Abortion: A Practical Outlook

Part 3 of 3 of the Abortion Series, originally published in the NRC youth magazine Insight Into in 2008-2009. Reprinted with permission from the authors.

In the first article of this series, Sarah described abortion as the “silent holocaust” and explained what it does to pre-born babies. In the second article, Bruce gave biblical reasons for respecting all life and asked what we do to protect the pre-born. This time, we will take a practical look at how women and men are touched by abortion, and what we are to do about it.

“It hurt my heart so bad. My heart and my body and my spirit were broken in a matter of minutes. I regret what I did so much. I have not smiled truthfully since then.”

These are the words of a young woman who thought an abortion would be better than a baby. As most people in our society, she was made to believe that her pre-born child was not yet human, but soon after the abortion, she intuitively knew that it had been. Another woman explained, “They told us it would be better since we didn’t have money for yet another baby but instead, my husband and I are troubled daily by feelings of guilt and thoughts of the child we could’ve had.” Abortion clearly has negative physical consequences, but also leaves countless women and men with profound pain, guilt and regret.

Sadly, research shows that Christians also have abortions, including some from our churches. A young woman who became pregnant because of a sinful lifestyle wrote, “I had always believed that I was pro-life until the day I was faced with the decision myself. I grew up in a very strict religious family and was truly afraid that telling my parents that I was pregnant would get me disowned. I’m 27, it’s now almost nine years later, and I still cry about it.” In addition, a young man explained that he was so worried about disappointing his parents that he pressured his girlfriend into having an abortion.

These examples show us that abortions happen because we do not follow the Lord and His commandments. When a pregnancy results from premarital intercourse, abortion can be used to cover up sin. When we do not accept that children are a blessing, we may use abortion as an illegitimate way to plan, instead of trust God’s design for our lives. Or when we altogether ignore what God has to say to us, or that He even exists, we will do whatever we think is right. In other words, there is so much pain because we do not let the Lord’s wise decrees be our guide.

Do you wonder what can be done to stop this evil? It is not enough to refrain from having an abortion! James 1 verse 27 tells us that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” That is a combination of doing and being.

First of all, get up. Get out. Do something about the suffering in the lives of those around you. That also applies to all the pain and suffering resulting from abortion. People need to know what abortion does to pre-born babies and their parents and why it is wrong. The second part says be sanctified and keep yourself unstained from the world. In other words, it isn’t enough to just help those in need. Your life needs to be to God’s honour. We need to know Him personally for time and eternity. What a wonder it would be if the Lord would bind that upon our hearts and work true conversion within us.

But what about those who have had an abortion? Our nation is in desperate need of repentance, restoration, and healing. Maybe you know someone who has had an abortion, or maybe you have had one yourself. A young woman wrote, “I couldn’t forgive myself. If not for the forgiveness of Christ, I would still be suffering from alcoholism, depression and undefeatable guilt and mourning.”

Since God cannot leave sin unpunished, we are condemned to these feelings of guilt but especially are condemned to eternal death. There is only one path to true restoration. Not by forgiving yourself, but by the gracious forgiveness of God through Christ, who was the only One to pay the death we owe. And that is the only true foundation of doing and being, of meeting needs and walking in purity.

Reaching Out
Finally, we are to show compassion to those who have had abortions and are now struggling with feelings of guilt and depression. Of course, that is not an easy task. It needs much love and wisdom. It needs, above all, the Lord’s help. Without Him we can do nothing. But He is able to bless a simple word, a cup of cold water, or even an arm around the shoulder.

Abortion: A Christian Response

Part 2 of 3 of the Abortion Series, originally published in the NRC youth magazine Insight Into in 2008-2009. Reprinted with permission from the authors.

In the first article of this series, Sarah Maljaars introduced abortion as the “silent holocaust.” This article will address what the Christian response to abortion should be. For many involved in abortion apologetics, or the defence of the pre-born, arguments are made in terms of science and philosophy, but for Christians, these arguments and the underlying beliefs are based on the Bible.

