We live in a society where it is not fashionable for one to accept responsibility for one’s actions. We blame our improper behavior on our upbringing or our environment. We go to great lengths and expense to evade responsibility for our actions. Perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than in our sexual behavior. Today, in the United States, abortion is frequently used as a means of birth control. We call the fetus a glob of matter, tissue, a problem, our choice—anything but what it really is. But in reality, we are killing innocent human life. The womb, which should be the safest place on earth, has become a most dangerous place. In 2017, one in five babies in the United States was put to death.1
According to the September 2019 Fact Sheet issued by the Guttmacher Institute2, there were approximately 862,320 abortions performed in the United States in 2017. That’s 2,362 every day, or 1.6 every minute! It is estimated that since the Roe v. Wade decision allowing legal abortions in the United States in 1973, approximately 60,900,000 abortions have been performed3 (through 2018). That amounts to about 18% of the population of the United States! The vast majority of these abortions have nothing to do with the health of the mother or the baby, but are done simply as a matter of convenience or economy.
The abortion industry is a multi-billion-dollar business. The sale of body parts from aborted babies brings huge profits to the owners of abortion clinics. In most states, veterinary clinics are more tightly regulated than abortion clinics. Ironically, in the United States today, you can be sent to jail for abusing the family pet. But in the abortion clinics, doctors routinely deliver all but the head of a fully developed fetus. They then harvest its heart, liver, and other organs while the baby is alive and the blood flow is still intact. After cruelly cutting these organs out of the baby’s body with no anesthesia, the doctor cuts an opening in the back of the baby’s skull to extract the brain before completing the delivery of a now-dead baby.
The procedure just described is known as the partial-birth abortion or dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure. What possible reason can we use to justify such a gruesome, cruel procedure?
1. What God’s Word Says About Abortion
Abortion is a visceral topic which touches many raw nerves. Many people who would call themselves Christians do not understand what God says on the subject. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how emotional we are or how cleverly the truth is disguised. What really should matter to us is, “What does God say?”
In Genesis 1:26-27 we read, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Here we see the sovereign, eternal God of the universe “creating” the pinnacle of His work, man and woman. He created them “in his own image.” The ultimate insult to a holy God is for man to destroy a little life which God has created in His image.
God created us and He continues to sustain our lives. Job said in Job 12:10 (speaking of God), “In whose hand is the soul [life] of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” Job developed this thought in Job 33:4: “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Paul told the Athenians in Acts 17:28, “For in him [God] we live, and move, and have our being [exist].”
Naturally, the God who created and sustains human life has something to say about who has the right to end that life. Exodus 20:13 in the King James Version reads: “Thou shalt not kill.” The New American Standard Bible translates it like this: “You shall not murder.” This is not a mere suggestion, but an eternal command. This commandment is repeated and expanded in the New Testament (Matthew 5:21-22, Romans 13:9). The Bible also speaks clearly against child sacrifice and slaying the unborn and infants (see Exodus 21:22-25; Leviticus 20:2-5; Jeremiah 7:31, 19:5, 32:35). So, according to God’s Word, killing a human fetus is breaking God’s law.
But some say, “The fetus isn’t really a human life. It is just a glob of tissue.” God’s Word clearly indicates that life begins in the womb. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that God knew the prophet, as a person, even before he was formed in the womb. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” You know a person, not a glob of tissue.
Psalm 139:13-16 describes a creative God forming and shaping a little person: “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
In Luke chapter one, Elizabeth’s baby, John the Baptist, leaped in her womb when Mary addressed her. Globs of tissue don’t leap. Humans do. You can ask any mother who has carried a baby to birth if the baby is alive.
The world of medicine bears testimony to the truth of the Scriptures that the little baby in the womb is alive and is human. My wife and I had the privilege of seeing ultrasound images of our 20-week-old grandchild. The human parts were clearly visible: eyes, arms, legs, spine, and even a little mouth opening and closing.
Modern medicine knows that a fetus begins as a single cell smaller than a grain of salt. This single cell contains a complex genetic blueprint for every detail of human development. The sex, hair, eye color, height and skin color are just a few of the details contained in that blueprint. With God’s help that single cell will develop into a 5 to 10 pound fully-formed infant.
By the 20th day the heart is beating. By the 28th day the spine and muscles are forming; arms, legs, eyes and ears have begun to show. By the 30th day the embryo is 10,000 times larger than the original fertilized egg. By day 35, five fingers can be discerned on the hands. On day 40, brain waves can be recorded.
