‘You hem me in, you have laid your hand upon me’

There’s a holocaust burning in our sin-soaked world. In North America alone it has claimed over 56 million lives since 1970: 53 million in the U.S., 3.2 million in Canada. That’s the population of Canada and Australia combined! Snuffed out before their first breaths. I’m talking about abortion.

In the U.S., 94 percent of the work Planned Parenthood does under the guise of women’s healthcare is abortion. They “terminate” more than 325,000 pregnancies annually. To help them do it they are given half-a-billion dollars from the U.S. federal government ($1.4 million a day), half a million in union dues and $127 million in “excess revenue” annually, much of it from corporate donors and their employees. PP is also alive and kicking in Canada, provincially and locally, in 68 communities across the country.

As you’ve surely heard, last month the horrors of abortion and Planned Parenthood’s ghoulish practices related to it rose front and centre in the U.S. after the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), run by 26-year-old Catholic David Daleiden, released a succession of four videos which revealed the horrific truth about what PP does with the organs of babies killed in late-term abortions. It became radically clear that the group sells for profit, to various bio-tech companies, human organs and tissue from the unborn. A felony. But what stunned many viewers was the soulless callousness with which the PP doctors talked about their “work” – one female doctor, for instance, calmly munched salad and drank wine while negotiating prices which might help her buy a coveted Lamborghini.

Ironies abound. PP doctors admitted selling intact human organs from the unborn, whom they’ve long claimed are not human. A woman assisting a PP doctor to sift through tiny body parts in a tray for “harvesting” inadvertently exclaimed, “And another boy!” The profound insensitivity of the PP doctors and employees struck most viewers as simply evil.

A California judge ruled that CMP may not release more videos. (Daleiden hinted that one reveals prima facie infanticide of born babies.) The messenger is being shot while the ghastly unlawful perpetrators are defended, including by much of the media and the White House. This is a seminal moment in the abortion fight. Reality has hit many in the face, and they’ve accepted it. But too many others are still in denial.

A grim picture – with hope
This morning I began rereading the Psalms. Psalm 1 contrasts the ways of the righteous and the wicked. The latter, having no roots firmly planted in God’s law, “are like chaff that the wind blows away.” Psalm 2 presents a picture of whole nations of people who have rebelled “against the Lord and against his Anointed,” ultimately the Messiah. What happens to such nations, if unrepentant, is terrifying, says the Psalm. The Lord rebukes them, laughs them to scorn. Christ “will rule them with an iron scepter” (or “break them with a rod of iron,” KJV, as in Handel’s famous Messiah aria), and dash them to pieces like pottery.  

The level of emotional and spiritual blindness apparent in those who support, assist and perform abortions, and the havoc wreaked as a result, is, I think, an example of God “giving over” to their sinful desires those who willfully support and practice evil (cf. Romans 1). Despite that, we can believe that where there’s life, there’s hope. The answer, then, for such people, also lies in Psalm 2 (and throughout Scripture): Repent! “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.” “Kissing the Son” is a picture of submission to Christ, as subjects submitted to their king.

I urge all of us who already follow him to pray on behalf of those conscience-deadened souls for their repentance. But we must also make sure that we are not in any way complicit. Failure to proclaim the truth to hardened abortion advocates and to women who use abortion as birth control, failure to provide needed help to pregnant women and girls in desperation, failure to take the matter very seriously – to shrug it off as way down the list of important issues when it comes to supporting political candidates – is a failure to yield the fruits of righteousness a la Psalm 1. But the life-giving Spirit grants courage, tenacity – and those fruits. If we delight in the law of the Lord we will be like a deep-rooted, fruitful tree planted by streams of water, whose leaf does not wither and we will prosper in whatever we do. And likewise blessed will be all who come to repentance. “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Ps. 2:12).


  • Marian Van Til is a former CC editor who lived in Canada from 1975-2000. She now freelances for journals and writes books. Marian is also a classical musician and the music director at a Lutheran Church. She and her husband, Ed Cassidy, live in Youngstown, NY.

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