There can be a lot of confusion, political bias, and anger that sets in once we begin discussing sensitive issues like this. So before getting into the issues, I want to clarify a few things.
1. I believe this issue far transcends politics, and my goal in this is not to convert you to a political party. I don’t typically write on more politically charged topics, but I think this one is worth it. And I do believe that political action based on one’s conviction about this matter is important. My goal is to, at the very least, allow you an inside look into why I, and others like me, think the way we do on this issue.
2. If you aren’t willing to engage the issue seriously, and openly reason through differing perspectives, then maybe you should ask yourself, why? If where I stand on this issue and my reasons makes you “mad”, then ask yourself, why? Could it be that I made a good point that’s convicting you? If you feel convicted and are tempted to ignore that feeling, why do you think that is? Everyone should fully examine this issue and know what they are supporting.
3. If you hold to a different view, then that doesn’t mean I will suddenly dislike, unfollow, or criticize you because we have a different opinion. I just happen to think there are far better reasons for my view than yours!
4. And lastly, I am going to do my best to keep this brief and simple, not to write a manifesto on all of my views regarding abortion issues. I have thought MUCH on this topic for nearly a decade now, so I will try to narrow down the content to what I think is most significant.
The Big Question
At the core of the issue lies this question: When does a human life begin? One could answer: at conception, 3 months of pregnancy, when the heart begins beating, when the child could live outside of the womb, etc. I concur with the majority of the scientific community in that human life begins at conception. This excerpt is taken from the statement entitled “When Human Life Begins” from the American College of Pediatricians:
The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception—fertilization. At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature. This statement focuses on the scientific evidence of when an individual human life begins.
Everything that is needed for a human (like you & I) to exist is present in the moment of conception. Though a heart is not yet existent in that moment, it will be in a matter of a few weeks! While the child can’t make decisions about their life yet, they will if they are allowed to continue living!
There is a strange, unfounded idea out there that there is a difference between “personhood” and a “living human” to justify abortions. Perhaps there are different traits of a person that come to light over time (that make them more personable?), but it seems arbitrary and reaching to make the distinction since a human life intrinsically has value.
Also, a human baby doesn’t magically become a person when he or she starts kicking or hiccuping in the mother’s tummy. There is no objective reason to think that a baby (fetus, zygote, newborn) would magically change species or gain value based on its form or stage of development. I heard something like this said once: “Size, stage of development, time, and 8 inches down the birth canal do not change the humanness of a baby”.
In the 180 Movie available on YouTube (warning: some graphic images), there is a comparison made between Hitler’s Holocaust and what is happening in the U.S. (and other countries) because of abortion. Back then, Hitler felt that there were some things about the Jews that made them not fully human and thought it was justifiable to kill them off. People in the video were asked what they would do if they were forced by Nazi’s to kill helpless Jews and then were asked, in light of that, when it would be okay to kill an unborn child. The responses of the people in the video were rather surprising.
On the foundations of human value, aside from the obvious value of our own species, I build on the fact that God values human life, including those not born yet. We know this because:
- God created mankind in His image (imago dei). This unique creation of humanity, above all of the rest of the created things, tells us that God has a special relationship with humans and values them deeply: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, all Scripture, unless noted otherwise, is from the ESV).
- God knows and cares about human life before He forms a person in the womb and before birth: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jeremiah 1:5).
- God is directly involved in fetal development, intricately forming the child. This gives us an explanation to miracle of human life being created in the moment of conception: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139: 13-16).
- Children are a gift, a blessing from the Lord: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3).
I believe that it is morally wrong to kill a human being with no justifiable reason. In other words, these passages mean something significant to me:
- “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13)
- “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6)
- “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life…” (Exodus 21:22-23, NASB)
And when it comes to abortion (almost always meaning elective abortion or the choice to kill an unborn child aka: “abortion on demand”), I do not see this “choice” as a justifiable reason to kill a child. Why? Well, to name a few reasons:
- Almost every pregnancy occurs due to consensual intercourse.
- Although rape (and incest) are very traumatizing and difficult situations, the child simply does not deserve to be punished for the father’s crime.
- It is hypocritical, taking the future rights of a baby boy or girl via killing them.
- There are other options! (Adoption Agencies, Pregnancy Centers, etc.)
- Even if a child will likely have a disability, they still have a right to continue living. Also, I’ve heard many stories where these children were born and turned out perfectly fine!
