A woman I know said that although she was personally opposed to abortion, she believed followers of Messiah Jesus had to accept that abortion is permitted in the United States and we should no longer oppose it. Monday is the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal across the United States, and that brought her words to mind. What does the Bible have to say about that?
Since Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973 there have been more than 60 million abortions in the United States. That’s 10 times the number of Jewish people murdered in the Holocaust. Yet there are some believers who are actually calling for their fellow followers of Christ to make their peace with abortion as the law of the land. Can we really do that?
Biblically, we have to recognize that God considers a preborn baby to be alive. It’s clear from Scripture that God is the designer of life in the womb. Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” These words remind us that God forms, sees, and ordains life in an unborn baby. Not only that, but God sets people apart for service to Him from the womb, as He did Jeremiah (Jer 1:5) and Paul (Gal 1:15). If they were not living persons while still in the womb, that would not be possible. God can even work spiritually in an unborn baby’s life. Luke 1:15 says that John the Baptist was “filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother’s womb.” Moreover, Luke goes on to say, that the Spirit prompted John to leap while in his mother Elizabeth’s womb when Mary, pregnant with the Messiah Jesus, visited (Luke 1:41). It’s plain from Scripture that an unborn child is a living human and precious to God Himself.
Someone might object that even if Scripture teaches that an unborn child is a living human, that’s a religious perspective that all people don’t share. How can we impose our biblical values on a society that does not share those beliefs? The answer is that abortion is not a religious issue but a moral one. We can’t very well say that I’m personally opposed to murder or rape because the Bible forbids it, but I don’t want to impose my biblical values on others. That’s because murder and rape are moral issues, not personal religious ones. And for all who say that abortion is a decision made between a woman and her doctor, don’t forget that there’s a third person involved, the unborn baby. Who will speak for the child? Who will protect the one who is unable to save herself?
Beyond this, Roe v. Wade has a shifting and shameful basis. The original ruling determined that abortion would be permitted based on viability out of the womb. So, if a premature baby could survive outside the womb, then it would be too late to abort that child. However, since 1973 viability has changed. Then it was at 28 weeks of gestation, now it is down to 20 weeks or even less. Medical science has proven how foolish the Supreme Court decision was.
We need to remember Proverbs 24:11-12, “Rescue those being taken off to death and save those stumbling toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we didn’t know about this,’ won’t He who weighs hearts consider it? Won’t He who protects your life know? Won’t He repay a person according to his work?” So, what should we do? Let’s use our rights as American citizens to change existing legislation. Also, pray for a change in the Supreme Court so that it will strike down Roe V. Wade. Remember, slavery was once legal in the United States but Christians used their influence to end slavery. We also need to support pro-life candidates and causes. Let’s be generous with those who provide alternatives to abortion, like agencies that provide adoption or care for young pregnant moms. Above all, we need to change the hearts of our friends and neighbors, so they can understand God’s heart for every baby made in His image. Let’s not give up the struggle or make our peace with abortion. Rather, let’s renew our commitment to saving lives, even those not yet born.