There has much discussion in the public and political arena recently regarding the subject of abortion. On January 23, 1973 the Roe v Wade decision of the United States Supreme Court declared abortion to be a constitutional right and therefore no state could ban abortions. The court further stated that “legal personhood does not exist prenatally.” Between that date and the end of 2017 (latest statistic that I could find, LK) 63,459,781 abortions were performed in this country. That means over sixty-three million unborn babies have been killed in our country alone. To put this in perspective six million Jews and eleven million other people were murdered during the Holocaust: a total of seventeen million people (according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). The Holocaust is recognized by almost everyone to one of the greatest atrocities of human history, the mass murder of millions under the maniacal Adolf Hitler, but many of those same people try to justify the murder of millions of unborn babies.
Many in America were greatly disturbed while others were greatly relieved by a more recent decision of the Supreme Court. On June 24, 2022 the Dobbs ruling of the Supreme Court reversed their earlier decision. Abortion is no longer considered a constitutional right, but now the individual states are to make their own laws governing abortion. Some have reacted to this reversal as if it were a ban on abortions, but all it has done is to make abortion a more local decision by States. Some States including the State of Colorado (where this author lives) already has a law which allows abortions all the way up to the time of birth and has encouraged women from other more restrictive States to come to Colorado for their abortions. Clearly, abortions will continue.
Every human life is precious! Humans are unique in creation since they were created in the very image of God (Gen. 1:26). Human life is therefore different from animal life. Under the instructions of God Abel offered an animal as a sacrifice to God which involved taking the life of one of “the firstlings of his flock” (Gen. 4:4). But, when Cain took the life of Abel it was obviously different. God said of this, “thy brother’s blood crieth to me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth…” (Gen. 4:10-11). Taking human life is murder and had God ordained consequences. “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed for in the image of God made he man” (Gen. 9:6). This has always been God’s view since the beginning. The condemnation of murder was the sixth of the Ten Commandments of the law of Moses. Murder is included in the short list of things the Lord hates.
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Pro. 6:16-19, Emph. LK).
Murder is listed among the works of the flesh and God said of those who practice “such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21).
Contrary to the widely held false doctrine of Calvinism, babies are innocent in every sense of the term. They have done no wrong; they have not inherited sin; they are innocent. No one would think that killing a newborn baby or even an older child would be acceptable. Such would be a crime with legal consequences and would also certainly fall under the category of shedding “innocent blood” (Pro. 6:17). So an important question is: “When does that innocent life (personhood) begin?” This is not determined by the laws of men, but by God.
Abortion advocates refer to that baby before it is born as a fetus or a mass of tissue. With this perspective their primary interest is in the mother’s rights and choice regarding her own body. There is no concern for the rights of the unborn child. For them it is simply a woman’s choice. Look at the following reasons statistically for having an abortion:
Four out of 10 women (40%) seeking an abortion cited that they were not prepared to financially bear the burden and long-term commitment of having a child.
A similar number, 36% were making this choice because they felt that it was not the right stage in their life to have a baby.
3 out of 10 women or 31% reported some kind of issues with their partners as their main reason for seeking an abortion. Most commonly they were in a bad relationship or unsupportive relationship
A very similar number—29% of women wanted to focus on their existing children and give them a better life rather than bearing a new child.
20% were worried that childbearing would impact their future prospects and career opportunities.
19% were emotionally unprepared to bear a child.
12% mentioned health-related issues that impacted their pregnancies. Another 12% said that they wanted a better life for the baby than they were able to provide at that stage of their life.
7% mentioned that they were not mature enough to have a baby and another 5% mentioned influence from family and friends as their biggest reasons for choosing to abort their pregnancy.
It is obvious that the often-suggested cases of rape and incest that are used by the advocates of abortion to warrant abortions do not make up a very large number of cases where this was the reason for the abortion. It fact, these would be rare. By in large the reasons for abortions are matters of convenience and an unwillingness to recognize life within the womb and the consequences of previous actions. It is interesting and important to notice that the end of life is generally defined by medical science with all of the life-sustaining devices as the point in time when the brain waves cease. Consistency would demand the definition of when life begins as when brain waves begin. Brain waves begin about the sixth week of pregnancy.
Most assume that there is uncertainty in the medical field about when human life begins. It may surprise you that this is not the case. Professor and Doctor Hymie Gordon who was one time Chairman of Medical Genetics at Mayo Clinic stated:
But now we can say, unequivocally, that the question of when life begins is no longer a question for theological or philosophical dispute. It is an established scientific fact. Theologians and philosophers may go on to debate the meaning of life or the purpose of life, but it is an established fact that all life, including human life, begins at the moment of conception.
The results of research and photography show that:
By 18 days after conception the heart is forming and eyes are starting to develop. At 20 days the foundations of brain, spinal cord and systems are laid. At 24 days the heart begins to beat. Arms and legs have budded by 28 days. At 30 days blood flows in veins but stays separate from the mother’s blood. At approximated 43 days after conception brain waves can be recorded. By 8 weeks the child appears as a well-proportioned small-scale baby. Every organ is present. The stomach produces digestive juices, the liver makes blood cells, kidneys begin to function and taste buds are forming.
More importantly, what does the Bible say? Unborn humans are not portrayed as non-persons in the Scripture. A careful look at John the Baptist as an example is enlightening. An angel declared to Mary, “And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son (huios) in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren” (Luke 1:36). What was it that Elisabeth had conceived? According to the Scripture she had not conceived a medical mass or a mere mass of tissue; she had conceived a son. Then when the child is born notice how this was described. “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son (huios)” (Luke 1:57). Exactly the same word is used to describe John at conception as when he was born. Interestingly, three months before his birth, John the Baptist is also described this way by his mother, Elisabeth, “the babe leaped in my womb for joy” when she heard the voice of Mary (Luke 1:44). Personhood according to God begins at conception. To say it clearly, abortion is the killing of an unborn child, a person. Abortion is not simply a matter of a woman’s choice concerning her own body. There is an unborn child involved who also has rights. Abortion is not the removal of an unwanted mass of tissue; abortion is the murder of a child. Abortion is not a trivial matter; abortion is the stopping of the life of a person (an unborn child). Abortion should not be encouraged; it is not an acceptable (to God) form of birth control. Abortion is sin no matter what the laws of the land say (Acts 5:29).
Furthermore, Scripture indicates that God is involved in the formation and development of human child within the womb.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works. And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance (unformed substance, literally the embryonic state long before the mother feels life, lk), being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them (Psa. 139:13-16, NKJV).
John Scott wrote about this passage, “Although the Bible makes no claim to be a textbook of embryology, here is a plain affirmation that the growth of the fetus is neither haphazard nor automatic but a divine work of creative skill.”
Life is precious to God and should be to everyone. Abortion is an abomination. “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Pro. 14:34). It is a sad commentary on people who campaign for the protection of whales, eagles, and the rain forest but think nothing about killing an unborn child created in the image of God!