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Associate Editorial: Abortion

The question about abortion is certainly an emotional one. It has legal ramifications as well as moral. It has impact on a woman, her family, and her doctor. Ultimately, however, the question about abortion is a deeply rooted faith issue.

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in a Texas case entitled Roe, et al. v. Wade, “The Court’s opinion decides that a State may impose virtually no restriction on the performance of abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy.” (Justice William Rehnquist, dissenting). This case set the nation on a course of legalized abortion in unimaginable numbers. Over the first fifteen years after the Court’s decision, an average of 1,500,000 babies annually were aborted under the protection of Roe v. Wade. Doctors, hospitals and clinics all were faced with the ethical and moral question of whether or not to allow the legal procedure to be done or not.

The decision to abort reached into families, of the mother carrying the baby, of the man who fathered the child, and of the couple themselves. Emotional scars and division were the result of many decisions to simply remove the child from the consideration of a future life of parenting.

The decision to abort or to carry a child to term is a decision that must, of necessity, be a decision of faith. What do we, as individuals, believe about the right of the child conceived and growing in the womb of the mother considering an abortion? What do we, as a society, believe ought to be done to protect the life of that child? The answer must come from God. Is that baby a human life with the innate right to live? If it is a baby, then it has every right of any life. If it is simply a mass of unviable tissue, then the mother indeed has the ultimate control over her own body and can, with the approval of society and God, suck that mass into a sink and never have to worry about it any more.

Two passages of scripture are sufficient to determine God’s answer. One is an historical reference to a meeting between two pregnant women. These women were related to each other. One was named Elizabeth who would bear a son named John and the other woman was named Mary who would give birth to a son named Jesus. Of this Jesus, in Luke 12:22, it is said that shepherds could “find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” That word babe is significant to this discussion as, prior to the birth of this babe, when his mother went to visit her relative, Elizabeth, in Luke 1:41, the Bible says, “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb.” The same word, in English and in the original Greek, is used to describe a babe in the womb and a babe out of the womb. Neither of the “babes” were unviable masses of tissue, but, rather, babies, created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).

The other passage is found in the Book of Psalms. The 139th Psalm, in its entirety, seals the question of life of the unborn. Verse 13; “For you have formed my inward parts; You have covered me in my mother’s womb.” Verse 15; “My frame was not hidden from You , when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” Verse 16; “Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed&ldots;” Regardless of the opinion of some Court or some Doctor, or even some immoral woman and her partner in sin, God sees the mass of tissue in the womb as life, as a frame, as skillfully wrought, as dear and precious substance with life and a future and a destiny in eternity. Those who see that life as anything else are viewed, in Psalm 139:19-22, as bloodthirsty, wicked enemies of God, worthy of “perfect hatred” and rise up, in their unrighteousness and war against God.

Abortion is an abomination against God. It is the sin of murder. It destroys life. In genesis 9:6, God said to Noah a truth that remains, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed.” All of those people who are involved in the process of abortion are guilty of sin before God and will pay the wages of their sin, in the only appropriate way, with the loss of their eternal souls, condemned to a Devil’s Hell throughout all eternity, “into the fire that shall never be quenched – where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:43b-44).