The Truth About Abortion

Q. Is abortion a moral issue? Can you prove from the Bible that it is wrong?

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Psalm 127:3

3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Let us never forget Psalm 127 as we consider:

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Is abortion a moral issue?

It is one thing when godless, secular people try to dehumanize the unborn to support their view of abortion on demand. It is quite another matter when these same people attempt to distort scripture to fit their agenda.

Human life in its’ origin is infinitely important, and more valuable than words can express. God gave His Son to demonstrate the importance and value of human life (John 3:16). If the President of the United States were to have a child, the world would take notice.

The birth of a noble person is considered of great importance. In our own humble families, the birth of a baby is a mighty event. It’s only because we have become so accustomed to it that we have devalued it.

Let’s define what we are talking about:

Definition:
Abortion – the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.

How long has abortion been around?

The history of abortion, according to anthropologists, dates back to ancient times. There is evidence to suggest that, historically, pregnancies were terminated through a number of methods, including the administration of abortifacient herbs, the use of sharpened implements, the application of abdominal pressure, and other techniques.

In the United States, abortion laws began to appear in the 1820s, forbidding abortion after the fourth month of pregnancy. Through the efforts primarily of physicians, the American Medical Association, and legislators, most abortions in the US had been outlawed by 1900.

Illegal abortions were still frequent, though they became less frequent during the reign of the Comstock Law which essentially banned birth control information and devices.

By 1965, all fifty states banned abortion, with some exceptions which varied by state: to save the life of the mother, in cases of rape or incest, or if the fetus was deformed. Groups like the National Abortion Rights Action League and the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion worked to liberalize anti-abortion laws.

The Supreme Court in 1973, in the case of Roe v. Wade, declared most existing state abortion laws unconstitutional. This decision ruled out any legislative interference in the first trimester of pregnancy and put limits on what restrictions could be passed on abortions in later stages of pregnancy.

What are the current laws in the U.S. regarding abortion?

In January 22, 1973 the famous Roe vs. Wade case was decided by the Supreme Court.

The central holding of Roe v. Wade was that abortions are permissible for any reason a woman chooses, up until the “point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable,’ that is, potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid. Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks.“

More specifically, the ruling was that during the first three months of pregnancy the decision to abort rests solely with the woman and her doctor;

during the second three months, the State can regulate the abortion procedure to protect maternal health;

during the third three months, when the fetus is viable, the State can regulate or even prohibit abortion except when it is necessary for the mother’s mental or physical health.

The decision overturned all state and federal laws outlawing or restricting abortion that were inconsistent with its holdings. Roe is one of the most controversial and politically significant cases in U.S. Supreme Court history.

So the U.S. Supreme court does not believe that a baby in its mother’s womb is a human until it has lived there for 28 weeks (7 months). They have told us that an embryo or a fetus does not constitute human life.

How big of a problem is abortion in the world today?

Look at this chart:

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 You will notice from the chart that “fairly” accurate records were kept on the number of abortions in the U.S. between 1972-1997 by the CDC. In 1998 several states including California, New Hampshire, Alaska, Oklahoma and West Virginia discontinued accurate counting of abortions so several agencies have collaborated to estimate the actual number.

Interesting. After 25 years of accurate records, after 25 years of abortions in the millions each year, after 1997 when abortions in the U.S. rose to the highest level in recorded history, SUDDENLY, inexplicably the reporting becomes inconsistent. I wonder why?

Using the numbers provided by the CDC we know that at LEAST 49 million abortions have been preformed since 1972. It’s much more likely that 54 million is a figure closer to the truth.

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World Abortion Statistics

54 countries allow abortion, which is about 61 percent of the world population.

97 countries, about 39 percent of the population, have abortion laws that make it illegal according to the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in New York. Estimates are 36-53 million abortions world wide each year (Cf. The Alan Guttmacher Institute).

Abortion is legal in:

France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, Australia, China, United States, Russia, Italy, Japan

Abortion is Illegal in:

Poland, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, South Korea Mexico

Using the statistics given to us by the CDC – every 14 days, there are as many deaths by abortion in the United States as there were in the entire ten years of the Vietnam War.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the former director of New York’s first abortion clinic, is convinced that he supervised the taking of 60,000 lives. (1976)

It was stated in Chicago, “One out of every three children conceived will be aborted here this year…An estimated 200 abortions will be performed each day in Chicago.” (1973).

In 1974, about 900,000 abortions were performed in the U.S. The rate in Russia is about ten times higher or about ten million abortions per year. (1976)

Was the U.S. Supreme Court right?

They said, and the pro-choice movement says:

An embryo and/or a fetus does not constitute a human life?

Definitions

Life- (1) the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body. (2) an organ-is-mic state characterized by capacity [potential] for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction. (3) the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual.

