The most fundamental right of a person, at any stage, is life itself. We as human beings are God’s image-bearers, as He points out in the very first book of the Bible. As such, every human life brings glory to God.

Throughout the ongoing battle to defend life in the courts, in Washington, DC, and in state houses, we saw many heartbreaking defeats. And yet, we have also seen hugely encouraging victories, especially in recent years. In June of 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which had interpreted the U.S. Constitution as guaranteeing the right to abortion. In the five decades since that 1972 decision, millions of babies have been murdered—never given a chance at life outside the womb—at the hands of a mother’s “choice.” Yet countless individuals, organizations, churches, pastors, attorneys, legislators, and politicians never gave up the fight to right the wrong of Roe and, until that could happen, to limit abortion as much as possible through advocacy, community outreaches, crisis pregnancy centers, laws, regulations, and lower-court decisions. The culmination of those efforts was realized in 2022 when the Supreme Court issued Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, holding the US Constitution does not, in fact, provide a federal right to abortion. The effect of the decision was to return that issue to the states, allowing them to regulate abortion however their legislatures deemed fit.

Now that the federal government no longer has authority to tell states they have to allow abortion, the battle regarding the sanctity of life for the unborn is reaching fever-pitch levels. Many state and local governments are trying to censor or silence God’s people on this issue. One state attempted to require crisis pregnancy centers, even those owned and operated by churches or faith-based organizations, to violate their own convictions by disseminating information about the availability of abortion. Thankfully, those efforts were also overturned by the Supreme Court. Now, Congress is attempting to pass a federal law that would enshrine abortion as a legal right in all 50 states. So the battle continues.

The church is called to be salt and light in a dark world. The NCLL’s mission is to fight any action by the government that would make it more difficult to operate ministries that reach out to the community and lend a helping hand to hurting people.

But the battleground for the sanctity of human life is not just about the unborn. It involves all people, including the elderly and disabled. Many countries around the world have made large strides in advancing a “death culture,” where people have more and easier opportunities to end their own lives and those of others they deem aren’t worth living. Parents have even been told by government bodies that they couldn’t seek treatment for their sick infants because, in the lawmakers’ view, it would do no good.

These policies are gaining traction here in the U.S. Legislation regarding assisted suicide is a topic of conversation at some level in nearly every state. But regardless of a person’s view on terminal illness and the right to die, those decisions should be made by the patient—not by a doctor, judge, or jury.

We can provide assistance for people wanting to protect themselves regarding end-of-life issues. A living will, a medical power of attorney, or some other legal mechanism can give you the ability to have the final say on the matter.

Once courts have the ultimate decision regarding life, we no longer have the freedom to live.