How many of you know what last Tuesday was? It was the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the insidious U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized murder of the unborn on January 22, 1973.
Let me give you a little background story on this: Norma Nelson was a high-school drop-out. She had run away from home and been sent to reform school. Her parents divorced when she was 13. She suffered abuse. She met and married Elwood McCorvey at age 16, and left Texas for California.
When she returned, pregnant and frightened, her mother took her baby to raise. Norma McCorvey's second child was raised by the father of the baby, with no contact from her. In June of 1969, at 21 years of age she found herself pregnant again, she was unmarried. Not wanting a child she went to the city of Dallas and claimed that she had been raped. In the state of Texas at that time rape was justifiable cause for abortion. The state turned here down due to any lack of evidence that she had been raped. So she hired two female attorneys, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, who were looking for a woman who wanted an abortion, but did not have the means to obtain one. An adoption attorney introduced them to Norma McCorvey. They needed a plaintiff who would remain pregnant without traveling to another state or country where abortion was legal, because they feared that if their plaintiff obtained an abortion outside of Texas, her case could be rendered moot and dropped.
The alias "Jane Roe" was used for Norma McCorvey, on whose behalf the suit was originally filed, alleging that the abortion law in Texas violated her constitutional rights and the rights of other women. The defendant was the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas, Henry B. Wade.
In a 7 to 2 decision Roe v. Wade was passed on January 22, 1973, making convenience killings of the unborn legal. Justice Rehnquist and White dissented.
Justice Byron White not only dissented from the 1973 decisions, but later made repeated attempts to overrule them. He wrote, "The Court, for the most part, sustains this position: During the period prior to the time the fetus becomes viable, the Constitution of the United States values the convenience, whim, or caprice of the putative mother more than the life or potential life of the fetus . . ."
Yes, he nailed it, abortion is all about the convenience of the mother. It is a convenience killing. People kill for all kinds of reasons: in the heat of passion, revenge, anger, money, pride, but abortion is simply murder for convenience. The mother doesn't want to be inconvenienced by a baby, so she murders it.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 1.21 million abortions performed in the United States in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available. This amounts to 3,322 abortions per day. [Source: Jones, Rachel K. and Kathryn Kooistra. "Abortion Incidence and Access to Services in the United States, 2008." Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 43, no. 1 (2011, March): 41-50.]
Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, there have been approximately 50 million abortions performed in the United States. (Source: Guttmacher Institute, 2011, August. Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States.)
It is easy to see that America is highly committed by law and practice to mass murder. It's a stark transition from the America of history; a nation known as a nation of liberty and freedom and privilege and rights; a nation where justice was the protector of the people; a nation which always seemed to pride itself on it's humanitarianism, it's care for the poor, needy, weak, and defenseless. Yet, it is this very nation in which mass murder has been legally taking place for a generation. The last forty years in America have been a generation of murder.
Today, a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Tuesday (1/22/13) further found that more than seven in ten Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. According to the Wall Street Journal, that is the highest level of support since 1989, when polls began looking at the public's perception of the ruling. A majority of Americans believe that a woman has an inalienable right to murder her child while it is still in the womb! It's clear that abortion is an emotional issue; with pro-life and pro-choice advocates sharply divided. We're never going to agree on this issue. So who's right? Well, if you're a Christian, you know that God is the Creator of all life, and that He has told us in His word what is right and wrong. But if you do not recognize a Divine Creator Who has made us, then that opens a can of worms. If God did not create us, and we are only biological accidents, and If God did not create the world we live in, but it is only the results of a "big bang," then why should we be concerned about the morality of taking the life of an unborn child? If we have no God to answer to, then we can do whatever society will allow. We won't have to face God, if God does not exist. The feeling of the majority of Americans today is: "We own our bodies and can do whatever we choose. We have the right to choose! If it is in my best interest, then abortion is okay."
Dr. Williard Cates, a Planned Parenthood physician, presented a paper saying abortion is treatment for unwanted pregnancies, the number two sexually transmitted disease. Dr. Cates is saying that pregnancy is a disease, which is treated by abortion.
If we adopt that view it becomes real easy to terminate a pregnancy. But if we believe that pregnancy is the beginning of a human life, we must cry out against abortion.
