Sanctity of Life Day: Choose life
“Legal personhood does not exist prenatally”…so declared the United States Supreme Court in the now infamous Roe v. Wade decision handed down on January 22, 1973. Since that day, millions of babies have been legally aborted in our nation. In its aftermath has not only come the elimination of millions of lives, but tragic trauma to millions of mothers. “Legal personhood does not exist prenatally.” Tell that to the lady who wrote me these words:
“Nearing forty years of age and after four children, I found myself pregnant. My husband suggested abortion. I knew in my heart it was wrong I have suffered supreme remorse ever since. Our home has one empty bedroom — a constant reminder! The doctors could control my problem, but nobody can control my hurt and loss of a very precious life that God Himself created. I carry this around now and for the rest of my life this awful memory, the hurt is all mine. You can tell young women who may be considering abortion that a woman never forgets her baby. The memory lives on and on.”
On July 1, 1976, the week of our National Bicentennial Celebration, the Supreme Court expanded its 1973 decision by declaring that abortions may be performed on minor daughters without the knowledge of their parents. It is a strange nation in which we are living where an adolescent cannot get an aspirin in a school infirmary without parental permission, but can have an abortion without such! The 1976 decision also expanded the 1973 decision to allow women to obtain an abortion without the knowledge or consent of the baby’s father. While a father must pay child support in other cases (and rightly so), he is often left with no say as to whether his own child comes into the world or not.
Perhaps no other moral or social issue is as many faceted as is the abortion debate. Any serious discussion of the matter will eventually come down to one central issue — when does life begin? This is “the big question.” Some say life begins at birth. They contend that until the baby is out of the womb it is not to be considered a human being, simply a “fetus.” Others say life begins when the fetus has grown and developed enough to live outside the womb if need be. Consequently, this particular school of thought would say life begins at five to six months. Others say life begins when the baby has a measured brain wave. The argument here is that the secession of a brain wave marks the end of human life, and thus it naturally stands to reason that the beginning of the brain wave would be the beginning of human life. A brain wave can be measured at approximately six weeks after conception. Still others claim that life begins when the baby develops a measured heartbeat. Such advocates thus place the beginning of life at approximately three to four weeks after conception. And, others would say that life begins at conception. That is, when the male cell and the female cell unite, thus beginning the life process.
When does life begin? Consider for a moment the argument from science. The nucleus of a human cell is composed of 46 chromosomes. Twenty-three are furnished by the father, and 23 are furnished by the mother. The abortionists argue that during the embryonic stage of development and in the early stages of fetal development, the baby could not survive apart from the mother’s body. Thus, their argument is that it is moral to eliminate the fetus if so desired. But the truth is, the same baby could not survive apart from the mother’s care after it is born at nine months either. To follow this erroneous concept to its conclusion would be to go ahead and eliminate the baby even after birth.
It is a fact of biological science that the only cell that the mother contributes to the baby is the first one (23 chromosomes) when it meets the father’s cell and they combine. At this point conception takes place, and a new person is formed. In the cell structure, the baby is as much a part of the father as the mother. Obviously, during gestation the baby is nourished through the umbilical cord by the mother. But it should be noted that only the baby is nourished. The same baby, after birth, is also dependent upon being nourished by the mother outside the womb. After conception, the child receives no new or additional life from the mother. It is not a part of her body that can be removed like a wart or a tumor. It is an individual person.
It is amazing how abortion activists refrain from using the term “baby” for the unborn and instead cling to the less intimate word, “fetus.” It is as though this gives more of an appearance that the baby is simply a part of the mother’s anatomy like a gall bladder or an appendix. It sounds so much better to say the fetus was extracted than to say the baby was killed. The pro-abortion activist might be interested to know that the word “fetus” is a Latin word. What does it mean in Latin? It is the word for “child.” Life is a continual process, and each of us is a part of it. Some of us are newly conceived. Others are developing in the womb. Some are just born. Others are toddlers in the nursery. Some have completed the first day of school. Others are adolescents. Some are adults. Others are elderly. But we are all in a stage of gradual development. Man is no more or less a person at any stage of this development.
