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Abortion at 40: New Fronts on the Battlefield for Life

“Forty years ago,” TIME magazine says in a new cover story, “abortion-rights activists won an epic victory.”

But get what TIME says next: “They’ve been losing ever since.” According to TIME magazine, abortion-rights supporters are “losing” because it’s getting harder to find so-called “clinics” that offer this so-called “procedure.” I’m not sure how this is bad news for the pro-choice movement. Didn’t they say they wanted to make abortion “safe, legal and rare”?

So the numbers of legal abortions are indeed coming down, thanks to an amazing confluence of factors that John Stonestreet talked about last week on BreakPoint. Pro-life activists and legislators across the 50 states have worked to make it harder for abortion centers to open or to remain open, as TIME reports.

But there are other factors. The pro-life movement, despite the 40th anniversary of Roe, is getting younger. A whole new generation of leaders sees themselves as abortion survivors. The growing availability of technologies such as ultrasound allow us to see inside the womb, and it’s simply untenable to repeat the old pro-choice lie that the unborn child is merely a “clump of cells.”

Thanks to these technologies, as well as determined and consistent efforts to help babies and their mothers via a growing network of pregnancy care centers, public opinion polls tell us that a solid majority now considers itself to be pro-life.

But the pro-life movement would be making a terrible mistake if we thought that we’ve won the battle for human life. If anything, the fronts are multiplying, due to both political and scientific developments.

On the political side, sadly, we are in the midst of the most radically pro-abortion administration in our nation’s history. Practically Barack Obama’s first act as president was to rescind George W. Bush’s executive order denying federal funds — that is, taxpayer money — to organizations that promote or provide abortions in other countries. Christians in Africa and elsewhere have discovered that they have a new opponent in the battle to protect nascent human life — namely, the U.S. government!

Forces in the United Nations, for their part, are continually seeking to have abortion declared as — if you can believe this — an international human right — except, of course, for the rights of humans whose lives would be snuffed out. And of course the Obama administration is undermining the religious freedom of religiously based groups here at home by forcing them to pay for abortion-inducing drugs for their employees — or face crippling fines.

On the scientific side, a bill to outlaw sex-selective abortion failed last year in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. As a consequence, the lives of unborn girls can be taken, simply because they are girls — right here in the U.S.A. Some 100 million girls in Asia have already lost their opportunity to live because of this barbaric practice.

Then there are the dangers inherent in fetal genetic testing, which can easily lead to abortion when abnormalities, or even just potential abnormalities, are detected. Now, incredibly, up to 90 percent of unborn children with Down syndrome are routinely aborted. This is more than a tragedy. It’s an outrage against God.

So is the abortion fight really over, 40 years after Roe? As much as we’d hope and pray for this, and despite the encouraging progress we’ve made, regrettably, the answer is no. The battle continues. So let’s keep fighting — with commitment, truth and joy as our weapons. And may the Lord help us.

Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.

Publication date: January 23, 2013

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