The abortion process is really bizarre, and I want to share with you what's going on. I believe that concealment of abortion procedures has greatly contributed to the acceptance of abortion. I want you to know what really happens in an abortion. The "Silent Scream," which showed an abortion in the womb, was very controversial and generated much emotion because it visually demonstrated the results of abortion upon an 11 week old girl. The doctor who performed the abortion couldn't bear to watch the film to the end. He rushed out of the room where it was shown and never performed another "procedure," though he had performed several thousand before.
Those who know what happens in an abortion find it very difficult to condone the practice. The method used depends on the age of the pre-born, although more than one method may be necessary. The following abortion methods are used regularly in the United States. Saline abortions are no longer performed:
RU-486 is a chemical (rather than a surgical) abortion, performed up to 49 days gestation. RU-486 requires at least three visits to the doctor's office or clinic. At the first visit, the woman is given a physical exam and is administered mifepristone. RU-486 blocks the action of progesterone, the natural hormone vital to maintaining the lining of the uterus. The embryo starves as the nutrient lining disintegrates. At a second visit, 36-48 hours later, the woman is given a dose of artificial prostaglandins, usually misoprostol, which initiate uterine contractions and usually causes the embryo to be expelled from the uterus. Most women abort during the four hour waiting period, but about 30% abort as many as five days later--at home, work, etc. A third visit about 2 weeks later determines whether the abortion has occurred or if a surgical abortion is necessary to complete the procedure.
Suction aspiration, the most common abortion method, is typically performed when the baby is 6-12 weeks, but can be used up to 16 weeks. The cervix is dilated, and a hollow plastic tube with a sharp tip is inserted into the cervix and then into the uterus. An aspirator attached to the tube, one with almost 25 times the force of a household vacuum cleaner, tears the body of the baby apart and suctions the pieces through the tube. In any abortion, if the infant's head is too large to come through the suction tube itself, the abortionist inserts forceps into the uterus. He uses these to grab the free-floating head, which he then crushes to a small enough size to fit into a suction tube. Then it, too, is removed.
A suction/D & C abortion is performed when the baby is 6-12 weeks. The cervix is opened using an osmotic dilator. Then a curette (a thin metal rod with a knife-sharp loop at the end) is inserted into the uterus. The curette is used to dismember the baby.
After this, a cannula (a hollow plastic tube) attached to a suction aspirator is inserted to remove the baby, placenta, and uterine lining. These are captured by a stockinet attached to the end of the suction tube. To avoid the risk of infection or hemorrhaging, the contents of the stockinet are examined to be sure all fetal parts have been removed.
A D & E abortion is performed in the second trimester (12-24 weeks) and is usually a 2-3 day procedure. At this stage of pregnancy, the babies tendons, muscles, and bones are more developed. The cervix has closed more tightly and must be dilated enough to remove the larger baby. To aid in cervical dilation, laminaria (dried seaweed sticks) are inserted into the cervix. The dilation process can take 1-2 days depending on the size of the baby. Once the cervix is sufficiently dilated, the laminaria are removed. Forceps are inserted into the uterus to forcibly dismember the baby. The skull is then crushed and removed. A suction aspiration is then introduced to remove any remaining fetal parts, the placenta, and uterine lining.
The D & X or Partial Birth Abortion is used in late second and third trimesters (24-36 weeks). As with the D & E, the cervix must be dilated using laminaria. Forceps are then introduced into the uterus to grasp the baby's legs. The baby is delivered breech while the head remains inside the birth canal. Using blunt-tipped surgical scissors, the base of the skull is pierced and a suction catheter is inserted to extract the brain. This causes the skull to collapse and the dead baby is then fully delivered.
Sometimes, while the child is partially delivered and still alive, the organs are removed and sold for fetal tissue experimentation (an illegal practice).
A Prostaglandin or Live Birth Abortion is done in the second or third trimester. Prostaglandins (pros-to-gland-en) are naturally occurring chemical compounds which assist in the birthing process. For the abortion procedure, artificial prostaglandins are injected into the amniotic sac, which induces violent labor and leads to the birth of a child usually too young to survive. Often salt or another toxin is first injected to ensure that the baby will be delivered dead, since some babies have survived the trauma of a prostaglandin abortion and been born alive.
Abortionist Dr. William Rashbaum, a faculty member at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, told the New York Times (April 17, 1977) that abortion is the "destruction of life" and noted that for some time he was beset and troubled by pictures of the baby resisting his attempts to abort it, holding on in the womb for dear life.
When one understands what happens to the pre-born infant, and especially if one has seen the gruesome pictures of abortion procedures, one immediately understands that a human person is being violently and mercilessly slaughtered. Pictures convey the reality here far better than any descriptive words can. In fact, simple words cannot adequately describe what occurs in an abortion.
