Thoughts on Abortion

by Jefferson David Tant

The United States, and much of the world, are embroiled in a dispute over abortion -- the killing of an unborn child. Since the United States Supreme Court recently ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to abortion, violence has broken out in many areas, with threats, assaults, property damage to church buildings and pro-life centers, and even the attempted murder of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Statistics show that most abortions are performed on single, unmarried women. A recent report indicated some 626,000 abortions in a recent year’s survey. One report stated that some 86% of abortions are for single women. And there is proposed legislation in California to legalize killing a baby up to 28 days after birth. That’s insanity gone to seed!

Why is it that someone who kills a pregnant woman, so that both she and the baby die, is charged with two murders? But if an abortionist kills just the baby, that is OK. It doesn’t make sense.

Consider some observations on this matter.

First, consider a simple solution for 538,000 yearly abortions for single women. These could be eliminated by giving heed to God’s command to abstain from fornication — premarital sex. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals” (I Corinthians 6:9).

There are various passages that clearly show that premarital sex is a sin, and those who practice it bring judgment on themselves. Giving heed to God’s teaching about premarital sex would not only prevent baby murder but would also serve to preserve life-long marriages. Studies show that divorce is more prevalent in couples that have engaged in fornication before marriage.

Another matter to consider is the fact that the baby in the womb is in truth a living person and not just a glob of cells. The gospel of Luke tells of the time that Mary came to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who at that time was pregnant with the baby who became John the Baptist. “Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:39-41).

Notice that what Elizabeth had in her womb must have been more than just a bunch of cells floating around. That “bunch of cells” responded to the sound of Mary’s voice. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit, who inspired Luke to write those words, called those “cells” a “baby,” which implies that it was a living being.

Consider what the Psalmist David wrote about what was in the womb in Psalms 139: 13-16: “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 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’s words seem to describe a living being in the womb rather than just a glob of cells.

Now consider what God’s word has to say about abortion — the killing of an unborn child. "If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye. And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth. If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall surely be stoned and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall go unpunished. If, however, an ox was previously in the habit of goring and its owner has been warned, yet he does not confine it and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death" (Exodus 21:22-29). Note the reference to an early birth with no further injury. We know that babies are sometimes born before the normal 9-month gestation period, and even those born a few months early can survive and be healthy. But if there is “further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life …” That is a clear indication that the “further injury” would refer to the death of the baby, which would then call for the death of the one who caused the loss of life.

Some might question using the word “miscarriage” to describe a life, but early birth. The word is from the Hebrew “yatsa, a primitive root; to go (causatively, bring).” (Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary) Among the word’s several applications, I see no necessity that it refers to the death of the child. Thus my thought is that the word may refer to a premature birth whether it be stillborn or merely not full term. It was a “miscarriage” in that the baby was not carried to full term, whether or not it died.

And of course, married women who choose to have an abortion simply because the baby will be “inconvenient” will have the same disapproval from God as the single woman. We understand that there may be medical reasons for terminating a pregnancy, but that doesn’t come under the definition of child murder.

Many times there is great regret after an abortion, and we are thankful for God’s mercy for those who confess and repent of their sin.

But how many world problems would be solved if we just paid attention to our Creator’s instruction for living in this world, as we prepare ourselves for the world to come.

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