Abortion, Birth Control, and the Issue of Life
From the first book of the Bible to the last book, God’s Word is concerned about the lives of His creation - not only the spiritual life and one’s relationship to God, but also the physical life and one’s relation to his fellow man (Genesis 1:26,27). Moses wrote to the Israelites in Genesis 9:6: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.” Again, in the law, God instructs man not to “shed innocent blood” (Deuteronomy 19:10). Jesus’ teachings and example stress the importance of life (Luke 9:56). When our Lord walked the streets of Palestine, He ministered to the lame, blind, downtrodden, and social outcasts, of whom the world thought it best if they had never been born. He showed that these individuals were human, created in His image. So it follows that Christ’s disciples, the people making up His church, would strive in all ways to live and teach as the Master does. Thus, on issues such as abortion, our hearts should break when we think of the millions of innocent lives that have been extinguished in the name of “choice” and “freedom”. Our stomachs should churn when we hear of programs such as Planned Parenthood cutting up and selling aborted baby parts (or even that such a foundation as Planned Parenthood exists). Many want to ride the fence of the abortion issue and appeal to the worst-case scenario (such as rape, incest, etc.) as a reason abortion should be acceptable. The facts are, however, that most cases of abortion are not the result of a woman who has been forced in some way. Most abortions occur from a woman who willingly had sex, but did not want the responsibility that comes with it ( https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3711005.pdf ). The legalization of abortion has promoted more individuals to live promiscuous lives and think it is morally acceptable because it is legal. Therein lies the problem with such sinful activity (such as legalization of homosexual “marriage”) due to the lack of knowledge of God’s Word among the populous.
Concerning the issue of life, we as God’s people can be consistent; whereas those of the pro-choice view cannot. Do we call single-celled organisms “living”? Of course we do! If a single-celled organism was found on another planet, scientists would exclaim, “We’ve found life in outer space!” But when it comes to human cells in a womb - well, let’s not call it life (and never call it a baby)! The fact is that our Creator made humans in His image (Genesis 1:26,27). This means we have an eternal spirit placed within us by our Maker that sets us apart from all other creation. Human life is sacred. As God’s creation, who are we (even with all our technological advancements) to choose death over life for an innocent human baby developing in his mother’s womb? God will certainly bring judgment upon a nation who persists in such immoral atrocities.
When does life begin if not at conception? Two months? Nine? Do we somehow become a person when we pass through the birth canal? (Now there is post-birth abortion, so throw that idea out!) The debate is never ending unless we see by the light of God’s Word that life starts when all the parts come together, that is, when the sperm and egg join (conception, Job 3:3).
This brings us to the discussion of birth control. If we are consistent and logical in our reasoning on life beginning at conception, then any birth control that has the potential to destroy a fertilized egg is considered an abortifacient. As most individuals know, there are many different types of birth control. Some are referred to as “contraceptives” (condoms, diaphragms, anti-sperm creams, foams, etc.), while others can be termed “abortifacients” (the Pill, IUD, the “morning after pill”, etc.). The former work only to prevent fertilization, while the latter work not just to prevent sperm from reaching an egg but also to make the environment unfavorable for a fertilized egg to implant. The Pill is probably the most popular form of birth control along with the condom. For Christians, use of the Pill should be greatly weighed against the belief of when life begins. Many use the Pill without researching exactly how it works (this author was one until the fine print was read). Information pertaining to the Pill can be read on the website as well as the drug fact sheet that comes with the prescription. We read that one way it prevents pregnancy is by changing the lining of the uterus making it difficult for a fertilized egg to be implanted. This should raise our flags. That resulting life is unable to go on living in the place God created for it. Even if the Pill (or any other form of contraceptive) prevents sperm from reaching an egg 99% of the time, that 1% chance is too much for the conscious Christian who values God-given human life.
As it is true that God’s Word does not directly deal with abortion or forms of birth control, the principles are there, and the wise Bible student will study to come to the correct conclusion. It will benefit us to see a few examples in the Word pertaining to these issues. In Psalm 139:13-16, David wrote that God “formed my inward parts”, “covered me in my mother’s womb”, and “saw my substance” being made in secret. In that context, he writes, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17) Indeed, our Creator is seeing and thinking about us as we are forming in the womb! If that is not enough, God tells Jeremiah that He knew him before he was even formed in the womb. Notice the wording, “Before I formed you” (Jeremiah 1:5). Who fashions babies in the womb? God! Who is man to stop God from forming life? In Luke 1:41, 44, John the Immerser was around six months old when he leaped in his mother’s womb with joy upon hearing the voice of the Savior’s mother. There is life in the womb! Concerning children, God’s Word states, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm127: 3). God’s plan for marriage and the family is a faithful Christian couple raising children “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Would such a couple want to contribute to the number of abortions that occur in this world (even if it was a small chance of occurrence)?
What can Christians do about such moral issues? We can (and should) study God’s Word and be honest with it and ourselves. We can examine ourselves asking if we are following the easy, broad way the world is treading or striving to journey the difficult way with the few (Matthew 7:13,14). We can speak up. Talk to our neighbors (we should be talking to them about the gospel in the first place). Talk to our legislators. To change people’s minds on such issues, we first must show them the love of Christ. We must inform them that we all will give an account for our lives before the Maker of this universe one day. We must share the Truth with them and let God’s Word change their lives as it has changed our lives. Life is precious. It was given to us by our Creator, and may we in turn, live a life that is pleasing to Him.
The Gospel of Christ
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