Is Abortion Really Wrong?

Is Abortion Really Wrong?

Is Abortion Really Wrong?

Richard Hollerman

There is much talk today about the subject of abortion.  Abortion has been defined as “the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy” (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary). In short, abortion is the simple killing of a pre-born baby.

How many abortions are carried out each year? We find this answer:

Around 56 million abortions are performed each year in the world, with about 45% done unsafely. Abortion rates changed little between 2003 and 2008, before which they decreased for at least two decades as access to family planning and birth control increased. As of 2008, 40% of the world’s women had access to legal abortions without limits as to reason. Countries that permit abortions have different limits on how late in pregnancy abortion is allowed.(

A further figure may be noticed:

The number of abortions performed worldwide seems to have remained stable in recent years, with 41.6 million having been performed in 2003 and 43.8 million having been performed in 2008. The abortion rate worldwide was 28 per 1000 women, though it was 24 per 1000 women for developed countries and 29 per 1000 women for developing countries. The same 2012 study indicated that in 2008, the estimated abortion percentage of known pregnancies was at 21% worldwide, with 26% in developed countries and 20% in developing countries. (Ibid).

Thus we see that millions upon millions of babies are killed each year, worldwide. A related question would be where abortions are performed.

Soviet Russia (1919), Iceland (1935) and Sweden (1938) were among the first countries to legalize certain or all forms of abortion. In 1935 Nazi Germany, a law was passed permitting abortions for those deemed “hereditarily ill”, while women considered of German stock were specifically prohibited from having abortions. Beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, abortion was legalized in a greater number of countries. (Ibid.)

As might be expected, the more liberal and humanistic nations were the first to allow the killing of babies: Russia, Iceland, and Sweden. The following list shows that abortion is both permitted and forbidden:

Where abortion was permitted in 2013:

6 countries not permitted

50 countries permitted, only to save a woman’s life

71 countries permitted to preserve a woman’s physical or mental health, in case of rape or incest; because of fetal development

70 countries for economic or social reasons or on request.

As we mentioned above, the liberal and humanistic countries were more prone to accept the killing of one’s baby.

Although some readers may consider the following information too full, still it is interesting for those who wish to study this subject. This shows those countries where abortion is either forbidden or greatly restricted:

But 26 countries still ban abortion altogether, with no explicit legal reason for exception, according to The Guttmacher Institute. A pregnant woman living in the following states cannot legally terminate a pregnancy, even if it was the result of rape or incest, and whatever the consequences to her own health:

Andorra; Malta; San Marino; Angola; Congo-Brazzaville; Congo-Kinshasa; Egypt; Gabon; Guinea-Bissau; Madagascar; Mauritania; São Tomé & Príncipe; Senegal; Iraq; Laos; Marshall Islands; Micronesia; Palau; Philippines; Tonga; Dominican Republic; El Salvador; Haiti; Honduras; Nicaragua; and Suriname.

A further 37 countries ban abortion unless it is necessary to save the life of the woman. These include major economies such as Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia and the UAE.

A further 36 countries restrict access unless an abortion is necessary to protect the woman’s physical health. These include three European countries – Poland, Lichtenstein and Monaco – as well as South Korea, Jordan, Argentina and Costa Rica. A further 24 countries include protecting the woman’s mental health as grounds for access. These include New Zealand, Israel, Malaysia, Colombia and Thailand.

Overall, only 37% of the world’s 1.64 billion women of reproductive age live in countries where abortion is permitted without restriction.

Thirteen countries, including Great Britain, India, Finland, Japan and Taiwan, include socio-economic reasons as grounds for permitting an abortion. Sixty one countries do not restrict access to abortion.

The vast majority of countries with very restrictive laws are in developing regions. In contrast, nearly all of Europe and North America, as well as several countries in Asia, have broadly liberal abortion laws.

However, a liberal law does not necessarily guarantee safe access. India permits abortion, but factors including inadequate public sector facilities, onerous regulation on private sector clinics, poor understanding of the law and stigma mean that an estimated 78% of abortions take place outside a health clinic, most of them illegally.

Every year, at least 23,000 women die from unsafe abortions, the Guttmacher Institute estimates. Seventeen million unsafe procedures take place, according to a report in The Lancet. In Latin America, three-quarters of all abortions are illegal.

Over the last 20 years, more than 35 countries have expanded safe access to abortion. But three countries in Central America – Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua – have tightened restrictions. Over the same period, democracy in these three states has weakened, argues Professor Larissa Arroyo Navarrete, suggesting a link between the lack of rule of law in a country, and threats to its women’s rights.

In El Salvador, where abortion is totally banned, authorities can prosecute women whose pregnancies end before 40 weeks, even if by miscarriage or stillbirth, if they are suspected of harming their fetus. Prison sentences range from two to eight years, though some women have been convicted on charges of aggravated homicide and sentenced for up to 30 years.

El Salvador also defied calls from the UN to relax its abortion laws throughout the Zika virus crisis. The mosquito-borne Zika virus is linked to congenital abnormalities, including microcephaly, in babies born to mothers who contracted the virus.

The Irish referendum vote reflected a generational divide, with younger voters opting to change the law while a majority of those over the age of 65 wanted to keep the eighth amendment, which protects the right of the unborn child.

We know that the foregoing article is written from a secularistic and humanistic perspective and it does seem like they lament that any country would restrict abortion!

