Abortion: The Death of Innocence

By Dave Sterrett

We all become aware of death at different ages, through different experiences. For many of us, our first encounter comes with the death of a great-grandparent at a ripe old age. The less fortunate may experience having a parent or a child torn away far too soon. But regardless of the nature of the introduction, death leaves an unmistakable mark. A couple of years ago in Dallas, I watched a nurse escort a young woman from a building to her car. From across the street, I could see that the patient’s cheeks were stained with tears. She looked barely out of her teens, but her face was tight with pain and shock. I had seen that look before: the mark that an encounter with death leaves on an innocent face.

The building I was watching wasn’t a hospital; it was an abortion facility. I was standing across the street praying for the women entering and leaving. As I drove home that day, I fought back tears and found myself only able to pray the words of Christ: “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.”

Death is a natural part of life, but at times in history it has swelled to epidemic proportions, swallowing up all in its path.  The Black Death of the mid-1300s claimed between a half and a third of Europe’s population, leaving almost no city untouched. An estimated 39 million souls have perished from AIDS since 1981.

But other epidemics have been completely man-made. An analysis of 20,000 mass graves in Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields indicates that Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge executed and buried roughly 1.4 million innocents. More recently, around 800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered in Rwanda over a three-month period in 1994.

A German Christian during World War II recalled hearing the sound of the trains that were taking Jewish people to the Nazi death camps, where 6 million of them would die:

“Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that we would hear the cries of the Jews en route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us.”

As modern Americans, we cannot fathom such atrocities occurring in our midst. Our children attend schools with zero-tolerance policies for violence, which prohibit even playing with toy knives and guns. Our celebrities regularly take to the airwaves to discourage bullying. Not only do we arrest and publicly eviscerate anyone found to be involved in animal abuse such as dog fighting, but improperly handling the egg of a bald eagle is punishable with up to a $250,000 fine and six months in prison. Surely, a society so condemning of violence of any kind would be free from man-made epidemics of death…


Abortion: The Death of Innocence | Billy Graham Evangelistic Association