President Bill Clinton said to the Democratic National Convention in 1996, said: “Abortion should not only be safe and legal, it should be rare.” It is legal and has been since the landmark Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court on Jan. 22, 1973 – 46 years ago. Its safety is debated. But it certainly isn’t rare.
Since it became legal in the U.S., an estimated 60+ million abortions have taken place – equal to about 18% of our population, the total casualties on both sides in WWII, or the populations of both Californian and Texas (from 2010 census data). (https://www.nrlc.org/uploads/communications/stateofabortion2018.pdf ). Though abortions have declined in frequency since 2005 (ibid.), the 46 year total averages 1.3 million abortions every year – 3,561 a day, 148 every hour, 2 ½ abortions every minute.
Maggie Fox (NBC News) describes abortion in the U.S. as “very common.” “In the United States, where one half of all pregnancies are unintended, almost one third of women will seek an abortion by age 45” says the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/abortion-u-s-five-key-facts-n889111 ). Because of these numbers, many Evangelical Churches in the U.S. dedicate January to the “Sanctity of Human Life.” But please understand: Each “number” represents people, children and mothers.
The foundation stone upon which the pro-choice position is built is the idea that a fetus is less than human (by the way, the Latin word fetus means “offspring,” “young one,” or “little child”).
The Bible’s stance is clear. In both Hebrew and Greek it calls unborn babies “children” – the same words used for born children (Lk. 1:41, 44; 2:12, 16; Ex. 21:22). The unborn are created by God (Ps. 139:13). The life of the unborn child is protected by the same punishment for injury or death as an adult (Ge. 9:6; Ex. 21:22). Jesus was human from the point of conception (Mt. 1:20-21; Lk. 1:26-27). The “image of God” includes both male and female (Ge. 1:27) which can be determined at conception. Personal pronouns are used to describe unborn children just as with other humans (Jer. 1:5; Mt. 1:20-21). Unborn children are known intimately and personally by God, just as are other humans (Ps. 139:15-16; Jer. 1:5). And the unborn are called by God even before birth (Gen. 25:22-23; Jdg. 13:2-7; Isa. 49:1, 5; Gal. 1:15).
As a whole, the Bible clearly considers the fetus to be a child. But, admittedly, the Bible is not a scientific textbook. The book itself is ancient. So for years the pro-Choice movement has simply dismissed this biblical argument as historic, nostalgic, and quaint.
“The fetus is not human” argument worked in 1973. But we’ve made quite a few scientific advancements in the last forty-six years.
Now, consider scientists like Micheline Matthews-Roth of Harvard Medical School: “It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception (https://www.congress.gov/bill/97th-congress/senate-bill/158 ),” or Aileen Klass, the owner of the largest abortion clinic in Oregon – under oath: “Of course human life begins at conception (http://gospeltranslations.org/wiki/Why_Pro-Life%3F/Is_the_Unborn_Really_a_Human_Being%3F ).”
The moment the egg is fertilized it has within it enough genetic information to control the child’s growth and development for the rest of her life – only one strand of her DNA could fill a 1,000 volume library. The cells of the new individual begin dividing and multiplying rapidly – they grow because there is life.
5-9 days after conception the child burrows into her mother’s womb for safety and nourishment – you can scientifically determine her gender at this point. By 14 days she is producing a hormone which suppresses her mother’s menstrual period. By 28 days she starts to look human.
By this time her heart has formed, her eyes have developed, her blood is pumping through her body, and her arms and legs are developing. By 38 days her brain has multiplied in size 10,000 times! She has a nose and ears. At 40 days we can record brain waves and heartbeats. At 42 days she has a full skeletal system and her brain is controlling her muscle movements and organs.
The child still weighs 1/30th of an ounce…but she has teeth forming, lips, tongue, and reproductive organs. By 8 weeks she looks very human and will suck her thumb. By 9 weeks she will be doing somersaults, back-flips, and karate kicks. By 10 weeks she responds to outside stimulus and can feel pain. An abortion at 10 weeks is called an “early abortion.” (http://gospeltranslations.org/wiki/Why_Pro-Life%3F/Is_the_Unborn_Really_a_Human_Being%3F )
The Bible and science tell us that the child is a living person. And even though we live with Roe v. Wade, our own government agrees that the child is a person. Look at the inconsistencies abortion forces on us.
Pregnant women who use illegal drugs can be prosecuted for “delivering controlled substances to minors.” Restaurants and bars post signs warning pregnant patrons of the dangers to unborn children of drinking alcohol. Similar warnings come with cigarettes. The U.S. Congress voted unanimously to delay capital punishment for pregnant women until after the birth of the child. Texas has fetal homicide laws – the murderer of a pregnant woman can be charged with two counts of homicide. And, in 2004, the US Congress passed the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act” stating [someone who] “intentionally kills or attempts to kill the unborn child…be punished…for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being.”
The Psalmist proclaims “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:13-14).” She is human, a child, created by God. She is alive. If you are pregnant and need help, contact www.dentonprc.org. There are options outside of ending her life. If you have had an abortion and need help, it is available. You are important (you’re the topic for my next column). You’re loved by God, and so is your child.