When does life begin? Consider for a moment the argument of Scripture. Just because many influenced by New Age persuasions have placed the Bible on the shelf as a worn out book of antiquity, does not mean it is. Millions of people still hold its truths near and dear to their hearts. Its words and laws have been the foundation blocks for every decent democracy and republic in world history. We believe it is revealed truth and our ultimate standard. Jesus stepped into manhood, not at His birth at Bethlehem, but at His conception at Nazareth. The Scripture records, “An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Do not be afraid to take to you Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit’” (Matt. 1:20). To Mary, the angel announced, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call His name Jesus” (Luke 1:31).
As many are aware, the New Testament was written in the Greek language. It was the universal written language of the first-century world.
The Greeks have more than one word for our English word, “child.” The most common word, found over 98 times in the Greek New Testament is the word “teknon.” The word speaks of a child as viewed in relation to a parent. However, there is an interesting word that is found only eight times in the Greek New Testament which throws much light upon what the Bible teaches regarding the unborn. It is the Greek word, “brephos.” Note its usage in the following verses:
This man dealt treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, making them expose their babies (brephos), so that they might not live (Acts 7:19).
Then they also brought infants (brephos) to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them (Luke 18:15).
And that from childhood (brephos) you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (II Tim. 3:15).
As newborn babes (brephos), desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby (I Pet. 2:2).
And this will be the sign to you:You will find a Babe (brephos) wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger (Luke 2:12).
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe (brephos) lying in a manger (Luke 2:16).
In all the above verses the word brephos describes a baby who has already been born. One who is outside the womb! That is, a real live human being. But there are two other verses in Scripture in which the same Greek word (brephos) is used. One is in Luke 1:41 where Scripture records, “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe (brephos) leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” The other is found in Luke 1:44, “For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe (brephos) leaped in my womb, for joy.” Note in each of these cases, the brephos (baby) is still in the womb. It is blatantly clear that God considers an unborn baby more than simply a wad of tissue. He considers the brephos as much a human being as the child who is already born and playing, running up and down the street. In God’s vocabulary, the little package of love in the uterus is a brephos just as much as the toddler in the playpen! He uses the same word to identify them both.
There is even a sense in which the issue of life goes back beyond science and Scripture. Yes, back even before conception into the Eternal Councils of Creator God. God deals with us not only after our birth for all eternity, but before our birth and conception and all eternity past. To Jeremiah, God said, “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” (Jer. l: 4-5). “My mother might have been my grave” (Jer. 20:17). If an abortion had been performed upon the fetus in Jeremiah’s mother’s womb, he still would have been Jeremiah. Although his mother may not have known his name, God did! Yes, life begins even before conception in the eternal councils of God. The great apostle Paul put it like this, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Eph. 1:4).
Thus, if life is present at conception, as both science and Scripture certainly reveal, then as a Christian there is no such thing as neutrality. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?” (Prov. 24:11-12).
The main reason convenience abortions on demand are the law of the land is not because of the militant minority of the women liberationists and politicians, but primarily because moral people do nothing and say little as we walk by on the other side of the street ignoring this national blight. Perhaps the thing that is most amazing is the silence of the grand old flagship churches in the hearts of cities across America. Where are all the voices from all the First Baptist churches of our land? Where are the voices from the First Presbyterian churches and the First Methodist churches? Some denominations have even taken pro-abortion platforms and stands. Perhaps Joel asked the question best 2,500 years ago when he cried out, “Where are all the prophets and preachers weeping between the porch and altar over the sins of the people?”
The church is virtually silent today when a child who by state law is too young to drink alcohol, too young to vote, and too young to drive a car, is at the same time legally permitted to destroy an unborn life and never even notify her parents. What kind of a nation have we become? By and large, the church and synagogue remain silent on the sanctity of life and surrender the truth of the Torah and the good news of the Gospel to the lies of the abortionists. Moses’ call comes thundering down through the centuries, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deut. 30:19).