Any response to abortion by a Christian is based on the Bible, which is very clear about life. One of the central arguments regarding abortion in our secular world is based on legal terms including the word human” and “person.” ”

In the past, groups have been recognized as “human,” but not as “persons” under the law, which allowed genocide to occur. This definition is not one we can find in the Bible. In fact, the Bible does not mention the word “human.” The bible refers to man, women, child, son, daughter, and babe.

God does not distinguish between born and pre-born life as can be seen in several places. Elizabeth is recorded in Luke 1 where in verse 36 she “conceived a son” and in verse 57 where “she brought forth a son.” God did not distinguish between the child before and after birth, but called Elizabeth’s child a son beginning at conception. Another example is from Job 3:3, where Job refers to “a man child conceived,” showing again that God provides no distinction after the moment of conception.

One of the common reasons provided for abortion is that the recipient is “not ready for children yet.” This flies in the face of the blessing provided by God, especially because our lives were ordained by God from before our conception. The Bible makes references to prophets (Jeremiah, John the Baptist) and preachers (Paul) who were appointed, called and set apart in the womb.

When we consider the number of abortions that take place daily around the world, especially in Western countries that were founded with Christian principles, it is clear how far society has moved. Even during the period known as the dark ages in Europe, when daily life was coarse and uncivilized (in our eyes), expectant mothers were treated with great respect. They were provided with the best possible food, rest, and the care they needed. Maltreatment of any expectant mother was met with stiff punishment because people recognized how fragile the developing child was.

Fast forward to our modern Western society, and we notice a remarkable change. Our “enlightened” society has come to despise the blessing of children with many couples opting to not have any children, or only have one. In some cases, expecting mothers are ridiculed, especially young women who have opted not to abort. Along with this transformation there is a different attitude towards life. Instead of respecting life in the womb, as God’s Word does, our society only protects pre-born life when individuals decide that the life is wanted. Parents who are happy to be expecting a baby celebrate as though life has already begun. If their child is born prematurely they would obviously want the state to recognize their child as a legal “person”, so that she or he could receive the necessary health care. However, parents who do not welcome a pregnancy argue that life does not begin until the baby is actually born, so that they can justify having an abortion.

Even though many parents believe that they are only aborting a lifeless, unwanted piece of tissue, we know that they are actually killing a helpless human being. The Bible makes clear references to the deliberate killing of innocent human beings. In Deuteronomy 27:25 we read, “Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person.” This very statement applies to every abortion clinic and hospital where doctors and nurses are paid to perform abortions. But can it also apply to others?

In Canada, our tax dollars pay for abortions performed under the guise of “healthcare,” in spite of abortion not being a medically necessary procedure. We might defend ourselves from any involvement in this system where we cannot choose how our tax money is spent, but are we concerned about it? Do we bring our concerns to those in government who do make the decisions? Are we involved in the fight to end abortion? As Christians we have the scriptural knowledge that all life, especially that of the pre-born, is precious. With that knowledge we have the responsibility to protect the innocent and helpless lives of the unborn through any means we can use.

Next: Abortion: A Practical Outlook by Maaike Rosendal

Abortion: The Silent Holocaust

Part 1 of 3 of the Abortion Series, originally published in the NRC youth magazine Insight Into in 2008-2009. Reprinted with permission from the authors.

Henry was surrounded by an angry gang of Polish boys. The biggest boy leered and snarled into Henry’s frightened face. “Ty podły Żydzie,” he spat, “You rotten Jews… you’d better run!”

Gangs and bullies were only the beginning of the nightmare Henry and the rest of his Jewish family were about to experience. After the Nazis invaded Poland, Henry’s father was taken away by the Gestapo, tortured, and killed. Henry’s sister was first forced into the Warsaw ghetto, and eventually died in Treblinka. The rest of the family were taken to Auschwitz. Henry and his brother survived the war making machinery and munitions for the Nazis in Auschwitz. His mother died in a gas chamber.

Dr. Henry Morgentaler is not so well known in Canada for his experiences as a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust. However, on October 10, 2008, Morgentaler was awarded the Order of Canada for his role in leading a holocaust of another kind: only this time, the victims are pre-born children, and the method of extermination is abortion.

Abortion is a holocaust that occurs every day in North America and around the world. But instead of suffocating in gas chambers, the victims of this holocaust are murdered within the sterile, white-washed walls of hospital rooms. