On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down the historic Roe vs. Wade decision, which set in motion the systematic death of more than 55 million unborn children in America—an unthinkable and inconceivable destruction of human life.

But wait . . . the Supreme Court declared that the unborn are sub-human, or in essence, not human at all until live birth. Tragically, the most dangerous place for a child in America is the mother’s womb. Since that declaration, states have passed laws to restrict so-called “late-term abortions.”

The battle waged for the unborn has been difficult. Public opinion has slowly shifted more and more toward the sanctity of human life and protection of the unborn. In Oklahoma, as in other states, we have seen legislative measures that have provided more recognition of the unborn child as being fully human and thus protected. That is why in many states, when someone murders a pregnant woman, the perpetrator can be tried for two murders. Yet, there is a limit to how far those laws can go.

I have long been in this battle for the unborn, and my reasons are simple. Each time my children walk through the door, I am reminded that they could have been among the dead babies ripped from their mother’s wombs by the hands of an abortionist. Both of my children are adopted.

My children are young adults today. Throughout their lives, I have taken each birthday to pray for their biological mothers. I know that somewhere in this world, there are wonderful women who chose life rather than death for their babies. They could have taken the easy route. “Get an abortion and no one will be the wiser,” touts Planned Parenthood. If their biological mothers had listened to the propaganda of Planned Parenthood, they would have considered these children nothing more than pregnancy matter; an abortion would have only removed tissue, not a child.

But their biological mothers didn’t listen to the propaganda; they followed their hearts. They gave birth to their children. My hope is that deep in the hearts of these remarkable women there is a sense that they remember the days they gave birth. I do not know where they are nor do I know if they have other children today. What I do know is that on each of my children’s birthdays, I pray for these women.

Abortion destroys. Adoption gives life. As we reflect on Jan. 22, remember that it marks one of the darkest days in the history of America—a death sentence for the unborn. But also remember the courageous women who give life to their children and give them for adoption so those children can have a chance for full and meaningful lives.

Anthony L. Jordan is executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.