The Challenge of Fetus Fatigue

The death of Michelle Wilkins’ baby reminds us that we need to get in and drive.

By Owen Strachan Published on April 5, 2015

The dialogue between the two injured men, each dancing on the doorstep of death, sticks with you. In the movie Black Hawk Down, a hard-charging Army Ranger pauses to rally a stunned soldier in the midst of a ferocious firefight.

Colonel: Get into that truck and drive.
Sergeant: But I’m shot, Colonel.
Colonel: Everybody’s shot! Get in and drive.

I thought of this exchange when I heard the horrifying news of a seven-month-old baby in Colorado who was cut out of her mother’s womb and later died. According to the Washington Post, Dynel Lane attacked Michelle Wilkins and her unborn daughter when Wilkins came to her home in response to a Craigslist posting about baby clothes. Lane knifed the baby out of Wilkins’ body before depositing her in the bathroom. Soon after, the baby died.

Lane has been charged with eight felonies, including unlawful termination of a child. She was not charged with murder of the fetus, however. The Boulder County Coroner’s office had this to say by way of explanation: “At this time neither the autopsy or the investigation have provided any evidence that the baby exhibited any signs of life outside of the womb, therefore the circumstance is not being considered a live birth.”

There are certain moments in life that clarify the evil that slithers through our world. Because the baby was not brought into the world through a “live birth,” her death does not constitute a murder. Unless she lived on her own outside of the womb, by state law she is not considered a viable person, and thus Lane committed no murder.

At times, life in a culture of death makes you question whether you are sane. It also leaves you susceptible to spiritual exhaustion. Cases like this cry out for justice, but an abortion-loving society often makes true justice hard to come by. Pro-life people may feel a sense of “fetus fatigue.” The odds are great. Pro-life work is despised. Maybe it’s better to go dig a well or build a house. No one hates us for that, after all.

Instinct for Justice

The instinct of the human heart for justice does not switch off. This is especially true for men and women who know that human life is the special creation of Almighty God (Gen. 1:26-27; Mic. 6:8). Dignity and worth owe to divine creation, which sets humanity apart from the animals.

We may feel like the battle is too great for us. We may be tired of the bitterness involved in standing against pure wickedness.  We are all tired. We have collectively taken hits for the cause of the unborn. There is no one else to fight this battle. We cannot give up. There is no one else to drive.

We have seen many pro-life gains in recent decades, yet there is much more ground to take. We will only build on the momentum of the heroic pro-life movement in this country if we match and exceed the zeal of proponents of abortion. This will come naturally to us, for like our creating God, we love life and we exude hope. Hope is not theoretical for us. It entered the world through a promise (Gen. 3:15), it refigured the world through a cross (Matt. 27), and it testifies even now to the world through an empty tomb (1 Cor. 15).

This kind of divine dynamism does not succumb to any form of ethical tiredness like “fetus fatigue.” We are weak, yes, but God is strong in us (Rom. 8:37). We are more than conquerors in Christ, who has raised us to life by his own triumph over the grave.

We are not raised for ourselves, though. Life is not about us. It is a doxological undertaking. This instinct calls us afresh to the defense of those who have no voice. It leaves us champions of a culture of flourishing and a body of policy that will protect the unborn and bring to justice those who would destroy them.

We have not been shot, but we are wearied by wickedness. The death of Michelle Wilkins’s baby reminds us that now is the time to get in and drive.

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