What is the bottom line for you? What do you believe? Is that a human life in the womb? You would not pass by on the other side of the street while men and women were taking two- and three-year-old children and scalding them to death in hot water and simply keep silent. As Solomon said, how we need to “rescue those being led away to death.”
Dr. James Dobson has astutely observed that “all the abortion arguments descend to whether one believes an unborn baby is a live human being. If you believe the unborn is a person, then all the peripheral exclusions like rape and incest become folly.” Would you kill a one-month-old baby in a crib because he was a victim of rape? Of course not! Then the same baby shouldn’t be killed just because he is a few weeks behind in his development still in the womb! Yes, God has “set before us life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life so that you and your children may live.”
When I was a pastor in Florida, a few abortion rights activists rallied at the Federal Court House Building across the street from our First Baptist Church in downtown Fort Lauderdale. I walked across the street to watch their demonstration and listen to their arguments. What amazed me most were the signs they carried. They bore on them the most paradoxical and hypocritical statements imaginable. In fact, our very arguments for choosing life are found in the placards and themes which they promote. They carried such signs as: “Don’t impose your morality on me,” “Keep abortion legal,” “Keep your laws off my body,” and “Keep abortions safe.” As I watched them and thought about these signs, several thoughts rushed through my mind. Let’s think about their slogans for a moment.
At the abortion rally, one lady, attractive and in horn-rimmed glasses, with the obvious appearance of a lawyer or professional woman, was carrying around a sign on a wooden stick which said, “Don’t impose your morality on me!” Now, think about that sign for just a moment. If indeed life begins at conception, the fact is plain — abortion is a moral issue! For centuries when medical doctors have obtained their medical degrees they have taken an oath called the Oath of Hippocrates. Many doctors have it displayed on their office wall, framed beautifully and written in flowing script letters. A portion of this Hippocratic Oath states: “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest such council, and in like manner, I will not give to a woman a pessary (instrument) to produce abortion.” In listing the things which God hates, Solomon says one of the things is, “hands that shed innocent blood” (Prov. 6:16-17). As I looked at that sign, I pictured the bloody hands of a physician who took the Hippocratic Oath promising to never knowingly administer any drug that would injure life. For some medical doctors today it is no longer the Hippocratic Oath but the Hypocritic Oath!
At the rally as I looked at the lady’s sign, I also pictured the blood of the innocent victim who never had a chance to “pursue life, liberty and justice” as guaranteed by our Constitution. How long will God continue to bless a nation which is so blatantly oblivious to His Word? Joel, the ancient Jewish prophet said, “Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom a desolate wilderness, because of violence against the people of Judah, for they have shed innocent blood in their land” (Joel 3:19). Why did they become desolate? Because they “shed innocent blood in their land.” And the woman continues to carry her sign — “Don’t impose your morality on me!”
Choice! That is the password for the pro-choice advocates. Their cry is loud and long — “You people who are prolife are trying to take away my power of choice. Don’t impose your morality on me!” Now think about that. We are taking her power of choice? Think about the many choices that are made which lead up to so many convenience abortions on demand. Consider the choices a particular lady has already made. Should I go to the singles bar after hours? And she makes a choice — yes! Should I flirt with that man at the bar or not? And she makes a choice — yes! Should I go out with him or not? And she makes yet another choice — yes! Should I have sex with him or not? And she makes a choice — yes! Should I have sex without any preparation or birth control? And she makes another choice — yes! And then she becomes pregnant! And then she begins to scream that we are trying to take away her freedom to choose. She chose all right, and what is now in her is a live human being, and two wrongs never make a right. She should have the character and integrity to stop saying someone is taking away her choice. She chose. It is not a question of us imposing our morality on her, but her imposing her immorality on us…and the unborn, and often asking us to pay for a federally funded abortion at the same time.
