Have you read or seen any of the coverage to do with an organisation called Planned Parenthood in America? If you haven’t and you have an interest in human dignity, then you should take a look. A group called Center for Medical Progress has released two videos (with more to come, apparently) where Planned Parenthood executives have been caught out discussing the sale of aborted foetuses. Planned Parenthood are an organisation devoted to promoting and campaigning for better access to a range of services such as abortion, gender-based violence and contraception, to name just a few.
What you will see amongst the shocking and revealing footage is the price of an aborted foetus reduced to $100 after the initial price was pitched at $75. It doesn’t matter that the foetus is aborted. That’s missing the point entirely. Whether a foetus is aborted or not, human life should never, ever, be reduced to a price tag. In one particularly shocking segment, a leading doctor says she will ask the surgeon to use a “less crunchy” extraction method to try and ensure an intact foetus, which is frankly disgusting.
Treating aborted babies as a harvest ripe for organ plucking is a demeaning assault upon the preciousness of life. We don’t usually raid graves for organs do we? Yes, we are talking about an aborted baby, not a live one. But that doesn’t make it right. There is a reason why US law prohibits the sale of aborted foetuses. The possibility of life (i.e. what happens the moment someone falls pregnant) should never be treated as second class to the living reality of life. We should remember God is the author of all life, therefore from its very and earliest beginning it has deep and intrinsic value.
We rightly get worked up about modern slavery and justifiably are incensed by human trafficking and the abuse of victims. Yet while we might speak out boldly about trafficking, that’s often because a lot of people who don’t like our faith, share our views. It is pretty safe to do so. But abortion is a subject that polarises the debate (like the gospel). Maybe we are worried if we dare express our concerns we’ll come across as the very stereotype we often get accused of living up to – you know that one I mean – angry Christian on the pro-life warpath. I guess we want to avoid appearing insensitive, too, because there will be people within the church who have had abortions, for a variety of reasons. Certainly the wider abortion debate is crucial. And far be it from me to suggest in any way the mercy and grace of Christ be withheld from those who have an abortion. As the old hymn puts it: “The door of thy mercy stands open all day, to the poor and the needy who walk by the way, no sinner shall ever be empty sent back, who comes seeking mercy for Jesus’ sake”.
As Christians, how should we respond? Above all, this is a reminder to pray for our world. While he was here on earth Jesus said this: “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luke 8:17 NIV) This is a work of God, where he brings that which is hidden to light, so sin exposed for what it truly is.
There is another verse we should bear in mind: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7) Well men and women have sowed and are now reaping the whirlwind. The videos show the inevitable result of a godless worldview that diminishes the value of life.
Pray that the Lord will restrain those who are involved in this horrendous crime. Pray also that He will show mercy to those involved. But pray also for our society as a whole, that we will rediscover the value of human life from its earliest conception to its natural end.