Faith and choice


I suppose that there has never been an issue which divided our nation like the issue of abortion.  Even though a majority of the people in our nation now say they are against abortion, it continues to be the law of the land.  Opinions concerning this medical procedure which terminates life range from those who are radically in favor of it to those who feel that it is nothing more than prescribed murder.  Many citizens who say they are people of faith hold these same divergent views.  So, the question is asked: How does one’s faith impact their view of abortion?  Some denominations actually state that they are in favor of choice while others are opposed to it.  Different religions also hold opposing views concerning the termination of the life of the unborn child.  Some feel that it should be a woman’s choice as to whether to terminate a pregnancy or not while others back up their pro-life position with scripture.  This article is meant to help people be better informed so that they can make the proper decision concerning the issue of choice where abortion is concerned.

I would like to develop my approach in this article not so much from an emotional position, but from a logical and faith based one.  I think that good logic must be a vital part of the thinking process of those who are dealing with life and death.  I also want it to be understood that I am in the Redemption Business.  If I can help anyone who struggles with abortion, possibly having had one, I am more than willing to help them experience forgiveness and freedom from any guilt they might have associated with the procedure they underwent.  So, with that being said, think with me today about several things.

It is necessary that we must go to the foundational issue at hand and that is human life and when it begins.  There have been medical arguments for many years about the moment of life and when it begins.  Now, since this article is about faith and choice, I must go to the foundational document we have in order to draw some conclusions.  Also, I would like to say that I have no negotiating room on this issue.  I am bound by the Holy Scripture, the Bible which is unequivocal in its treatment of life.  I have much more authority for my views than anyone holding a contrary view.  Scripture is the final authority whether one wants to admit it or not.  So, with that foundation, let me proceed.

First, from my source, the Scripture, I see that life begins at the moment of conception when sperm and egg come together and the genetic materials in each of them is combined to form a human.  God even tells us that He knows us before we are conceived.  He knows your name before sperm and egg come together.  In Jeremiah 1:5, this is recorded:

“Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”  And in Isaiah 49:5, Isaiah said…”And now, saith the Lord who formed me from the womb to be his servant…” Now, someone may say…”I don’t believe the scripture.”  That is your prerogative, but think about this…if you are right and scripture doesn’t matter, then I have nothing to lose.  But if I am right, and you are wrong; you have everything to lose. Basic logic.

      Also, every person reading this was once half egg and half sperm.  Every person was once a zygote.  The very reason you are here today is that you were left in your mother’s womb.  You were left alone and you developed into who you are.  It is very easy for people to be pro-choice from the perspective of having been born but, I would wager that if you had been given the option from the pre-birth perspective, you would have been Pro-Life.  Judgments are easy from this side.

      From the moment of conception, all the genetic material to product a unique individual is present.  The chromosomes and genes begin to arrange themselves and they determine everything about you.  You had brown or blue eyes before you had eyes.  You were tall before you grew up.  You were going to be bald before the first hair fell out.  You are unique.  King David says this about it: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Marvelous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.  My substance was not hidden from thee, when I was made in secret, and intricately wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unformed; and in thy book all my members were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”  Ps. 139:14-16.

Secondly, the law demonstrates its acceptance of the fact that human life begins with conception.  Let me demonstrate.  In both Georgia and SC in the recent past, in two separate events, a man was charged with vehicular homicide because he carelessly caused the death of another with his automobile.  But, both men were charged with more than one death even though only one person had been killed.  They were charged with two deaths because the women who were killed were pregnant and the child also died.  Question: if the law did not legally recognize the human validity of that unborn life, then why was someone charged with the death of the unborn infant? 

