Pastors, evangelists, and Christian leaders shared their dismay after the New York Senate passed a bill, later signed into law by Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo allowing women to abort their unborn babies up to birth.
The passing of the so-called “Reproductive Health Act” on January 22 coincided with the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It removes abortion from the penal code and legalizes abortion until birth for the mother’s “health,” which is not defined and has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to include any reason.
While hailed as a victory by those in the pro-choice camp, the passing of the law was widely condemned by the pro-life community. Faith leaders from across denominations and traditions were some of the most vocal opponents, taking to various social media platforms to condemn the decision.
Here’s a list of five responses from various leaders in the Christian faith.
Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC took to Instagram to say he is “saddened and angry” following the decision.
Lentz shared an old photo to Instagram of him and his three children, Ava, Roman and Charlie, writing, “I found this old photo recently, and I remember it taking me years to process that these LITTLE PEOPLE, had come into our world!”
“A miracle, without a doubt,” he added.
The pastor explained that in the state of New York, his children could have been aborted right up until birth. Lentz said he spent hours talking to lawyers and people who hold opposing views on the issue. In doing so, he found many who agree with the law argue that the seemingly extreme language is only there to protect mothers whose lives are at risk.
“Although it is layered and there is language in it that some are claiming will protect mothers in peril, the only way I can describe where we are and where this is all headed … is evil, shameful and demonic,” he said.
“I don’t use those words lightly, but they are applicable here,” he added. “Some have said this is strictly a ‘women’s rights issue.’”
Lentz pointed out that he doesn’t “disagree” that it’s a women’s rights issue because it is, for those in the womb.
“We simply believe that WOMEN IN THE WOMB deserve the right to life, deserve the right to breathe,” he said. “Laws like this say unless you have a voice, if somebody deems you ‘viable/non viable’ you have no protection.”
“Psalm 139, tells us otherwise,” he noted. “Psalm 139:13-14 reads: ‘For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.’”
Lentz said he hopes “God will help us raise our collective voices, to see this change.”
“This cannot stand,” he continued. “I know @hillsongnyc and many many other churches and organizations have been working hard for years to create options and help for those dealing with a pregnancy that is overwhelming for many reasons.”
The pastor added that they will continue to fight for alternate solutions for pregnant women, and those who need help:
“I’m also aware that often ‘pro-life politics’ (while also supporting the death penalty, of course) have been quick to condemn abortion and the people that have them and then be invisible and hypocritical when it comes to helping women in need, in poverty, those who cannot gain access to proper medical care and creating policies that can help those that don’t choose abortion.”
“Those are facts,” he said. “But this law isn’t about politics. This is about generations of babies that have no defense.”
Lentz ended his post by stating, “Despite this dark day, our future is STILL bright because we know where our help comes from. #occupyallstreets.”
Rev. Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham and head of the charity Samaritan’s Purse, took to Facebook to point out that capital punishment has been ruled unconstitutional in New York, but abortion up to the day of birth is legal.
“In New York, a murderer, rapist, serial killer, pedophile, or school shooter can’t receive a lethal injection—but a child in the womb can,” he said. “The legislators that pass these laws will have to give an account to God for every murdered life one day. May God have mercy on our nation.”
Earlier, he expressed horror over the fact that the spire of One World Trade Center and other landmarks were lit up in pink in “celebration” of the decision.
“What a sickening display of how far our nation has strayed from God,” he said. “Someone said it should have instead been lit up in red to represent the blood of all the lives that will be lost. The Bible says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…’ (Isaiah 5:20).”
In a statement sent to The Christian Post, Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, said that those applauding the passage of the Reproductive Health Act are not celebrating and promoting a step forward in women’s health rights — rather, they’re celebrating “cold-blooded murder.”
“This act is nothing short of a license to kill unborn babies, even when they could survive outside the womb,” he said. “That this law was received with such exuberance by so many people should spur us to action, realizing that it has never been more important to defend the sanctity of human life and to fight for those who cannot defend themselves.”
Graham pointed out that it has been said that the “ultimate measure of a society is how it treats its weakest members.”
“If America were judged today by this measure, we would get a resounding failing grade,” he said. “For 46 years we have allowed abortion to depreciate the value of human life in our nation to the point where terminating a pregnancy — and consequently a human being — takes no longer than a trip to the dentist. The fact that over 61 million babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade should make us realize we have lost our moral compass.”
He concluded: “I pray America once again remembers the true value of human life: inherently worthy and infinitely precious in the eyes of the Creator.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett