“The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5).
The goal of this article isn’t to condemn or point fingers at those who have undergone the abortion procedure, otherwise we would and should be pointing fingers at ourselves, because the Bible says that there is no one who is righteous, no one who hasn’t and doesn’t sin and fall short of God’s holy and righteous standards by which we are to live our lives by (Romans 3:23).
This was actually the Apostle Paul’s position concerning himself when we wrote these words to his protégé Timothy.
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor” (1 Timothy 1:12-13a).
Paul actually thought of himself as being worse than every other person out there when it comes to being a sinner. He said that he was the chief of sinners, and that there was no one who was and is worse than he (1 Timothy 1:15).
But it was in and through the mercy and grace of God that God forgave and saved him, even though he did such horrible things, and that’s because he did all these things out of ignorance and unbelief, that is, he never consider that his actions were wrong.
“Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all” (1 Timothy 1:13b-15).
This is the position of most women, and the men who are in agreement with the abortion issue. They’ve been told and have grown up believing that a woman has exclusive rights over her body, even when harm is done to the fetus within her. Teachers, scientists, and lawmakers have told them that the fetus isn’t really human, that is, not until it is born, and therefore it is perfectly legal and the responsible thing to do if they do not think they can raise the child.
Therefore, they have acted in ignorance and unbelief.
Since so much has been written on both sides of this debate, why another voice? It goes to the calling God has given to me, and what I am bringing forth I do so with great care as a watchman as outlined in Ezekiel 3:17: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me.”
Edmund Burke, statesman and philosopher, said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
The Bible says, “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil” (1 Peter 2:16 New International Version, NIV).
The Lord gives us a mandate to defend those who need it the most, the poor, fatherless, afflicted, and needy, which would include those within the womb. Our responsibility is to protect and deliver.
“Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3-4).
The Issue of Abortion
The subject of abortion is one of the most volatile issues that faces our world today. It has been discussed and debated within the halls of government as well as over the family dining table. It has been legislated as legal in America, but has been tested time and again within the court systems.
So why add to the debate? Because it is a vital benchmark as to where we as citizens of this earth stand in relationship to the Lord who created this world and its human inhabitants.
Will we be known by our commitment or by our convenience, our integrity or our greed? Will we be swayed by current thought and biases, or will we be swayed by what the Lord says in His word, the Bible?
It is the position of this article to look at the questions and issues surrounding abortion, the consequences of abortion upon an individual and our society, and what the Bible says in response to the procedure.
The most logical place to start is whether or not the fetus in a human being, or is it merely a mass of fetal tissue, without a shred of humanity attached to it. Is that fetus an unborn human being created in God’s image and according to His likeness (Genesis 1:26)?
There are those within our society that argue that the fetus is not a child, it is not a human being, and that a woman has the right to what happens within their own body, thus any rights the fetus has within her womb doesn’t exist, even if it is determined to be a child, a little human being.
When Life Began
The arguments against human life beginning at conception from the Scriptures generally center on when God breathed into Adam and made Him alive, or a “living being.”
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7)
The argument is that when God blew into Adam it was at that time that Adam became a living being, therefore life begins and ends with the capacity to breathe air.
Unfortunately this is way too simplistic and doesn’t answer the whole question.
At God’s breath, Adam became alive, and all that it means to be alive, from the physical functions, breathing, heart rate, brain waves, and feelings, to the emotional.
We see each of these within the life of the fetus, or the unborn child within the womb.
The breathing process begins at 10 weeks. At 18 weeks the breathing passages are complete, and by 21 weeks a normal breathing pattern emerges. At 26 weeks the lungs produce a substance necessary for breathing air. And while the lungs are not breathing air, they are pumping. But the oxygen needed for that baby to live comes directly from the mother’s blood, and when taken in it helps dispel waste.
The heart begins pumping blood at 6 weeks, and at 9 ½ weeks the heart rate resembles that of a newborn. And the child’s brain waves are recorded before 8 ½ weeks.
The child also is sensitive to light at 11 weeks, develops facial expressions at 13 weeks, and is sensitive to touch at 18 weeks, all of which points to the fact that the child feels within the womb.
And so, the breath of God doesn’t mean just air, but the whole life process, which is what happens to a child in the womb. He or she has all the functions and process of a child outside the womb.
Also, even medical science doesn’t put death when the lungs stop pumping, because a person can be resuscitated through CPR. And so, the medical community now defines death when all a person’s vital functions stop.
“Death is defined as the cessation of all vital functions of the body including the heartbeat, brain activity (including the brain stem), and breathing.”
When Does Human Life Begin?
Many advocate that the fetus in the womb isn’t a human being, or a “child.” Yet, the Bible speaks differently.
The clearest place is from the story of Jesus’s birth. When Mary went to visit her relative, Elizabeth, upon her arrival it says, “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb.” And Elizabeth acknowledges this wording “baby” for the child in her womb.