      We have a serious lapse of logic concerning abortion and whether it is murder or not.  On the one hand we have a person who plans the death of another.  He carefully decides how and when he will kill the person.  When he is caught he is charged with first degree homicide for planning a murder and pulling it off.  On the other hand we have someone who no less plans the death of a person (an unborn infant) and in the most sterile conditions goes through with the killing.  But, they are paid for their services.  Their logic runs into itself on this one.  People are jailed all the time for paying money for someone to kill another person for them.  The difference is that the Supreme court has wrongly said that it is o.k. to destroy the life of a child in an abortion.  And yet, we speak of a woman’s right to choose.  Choose what? end a life that even criminal law says one can be punished for destroying?  God gives us a little lesson on this in Exodus 21:22-23…“If men strive, and hurt a woman with child  so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follows; he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.  And if any mischief follows, then thou shalt give life for life.”  I think that pretty well sums it up.  I want to make this observation for you:  The Supreme Court does NOT hold court in heaven.  I just wonder what a person will say when God confronts them with the fact that they performed abortions.  I can just hear it now: “Well you see, God, our Supreme Court said it was acceptable to do that so that makes it o.k. for us to do.”  I don’t think God is going to accept that.  In fact, God tells us a foundational truth when He says: “Thou Shalt Not Kill.  Any student of Hebrew or Greek will tell you that God was not talking here about defending one’s self or their country.  He was talking about the premeditated taking of a human life.  We are not to do that.      

      Additionally, one can do serious prison time for destroying the egg of a Bald Eagle.  Now, why?  It is because the Bald eagle is an endangered species.  Question: if that little bird in the egg is not already a Bald Eagle, then why would one be charged and jailed for destroying the egg which contains it.  But yet, we perform abortions and try to tell people that it is not a human because it is not born yet?  The sad thing is that many value a Bald Eagle chick more than they value human life in incubation in the womb. 

      Professor John Harris, a member of the British Medical Association’s ethics committee said: ”It is not plausible to think that there is any moral change that occurs during the journey down the birth canal."  He was suggesting that the moral status of the fetus and the human infant outside the womb should be seen as the same.  He asserted, “There is no obvious reason why one should think differently from an ethical  point  of view, about a fetus when its outside the womb rather than when its inside the womb.”  Those are his quotes.

      Many children have been born severely premature and through the skills of good doctors and nurses they have developed and live normal lives today.  Much time, energy and effort was spent exercising skills gained in medical school and in personal experience to save that little child’s life.  And yet, people will say it is all right to pull a fully formed child partially out of its mother’s womb, suck its brains out and say that it was not a human because it was not fully born.  That is an insult to the intelligence of any normal person! 

      From a social or societal perspective, sixty-two million plus people have died since abortion was legalized.  Approximately forty million of those would have been contributing members of society by now with their own children coming along.  Analyze this: Think of the schools not built, think of the teachers not needed, think of the doctors and nurses and hospitals not needed.  Think of the economic hit our country has taken because of abortion.  Think also about one of the reasons Social Security is failing.  Thirty million people would be contributing in some way to the Social Security fund but they can’t…they were aborted.  Millions of them would be earning some of the highest wages of their lifetimes and helping to pay for the retirement of the older segment of society.  I hate to bring it down to economics but it helps paint the picture of the incumbent problems of abortion.  Another thing that is being affected is politics.  The more liberal people wonder why the conservative base in America is growing stronger and stronger.  I can tell you.  The more liberal people tend to abort their children, their future voter base, while conservative people birth theirs and teach them that abortion is wrong and that we should always opt for life.  In fact, the normal human process is that a human will be produced after the fertilization of the egg unless unhindered nature intervenes.  This is the way God designed us.  It is not incumbent upon the Pro-Life position to prove anything because the normal process produces a life.  It is incumbent upon the Pro-Choice movement to prove their statements concerning life and when it begins as well as its statements on when a person actually becomes a human worthy of protection.  If they are unable to prove their position beyond doubt then they must yield to the proof contained in the normal process of life which does not end in abortion but with a live birth.

I could go on, but I will not.  Just let me say this: I am bound by the Word of God on this issue and all others.  What it says and teaches, I must do.  I am captive to the Word as Luther said.  But I have observed this: People will never be convinced by statistics or argument that abortion is wrong.  They will be convinced when it becomes a moral and spiritual issue with them and when they, themselves, see that it is morally wrong.  One thing that concerns me greatly is that the collective conscience of our nation does not seem to be bothered too much by the fact that 62+ million people have died since Roe v Wade with the vast majority being for convenience.  One of the most dangerous places to be in today's world is in the womb.  There is a spirit of death on America in these days and I am convinced that it is God's retribution for the way we have, and continue to, kill unborn children. 

William F. Harrell is former pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Augusta.