While the United States continues to have one of the highest abortion rates in the industrialized world, the abortion rate in individual states has been falling across the map. In 2017, however, there was one state with a noticeable and tragic increase in its abortion rate.
That state is Oklahoma. To be specific, there was a 10 percent increase in the abortion rate from prior year. But let’s put it in real terms. There were 4,723 human lives lost to abortion in 2017 in Oklahoma alone. These are not mere statistics but real unborn boys and girls.
While even one human life lost to abortion would be a tragedy, the sharp increase in abortion, while other states are declining, is jarring. Especially when you consider that the actual number of abortions is likely even higher, because the reported statistics do not necessarily account for every early term abortion, such as ones from the so-called morning-after pill people get from their local pharmacy.
So what is contributing to this tragic development? One factor has to be the rise in abortion centers.
Over the last two years, Oklahoma went from having two abortion centers to four—one in Tulsa and three located in the Oklahoma City metro. In addition, so-called abortion rights groups have taken an active posture in unapologetically promoting abortion in our state, even using paid marketing campaigns.
In the face of this advance in the culture of death, what can Christians in Oklahoma do?
Above all, we must redouble our prayer efforts, in which we cry out to God that He would help women (and men) amidst an unintended pregnancy, and pray for unborn children who are vulnerable to abortion.
Christians must take part in positive events and happenings that are life-honoring. This starts with making Sanctity of Human Life Sunday (Jan. 20, 2019) a priority in your congregation, as well as participating in the Rose Day Indoor Pro-Life Rally (Feb. 6, 2019).
We must do all we can with our time and treasure to support life-affirming pregnancy resource center (PRC) ministries. There are some 40 evangelical PRCs in Oklahoma, and they do great work on the front lines and need our support.
We can vote our life-affirming values. In a matter of days, Oklahomans will go to the polls and vote on statewide officials and legislators, each of whom has a big say-so in what pro-life laws can be passed.
While we pray, participate, give and vote for life, let’s also ask God to show us fresh ways to make a difference. From foster care to adoption to helping the poor and elderly, there are additional ways we can strengthen our pro-life efforts by showing we care about life at every stage.
We know that Satan (and the worldly forces working alongside) come only to steal, kill and destroy. In last year’s case, this path of destruction meant 4,723 lives lost.
Yet we also know, from the Scriptures, that Jesus comes that we might have life and abundant life in Him (John 10:10), and we will not rest until all the little children of the world are safe from the clutches of an abortion movement that seeks to snuff out life in every place, including Oklahoma.
God help us…