Life and Death Decisions

  As I speak, nine men and women, dressed in black robes and sitting in comfortable leather chairs, are deciding if thousands (perhaps millions) of children will live—or die. If ever we needed to be fasting and praying for our country, this is the day—and that's exactly what I'm asking every BreakPoint listener to do. Today the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case called Stenberg v. Carhart. It deals with a Nebraska law that forbids killing a pre-viable baby in the process of birth: or, partial-birth abortion. This sickening procedure is never medically necessary. But some courts have ruled that partial-birth abortion is protected by the Constitution. Others have concluded that even Roe v. Wade cannot be stretched far enough to include killing a baby at the moment of birth. Today, the court hears oral arguments and before summer will either strike down or affirm the Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions—whether babies can have their brains sucked out at birth. I'm sorry to be graphic, but that's what's at stake. And that's why I'm asking you to spend today and tomorrow fasting and praying for wisdom for this Court. (Tomorrow the Court hears a case about whether Boy Scouts are required to hire homosexuals.) Sixty-five percent of all Americans oppose partial- birth abortion. But I think all of them would if they really knew what was going on in the operating room. Because when even the most hardened abortion supporters see that abortion kills a living child, they change their minds. Consider the case of the abortionist in Dr. Bernard Nathanson's powerful film, The Silent Scream.The film shows an ultrasound screen with a 12-week-old fetus floating peacefully in his mother's womb, sucking his thumb. Then a suction tube approaches the child and the baby begins thrashing wildly, attempting to escape. His mouth opens in a silent scream just as his body is being destroyed by the abortionist. Later, when the two doctors watched the film, as Dr. Nathanson recalls, the abortionist was so appalled at what he'd done that he vowed never again to perform another abortion. More recently, Americans were introduced to a baby who easily could have been a candidate for partial- birth abortion. When Samuel Armas was just a 14-week- old fetus, he was diagnosed with spina bifida. Doctors operated on Samuel while he was in the womb at just 21 weeks gestation. Then, as the surgeon was closing the womb, the miracle happened. Baby Samuel pushed his hand out of the womb and grabbed the surgeon's finger. Photographer Michael Clancy caught this astonishing act on film. And in that instant, Clancy went from being pro-choice to being pro-life. As he put it, "I was totally in shock for two hours after the surgery.... I know abortion is wrong now—it's absolutely wrong." These stories prove that when Americans have the blinders removed—when they are truly educated about abortion—they will no longer tolerate this barbaric procedure. I hope every BreakPoint listener will dedicate himself to getting the truth out about abortion. And the most important thing you can do today is to fast and pray with me—pray that those nine comfortable justices will have ears to hear—and eyes to see. Pray as though it were a matter of life and death. Because it is.


Chuck Colson


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