Another Voice on Issue One

Diane forwarded to me a post about Issue One authored by Patrick Crawford. Patrick is a 2007 Tree of Life Christian School graduate. He is a trained forensic scientist, and he now serves as a worship leader and preacher. It is so well-written that I thought you would appreciate hearing another voice on this important issue. Patrick has graciously given me permission to share his post, and I am praying that the Body of Christ makes their collective voices heard on Issue One.

Between now and November 7th, Ohioans will once again be voting. One of the issues on the ballot is Issue 1, which is a proposed constitutional amendment that would enshrine in our state constitution the most aggressively pro-abortion allowances we have ever seen in the state.
To vote ‘Yes’ on Issue 1 would:
– Allow for abortions up to 9 months, even partially born babies.
– Allow for minors, in their teenage years, to have abortions without the consent or knowledge of their parents. 
– Open the door for minors to undergo other kinds of life-changing, irreversible reproductive and gender reassignment surgeries, even without the consent of their parents. 
This may seem sensational, but we are already seeing this in other states. Organizations are fighting to remove requirements for parental involvement in even the most radical medical procedures performed on their children. These are children who are not allowed to vote, smoke, drink, or drive. Yet, under this constitutional amendment, these same children in our state would be allowed to mar their bodies beyond repair and to decide whether another human being lives or dies. 
If those things sound like a bad idea, you should vote “No” on Issue 1. You may hear claims that Issue 1 would not really allow the aforementioned things. However, it is important to remember that the devil is in the details…sometimes. Other times the devil is in the lack of details, and Issue 1 is one such case. 

The language in this proposed amendment is dangerously vague. It is intentionally ambiguous to the point that it would indeed allow abortion for any aged mother, any aged pre-born or partially born child for almost any conceivable reason without any parental consent. Furthermore, because it would be enshrined in our state constitution, it would be far more difficult to introduce any future limitation on abortion whatsoever. 
This is not a party line issue. It is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is a life and death issue. It is a moral issue. It is an issue of justice. Justice for the unborn, but also for the women, families, and communities that have been devastated by the industry of abortion.

It is widely acknowledged that the abortion industry has systematically targeted our most vulnerable and at-risk communities. Abortion is an injustice that affects every community, but it is also disproportionately unjust, discriminating in part along economic and racial lines. Our Black communities in particular have suffered, as they have been the targeted victims of the abortion industry since day one of its inception. Only 13% of Ohio’s population is black. Despite this, 48% of all abortions in Ohio are performed on Black women, and that is no accident. It is no accident that between 1973 and the overturning of Roe v. Wade, over 20 million Black babies have been legally killed. That is enough to fill Ohio Stadium over 194 times.  
Abortion is an injustice on almost every conceivable level. There is no question about that. The question is, will the Church have the wisdom and courage to stand up against this injustice? Will the Church boldly proclaim that we will not walk in the counsel of the wicked (Ps. 1:1-2), nor embrace any worldly wisdom or perspectives that set themselves up against the wisdom of God? Will we resolve to humbly seek the counsel of God in His Word?

If we look to the Word, we will find that the heart of God is that we shed not the blood of the innocent. We will find that it is central to the nature of God and His justice that we protect the powerless, give voice to the voiceless, and stand up for the most vulnerable among us. Who is more vulnerable than an unsuspecting unborn child who knows nothing but the safety and warmth of his mother’s womb?
Still, one of the tactics the enemy uses to promulgate these policies of death is to obscure and confuse the issue, making it seem far more complicated than it really is. It is true that the social circumstances surrounding the issue of abortion are quite complex. Issues like economic hardship and poverty, cultural influences, educational disadvantages, and healthcare shortcomings all contribute greatly to the prevalence of abortion. Finding solutions to these issues can be complicated. For example, how do we best care for women before, during and after pregnancy? We cannot forget about them. How do we best care for children after they are born? Many of these innocent children are swept up into a system that is ill-suited to provide them all they need to thrive. We cannot forget about them. These issues require our attention, care, compassion, and the wisdom of God.

However, once a child finds its way into their mother’s womb, the question of what to do with the child in that moment is a simple one…if we believe the Word of God. If we believe that every human being is made in the image of God and is worthy of honor, dignity, respect, love, and life (Gen. 1:26-27). If we believe that God wonderfully and purposefully knits children together in their mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13). If we believe what God said to the prophet Jeremiah – that before he was formed in his mother’s womb, God knew him, called him, chose him, set him apart, loved him (Jer. 1:5). If we believe that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit before he was even born (Luke 1:15), and while in utero, leapt for joy when Mary (pregnant with Jesus) drew near (Luke 1:39-44). If we believe these things…the issue becomes much more clear. Whatever else we believe about what would be the best solutions to all the contributing social factors, the one thing we cannot do is silently sit by and allow the lives to be stolen from millions of innocent human beings. 

It is not lost on me that this issue is intensely personal for many. If you’re reading this and you have had an abortion, you need to know that that choice does not define you, nor does it disqualify you. It does not disqualify you from love, salvation, fruitful ministry, or a life fully satisfied in Christ. Jesus is a very good and capable redeemer, and compared to His power to restore, everything else is powerless to destroy. 

In the coming weeks, as we hopefully all go to the polls, we will be faced with the choice of supporting one of two very different paths. One path leads to death and more death. The other leads to life. Can I encourage you, in Christ, to choose the path of life?
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