On January 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation designating Sunday, January 22, 1984 (and the Sunday closest to Jan. 22 every year following) as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Why January 22? Well, Because it is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, in which the Supreme Court ruled to make abortion legal in the United States of America.
Every year on (or near) Jan. 22 many pastors and christians make their case for why all human life matters from before the cradle and all the way to the grave. But, just as we should remember the reality of Christmas (Christ's coming), Good Friday (Christ's death), and Easter (Christ's Resurrection) and not simply celebrate these "holidays" once a year, the work of seeing that every human life be seen and treated as sacred is much more than a once a year reality.
If you are a part of Christ Community Church, we covered this topic from the pulpit on Jan. 15 and if you'd like, you can listen to that sermon here.
Also, we want you to know that there are real ways to get involved in this work in our community that greatly impact real people. Danielle Hanneman is a member of Christ Community and works at Athens Pregnancy Center. Their mission is to be a resource for women experiencing unplanned pregnancy by offering them emotional, spiritual, social, medical, and physical support while advocating for life.
We thought it would be helpful for you to hear from Danielle (below) about how to get involved in seeing every human life treated as sacred as well hear Lisa's story (video), a woman helped by APC.
This past weekend brought an interesting series of events. On Friday, we witnessed the inauguration of our 45th president. On Saturday, women in Washington and around the country peacefully marched in support of women's rights. And this past Sunday, churches nationwide honored the sanctity of human life.
One might think that women's rights are inherently at odds with what many refer to as "the pro-life agenda." But I would argue that our agenda, as Christians, is to advocate for and promote abundant life, and that means defending human rights from conception to death. As Matt articulated last Sunday, "A consistent pro-life position in this world says that EVERY life, from before the cradle until the grave, is worthy of life."
What does this look like today? In order to be truly pro-life, we must also be pro-woman. Women deserve better than abortion. I've heard many Christians tell me something along the lines of "Well I'm personally pro-life, but I don't think it's right for me to impose my views on other women or their bodies." Fair enough, I suppose. But (aside from the fact that I don't believe a woman's autonomy over her body trumps a fetus' right to life), there's a major problem with this argument: it completely disregards the physical, mental and emotional health of the woman. By not telling women the truth about abortion, we are failing to love them. And the Bible calls us to love.
Lisa's Story is the perfect illustration of the trauma and destruction abortion brings. I've said it already, but it bears repeating: women deserve better than abortion.
Women deserve to be elevated and honored, not encouraged to kill their babies. Women deserve unconditional love and support through every stage of their lives, be that celebration or crisis.
We sang in church Sunday, "I'm no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God." The decision to terminate a life is not one born of hope or grace or truth. It's a decision most women make out of fear, in shame, alone and silent. If we stay silent about abortion, are we truly sending the message that every single woman we meet is a precious, valued child of God?
As Christians, we are called to be pro-abundant life. If you'd like to learn more about what that means and how you can get involved and support women experiencing unplanned pregnancy in our community, check out www.athenspregnancycenter.org or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a church, let's all aspire to be both pro-women and pro-abundant life.
Danielle Hanneman -
Christ Community Member
Athens Pregnancy Center Development Director