Pro-Life or Pro Death
In the previous chapter we reviewed the different ways that abortions are performed, usually decided upon by the development of the baby. The main ones are:
- Suction, Curettage, salt poisoning, Dilation and Extraction (partial birth), and the newest being R.U. 486 which is the abortion pill.
As gruesome as abortion is, there are a great number of people who not only support it as a viable birth control option but promote it rigorously.
The defense of this procedure comes in several arguments:
1. Abortion is acceptable because the fetus is not human.
The idea that what is removed from the mother is nothing more than a mass of cells is refuted by the fact that fertilized eggs begin to demonstrate human characteristics long before they are deemed "viable" by abortionists. The "thing" that a woman conceives is not a tumor but a living person who needs only time and nourishment to become a fully developed human being. 100% of human pregnancies result in human babies.
2. Abortion is purely a matter of choice.
The pro-choice movement sees abortion as the sole and undeniable right of a woman to choose what will happen to her body. Both women and men should be free to use the gift of free will that God gave to humans, but God does not permit a person the freedom to kill another person. Freedom and choice have limits, one of the limits is when our choice harms or destroys another.
3. Abortion is feasible because it protects the mother.
Some pregnancies are the result of rape and incest; some will produce sick or deformed children; some will threaten the life of the mother. The pro-choice answer to all these scenarios is to abort the child because this solution will best serve the mother. However, psychologists tell us that even in the extreme cases, abortion doesn't necessarily serve the woman best and it certainly does no good to the innocent child.
There are other options that can better serve the mother spiritually, emotionally, as well as physically, but they are not the "quick fix" that abortion seems to be. Abortion is quickly done as well as profitable (for abortionists), but often regretted for a lifetime by those who chose this option.
In this section I'd like to discuss the last few arguments used by pro-choice supporters, and discuss what the Bible teaches about abortion. Not being a woman, I am sure that there are certain experiences and issues that I may be missing here but my purpose is to at least clarify the two sides of the argument and lay before you some pertinent Scriptures that deal with this issue.
Arguments for Abortion
Abortion is necessary because the world is rapidly becoming overpopulated. Again, partial truths mixed in with lies to push the abortion agenda.
A. There are parts of the world that are overcrowded and struggling to have food, water and other resources. In most cases the problem is not overpopulation, the problem is improper distribution of the world's resources. Greed fuels high prices and stockpiling which penalizes poor countries. There is enough food and water to care for everyone in the world, the problem is that sinful people hoard or waste much of it and this results in suffering for the poor.
B. The world's population will explode if we don't do something about it. There are concentrations of overcrowding in certain developing countries, but this is not the main problem. In spite of propaganda to the contrary, western civilization is actually dying out. In order to maintain the western world's population, each woman needs to produce 2.1 children (statistically).
- In western Europe, Canada, and the U.S. the average reproduction rate is 1.8 children per woman. Italy is the country with the fastest decline with an average of 1.3 children per woman.
In 1900 western nations had 30% of the world's population.
- In 1950 – 22% of the world's population
- In 1995 – 15% of the world's population
- In 2030 – 9% of the world's population
- By 2100 – 4% of the world's population
Our self-indulgent lifestyle, sexual diseases, increasing abortion, and dismantling of the traditional family are contributing to the eventual demise of not only this country but western civilization as we know it. Abortion is just the most obvious sin of a civilization that continually mutilates itself. Researchers have also shown that in poorer nations the threat of overpopulation is also slowing down as birth rates decline. For example:
- 6.1 per women in 1970
- 4.0 per woman in 2020
The point is that the threat of overpopulation is overblown and even if it were so, abortion would not be the best solution since there are other ways of controlling population that don't involve abortion at all.
5. Pro-Life People Don't Really Care
Here, pro-choice supporters deviate from the issue and make the argument personal. The accusation is that pro-life people don't care about the suffering and struggle a woman experiences in raising a child, especially if she is alone to do it. It's easy to march in the street and denounce pregnant women and then simply go home and offer no other help.
Again, if this were totally true, they might have a point, but these accusations are not completely accurate. Pro-life people and groups have done things to raise awareness of this issue, and some have become radical even destructive in their zeal.
For example, those disturbed people who destroy property or attempt to kill pro-choice supporters have nothing morally or legally in common with a cause dedicated to preserving the dignity of life. Of course, the pro-choice side has focused on a few extremists in the pro-life movement and made them the model for all anti-abortionists. This is a good P.R. tactic, but does not fairly represent the pro-life movement. The truth of the matter is that the caring and loving option is the one that has the interest of both the mother and the child at heart.
Most pro-life counseling centers offer guidance as far as what will happen to the child once it is born. Also, there is support and encouragement of the mother while she goes through the pregnancy. I might add that Christians, from the very beginning, have been the main defenders of the unborn. Few people or groups will ever equal the contributions made to society as far as care and compassion for all kinds of needs made by Christians over the centuries. The only contribution pro-abortionists have made is to reduce the population through the killing of the unborn.