“For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy” (Luke 1:44).
And this is the same word for baby used by the angels describing Jesus upon His birth.
“You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).
In the Old Testament the unborn is also considered to be children.
“If men fight, and hurt a woman with child” (Exodus 21:22a).
We also see that Jacob and Esau were called unborn children (Genesis 25:22; Romans 9:11), and how could God know Jeremiah from his mother’s womb if Jeremiah, the person wasn’t there (Jeremiah 1:5).
But it isn’t just the Bible that looks upon the fetus in the womb as a child, so do our modern day sciences.
According to 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.”
Dr. Jerome LeJeune, Professor of Genetics at the University of Descartes, Paris, discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down’s Syndrome, and Nobel Prize Winner said, “After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being…[this] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion, it is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence….”
A prenatal summary presented by “The Endowment for Human Development” says, “The main divisions of the body, such as the head, chest, abdomen and pelvis, and arms and legs are established by about four weeks after conception. Eight weeks after conception, except for the small size, the developing human’s overall appearance and many internal structures closely resemble the newborn.”
From the above biblical and scientific quotes, it is safe to say that the fetus within the womb is an unborn human being and as such possesses all the rights as a newborn, or for that matter a senior citizen.
The Bible confirms this prognosis
“If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (Exodus 21:22-25).
If harm is done to the baby through the premature birth, then the guilty party is fined according to the damage that was done to the baby. If the baby dies, then by the law, then so must the guilty party. And so the same penalty applies when harm is done to both mother and child.
Now, I am not advocating the death penalty; rather I believe in God’s grace be extended instead. The point is simply that this Old Testament Law extends the same rights to the unborn as to those born, no matter what their age, making the fetus inside the mother’s womb a human being in which all rights should be extended.
What this speaks to is personhood.
Personhood is never measured by age, stage of development, or mental, physical, or social skills within the Bible. Instead, personhood is that which God gives at the moment of creation, which in the issue we’re speaking to is the point of conception.
There are Bible verses that say the fetus in the mother’s womb is fully human and known by God with a future role in human society and God’s kingdom, thus giving that child a purpose in life.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
“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, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16).
The Bible says that there is not a human being alive who hasn’t sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20) King David wrote in Psalm 51:5 that not only was he born with the sin nature, but that the sin nature was present within him from conception. Therefore, from conception, the fetus is a child, with the same sin nature as any other person.
Let me just say that no child is an accident, but that each child conceived in the womb has been lovingly fashioned by God, and as such, God loves them dearly and deeply.
To Moses’s speech impediment, the Lord said, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?” (Exodus 4:11)
God has a wonderful plan for the child’s life from the point of conception, even if that child is born with a handicap.
Isn’t it interesting that we give warnings that the consumption of certain products, like cigarettes and alcohol, pose a risk and are dangerous to the unborn child?
A new proposed cigarette health warning by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says, “WARNING: Smoking during pregnancy stunts fetal growth, and shows the picture of a new born child.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it says, “There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink.” They then list out 16 negative effects due to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
It can therefore be said that both the FDA and CDC see the fetus within the womb as a human child who can be harmed from the risky behaviors and habits of their human parents.
Therefore, from both a biological and biblical point of view, from science to scripture, human life begins at conception and should be subject to protection according to our laws, and is also subject to God’s care and concern as He has a plan and a purpose for their lives.
What About the Mother?
God cares for the life of both the woman and the unborn child, which is seen in the Law of Moses that we looked at earlier (Exodus 21:22-25).
This is because God values all life, even that of the unborn, because humanity has been made in His image and according to His likeness (Genesis 1:27). Literally it was the Lord God who created us.
“Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves …” (Psalm 100:3).
“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who makes all things …” (Isaiah 44:24).
So in God’s eyes, both mother and child are valuable and hold a great value in the eyes and heart of God.
Now, it is often cited by those who promote abortion that the reason to abort is for the protection of the woman. But former Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop said, “Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my 36 years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life. If toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, the doctor will induce labor or perform a Caesarean section. His intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.”
Further, abortion may cause additional problems for the mother, both physical and emotional.
The physical problems resulting from an abortion include abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, spotting and bleeding. More serious complication include heavy or persistent bleeding, infection or sepsis, damage to the cervix, scarring of the uterine lining, perforation of the uterus, damage to other organs, and possibly death.
But there are also emotional problems that develop.
This is often referred to as Post-Abortion syndrome.
“Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) is at present understood to be a type of post-traumatic stress disorder. Its outward manifestations such as postnatal depression, suicidal behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, marriage and family breakdown, child neglect and abuse, domestic violence, depression, anxiety attacks, compulsive disorders and other mental health problems are increasingly evident in our communities today.”
Dr. Koop co-author a book with theologian Frances A. Schaeffer entitled, “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?’” The book vividly described post-abortion trauma. For some women, they wrote, “It is a bewildering nightmare to be overwhelmed with longings for the baby to be back in them and to be able to complete that which had begun.” Other women, they said, forfeited feelings of “motherliness” and “will turn into the kind of hard people they may not want to be.”
