In 2013, North Dakota became the first state to pass a heartbeat law. This meant that one could not have an abortion if there was evidence of a heartbeat. This bill would usher in a new era in the struggle for the sanctity of human life.
Unfortunately, that bill would later be blocked by the Supreme Court. This did not stop other states from trying to get their own form of a heartbeat bill passed. Twenty one of the 50 states have at least proposed one of these kinds of bills, including Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Baptists are well-known for our commitment the unborn. For our commitment to the Sanctity of Human Life and to seeing the end of legalized abortion. Because of this, there is major work to be done in protecting unborn life.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has made countless statements that he is committed to signing every bill to protect the unborn in our state.
The most recent Oklahoma measure to be approved was Senate Bill 612, which makes performing an abortion a felony, with possible imprisonment for up to 10 years, fines up to one hundred thousand dollars, and or both. This bill also recognizes that the child in the womb is in fact a person.
Other bills under consideration include House Bill 4327, which is styled after the Texas Heartbeat bill that was approved last year and has withstood challenges in the court to date. I personally believe bills such as these are a big win for the unborn and the pro-life movement.
At the same time, we recognize that in this world, we must also change hearts and minds on this issue, not only laws. Abortion is truly a heart issue. Even as we Christians work to see laws passed that end abortion, we must also remain faithful ministers of the Gospel. If we want the biggest change at a national level, hearts must be changed. We recognize that abortion issue is a Gospel issue and that the Gospel brings life.
While legislation can protect the unborn, changed hearts protect each other. Bible-believing Christians know that abortion is the taking of an innocent life. Christians have long held to the idea that we are created in the image of God, and because of that we have value and worth. (Gen. 1:26-28) Being made in His image means that we should treat all persons with love and respect, and this includes the unborn.
When it comes to the heart, it must be changed. The only true change of heart comes with a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ comes and takes the only heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:26). Changed hearts are motivated hearts, and motived hearts fight for life.
The next time you come across someone who defends legalized abortion, go to their heart, see if they know Jesus, show them the love of Christ, witness to them, and pray that the same God Who changed you can change them.
While we thank God for His work through our local, state and national politicians who try to pass legislation to outlaw abortion, the greatest change for all hearts is when one is changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.