The moral principles of the past have given way in our day to situation ethics. From the movie and music industries, and from the public media we hear the selfish cries of a thousand voices calling our children to lifestyles of sexual promiscuity and premarital sex. In our classrooms, modern sex education is perpetrated upon our children, and so often without the basis of a moral standard of restraint. And the woman continues to carry her sign, “Don’t impose your morality on me.” It ought to have a subtitle, “I’m too busy (with government help and approval) imposing my immorality on you and your children.” The same long and legal tradition that acknowledges my right to control my own body, also acknowledges the illegality of harming another person’s body.
“Don’t impose your morality on me.” Do pro-abortionists really mean this? Are they then saying, “I am personally opposed to sex discrimination; however, if others want to discriminate on the basis of sex, that is their right. Don’t impose your morality on me. I am personally opposed to racial discrimination. However, if others want to discriminate on the basis of race, that is their right. I don’t want to impose my morals on them.” How hypocritical can these men and women be who carry around signs saying — “Don’t impose your morality on me!”
Morality is the strength of any nation. If America falls, it will not be the result of a weakened military, but the result of a weakened morality. Of course we need military strength, but more than that we need moral strength and fiber. America’s hope is in a genuine repentance. God said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land” (II Chr. 7:14).
In many ways, America has become schizophrenic on the issues of life. What an irony that so often the same ones who hold their signs outside our state and federal prisons promoting life for those guilty of murder and on death row, are the same ones who hold signs at abortion rallies promoting the continual slaughter of millions of innocent unborn babies in abortion clinics. Any society which allows the continual murder of its unborn will not survive indefinitely. Yes, the sign caught my attention… “Don’t impose your morality on me.” Can anything be more hypocritical or paradoxical? What we are seeing in our nation is that good and godly people are at last fed up with others imposing their immorality on them!
Another lady carried a sign which said, “Keep abortion legal!” Now let’s think about that sign for a moment. There are many who say, “abortion is all right because it is legal.” But just because something is legal does not mean it is moral or right. It is interesting what the pro-abortion people are saying about the unborn. They say that the fetus is a nonperson. They say the fetus possesses no soul. They say the fetus possesses no legal rights. The fetus, in their opinion, is simply a piece of property belonging to the mother and can be disposed of at will. And, it is all legal!
Now, that sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? It should certainly sound familiar to every black American. Our American history books are replete with the smudge and shame of slavery upon our nation’s character. What did slave owners insist about their black slaves? They called them non-persons. They possessed no legal rights. Some even went so far in their stupidity and blindness to say they had no souls. They were simply a piece of property belonging to the master and could be disposed of at will. And, it was all legal! Does that sound familiar?
Abortion advocates are no different from slave owners in the sense that they are fighting for their rights and are ignoring what should be the legal rights of others. Thank God that good and moral people took a stand against slavery! It brought about a civil war, but they stood for what was right. Thank God today that good and moral people are once again making a stand against abortion. Not since the days of the abolitionists and of Abraham Lincoln has the conscience of America raised its voice so loud and long over such a disgraceful national practice.
Once it was legal in this country to own slaves. But that did not make it right! Thank God we came to our senses and righted this dastardly wrong. Today, it is legal to kill babies in the womb, but that doesn’t make it right any more than slave laws made slavery right. We went to war in this country to right the wrongs of slavery, and political war clouds are gathering over the abortion question. It is not going to go away! Men and women of conscience are raising their voices over this shameful disgrace.
Chuck Colson reminds us of another historical example which offers much hope. “The Christian politician William Wilberforce stood against the deeply entrenched political and economic interest in England’s slave trade. He stood as well against the courts that held that slaves were nothing more than property. Despite the overwhelming opposition, Wilberforce and a small band of like-minded Christians persisted. They prayed for three hours a day, circulated antislavery literature, mobilized churches and citizens groups, and in the end they triumphed with a glorious victory that stamped out the slave trade. But what was not so glorious was the fact that their campaign took twenty years. They were defeated time and time again in the House of Commons. They were lampooned in political cartoons, and snubbed by society’s elite. But they persisted and righted the tremendous wrong.”