Death- the irreversible cessation of all vital functions especially as indicated by permanent stoppage of the heart, respiration, and brain activity : the end of life

Let’s take a look at fetal development:

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The First Trimester

The picture above is a fertilized egg only thirty hours after conception. Magnified here, it is no larger than the head of a pin. Still rapidly dividing, the developing embryo, called a zygote at this stage, floats down from the fallopian tube and towards the uterus.

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Week 3 & 4

At this point, the blastocyst, or developing embryo, is looking for a spot to implant in the uterus. The foundation of the central nervous system, backbone, and spinal column has been established by 19 days. The gastrointestinal system has also begun to develop with the kidneys, liver, and intestines forming. The baby’s eyes begin to form at 19 days. The heart has begun to form and has begun to beat by day twenty-one.

Week 4

Hormones produced by the embryo stop the mother’s menstrual cycle.

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Weeks 5 & 6

By the beginning of the second month, the unborn child looks distinctly human, yet the mother is not aware that she is pregnant. The embryo’s tiny heart begins to beat by day twenty-one. The brain has developed into 5 areas and some cranial nerves are visible. Arm and leg buds are visible and the formation of the eyes, lips, and nose has begun. The spinal cord grows faster than the rest of the body giving a tail like appearance which disappears as the embryo continues to grow. The placenta begins to provide nourishment for the embryo. The stomach produces digestive juices, the liver manufactures blood cells, and the kidneys are functioning.

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Week 7

Major organs have all begun to form. The embryo has developed its own blood type, unique from the mother’s. Hair Follicles and nipples form and knees and elbows are visible. Facial features are also observable. The eyes have a retina and lenses.

The major muscle system is developed and the embryo is able to move.

Let me remind you of our Definitions here:

Life- (1) the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body. (2) an organ-is-mic state characterized by capacity [potential] for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli and reproduction.

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Week 8

The embryo is reactive to its environment inside the amniotic sac where it swims and moves. Hands and feet can be seen. At the end of week 8, the embryonic period is over and the fetal stage begins.

After week 8, no further original organs will form—everything that is already present will be found in the full-term baby.

From this point until adulthood, when full growth is achieved somewhere between 25 and 27 years, the changes in the body will be mainly in dimension.

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Weeks 9-12

The heart is almost completely developed and the heart rate can be heard on a Doppler machine at the doctor’s office. Most major organs and tissues have developed and red blood cells are now produced in the liver. The face is well formed and the eyes are almost fully developed. The eyelids will close and not reopen until the 28th week.

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Arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes are fully formed. Nails and earlobes start to form and tooth buds develop in the gums. Fetus can make a fist with its finger. Testosterone (male sex hormone) is produced by the testes in male fetus.

In the third month, the child becomes very active and by the end of the month kicks his legs, turns his feet, moves his thumbs, bends his wrists, turns his head, frowns, squints, and opens his mouth.

Let me remind you of our Definitions here:

Life- (1) the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body. (2) an organ-is-mic state characterized by capacity [potential] for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli and reproduction. (3) the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual.

That brings us to the Second Trimester:

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Weeks 13-16

 The brain is fully developed and the fetus can suck, swallow, and make irregular breathing sounds. Fetus can feel pain (New England Journal of Medicine). 

Fetal skin is almost transparent. Muscles tissue is lengthening and bones are becoming harder. Liver and organs produce appropriate fluids. Eyebrows and eyelashes appear and the fetus makes active movements including kicks and even somersaults.

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17 Weeks

 Look at this precious little one

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19 Weeks

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Week 20

“Quickening” (when the mother can feel the fetus moving) usually occurs around this time. Finger and toenails appear. Lanugo, a fine hair, now covers the entire body. The fetus can hear and recognize the mother’s voice. Sex organs are visible on ultrasound devices.

I want to show you a picture you need to be prepared for.

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by a surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother’s womb.

Little Samuel’s mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner’s remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby.

As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on little Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed, hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon’s finger. Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.

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The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, “Hand of Hope.” The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother’s uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life.

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Little Samuel’s mother said they wept for days when they saw the picture. She said, “The photo that reminds us of my pregnancy isn’t about disability or an illness, it’s about a little person.”  

Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 per cent successful. Here is how Samuel looked when he was 4 years old:

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Let me remind you of our Definitions here:

Life- (1) the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body. (2) an organ-is-mic state characterized by capacity [potential] for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli and reproduction.

During the Third Trimester

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Week 24

A protective waxy substance called Vernix covers the skin. By birth, most of the Vernix will be gone but any that is left is quickly absorbed. 

The Fetus has a hand and startle reflex. Footprints and fingerprints are forming. Fetus practices breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into its developing lungs. 