At 8 weeks, the developing life is called a “fetus” (which is Latin for “young one” or “offspring”). Everything is now present that will be found in a fully developed adult. The heart has been beating for more than a month, the stomach produces digestive juices and the kidneys have begun to function. Forty muscle sets begin to operate in conjunction with the nervous system. The fetus’ body responds to touch, although the mother will not be able to feel movement until the fourth or fifth month. The fetus has every aspect of personhood. It can hear, feel, move about, swallow, and respond to outside stimuli. By 7 months, it is using the five senses of vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. It can recognize its mother’s voice.
Clearly our medical knowledge will affirm that the fetus is a human person. We see the design, choice and purpose of God in forming the unborn. Dare we say it is just a glob of tissue? There is only one reason for that description. It is to depersonalize the abortion procedure so mothers will be more easily persuaded to go through with it. Clearly we have seen a God Who creates and sustains human life, and prohibits the destruction of that life in the strongest possible terms.
2. Methods of Abortion
The powerful abortion drug RU-486 can be taken early in the pregnancy to cause the mother’s body to reject and expel the growing fetus. The December 30, 2000 issue of World Magazine had this to say: “Unsafe at any dose: The Food and Drug Administration unleashed on the United States in September the highly touted do-it-at-home abortion in a bottle, RU-486. Reality is vastly different from the claims, of course: The abortion drug has known side effects such as severe cramping and nausea, as well as bleeding that is heavy enough in some cases to require a transfusion. Nor is RU-486 all that convenient: The entire chemical abortion procedure can take days, even weeks, and sometimes requires a surgical abortion to finish the job.” Since being approved for use in the United States, the chemical option for abortion has grown in popularity. In 2017, medication abortions accounted for 39% of all abortions.4
The method used to perform an abortion is usually determined by the age of the fetus. Up to 12 or 14 weeks, the developing baby’s body is soft and small enough to allow for its removal with a powerful suction machine. The mother’s cervical muscle is stretched with special tools. The tip of a suction machine is inserted into the uterus. The suction machine, five to six times as powerful as a household vacuum cleaner, then rips the fetus and placenta into pieces small enough to pass through the suction tube.
A second method which is also used before 14 weeks is dilation and curettage (D&C). Again, the cervix is stretched, but this time a loop-shaped cutting knife is used to cut the fetus and placenta into small enough pieces to be pulled out of the mother’s body.
After 14 weeks, the baby’s body is larger and stronger. The cervix must be opened wider and an instrument shaped like a pliers is used to grasp the fetal parts and remove them. Like the methods already described, this literally rips the baby into pieces and removes them from the uterus.
Two other methods remain which are almost too cruel to describe. The first is the saline or prostaglandin injection method. This is not as popular as it used to be, but it is still being done. A large needle is used to inject saline or prostaglandin into the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus. The saline is very toxic to the fetus. Over a period of approximately 12 hours, the fetus is slowly poisoned and chemically burned by the saline solution. The mother can feel it thrashing about in her uterus. Can you imagine the feelings running through the mother’s mind as she literally feels her baby dying? Finally a dead baby is delivered, usually after a very long and painful induced labor. Prostaglandin produces strong labor contractions which push the fetus out of the uterus. Sometimes with these methods a live baby is born. When that happens, it is simply neglected and allowed to die without any care.
The second cruel method is the dilation and evacuation (D&E) method (or partial-birth abortion), which has already been described in this article. May God have mercy on us for the slaughter of so many innocent, helpless babies at the altar of convenience or economy!
3. Consequences of Abortion
There are numerous physical risks associated with abortions.
The first risk is hemorrhage. Sometimes there is heavy bleeding during an abortion or several days later. Occasionally a blood transfusion is required, or even another surgery.
A second risk is infection. This is usually treated with antibiotics, which can scar the reproductive organs.
A third physical danger is perforation. Some methods risk pushing a tool through the wall of the uterus. Major surgery could be required to repair the damage. Infection is a major risk following any perforation.
These three physical risks often make a later pregnancy difficult or impossible. The danger of miscarriage in later pregnancies is increased after multiple abortions.
A fourth risk is breast cancer. Some studies have shown that having an abortion increases the risk of breast cancer by approximately 30%. Abortion advocates often deny this, however. Pro-choice documentary filmmaker Punam Kumar Gill collaborated with pro-life executive producer Drew Martin and “neutral” producer Joses Martin to produce a documentary film in July of 2016 on the truth about the negative side effects of abortion.5 Their research supports the 30% increase in the risk of breast cancer for women who had an abortion, as well as the other risks mentioned.
