Most Christians – indeed, most people in general – embrace the sanctity of human life when we are talking about the life of a person after birth.
But it is not so uniformly recognized when it comes to the sanctity of the life of a person before birth.
The question is this – whose rights must be protected? The mother’s right to choose what to do about her pregnancy? Or the right of the unborn person to live?
On this question, people are divided.
The world is divided. America is divided. And even the Christian church is divided.
Perhaps there are some reading this that are divided also – even within their own hearts. Maybe you would claim to be pro-life, but you do not believe God demands a pro-life position in the Bible.
So how do we talk about this question? Where do we go for definitive answers? And are we personally willing to let those answers shape our thinking and govern our practice when it comes to the issue of aborting the life of an unborn infant?
The key question in all this discussion is this – when does a person become a person?
This is the central issue, because if what is growing in a woman’s womb is a person, then according to the direct commands of Scripture (Ex. 20:13, Gen. 9:6, 1 Thess. 5:15), I must not do harm to that person!
All of us would agree: abortion in any form is the intentional termination of a pregnancy. What we really need to know whether or not we are terminating a person.
And we ultimately need more than human opinion on this. We need to know whether God sees what is growing in a woman’s womb as an unborn person.
And until we know, our conscience will never rest. We will be left to always wonder whether or not the abortion we committed or facilitated was murder. When our conscience is troubled on a matter of this magnitude, we will not find any peace unless we consider what the ultimate authority says about it.
Let’s settle that question by looking at five Bible passages:
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
This passage shows that every unborn life is created by God.
“Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God!”
This passage shows that the unborn child is intimately known by God.
“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” (also Isaiah 44:1-5).
This passage shows that unborn children are called and appointed by God.
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
This passage shows that the baby has a moral standing before God. David recounts his personal moral history and says that he was a sinner from conception!
“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.”
These verses show that babies have emotions and feelings from God. Mary is visiting Elizabeth, and the unborn John the Baptist leaps in Elizabeth’s womb for joy at the sound of Mary’s announcement that she was pregnant with Jesus. Elizabeth’s baby felt joy even in the womb!
These texts when considered together with all of Scripture point toward one undeniable end: the personhood of the unborn child.
So the answer to this question leads to another – what responsibility does a government have to protect the life and well-being of its citizens? If the unborn baby is truly a life, what must the government do about it?
I think the answer is obvious. The government must protect the lives of every person (Rom. 13:1-5), especially the innocent and righteous (Ex. 23:7).
So let us pray for a government who will do such a thing. And let us use every appropriate action to call on our government to act against the heinous crime that has been allowed in this country for forty-four years.