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Weeks 25 – 28

Rapid brain development occurs during this period and the nervous system is able to control some bodily functions. The fetus’ eyelids now open and close. At 25 weeks there is a 60% chance of survival if born.

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 The fetus is considered legally viable at 28 weeks and there is a 90% chance of survival if born at this point. 

Weeks 29 – 32

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There is a rapid increase in the amount of body fat the fetus has. Rhythmic breathing occurs, but the lungs are not yet mature. 

The fetus sleeps 90-95% of the day. At this point there the survival rate is above 95% if the baby is born.

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Weeks 38 – 40

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The fetus is considered full-term. Lanugo is gone except on upper arms and shoulders. Hair on the baby’s head is now coarser and thicker. The lungs are mature. The average weight of the baby at this point is seven and a half pounds. At birth the placenta detaches from the uterus and the umbilical cord will be cut as the baby takes his first breaths of air. Breathing will trigger changes in the heart and bypass arteries forcing all blood to now travel through the lungs.

Here is a picture of a birth at 36 weeks:

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Let me remind you of our definitions:

Life- (1) the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body. (2) an organ-is-mic state characterized by capacity [potential] for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli and reproduction.

That naturally brings us to this question: 

What Does God think about abortion?

Remember this definition:

Abortion – the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.

Questions:

Does God consider abortion to be right or wrong?

What does the Bible say that relates to the issue of abortion?

Some will say, “Nowhere in the Bible does it say ‘Thou Shall Not Abort Your Children.’”

Neither will you find specific words forbidding the snorting of cocaine, suicide, infanticide, or same sex marriages. Yet the Bible clearly teaches us that these things are wrong.

1.) The Bible condemns the shedding of innocent life:

Few people would argue this point. The Bible clearly prohibits taking the life of an innocent person. It follows that if the developing baby is a “qualified” member of the human race, all of these scriptures apply:

Genesis 9:6

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.

Exodus 20:13

You shall not murder.

Deuteronomy 27:25

‘Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to strike down an innocent person.’

Proverbs 6:16-17

16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood,

2.) The Bible teaches that Almighty God is responsible for human life.

This is truly the principle behind every human conception.

Job 33:4“The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Genesis 1:27 (NASB)27 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Humans are created in the image of God, they are therefore infinitely valuable.

3.) The Bible teaches that a child is a “person” whether born or unborn.

The Bible consistently uses the same word for a “born” or “unborn” baby. This is because the divine Author of the Bible did not recognize a material difference between the two.

In Scripture, there is not some special event when a “human being” becomes a “person”. Rather, he or she is a person from the beginning who goes through growth and development both inside and outside of the womb.

In the New Testament the Greek word “brephos” is used to describe the unborn, newborns, and youth.

In Luke 1:44, the word is used to mean unborn baby: “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.”

Then, in Luke 2:12, it means a newborn: “So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.”

And in Luke 18:15, “brephos” refers to a young child: “And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them.”

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word “yeled” is used in the same way. In Exodus 21:22 it means an unborn child, “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely…”.

And yet, in other Old Testament usages, it means “youth” or even a teenager (Exodus 2:10, Ex. 2:8).

As late as the 16th century in our own culture, “child” was the word used for both the born and unborn baby. Late in the game, we have developed a new word, “fetus”, to describe a developing baby (even this word is defined in some dictionaries as an “unborn human being”). Today, we often reserve the word “child” for a person already born.

4.) In the Old Testament God established laws that had those who took the life of an unborn child killed.

Exodus 21:22,23

22 ¶ “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.
23 “But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life,

Amos 1:13

13 Thus says the LORD, “For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead In order to enlarge their borders.

5.) According to the Bible, God knew you before you were born.

Psalm 139 13-16

13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 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.

David (the writer of Psalm 139) indicates that God knew who he was, and how long he would live, while he was still in his mothers womb. David also indicates that it is God, not simply some act of nature, that “formed,” and “wove” David’s physical body. With these concepts other Bible writers agree.

Isaiah 44:24

24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone,

Isaiah 44:2

2 Thus says the LORD who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you, ‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

Isaiah agrees with David, God formed man in the womb, it is his actions that are responsible for the making of a child.

Isaiah 49:1

1 ¶ Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me.

Isaiah 51:13

…you have forgotten the LORD your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens And laid the foundations of the earth….

God is our Maker. While we are in the womb we have identity. Identity is proof of life. To Jeremiah God said:

Jeremiah 1:5

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

This passage helps us to understand again the preciousness of human life. Man was not created as a piece of guesswork, there is a purpose in the creation of every human being. Man’s chief purpose is to glorify God by accomplishing His purposes.

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 These passages teach us that while we are in the womb we have an identity and a purpose to fulfill.

Let’s consider the case of Jesus for example. Was He recognized (considered alive) while in the womb? Do the Scriptures recognize life in the womb?

Luke 1:31

31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.”