If abortion continues to remain legal in America, what will be the next class of humanity to be legally and systematically destroyed? Will it be the mentally retarded? Perhaps the handicapped? Certainly, we are already seeing signs that the elderly are next in line. Euthanasia is the Siamese twin of abortion. If the pro-choice advocates argue against bringing “unwanted children” into the world, how long do you think it will be before they begin pushing “unwanted elderly” out of the world?
The next time you see a pro-abortion rally think about the sign that says, “Keep abortion legal.” Remember, just because something is legal does not mean that it is right. Our laws must be changed! One woman who has lived through years of the trauma of an abortion wrote, “If abortion had not been legal, I would not have had to live through those dark years of depression.”
At the abortion rally I attended, one particular vocal and vindictive protester wore a sandwich board type of sign which read, “Keep your laws off my body!” Now, that sign sounds right. And, it is. I agree with it! I don’t want the government making laws regarding my rights or health care. There are many medical decisions that ought to be personal. Some have had plastic surgery. That is your personal decision. Some have desired to donate organs. That is a personal decision. Some have undergone different types of cancer treatment. That is a personal decision. There is nothing wrong with the desire to be free of government intervention upon our bodies. I agree with the sign that says, “Keep your laws off my body.” However, for the one who is pregnant, there is no longer one body to think about — there are two!
Those who are influenced by abortion and follow the Judeo-Christian ethic have a dilemma in the fact that in the womb is a person whether they want to believe it or not. Consider these words of the Psalmist:
“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” (Ps. 139:13-16).
These words teach, without question, that which is developing in the womb is not a blob of tissue, but an expression of God’s greatest creation, man!
It is God himself at work through the creative processes in a woman’s body when she is pregnant. What other explanation can one give for two tiny specks of protoplasm coming together and developing into all the intricacies of the nervous system, a circulatory system, a respiratory system, a digestive system, etc. Yes, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 139:13).
A human being exists at conception and not at some later point when he or she begins to look like a newborn. David said, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5). Yes, God’s “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” (Ps. 139:16).
Most abortion advocates describe the unborn as only a blob of tissue. They call the fetus a “conception product.” No wonder the lady carried the sign which said, “Keep your laws off my body.” But the Creator doesn’t see a blob of tissue in the womb, He sees a person. When Rebecca was pregnant with her twins, Jacob and Esau, in distress she called on God and He said, “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger” (Gen. 25:23).
The abortionists tell us that removing the fetus is no different than removing a blood clot. But God did not see a blood clot in Rebecca’s womb. He saw two male children. He doesn’t look upon the unborn child as a body part of a mother like her spleen or appendix. In the womb God sees life, individual life. A nurse in our church tells of a turning point in her own experience. When she was working the late night shift at one of our local hospitals, a young girl was admitted with lower abdominal pain. Two days previously she had had a saline abortion. She requested to be placed on a bed pan. The nurse when removing the pan, among the clots of blood and tissue, saw a fetus of about two months. In her words, “the little heart was beating and the cord was attached as the baby was still alive. I cannot tell you how terrible I felt. I began to cry. That was not just a blob of tissue, but a human life. If only women who are pro-choice could witness an abortion, things might be so different.”
Convenience abortions are on the rise today. Consider the following from nationally syndicated columnist George Will, and see what you would decide. Here is the case. “The father has syphilis, the mother tuberculosis. They have had four children. The first one was blind. The second one died. The third one was deaf and dumb. The fourth one had tuberculosis. The mother is now pregnant with her fifth child, but is willing to have an abortion. If you determine she should, she will do it. What would you decide for her? If you choose abortion, congratulations! You have just murdered Beethoven!”
