The miracle of life, and the atrocity of abortion, take 2

So I’ve written about abortion before. In fact, anyone who’s talked me for more that 30 seconds knows that child-bearing and child-rearing are enormously important to me. I get quite fired up when I am talking about them. Of everything, though, abortion really, really gets my hackles up. Read the essay I wrote in 2010 and you’ll understand why, at least from the angle of the violence of the act (which I describe in detail so consider yourself warned). What I haven’t written about is my ethical reasons for opposing it, which are, of course, tied up in my Lord and God. Now, I know how controversial this issue is, and I know I’m not the only one who gets a little hot under the collar when speaking/reading about it. And of course, I welcome comments and discussion. just be sure to read my disclaimer and comment policy first, and be aware that I will enforce them.

So. On to the issue. In this post, I will not be talking about the development of the child. I will not talk about the procedures of abortion. I did this in the essay. I would recommend that you read that prior to this. Instead, this post will be concerned with God’s view of us, and how that shapes (or should shape) our view of others, especially the unborn.

Psalm 139:13-16:

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.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

You should read the whole thing. It’s absolutely magnificent. God is good!

Anyway.

I chose this particular section of the psalm because it really speaks about God’s role in our lives. In particular, the role He has in creating us, and planning our days. This, I think, throws a spanner in the works for those who argue that abortion is permissible from a moral perspective. It says,

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

He sees the baby’s conception. He sees it even before it is created, and He planned the role the child would have in His “grand scheme of things” before the child was even conceived. So you see, obviously, in God’s eyes at least, the egg, the sperm, the embryo, the foetus (whatever you want to call it) is human and is loved by Him. Clearly, then, to abort a baby, at any stage of the pregnancy is absolutely horrifying to God. In fact, it’s something He has commanded against.

Exodus 20:13

“You shall not murder.”

Depending on what background you have, you will recognise this as either the 5th or 6th Commandment. No, it doesn’t specifically mention the unborn. It doesn’t mention humans, either. In context with the rest of Exodus 20, we understand that God is speaking about humans, but the important this to recognise that just because it doesn’t specifically say “You shall not murder unborn babies” doesn’t mean that God didn’t include them in His command. In fact, as we saw in Psalm 139, unborn babies are just as precious to God as adults or children, and just as alive. Therefore, would this verse not apply to them also?

So this is where I get my grounding. I think that abortion is completely abhorrent. I understand that some believe there is no way around it, and I understand that some women feel no psychological effects from killing their child, but neither of these things make it right. They just mean that there needs to be better education available for women so that they understand the decision they’re making. That there isn’t is disgusting.

Let me be very clear right now, also: I do not believe that abortion should be illegal. I wish that it did not happen. I wish that it was not necessary to even have to consider it. But it is. I think that criminalising abortion would create more death and suffering, in that women would die or be irrevocably damaged by backyard, illegal abortions. I am an advocate for greater education about the effects, the damage and the options available to women with crisis pregnancies other than abortion.

As for combating it, the only way to ensure that abortions never happen again is to remove sin from the world. Since we know that this will only happen when Jesus returns, there isn’t anything we can do to stop it outright. Instead, we should be reaching out to women in need, helping them to realise that God has a plan for their child, and (more importantly) God has a plan for them, and that He loves them, and that, through Jesus, they do not have to fear judgement from Him, because He has taken to punishment for their sins. In essence we must combat abortion, like every sin, with the Gospel.

That Jesus, being fully God and eternally one with the Father and the Spirit, humbled Himself and made Himself nothing, to be born to a poor, working class couple and laid in a feeding trough for animals, because there was no room in the inn. He lived a life that was wholly under the Father’s command, submitting in everything to the Father’s rule, even to the point of dying because of it. But His death was not a waste. In death, Jesus took all the punishment that we who reject God rightly deserve. He took all God’s wrath and instead now shows God’s mercy and grace, reconciling us to live eternally with Him. And this is the promise we hold to; that when Jesus returns, all sadness and pain will end, and sin will be no more. Abortions will be unnecessary. And no one will die.

So the way to end abortion is with the Gospel. So submit your time and money and anything else you can to spreading it, because without Jesus we are all condemned.

Happy new year to you all. And may God remind you of His presence, day in, day out.

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