Prior to the 1960’s, abortion was illegal in all 50 states. The only exception was when the pregnancy endangered the life of the mother. In 1971, New York enacted legislation that permitted abortion for any reason during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. The 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court decision (Roe vs. Wade) struck down all existing state laws prohibiting abortion. That decision stated that a woman has control over her body and the life of the unborn child.
You might remember the slogan, “My body, my choice.” The woman could then choose not to bear the child and she had the right to obtain an abortion on demand at any time between conception and delivery. The feminist movement celebrated this landmark decision and proclaimed that women everywhere had finally achieved reproductive freedom. This reproductive freedom is sometimes described as women’s health care or reproductive health care.
Followers of Jesus Christ believe that God is the creator of all life and the right to give life or end life is in His hands alone. We believe that every person is created in the image of God and is a person with inherent dignity and worth. A key element of this issue is the question of when life begins. Does it begin at conception or at some other point during the pregnancy? Those who advocate for abortion rights would argue that an unborn child in its early stages of development is a mass of fetal tissue and not a person.
The Bible indicates that human life begins at conception (all references are taken from the ESV).
Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
This verse indicates personhood, value, dignity and purpose, while still in the womb.
Psalm 139:13-16 “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. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
“My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
These verses perfectly describe the development of the unborn child in the womb. They assign to the unborn child personhood, great dignity, designed purpose and infinite value from the moment of conception.
Genesis 1:26 – “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'”
This verse indicates that every unborn child is created in the image of God. Every child is specially created with value, dignity and worth.
Judges 13:7 – “But he said to me, ‘Behold you shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.'”
This verse indicates that the unborn child has dignity, designed purpose and infinite worth from the moment of conception.
Psalm 127:3 – “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
This verse indicates that every unborn child should be received as a gift from God, possessing infinite value, high dignity and divine purpose.
How should the follower of Christ respond to this abortion crisis?
- We should educate ourselves Biblically. What does the Bible teach about the unborn child? May I recommend Randy Alcorn’s book, Why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and their Mothers.
- We should express ourselves reasonably. Rational discussions are always preferred over emotional outbursts. We should encourage conversations about this issue and show the power of the Gospel to meet this need.
- We should live out our faith compassionately. This means that we must be willing to provide a compassionate alternative to abortion.
- There is no such thing as an unwanted child. Millions of couples are eager to adopt a child and are waiting for the opportunity.
- Offer support to those pregnant mothers who are in crisis.
- Volunteer your time, talents and resources to Pro-Life organizations.
- Become involved in a pro-life movement that expresses Biblical, reasonable and compassionate ministry towards the unborn.
- Open your home to a pregnant girl in crisis or a foster child.
Pray for the Pro-Life movement to always express God’s amazing grace, God’s redemptive love and God’s great compassion.