Tragically, for so many unborn, the haunting words of Jeremiah 20:17 have become their epitaph, “My mother, my grave” as millions of mothers’ wombs have become millions of babies’ tombs. If it is right to fight for equality and civil rights for ourselves, it is hypocrisy not to do so for those who cannot speak for themselves. If it is right to regulate the way animals in our society can be killed, and to ban by law certain kinds of traps, it is sheer hypocrisy not to speak out for those who cannot speak out for themselves. If cattle cannot be slaughtered in ways deemed careless about pain, and if stray dogs and cats must be killed by law in humane ways, it is sheer hypocrisy for those who cannot speak for themselves to be totally ignored by people who call themselves humane.
Until a child is born, a baby is obviously unseen by the human eye. I am convinced that if the womb were transparent, there would be far fewer abortions. If the young pregnant girls who are having abortions could see inside and see the baby being formed, they would seldom abort. One lady wrote of an abortion she had ten years earlier at the age of eighteen. Afraid her parents would be disgraced and disown her, she sought out a doctor to perform the procedure for three hundred dollars. She said, “As I entered the clinic doors, the nurse at the desk took my name and age. She said I was eight weeks pregnant and that it was just a mass of tissue not yet formed. As I lay on the table where the procedure was about to take place, I saw a covered jar on the table close to my feet. Terror ran through me and I asked why this jar was covered up if this thing they say is inside me is just a blob of white tissue? After seeing the jar I knew deep down inside something was not told to me. I felt betrayed and sick. It wasn’t until years later when I saw the fetal growth chart, that I realized why they covered the jar. The one thing I lacked was the visual knowledge of what was really happening after conception in my body. The biggest thing I had to get over was to forgive myself for what I had done. The memory will always be there.” No wonder the abortionists’ clinics do not want to show fetal charts as to what this “blob of tissue” looks like a few weeks after conception.
Children were visible on the steps of the courthouse at the pro-abortion rally that day. One little girl holding her mother by one hand held a sign in the other hand which said, “Keep abortions safe.” Now, think about that one. Safe for whom? Certainly not for the baby! Just how is the baby extracted from the womb? There are several methods that are used, and if one carrying the picket sign reading “Keep abortions safe” ever witnessed the trauma and tragedy of the unborn, they would never carry that sign again. Abortion is certainly not safe for the baby. One method of abortion is commonly referred to as “D&C” (dilation and curettage). The procedure is performed by the physician inserting a spoon-shaped instrument with sharp edges into the uterus. The baby is then cut into pieces and scraped from the uterine wall. And all the while the prochoice advocates carry the popular sign which reads, “Keep abortions safe.” For whom?
Another method is the suction type of abortion. A tube is inserted in the uterus and attached to a strong suction apparatus. This creates a powerful vacuum which tears the fetus from the womb in a mass of blood and tissue. The baby is torn to pieces and sucked into a jar. And all the while the pro-choice advocates carry their sign reading, “Keep abortions safe.” For whom?
The third method is used for those farther along in their pregnancy. It is commonly referred to as the saline injection. A long needle is inserted into the mother’s abdomen and into the baby’s sac. Most of the fluids are removed and a strong salt solution is injected therein. The helpless baby is poisoned by the solution and kicks and jerks violently. He is literally being burned alive! Generally within twenty-four hours, labor sets in and the mother gives birth to a dead baby. However, the abortionist’s greatest horror comes true, when this aborted, burned baby sometimes comes forth, still alive and then must be left to die of starvation and neglect rather quietly. A registered nurse in Jacksonville, Florida, describes one such live birth. “There was a baby in this bassinet, a crying perfectly formed baby, but there was a difference in this child. She had been scalded. She was the child of saline abortion. This little girl looked as if she had been in a pot of boiling water. No doctor, no nurse, no parent to comfort the burned child. She was left alone to die in pain.” And all the while the pro-choice abortion advocates carry their signs, “Keep abortion safe.” For whom?
