I have been keeping up with what is often simply referred to in my circles as “Dobbs.” The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) right now is hearing a case challenging the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 2018 Gestational Age Act, which bans abortions of unborn children whose gestational age is more than 15 weeks.
In the 1992 SCOTUS case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court essentially upheld the essence of Roe v Wade (1973) but replaced the trimester framework of Roe with a viability standard. Briefly stated, if the court rules in Mississippi’s favor, the arbitrary viability standard will be removed, granting states the authority to enact life-saving legislation. A favorable ruling, in this case, would save countless innocent lives.
But I’m not writing this article because I have some expertise on the legal nuances of this case. You can find a detailed analysis on this issue from all kinds of groups and organizations that specialize in these matters, and I thank God for them. I have been significantly helped by the work of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) in understanding this case and its significance.
I am writing this article because of a recent gut-wrenching moment that made this case even more personal to me. I had the great privilege to preach at the Mississippi Baptist Pastors Conference a short time ago. The conference met in Jackson, Mississippi, and I had the privilege of preaching in the historic pulpit of FBC Jackson. My hosts graciously got me accommodations at a nearby hotel.
As I got out of bed the first morning at about 7:30 AM, I heard singing outside my hotel room. I thought it was odd because I did not imagine Jackson, Mississippi, as a place where parties from the night before would still be going on at 7:30 AM. However, when I looked out my window, I saw an unattractive pink stucco building about a hundred yards away from my hotel. Also, I saw a group of young adults gathered in a circle. They were the ones singing. These young adults were not singing party songs from the night before; they were singing praise songs and praying. I took the pictures above and below from my hotel room window.
It was then that I noticed other adults wearing reflective vests, and it finally hit me that about a hundred yards from my hotel room was an abortion clinic where babies were losing their lives. I can’t explain the nauseating feeling I got standing there contemplating what was happening about 100 yards from me. But then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Not only was this an abortion clinic, but this was the Jackson abortion clinic of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. I wept. I prayed.
From 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM, I counted eight cars arriving at the abortion clinic. Eight in two hours. I wept and prayed some more. It was jarring. I hardly slept that night. “Dobbs” was not merely a court case for me at that moment. “Dobbs” was life and death, women and babies, voices I could hear as they walked into doors that would end one life and harmfully change the other.
Oral arguments for the Dobbs case begin today (Dec 1). So it is a good day to weep and pray some more. I am praying that one day soon I will get to stay in the same hotel room. I want to look out of the same window, knowing that God made the prayers of those young adults that morning effectual. And if that pink stucco block building is still standing, it is no longer a place where innocent lives are ended.
If so, I will weep and pray again, but this time they will be tears of joy.