observing an annual “Sanctity Sunday,” participating in pro-life activities, picketing Planned Parenthood facilities, contacting legislators, contributing to pro-life activities, and supporting pro-life events, though effective and necessary, pale in comparison to asking our gracious heavenly Father to terminate this legalized murder. The season of prayer that followed the Candle Ceremony allowed for intervention in the lives of a myriad of individuals including prayer for:
- Families in Crisis
- Health Care Professionals
- Crisis Pregnancy Care Helpers
- Judges and Lawyers
Located behind the bench in the courtroom is an iron gate. It is a stark reminder of the door of life that swung closed on January 22, 1973 for millions of unborn children. As I prepared to leave the event I looked first at the gate and then at the basket casket containing the extinguished candles and prayed that our gracious heavenly Father would unlock the gate of damage done that fateful day. May I encourage you to daily pray for the individuals listed above as well as the individuals impacted by the Roe vs. Wade decision? Perhaps in so doing we will move from Sanctity Sunday to daily sanctifying human life from conception to the casket. The prayer below may assist you in this endeavor.
Sanctity of Human Life Prayer
Gracious heavenly Father, I come humbly before You asking that You will strengthen us to walk worthy of our faith, as Ephesians 4:1 teaches, and in so doing live as faithful advocates for human life.
- Provide us with the courage to stand firm against the deception and lies that occurred on January 22, 1973 to legalize the death of more than 55 million babies.
- Strengthen us with the Gospel courage to contend against the dark oxymoron labeled “legal abortion,” and to acknowledge that the two words simply do not belong together.
- Challenge us to stand against abortion in our families, churches, and communities.
- Help us to offer compassion and instruction in healing for individuals and families affected by abortion-related injustices and loss.
- Give us the strength, perseverance, and tenacity to serve as advocates for unborn children within our sphere of influence.
- Provide us with the wisdom and knowledge base to direct those considering abortion to agencies that can provide resources to continue the pregnancy through birth.
- Expand our zeal for fighting against abortion to walking with women in crisis pregnancies through the placement of babies into loving adoptive homes, of which I am a forever grateful recipient.
- Knowing that we cannot accomplish these requests in their own strength we plead Philippians 4:13 in our behalf for we can do all things through You who strengthens us.
I lift this appeal to end the urgent and silent epidemic of abortion made legal on January 22, 1973 in your holy and loving Name, AMEN.
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
God has said, “I am your refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though it waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Psalm 46:1-3).
Therefore, I may boldly say, “God’s answer to me when I am overwhelmed by life’s circumstances is brief and straightforward: stop and remember who I am and that I am on your side.”
A GIFT FOR YOU!
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Blessings on your day as you focus on making your house a home!