Another method is the cesarean section which is generally performed the final three months of pregnancy. Here the physician enters the womb by surgery through the wall of the mother’s abdomen and then removes the baby. The baby whose lungs are often not yet adequately developed is left alone to die of neglect. And all the while the pro-choice advocate carries her sign reading, “Keep abortions safe.” For whom? Recent debates in Congress include the issue of partial birth abortions for those in their final trimester of pregnancy.
Not only is it not safe for the baby, but what about the mother? Remember, we have more than one facet of our being. We are not simply talking about the physical, but also the emotional and spiritual. The truth is, abortion is never 100% safe, whether it is legal or illegal. The constant cry of the pro-choice advocate is, “Don’t send us back to back alley abortions.” I have watched them at their rallies carrying coat hangers wrapped in women’s bras and undergarments as protest symbols. How degrading to a woman! These women must not think very much of a lady’s ability to make a wise choice so as to insinuate that they are going to retreat to some back alley, take some rusty coat hanger and insert it in their body to abort their baby.
The sign reads, “Keep abortion safe.” For whom? As a pastor I have dealt with the aftermath of abortion in many lives. One lady in our congregation had an abortion at the age of twenty as a result of premarital sex with her boyfriend who is now her husband. She says, “It has been over ten years and I still feel the pain and loss of it as if it were yesterday. It was a decision we reached together, one based mostly on preventing embarrassment and shame to our parents and the local church. We simply wanted to get rid of an untimely problem. The college clinic and local planning council simply set up an appointment to have a suction vacuum procedure done. Not once did anyone tell me just how my ten-week-old baby looked, or how it was growing. If only there had been someone informative with the truth from the pro-life perspective.
‘If only’ those words I have said a hundred times! When I had my first baby, there was both joy and sadness in my heart. Joy because of the tremendous miracle God had given, and sadness because I fully realized that there really was a baby which I destroyed earlier. It was especially difficult when I began to think how old my child would be and wondered what he or she might have looked like and been like. Time has a way of healing so many emotional scars, but abortion is a scar that is carved on my heart. And I don’t think time will ever change it completely!”
Another lady wrote to say, “I became pregnant when I was sixteen. I did not want to have an abortion, but I felt I had no choice. The abortion clinic told me to lie about my age so I wouldn’t have to get permission from my parents. As I was in the abortion clinic, I could hear my baby being sucked away during the procedure. I immediately felt the loss and cried. Terrible nightmares started — every night! I became obsessed with wondering what my baby would have looked like and whether it was a boy or girl. I had that abortion in 1975, and until I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior, my life and self-worth continued to decline. But after I came to know Christ, I had a hard time forgiving myself. For me, I realized abortion does kill, not only my baby, but in a very real sense a part of me too! I honestly could say, I don’t think I would be alive today if not for the Lord’s forgiveness and healing.” As I read that letter I thought about the lady who carried her sign that says, “Keep abortions safe.” For whom?
Long ago Moses brought his people to decision with these words: “This day I called heaven and earth as witnesses against you. That I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses, now choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deut. 30:19).
To the many who have had abortions, please read the following: abortion is not the unpardonable sin! Many live with the haunting, longing that if only that moment could be lived over again. The grief you feel is normal. You should thank God that your conscience is not seared. The good news is that Jesus Christ died on the cross to make a way for you to be free of your failure and saved from your sin. Along with our sins he also bore our sorrows and grief, our mistakes and failures. How beautiful are the words of Paul in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” God is not mad or angry at you. He hates sin, but He loves you! He stands with open arms to forgive you. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). If you have aborted a child, God will forgive you right now if you ask him. Through His forgiveness you can know the true freedom which comes in placing Him as Lord of your life. You can purpose to follow Him, accept His cleansing, and then not call unclean what He has cleansed. You can forgive yourself! Rejoice in the fact that your child is present with the Lord and join.
Karen Sullivan Ables who put it like this:
In a far away place and a different time
I killed my first child, a most heinous crime.
The state didn’t come, and I didn’t stand trial.
Judge Blackmun was calm when he said with a smile,
“Killing is legal, say we the High Court.