C. Everett Koop and Francis Schaeffer wrote a profound and prophetic book in 1979 called, Whatever Happened to the Human Race? They argued that without a biblical view of life, what is unthinkable today becomes thinkable tomorrow. When law and conscience are not rooted in a transcendent source of authority, relativism prevails and anything goes if those in power can be persuaded.
At the beginning, abortion-rights advocates argued that only extreme and rare conditions warranted more liberal abortion laws. Today, 40 years and more than 50 million abortions later, a woman can end the life of her pre-born child, including using a partial-birth abortion, for any reason. The unthinkable becomes thinkable, and legally protected.
Today, respected experts are arguing that it's okay to take the life of an infant even after it's born. In an article entitled "Killing Babies Isn't Always Wrong," philosopher Peter Singer, a professor at Princeton, writes:
"Perhaps, like the ancient Greeks, we should have a ceremony a month after birth, at which the infant is admitted to the community. Before that time, infants would not be recognized as having the same right to life as older people."
He's not alone. American University philosopher, Jeffrey Reiman, agrees:
"Infants do not possess in their own right a property that makes it wrong to kill them." (BreakPoint with Charles Colson, 9/2/00).
What we must understand is that when the Bible speaks, God speaks. When we want to know God's view of the issue, we simply need to go to the Bible. Let me give you several biblical principles which I believe make abortion murder:
1. Conception is an act of God.
This is perhaps the strongest Scriptural and theological argument against abortion there is. Biblically, God Himself is said to create the child in the womb. So then, those who have an abortion are not merely destroying tissue or protoplasm, but an actual work of God Himself. We suppose that the power of reproduction lies solely within the ovum and sperm and is entirely controlled by the genetic code. But biblically, it is clear that God Himself is involved in the process. God creates, personally and individually, every human life. God not only starts a pro-creation process, but is active in that process bringing into existence all those people whom He has foreordained to life:
Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children. For the LORD had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife. Genesis 20:17-18 NASB
God is sovereign over conception. He opens and closes the womb:
So Sarai said to Abram, "Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her." And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. Genesis 16:2 NASB
Today's church would say, Satan has prevented me from bearing children. But that is not what the Word of God says:
So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Genesis 21:2 NASB
God ordains who will live and when they will live:
Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. Genesis 25:21-22 NASB
Although these two children were still "unborn," they were "alive." They were still "children," this is the Hebrew word ben (bane), which happens to be the same word used of Keturah's "children" (Genesis 25:4), who had already been born. The Bible makes no distinction between a child and a fetus; that distinction originated with man:
Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, "Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me." Genesis 29:31-32 NASB
It is Yahweh who opens and closes the womb:
Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb. So she conceived and bore a son and said, "God has taken away my reproach." Genesis 30:22-23 NASB
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. Ruth 4:13 NASB
Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Psalms 100:3 NASB
Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. Psalms 139:12-13 NASB
From the Psalms we see that what goes on in the womb is a work of God:
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:14 NASB
He attributes his making to God. Human life is God's work.
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. Psalms 139:15-16 NASB
"When I was nothing but an embryo, you had my life all laid out." God is the power behind conception, and every life that begins, begins because God has foreordained that life to begin. Conception is an act of God, and life begins at conception.
The Hebrew Scriptures use the same Hebrew words to describe the pre-born, infants, and children. In the New Testament the same Greek words also describe the pre-born, infants, and children, which indicates a continuity from conception to childhood and on to adulthood. The Greek word brephos (bref-os) is used of the newly born, infants, and older children in Luke 2:12 & 16, 18:15; 1 Peter 2:2 and Acts 7:19. In Luke 1:44, brephos is used of John the Baptist while he was still in the womb, a pre-born infant. Even three months before birth, John could miraculously recognize Yeshua in Mary's womb:
"For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. Luke 1:44 NASB
It is not a fetus that leaps in the womb, but a baby. There is nothing in Scripture that even remotely suggests that the unborn child is anything less than a human person from the moment of conception. So life begins at conception, and conception is an act of God. The life of a baby begins long before he or she is born. A new individual human being begins growing in the mother's uterus at fertilization, and if the baby's life is not interrupted, he or she will someday become an adult man or woman.
In 1981 the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held hearings to discuss the question of when biological human life begins. The testimony was revealing. An overwhelming majority of the experts answered emphatically that biological life begins at conception or implantation. So abortion is murder, because conception is an act of God, and life begins at conception.