Luke 1:41

41 “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Philippians 2:3-8 (NASB)

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

In the womb Jesus had identity. God recognizes the unborn as a living child (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:41). When Elizabeth was pregnant, the unborn “babe” leaped in her womb. The Greek word translated “babe” is -{bref’-os}, it means:

1) an unborn child, embryo, a fetus
2) a new-born child, an infant, a babe This is the word that is used in Luke 1:41 to speak of Elizabeth’s child (John The Baptist) while he was in the womb, and also Jesus, after his birth in Luke 2:12, 16.

Luke 2:12 (NASB)
12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:16 (NASB)
16 “So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.”

Again, we find this word used in Luke 18:15, were the context is clearly talking about older children.

Luke 18:15
15 ¶ And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them . . .”

If it is wrong to kill an infant anytime after birth, it must also be wrong to kill him anytime before birth. Birth only changes an infant’s living quarters, the way it eats, and the way it breaths.

The biological facts are these. Abortion kills something with life. Leviticus 17:14 says:

Leviticus 17:14
14 “For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’

A child in its’ mothers womb has:
its’ own blood supply
its’ own blood type
It is a living human being.
Before an abortion something is living
After an abortion
something is dead.

Early church leaders recognized the Bible’s prohibition of abortion:

As the church began to spread to the Gentile cultures church leaders and others consistently forbade the practice of abortion based upon their understanding of the Bible.

Below are examples:
☛”Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born” (Letter of Barnabas 19 from 74 AD).

“You shall not procure abortion, nor destroy a newborn child” (Didache 2:1 from 150 AD).

“There are some women among you who by drinking special potions extinguish the life of the future human in their very bowels, thus committing murder before they even give birth.” (Mark Felix, Christian Lawyer, Octavius chap. 30 from 170 AD).

☛”The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion (see Ex. 21:22) Tertullian, 210 AD.

“Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does” (Tertullian, Apology 27 from 210 AD).

☛”The law, moreover enjoins us to bring up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing humankind.” (The Works of Josephus, Flavius Josephus Against Apion, Book II, 25).

Is abortion really necessary?

Another question might be asked, is abortion really necessary? Why are abortions preformed in the first place.

The honest (and non judgmental) answer is selfishness. Those who could have used a form of birth control did not, and for their own convenience (because it is accepted by the society in which they live) they have an abortion.

In the United States, limited official statistics are available. Abortion reporting varies significantly from state to state. Seven states report data on the reasons given for obtaining abortions (with varying definitions and levels of detail). These figures are self-reported by women obtaining abortions.

Below are results for these states–Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Utah for 2004:

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Above stats from – www.johnstonsarchive.net

There are thousands of couples who are waiting at this very moment, ready, eager, willing to adopt a baby. Abortion is not the answer. Sex education is not the answer. Instruction about “safe sex” is not the answer. Abortion grows out of a heart of rebellion and disobedience to God.

How should Christians respond?

1) Become informed

We need to realize that it is one thing when godless, secular people try to dehumanize the unborn to support their view of abortion on demand. It is quite another matter when these same people attempt to distort scripture and to fit their agenda.

2) Influence society in the arena of ideas.

There is not a legitimate “pro-choice” position that can be derived from the Bible. To support this position it would be necessary to use text out of context, ignore the Bible’s attitude toward the young and innocent, and be ignorant of what the Bible teaches regarding the sanctity of human life.

Children in the womb are innocent. The Christian should defend the innocent.

3) Make your feelings known to your legislators.The Christian should elect leaders who share the Biblical view of the value of life in the womb, and we should pray that God would change the hearts of those promoting the genocide of abortion.

How should Christians respond?

4) Try to help those in need

i.e. – Help a pregrant teen, volunteer, adopt, become a foster parent

AND NEVER, NEVER FORGET —–

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Over 30 years ago my wife and I adopted a little girl, Jessica, three days out of the hospital. She is an adult now. When she was fifteen years old she wrote this poem:

The End Of The Innocent

Silent cries,
Little eyes,
Never to see the light.

Tiny toes,
A pudgy nose,
A babe quivers in fright.

Little lips,
Never to speak,
Never to make a noise.

Tiny ears,
Never to hear,
His mother say
“Abortion’s my choice.”

Tiny hands,
Never to play,
Never to make and mold.

Tiny smiles,
Never seen,
A child no one will hold.

A tiny heart,
Never to love,
A heart that steadily beats.

A tiny baby,
Never to see,
The mother it will not meet.

An innocent baby,
A sweet little boy,
A child so perfect in form.

An innocent baby,
A sweet little girl,
A child that will never be born.

A tiny body,
A mind, heart, and soul,
Ripped so painfully apart.

A gift from God,
A precious life,
Never given the chance to start.

Jessica D. Scott (age 15)

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