by Chuck Colson
The new film Life
is Beautiful has caused a great
stir because it suggests that even during the Holocaust there were signs of light in the
Well, we in America have seen a holocaust of astounding proportions
perpetrated against the unborn for the past 26 years. Nevertheless, as was the case 50
years ago in Germany, there are signs of light today, a cause for hope.
Consider: A recent study by the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute
reveals that the number of doctors performing abortions, and the number of women seeking
abortions, is declining. And the number of abortion providers and facilities are at the
lowest level since 1974, the year after Roe v. Wade.
And theres more good news. Nationwide, the number of abortion
providers dropped by 14 percent between 1992 and 1996 alone. Abortion advocates complain
that fewer communities want to have abortion facilities in their midst; town after town is
rejecting zoning requests to open up new clinics along Main Street.
Whats responsible for this dramatic change? Abortion supporters
blame anti-abortion violence. Not so: Despite massive publicity suggesting otherwise,
aggressive acts against abortionists are actually down sharply.
I believe the real reason for the decline is that abortion is being
exposed for what it is, and cultural attitudes are changing.
This attitude is reflected in medical schools which are increasingly
refusing even to teach the techniques of death: Only about 1 of every 10 OB/GYN programs
trains its students to perform first trimester abortionsand even fewer teach mid and
third trimester techniques.
Anecdotal evidence is flooding in as well. I know one doctor who
threatened to quit his practice unless his colleagues dissociated themselves from a doctor
performing abortions in their clinic. I know another doctor who went on television to
speak out against partial-birth abortion despite a warning from hospital administrators
that they might revoke his privileges if he did so. The doctor spoke out anyway, and, in
the end, the hospital administrators were persuaded by his arguments.
So what does this increasing disdain for abortion amongst women,
doctors, and communities tell us, tragically, that although peoples hearts have been
hardened, the truth has not been forgotten.
Fewer doctors are going into this abominable trade because their
consciences are being penetrated. Remember what Paul said in Romans 2, of the Gentiles;
the law is written on their hearts and accuses them.
In recent months Ive sensed a growing malaise among evangelicals
over our inability to change the culture. On all sides, I hear battle-weary brethren
saying we should abandon the cultural engagement and tend to our own backyard instead.
Nothing could be more ill-advised. The dawn of the new millennium is a
time for Christians to advance our arguments all the more enthusiastically. For what these
abortion statistics reveal is, sure, we may lose some court cases, but were winning
the hearts and minds of the culture. And thats what really counts.
We may not see abortion eliminated in our lifetime, but we can
praywe must praythat we will see more children spared from the tragedy of
abortion. We must pray for the hearts of our countrymen.
If we do, we just may see the light overcome the darkness in our land.