2. Scriptures teach we must defend and protect the weak, the defenseless, the innocent, and the needy. I would think that if life begins at conception, that the pre-born fall into this category of weak and defenseless:
Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9 NASB
Believers, we need to open our mouth for those in the womb who cannot yet speak:
Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. Psalms 82:3-4 NASB
3. Scripture proves that God values the unborn in the womb as an adult. This principle is illustrated in:
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, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. Exodus 21:22-25 NASB
The Hebrew word for "child" here is the Hebrew word hareh (haw-re), it is used 21 times in the First Testament of children in the womb. The words, "gives birth" are from yalad (ya-lad), it is the same Hebrew word that is used for children. It is used 88 times in the First Testament of children. In verse 23, God has ordained that the killing of a child prior to its birth is to be paid for by giving your own life. This law is perhaps the most decisive evidence in Scripture that the unborn in the womb is to be regarded as a living person. The sixth commandment, "thou shalt not murder," is equivalent to, "thou shalt not commit abortion."
The text in verse 22 literally reads, "So that her children go (or come) out." Some translations have erroneously rendered the Hebrew word "prematurely," yatsa (yat-saw) as "miscarriage," but there is no linguistic justification for this interpretation. The Bible has a word, shakol (sha-cole) that is often used to mean miscarriage or accidental abortion (e.g. Ex. 23.26, Hos. 9.14), but shakol is not used in this case. Yatsa (yat-saw) is used in every biblical case except one (Numbers 12.12 uses it for a stillborn child) for the birth of an ordinary child. Thus these verses are most naturally understood to refer to a case where a pregnant woman is hit and delivers a child.
The object of the phrase "yet there is no injury" is not specified, and therefore, is most fully understood to be the mother or the child. This means that the lex talionis (i.e. the attacker is punished in keeping with the victim's injuries) applies when harm comes to either the mother or the child in her womb. Only if the mother is spared serious injury, and the baby is born without injury is the lex talionis not invoked. The natural conclusion is that the Mosaic Law considered the child in the womb to be fully a person, protected by the lex talionis.
What would be the point in giving up your life for something that is not alive? Why would God take the life of the one who caused the death if the little one was not alive?
This is not only biblical Law, you can look up any law code for any city in the United States, and you will find that if a pregnant woman is harmed in an attempted murder-- there are two counts, meaning one for the mother and one for the baby.
The United States Military states that if a pregnant woman is murdered, it is a double homicide--one for the mother and one for the child.
Simply from a law standpoint, not only biblical Law, but the law of the United States, both civilian and military, this little miracle growing to maturity is a living soul and should be treated as such. We, of course, are most concerned with God's Law, which clearly shows that this little unborn person is indeed just that-- a person. That little one is alive, that is why not-yet-born John, in Elizabeth's womb, was able to jump for joy, he was alive and aware, even in the womb.
To summarize, the Bible does not specifically address abortion or categorically state when human life begins. The overwhelming preponderance of biblical evidence, however, consistently supports the sanctity of human life inside and outside the womb. To interpret the Bible differently reads our preferences into the text and does not do justice to the authors' intentions.
4. Scripture condemns murder:
You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13 NASB
Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. Genesis 9:6 NASB
When Cain murders Abel in the Book of Genesis, Scripture says that his "blood cries out from the ground." Murder is a horrific act, which the Bible commands us not to do. God values life and wants us to do the exact same. Yeshua confirms this in His teachings, not to murder, and goes on to describe how our hearts should even try to avoid anger. Because man is made in the image of God, life is by definition sacred and should not be destroyed:
There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, Proverbs 6:16-17 NASB
What blood could be more innocent than an unborn baby's? Here is a verse that the doctors who perform abortions should take a close look at:
'Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to strike down an innocent person.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.' Deuteronomy 27:25 NASB
I hope you can see that the Bible clearly condemns abortion. Abortion is murder and murder is always wrong.
A professor in a college ethics class presented his students with a problem. He said, "A man has syphilis, and his wife has tuberculosis. They have had four children: one has died, the other three have what is considered to be a terminal illness. The mother is pregnant. What do you recommend?" After a spirited discussion, the majority of the class voted that she abort the child. "Fine," said the professor. "You've just killed Beethoven."
Folks say that if we make abortion illegal, that the woman will have their abortions in a back alley and thus risk their lives. Six to seven times more women die a year since abortion was legalized than did before it became legal.