There may be some other arguments for abortion but the five discussed here are the major points of disagreement. Now, let's take a look at what the Bible teaches us about this issue.
The Bible and Abortion
We know that the Bible does not say, "Thou shalt not abort," however, it does provide several principles that guide us when dealing with this issue.
1. The Unborn Genuinely Possess Human Life
Jesus Christ made the transition from divine to human through conception and birth.
"…but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men."
- Philippians 2:7
It is said that the baby inside of Elizabeth (John) "leaped for joy" when Mary greeted Elizabeth.
- Luke 1:44
David, in talking about God's love, explains that God loved him, knew him, and observed him even before he came out of his mother at birth.
"For you created my innermost being, you formed me together in my mother's womb."
- Psalm 139:13
Throughout the Bible the unborn are identified and given names and what they will do in life is prophesied (i.e. John and Jesus). God considers a person a living being when they are conceived and His love for them begins at this point as well. Should our love not begin at the same time?
2. Unlawful Killing is Forbidden by God
Not all killing is sinful. In certain cases:
- Death through accident
- Death in a war
- Death through legal execution
- Death as a result of lawful self-defense
God permits the taking of life in certain situations, but He has not authorized the government, doctors or pregnant women to kill the unborn for their convenience. When we deliberately kill the innocent unborn it is a sin and against God's law and we will be punished for it. God says, "Thou shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13) and that includes those who are not yet born.
3. Happiness Cannot Be Achieved Through Wealth and Comfort
There are life and death situations where abortions become a necessary option, but statistics show that most abortions are performed to avoid inconvenience and financial burden. People who use this option to safeguard their lifestyle, peace of mind or finances don't realize that the only way to find happiness, peace of mind and security is through faith in Jesus Christ and service to others in His name.
Jesus said in Matthew 25 that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who feed the hungry and thirsty, visit the sick and imprisoned as well as care for the poor. True contentment, therefore, comes to those who care for those who are weak and helpless, not by amassing wealth and power. No one has ever claimed to have found peace, joy and lasting contentment through abortion, only temporary relief.
We live at a time where our society has become very sophisticated when it comes to sin. In a way we resemble the Corinthian church who didn't see anything wrong with a man who was having sex with his father's wife. Today sexual identity groups march in the streets and flaunt their sexual immorality in the face of the nation with the approval of our highest elected officials. We use God's name in vain publicly in movies and on television and applaud the people who do.
We kill the unborn out of convenience and only recently has our highest court struck down the law that permitted abortion, not because of moral considerations but because the law itself was improperly applied. By sending the abortion issue to be settled by state legislators the court still has not acknowledged that abortion is the taking of a human life and refuse to extend the protection of law to the most helpless of our citizens, the unborn.
It has been said that you measure the greatness of a nation by how it treats it weakest members - if this is so then the time of our greatness is past because we promote the killing of the unborn and through the influence of entertainment celebrities and abortion lobbyists, many states are drafting laws that will make it easier to kill those who are too old, too weak or sick to be valuable anymore.
As Christians, we sometimes feel helpless in the face of such overwhelming wickedness and it is easy to lose heart and feel that there is nothing to be done. We need to remember, however, that Christians have always been the minority, have always been the voice crying in the wilderness, have always been at odds with conventional wisdom and morality.
When it comes to abortion, what can we do as Christians?
1. Teach Our Children About Sex
The world teaches our daughters to dress immodestly, use sex in order to be popular, and abort the babies they don't want. It teaches our young men that sex is power and that their only responsibility is to protect themselves and their partners from disease or unwanted pregnancies. We need to teach our children that sex is powerful, but its power is destructive when used outside of marriage, and one of the most destructive consequence is the abortion that they will be tempted to have as a result of an unwanted pregnancy.
2. Vote for Pro-Life Candidates
Thankfully we live in a country where people, even Christians, have some influence in choosing their leaders. Politicians can ignore letters, marches, and sermons but they pay attention to the ballot box. We have a right to elect officials who promote and uphold Christian standards and where a man or woman stands on the issue of abortion will usually tell you where they stand on other moral issues as well. If you don't usually vote, please do so and when you do, support the people who uphold what is right not simply what is popular. We bear responsibility for the people we vote for and for what they do, good or bad.
3. Have Mercy on the Mothers and the Babies
Pro-choice usually promotes the welfare of the woman exclusively and the pro-life people have focused on the ethical and moral issue of the abortion without giving due consideration or assistance to the actual people involved. What is needed is mercy, kindness, and support for both mother and child, regardless of the circumstances of the conception. Sometimes this means acceptance and forgiveness when the mother is your own daughter or friend or spouse. Sometimes it means contributing and helping the organizations that serve the mothers and the unborn. If the people who are here make this a more welcoming and loving world perhaps women would be more willing to bring their babies to birth regardless of the way they were conceived.
4. Don't Be Discouraged
The aborted babies will be with God in heaven. The guilty who committed and supported abortion will be judged and those who made the personal sacrifice to have their babies in difficult circumstances will never regret the lives they brought into this world.