- The child does feel the pain of being ripped apart or burned alive by chemicals in an abortion. There is video evidence of ultrasounds used during abortions that show the child writhing in pain while trying to avoid the surgical instrument that is ripping it apart. If you don’t believe me, then do some research for yourself!
- The child has not committed any action deserving of execution.
- The child has a Constitutional right to life.
- The child is not a parasite to be “lopped off”, but rather a uniquely created child who needs the care of a mother to continue living through pregnancy.
- The child is both the mother and father’s child and thus, they both bear responsibility to care for their child to which the Bible says: “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). Men need to step up and be responsible for their actions!
I believe that people possess the ability to choose what they do or do not do. However, what they choose to do in itself may or may not actually be a good thing to do, especially in regards to this issue. And if choosing to have an abortion is in fact morally wrong, based on the premise that the unborn are indeed human, then there is no real justification for it.
Furthermore, because (scientifically speaking) an unborn human life, with all of its unique genetic coding and faculties, begins at the moment of conception, they retain every right to life that should be protected for a 25 year old adult, 2 year old child, or 1 hour old infant. It is not enough to say that the child, because it is not able to consciously interact with its environment or fend for itself, is not worthy of protection from abortion.
It is arguable that children cannot consciously (or at least with memory and meaningfulness) interact with their environment until after several months, if not a year or so, of growth and development. So, would it be “okay” to kill a child who would be say, a year old? No! A minute old (post-birth)? No! The same logic applies to the unborn. The only differences here are time, location, cognitive ability, and stage of development. Notice that none of these factors take away from the value of a human life. Just like we wouldn’t say an infant has “less value” than his or her mother. The mother may be able to do more at her stage of life, but she once was an infant. These developmental factors are necessities of life, not measurements for intrinsic value…
The Tragedy of Abortion Culture
I want to acknowledge that what some women have to deal with in regards to sexual abuse is horrific and traumatizing and I fully desire that they get all of the help that they need. I have met women who have had abortions, even because of rape, and they made sure to note that their abortion only added to their grief and suffering in life. If you are a victim of the abortion industry, someone forced you to have an abortion, you are struggling with regret from your abortion, or you are considering having one, then please know that there are resources out there! There is also healing and forgiveness in the Lord: “He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3, NASB).
Honestly, a major undercurrent of this issue is that most people just want to have sex, without any marital commitment, with no limits, and they end up with the consequence of what sex was designed for. Except, this leaves them void of the sacred covenantal love of marriage that the consequence was designed to be a part of. In this situation, no matter how “difficult” the circumstances (the parents are very young, money is scarce, one parent is not supportive, etc.), should a helpless baby be killed for the preferences or irresponsible actions of their parents? I know this is not always the exact case, but my goodness…. when adoption is the better option, why not allow the child to have the chance at a home and a family who will care for them!?
I will add that the Church needs to improve on offering these men & women resources. Is there someone in your church community that is willing to adopt a child from a woman considering abortion? Maybe your church can do something with that! Or maybe you could collect diapers, clothes, & other supplies or offer to cover certain expenses for these men & women who feel that they will struggle to raise a family due to finances. I would also recommend networking with a local pregnancy center to find out ways that your church can partner with them.
The truth of the matter is that because of abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood, there have been over 61 million “legal” abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973… 61,000,000+… One source indicates that a more accurate number, which includes chemical abortions and other methods, falls somewhere around 308 million…
If the unborn are indeed human, then what does that mean for us? Have we committed one of the greatest atrocities in history as a nation? What will history think of us? I think I know what God thinks of us. That number is far higher than any deaths in any war that the U.S. has been involved in… God have mercy on us.
I have to ask, if you’re at a place where you believe that abortion is a right, just please take a moment to ask yourself this:
What would it mean if I’m wrong… ?
And if you’re unsure about this issue, is it really worth the risk to not stand up for the unborn if they are really living, human, baby girls & boys? Is it really worth sticking to the party line on this one?
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-10, NIV)
Planned Parenthood, which makes most of its money on abortion, was founded by Margaret Sanger, who said this among other things:
“We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population…”
— Letter to Dr. Clarence J. Gamble, December 10, 1939, p. 2
If you want to be educated on what Planned Parenthood is really like, then I encourage you, even if you disagree, to understand what you do or do not support by seeing the new movie Unplanned. It is a powerful telling of Abby Johnson’s story, a former leader within Planned Parenthood, and why she left the abortion industry. It also opens up discussion on important issues about the topic.