What are consequences to violating God's word and murdering babies?
Contrary to the claims of many abortion advocates, there are many serious physical and psychological risks to abortion. Among the physical risks are infection, perforation of the uterus, hemorrhage, cervical incompetence, cancer, and even death.
On the subject of cancer: Twenty-eight out of thirty-seven worldwide studies have independently linked induced abortion with breast cancer. Most of the studies have been conducted by abortion supporters. The first study was published in an English publication in 1957 and focused on Japanese women. It showed a 2.6 relative risk or 160% increased risk of breast cancer among women who'd had an induced abortion.
A study of more than 1,800 women appearing in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1994 found that overall, women having abortions increased their risk of getting breast cancer before age 45 by 50%. For women under 18 with no previous pregnancies, having an abortion after the 8th week increased the risk of breast cancer 800%. Women with a family history of breast cancer fared even worse. More information on the physical risks of abortion is available from the Elliot Institute.
Among the psychological risks are regret, nervous disorders, sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction, suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, child neglect or abuse, divorce or chronic relationship problems, and repeat abortion. The suicide rate of women who have had an abortion is between 400 to 800% higher than that of the normal female population. More information on the psychological risks of abortion is available from the Elliot Institute.
You cannot violate the Word of God without consequences.
What can we do about abortion?
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16 NASB
We need to be in prayer that men and women will realize that abortion is murder.
2. Share the Gospel and the biblical view of abortion with those with whom you have the opportunity. Get involved in people's lives. A lawyer told me that a woman he was interviewing, who had had several abortions, said that she did not know any Christians and had never heard the biblical view of abortion.
Teach your children what the Bible says about abortion. About 16 years ago as I was praying with my then eight year old daughter, Lindsey, she said to me, "Mommy told me about abortion today. I'm really glad that Mommy didn't abort me." With tears in my eyes I told her that I was really glad of that too.
The Gospel can change a person's heart, it is the power of God. In 1989, Norma McCorvey came out of seclusion and announced to the world that she was the Roe in Roe vs. Wade. The pro-abortion movement recruited her for their cause and a TV movie was made about her life. She then went to work for an abortion clinic in the Dallas area where her life would change forever. She was killing babies for money and she knew this. But one day "Operation Rescue" moved in next door to the abortion clinic. Norma said that she would watch the women handing out pro-life literature. Norma said that the pro-life people were always smiling, and she was very curious about that. She began talking with the pro-life Christians, and they began witnessing to her. Norma remembers a young mother who had 2 little girls; Emily was 7 and Chelsea was 3. Their mother, Rhonda, became pregnant soon after marrying, and Rhonda's relatives tried to convince her to have an abortion, because they said, "Well, Rhonda, that's no way to start a marriage; with a problem." Rhonda had seen the results of abortions that some of her friends had, and she refused to abort her first baby.
One day Norma was looking out of the abortion clinic window and saw little 7 year old Emily take literature from adults, and she would just walk up to women and say, "I would like you to have this information, and please don't go in there and kill your baby." Norma began talking with Pastor Flip Benham, director of "Operation Rescue." She was lead to Christ in 1996 by these Pro-life protesters next to her abortion clinic and by a little 7-year-old girl named Emily. Today Norma is a Christian working to do all she can to reverse the Roe vs. Wade decision of which she had been a part .
This past October Norma recorded a television commercial urging voters to not vote for Obama. McCorvey hoped the commercial would change hearts and minds on abortion. Below is the script for the TV ad:
"I'm Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of the Roe vs. Wade decision that brought 'legal' child killing to America.
"I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion. It was all a lie.
"Since then, over 50 million babies have been murdered. I will take this burden to my grave.
"Please, don't follow in my mistakes. DO NOT vote for Obama. Obama murders babies."
Believers, we can make a difference if we try. But we must try!
3. Vote--support those candidates who are committed to protecting unborn human lives and oppose pro-choice candidates. Place in leadership those who will work to abolish abortion.
4. Support pro-life organizations with your time and money.
Mother Theresa said, "America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe vs. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts--a child--as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience."
When we allow actions that cheapen life, we are contributing to an overall decline in our society's moral values. We are now making decisions as to who lives and who dies on the basis of whether it is convenient for the living.
To those of you who have had an abortion, let me tell you that Christianity is all about forgiveness, God in Christ forgives those who trust in Him, and Christians are to forgive one another.