Abortion is the intentional termination of a pregnancy, by the removal or expulsion of a baby from its mother’s womb, resulting in or caused by the death of the baby. According to the World Health Organization, there are 40-50 million abortions worldwide every year, that’s around 125,000 abortions a day. 10 million abortions have been performed in the world this year already. In the US, there are over 3,000 abortions per day, 22% of all pregnancies end in abortion. Nearly 60 million babies have been aborted since the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in 1973.
A Case for Criminalization
Biblical: God created man in His image (Gen. 1:27). The Bible clearly teaches that God knits people together in their mother’s womb, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:13-14). Human life belongs to God. He is Lord of life. Abortion is not evil because babies are cute. All unlawful taking of human life is an attack on God and grasping to be God.
“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (Ex. 21:22-25). God’s law requires the protection of unborn human life.
Theological: We see the full dignity of unborn life when Mary went to stay with Elizabeth. “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk. 1:41-43) When was Jesus Elizabeth’s Lord? When Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
Scientific: The American College of Pediatricians state: “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.”
A Case for the Death Penalty
Many unbelievers have taunted Christians asking how they can be “pro-life” and believe in the death penalty, and over the years, Christians have gone soft on this issue. But Christians will not have a moral backbone on the issue of life in general until they recover a fully biblical embrace of the death penalty for the intentional taking of human life. The basic standard of biblical justice is eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, life for life. This means that damages must be repaid up to and including the execution of the one who has intentionally taken someone’s life. In the case of theft, the Bible requires restitution. In the case of human life, the Bible is clear: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Gen. 9:6). We should note that the Bible makes a difference between murder and manslaughter (cf. Dt. 19:4ff, Num. 35:15ff), and this is therefore the broad basis for the degrees of murder recognized in our modern law code. We have much ground to make up in studying what the Bible teaches and how it should be applied with wisdom, especially as it applies to abortion, but we should begin my stating this clear teaching of the Bible. When we state this clearly we are stating the value of human life and deterring those who might be tempted to take it.
The Religious Component
Biblically speaking, we also need to recognize that murder on a massive scale is a holocaust. But the word literally means “whole burnt,” and it was originally used to describe some of the sacrificial offerings in the Bible. But the pagans around Israel often burned their own children in fires to their gods. “You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods” (Dt. 12:31). So since ancient times, rebellious men have worshipped false gods by burning their children in fire. And at times, God’s people joined in these detestable things: “For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, declares the Lord. They have set their detestable things in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind” (Jer. 7:31-32, cf. 19:4-5).
Abortion is a holocaust. But what I mean is that it is not only mass-murder and genocide, but it is also fundamentally religious. Mass murders are always driven by deeply held beliefs. They are wicked and evil beliefs, but they are religious beliefs all the same. The new gods are called “choice” and “freedom” and “my body,” but they are still false gods for all that. And this is why rational arguments and evidence are not the most important thing those who support abortion need. You can’t reason people from blindness to sight, from death to life. The reason they can’t see or hear or understand the truth is because their hearts won’t let them. Blind men can’t see; dead men can’t live.
What can we do?
- Remember, murder begins in the heart, and so does life. Remember that Jesus says that if you hate your brother in your heart you have committed the sin of murder. Not only that, the wages of all sin is death. We all deserve the death penalty for our sin, and Jesus took the death penalty to take away our sins. Apart from faith in Jesus, your heart is dead. We cannot build a culture of life apart from living hearts. Confess your sins; cry out to God. You need a living heart to build a culture of life.
- Honor the marriage bed and love the fruitfulness of children. You need to recognize that abortion is the sacrament of the modern religion of sexual perversion. The deeply held belief at its core is that a person should be able to satisfy their lust in any way they want. The cost of this is the blood of millions of babies. This is why the Bible says that marriage is to be honored and defended. When it isn’t, the weakest are crushed. Pornography is also related. Plan to get married and welcome children. Modern birth control was invented by Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America.
- In Ephesians 4 Paul says that Christians should not steal but rather work hard so they are ready to help those in need. Some of those people in need are orphans; some are single moms; some have had abortions. Think about your schooling and vocational training now as working toward having a stable home with extra to give (hospitality, shelter, counsel, love, etc.).
- Finally, give yourself in every way to speaking up for the unborn, speaking up for those who do not have a voice, and working to end abortion in our generation (prayer, marching, voting, serving). This means not simply voting for politicians who say they are pro-life but asking hard questions, requiring them to explain how they plan to actually work for the complete abolition of abortion. A majority pro-life congress with a pro-life president just recently passed and signed a bill that continues funding Planned Parenthood.
[These are the notes from my Logos School assembly presentation this morning.]