The Scriptural Information

Abortion itself isn’t mentioned by name in major translations of the Bible. Of course, this sin would be covered under other terms, such as killing, murder, and the like.

After the worldwide flood (Genesis 6-9), God issued this command: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6). Keep in mind that this command was given a thousand years before the time of Moses (who wrote Genesis to Deuteronomy about 1400 BC). Thus, when the Law of Moses was taken out of the way, apparently God’s command continued. Further, it is instructive to note that a reason that God gave to prohibit the shedding of blood was that humanity was made in His own image and likeness. Because a human being is made in God’s likeness, we must treat him or her as precious and sacred, not as an unwanted bit of tissue!

Maybe we don’t often think of the implications of God’s command. For one thing, most murderers in America receive a life sentence or less. Few are actually executed for their crime. In regard to abortion, God’s command would lead us to conclude that of the 56 million abortions performed around the world, most of these millions of mothers should be executed for their killing of their children! Further, if we take this command literally, this would say that probably thousands or even millions of physicians should be executed by legal authorities, along with nurses and supporting staff. Although this seems extreme, we sadly overlook the way God looks at the killing of innocent life (which would include pre-born babies)!

Several Considerations

Some of our readers may wonder if abortion is really that serious. They may be infected with the humanistic and relativistic spirit of the age that tells us that anything is permissible since God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t really concern Himself with human affairs. But we should remember several facts that must figure greatly.

First, Jesus was incarnated some nine months before He was born. In other words, Jesus Christ (in his preincarnate state) was conceived in Nazareth, some nine months before He was born in Bethlehem. If our Lord Jesus, in His preincarnate state, came to this earth before birth, we must conclude that every little baby also exists before physical birth. If a child exists as a human being from the moment of conception, this would lead us to conclude that abortion itself is murder and should be punished.

Second, John the baptizer also existed before he was born. The angel Gabriel told Zacharias, the father, “He will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15b). We may not understand the full import of this statement, but it does show the extreme importance that God places on human life.

Third, even Jeremiah apparently exited prior to birth. God told this prophet, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5). We know that this is not conclusive, but it does point in the direction that he existed before birth.

The question then comes: If the Lord Jesus, John the baptizer, and Jeremiah all existed before they were born, would it not have been considered the taking of a human life if their mothers had killed them? Would this not be considered murder in the sight of God?

We must realize that right and wrong, righteousness and wickedness, are not determined by the number of people who make such a decision. Only God has the right to take life and only He has the ability and right to give life. If God our Creator has spoken about the sanctity of life, this should settle the matter as far as the God-fearing person is concerned.

Wrong Conclusions

We’ve made a number of statements above that may startle the reader. For instance, we have pointed out that God demands the death penalty for those who murder another person, since that person is made in “the image” of God. Does this necessarily mean that we should execute perhaps 500 to 1,000 million mothers and even millions of doctors, nurses, and support personnel?

No, I don’t think it would be necessary to conclude this. It is murder and was murder for these mothers and physicians to kill so many preborn babies, However, first, the Christian is not the executioner. This is left to proper authorities. As Paul said, “If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die” (Acts 25:11a). He recognized that evil must be punished, but this must be done by the proper authorities. The Christian is not to take the life of another.

Further, if the state refuses to execute those who participate in unjust killing, the Christian should not demand such justice. This is not his realm. It is not his prerogative. He can express what Scripture says and this is the extent of his demands.

Further yet, we must admit that Genesis 9:6 is a lone command. While it is true, inspired, and existed a thousand years before the Law of Moses, still it was a lone command. We don’t find this in the new covenant writings (the so-called New Testament). This may be significant.

It is enough for us to express what Scripture says, seek to defend the defenseless, and allow God to express His will in whatever way He chooses. Yes, it is murder. Yes, it is a violation of God’s will. Yes, it violates the sanctity of human life. Let us proclaim this loud and clear.

There is Forgiveness

When we consider the sin of abortion, as Christians, we should be God’s mouthpiece to express a merciful attitude toward those who have violated God’s will by murdering their innocent children. The psalmist was aware of this and said, “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You” (Psalm 86:5).

This doesn’t give permission to someone to recklessly forget God’s demands or overlook the gravity of his or her sin. But it does show that God is ready to grant clemency to one who sincerely is sorry for her (or his) grave injustice and heartless act of murder. It depends on the heart of the woman who recognizes the wicked act of killing her own baby. If she does grieve her prior decision and has a repentant heart, God is willing to forgive. If this refers to one of His wayward children, Scripture says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

On the other hand, if a lost sinner realizes her sinful and heartless act of murder, God calls on such a person to believe in Him and place her faith in Christ, to repent of her sins of abortion (and every other known sin), and be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of those sins: “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

Either way, God does want the abortionist mother (and father), the abortionist doctor, and the abortionist support staff to repent of this reprehensible sin and to seek full forgiveness from Him. We must also say that God obviously wants a sinful mother to refuse to sin in this manner again. And the Lord would want the doctor or nurse who has participated in this grievous sin to renounce such this transgression and escape from this form of livelihood in the future.

Abortion is a horrible sin but it may be forgiven by a gracious God. Won’t you come to Him through Christ today? You may be forgiven—if you humbly, sorrowfully repent and live for God fully and completely.

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