As in life itself, choosing to remove whatever the problem we may be facing only really creates new ones.
Effects of Abortion on Society
Because of abortions, there are now 45 million fewer souls alive today that could have significantly made a positive impact upon our society, including medical and scientific breakthroughs, not to mention a natural increase in income through a larger consumer base.
Imagine how many more contributions those lives would have made?
“Eliminating a population through abortion destroys a population that will work and pay taxes. Legalizing abortion imposes a loss of between $70 billion and $135 billion of economic activity (valued work), and between $10 billion and $33 billion in annual tax revenue.”
Because of abortion, the average size of today’s family is two children, which falls short of the minimum required to maintain a stable population. The growth that we have seen in America is due to immigration and people living longer. And this is not only happening in America, but around the world, as family size has been on a steady decline.
Because of abortions, there is an overall lack of care and concern for human life in general. We’ve let the door open for other forms of death to take place if life itself is inconvenient, like suicide, or senicide, the abandonment to death, or the killing of the elderly. We now have physician-assisted deaths.
Because of abortions, we’ve become a very selfish society that has unfortunately taught our children that human life is cheap, and that life can be taken away with little fear of the consequences.
Abortion therefore has negative effects not only upon the mother, but also upon society as a whole.
So Now What
a. Thinking of an Abortion?
If you are thinking about having an abortion, please reconsider. You can give your child to a childless couple, making their dreams come true, along with a loving environment for your child, knowing that God is blessed when we do so.
We may even think that our situation is hopeless, but God will always work something out when we give our lives over to Him.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
So instead of trusting in the lies of this world, trust in God and in His word and find the blessing that God has given to us in our children (Psalm 127:5), and if we find that the raising of the child will be too much, then adoption, not abortion, is the answer.
b. Already had an Abortion?
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
And once we’ve come into that saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, accepting Him as our Savior and Lord, there is no longer any condemnation, shame, or guilt.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then … we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (1 Corinthians 5:18-20).
God wants you to move forward into a new work and life that He has for you, and not to get stuck in the guilt and shame of the past.
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 3:18).
And a large part of that new thing is the forgiveness of sins, where God no longer holds them against us.
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
Also, please understand, your child is in heaven, because while they were born with the sin DNA that is in every child since Adam and Eve, they are not accountable for it, being innocent, that is, not guilty before God, because they had no knowledge of God’s law and sin to confess and repent (Romans 3:20).
We also serve a gracious and merciful God, who doesn’t hold the sin of one generation against the next, that every one will die and be judged based upon their own sin and iniquity (Jeremiah 31:30).
This is also found in Deuteronomy 24:16. “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin.”
A society like America, based upon the freedom of each individual, we really have no right to condemn previous generations for the same deeds we commit today, like those who perpetrated the holocaust, when we are participating in a holocaust of our own, where, according to the CDC, there has been in America 45.7 million legal induced abortions between 1970 and 2015.
As a nation, America, and for that matter, all nations need to repent for the actions taken against the most vulnerable and helpless members of our society, the unborn.
“If my people, who are called by my name, and humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
We need to stop letting our legislators, government, and media think for us, and turn back to God and His word before it is too late. Further, listening to our heart is just as wrong and risky as the Lord says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
From a biblical and scientific point of view, therefore, the unborn are persons that possess human attributes and are described as human, or “child.” Jesus was likewise called a child at conception (Matthew 1:18, 23), and John the Baptist was called a child while in the womb (Luke 1:44).
The Bible definitely then teaches that the unborn are persons, and as such possess personal attributes. And in accordance with our current laws that speak of harm to the unborn as being punishable by the law, as well as the biblical mandate found in the Law of Moses, these unborn children are to be protected.
To look at this deductively, fetuses in the womb are human beings. Abortion kills these fetuses that we know as children, or little ones. Therefore, abortion is killing a person, which is wrong and punishable (Genesis 9:6; Romans 1:28-29).
But, once again I go back to the reality that our society has redefined the child in the womb as not alive, or a non-human until birth. And in doing so, there is a whole generation plus that looks on abortion as more of a convenience issue than a moral one.
I believe that the proper action to take is not to abort, not to murder another human being, whether that human being is inside or outside the womb. And if this has been the outcome of our past, God wants to heal our past and make us brand new though faith in Jesus Christ.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Copyright © 2019 by Dennis Lee
Hot Topics: “Abortion”
by Dennis Lee
Printed in the United States of America
All rights reserved solely by the author. The author guarantees all contents are original and do not infringe upon the legal rights of any other person or work. No part of this book my be reproduced in any form without the permission of the author. The views expressed in this book are not necessarily those of the publisher.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scriptures quotations are taken from the New King James Version (NKJV). Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.