But don’t call it murder. Just call it ‘abort.’”
The judge in my heart would not let the case rest.
I had no defense when once put to the test.
Found guilty I was by my heart’s Supreme Court.
“You murdered your baby!” they screamed in retort.
With tears on my cheeks it was too late, I knew
To bring back the life of the child I once slew.
The gavel slammed down, and it rang in my head,
“You are guilty as charged, and deserve to be dead.”
“We now give you torment to pay for your sin,”
Was the sentence passed down from my own court within.
“You will never escape. You’re branded. Don’t hide.
Your just due is death. You should try suicide.”
I was beaten in prison by daily attacks.
I was paying a debt, so I never fought back.
No hope of escaping, and this I knew well.
I cried out to God from my own self-made hell.
That day I met Jesus; He smiled in my face.
He said, “I forgive you. Come walk in my grace.”
“Lord, I believe you forgive me and yet,
Blameless you are. Can you pay for my debt?”
“And, Lord, please don’t touch me for I am unclean.
I’m filthy with murder; a most wretched being.”
I poured out my story. He showed no surprise.
I gazed up with awe at the love in His eyes.
He said, “I paid for your crime, yes, was nailed to a tree.
There’s no condemnation if you’ll trust in Me.
I took on your blame and your curse on My soul
So you may be free without judgment and whole.”
I sputtered, “Dear Lord, where’s the justice in this?
I killed my first son, and you offer me bliss?”
Tears blurred my vision, yet there in His face
Were eyes of compassion, blue oceans of grace.
I thought to myself, “Now the past has been buried?
I’m free of the guilt that for years I have carried?”
He said to accept. It’s a gift that is free.
This is atonement, not justice for me!
My judge was dismissed, my accusers, and jury.
The truth of His love made them leave in a fury.
He smiled, “Walk with Me and come learn My way,”
And grasping His hand I began a new day.
There is also a word to the physicians who have performed abortions. God’s word says, “Cleanse your hands,” (James 4:8). Over 2,500 years ago King David, a murderer, prayed, “Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness” (Ps. 51:14). If you repent, God will forgive you and say to you what He has said to another in Scripture, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
Finally, there is also a word to anyone contemplating an abortion. Could you murder your child on its first birthday? Of course not! That would be the farthest thing from your mind, and so should aborting the child while he or she is in the womb. There is a human being inside you. God has already named that child and he is in the process of perfecting him or her. Don’t buy the argument that the child is an “unwanted child.” There are many couples right now trying to adopt. Please do not do something you will regret the rest of your life. Do not destroy something that is not yours. The child in your body belongs to God, even though it may be in your womb at the present time. One lady who had had an abortion said, “I actually admire the young women in our church, who are very visible, and have had children out of wedlock. They could have taken the coward’s way out to avoid the shame of a ‘visible sin.’ Praise God for their example to other girls that these out-of-wedlock children can be loved and accepted. I cannot look today at an 11-year-old child without the pain of realizing my child would be that age today. But when I see my baby, I realize how deeply God must love me to once again trust me with one of his little ones.” Please do not take an innocent life for your own convenience sake! Regardless of what you may hear at the abortion clinic — abortion is not safe!
And to the silent majority who call abortion murder, it is time to begin acting like it! Solomon warned, “If you say, surely we did not know this, does not He who weighs the hearts consider it?” (Prov. 24:11-12). We must remember that our enemies are not people, but the Satanic system and deception behind their practices. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). Abortion is simply the outward manifestation of the inward problem of the heart. “For from within, out of man’s heart come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean” (Mark 7:21-23).
Isaiah said it best 700 years before the coming of Christ when he said, “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Is. 58:1). Isaiah was saying, get involved! Write your Congressmen. Sign petitions. Warn others that voting for abortion defiles our nation’s hands with innocent blood. The real battlefield is the place of prayer. Pray for support organizations which stand for the life of the unborn. Yes, “God has set before us today life and death, blessings and curses. Now, choose life so that you and your children may live!”