A fifth risk of abortion is death. Although rare, some women die from the effects of an abortion. Additionally, women who have had an abortion are three times more likely than women of child-bearing age in the general population to commit suicide6. Teen girls are up to ten times more likely to attempt suicide than their counterparts who have not had an abortion7.
There are also numerous emotional consequences of abortion. Many women live with “post-abortion stress.” Symptoms include sadness, long-term grief reactions, anger, sexual dysfunction, guilt, flashbacks, memory repressions, anniversary reactions, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts or actions, increased drug and alcohol use, and difficulty with close relationships.
Many women testify that if they had known the emotional trauma they would experience, they would have carried the baby to term and either kept it or offered it for adoption. It is a sad fact that most of the women who receive abortions are not properly advised of these consequences. They are often unaware that they are aborting a little person. They are led to believe that it is simply a glob of tissue, a product of conception, or so many cells.
Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade case in 1973, tells how she was working in an abortion clinic helping a young lady during her abortion. During the procedure, the patient saw a little hand which the doctor had taken out of her body. The patient gasped and fainted. Later she asked Norma what she had seen. Norma lied, “Honey, you didn’t see anything.” When that girl returned for her two-week follow-up exam, the first thing she said to Norma was, “You know what I saw; you know.” Norma avoided her eyes for fear she would give the truth away.
Norma McCorvey was led to Christ by the love of a Right to Life worker’s little girl. She is now an advocate for protecting the lives of unborn children. She writes in her book Won by Love, “But when you work at an abortion clinic you’re guilty and you know it. For all the millions spent on public relations, the abortion movement has yet to invent rhetoric powerful enough to blind abortion clinic workers from the truth. You see the body parts, you hear the women’s cries, and you can’t keep lying to yourself—at least not without artificial stimulation. That’s why drugs, alcohol and coarse jokes are so popular inside the clinics. If we had stayed sober and not laughed at ourselves, we would have begun to think of ourselves as hideous monsters preying on little babies.”
4. Practical Things We Can Do About Abortion
First, practice and teach a moral lifestyle. One of the tenets of the pro-choice group is that humans have the right to behave immorally, and if a pregnancy results, they have the right to abort that fetus. As Christians, we need to heed and teach the Bible’s high standard of moral behavior. Singles are commanded to avoid sexual activity until they are married. Married people are to remain sexually faithful to their spouses. All of us need to avoid any areas that tempt us sexually.
Second, pray. We need to pray for the crisis pregnancy centers and their employees, the young women in crisis pregnancies, the medical caregivers, the fathers of the unwanted babies, our leaders and lawmakers, and perhaps most of all for a sense of responsibility, morality and justice in our nation. We also need to pray for all those involved in the abortion industry. They are souls for whom Christ died.
Third, give to support crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers. The needs are enormous. These folks are in the trenches fighting Satan to rescue babies and to introduce their mothers to Jesus Christ. Many also reach out to the youth in local schools and communities, offering programs on abstinence education while promoting chastity and morality. They perform pregnancy tests, offer counseling, provide emotional and physical support, and present the gospel message.
Fourth, you can volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center. There is so much to do at the centers. They can use people with all kinds of talents and skills who have a heart to serve.
Fifth, support adoption as an alternative to abortion. There are many couples looking for babies to adopt. Some of us can encourage young mothers we know to carry the baby to term and place it for adoption. Some of us may be able to provide housing or pay medical bills for mothers who elect to carry their babies to term. While abortion stops a beating heart, adoption provides a heart full of love to a special child.
If you have had an abortion, seek God’s forgiveness. We serve a God Who will forgive and pardon. The sin of abortion cannot be undone once it has been performed. But if you have had an abortion, I encourage you to confess it to God, accept His pardon and forgiveness, and determine to never do it again. Only God can heal the guilt and shame which result from knowing you took the life of your child. I urge you to seek help from a godly person, church, or ministry.
Now, more than ever, we must diligently teach young people about the blessing of living chaste lives before the Lord. We need to have a heart of compassion toward those with problem pregnancies, and those who are involved in the abortion industry. May God help us to make an impact on the society around us as we seek to be salt and light in a sin-darkened world!
1. “Induced Abortion in the United States,” 2019-09, https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states (accessed 2020-01-01).
3. “Abortion Statistics,” 2019-01, https://nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf (accessed 2020-01-01).
4. Ibid. 1.
5. “The Story,” 2015, http://hushfilm.com/the-story/ (accessed 2020-01-01).
6. “19 Shocking Post Abortion Depression Statistics,” 2019-01-01, https://healthresearchfunding.org/19-shocking-post-abortion-depression-statistics/ (accessed 2020-01-02).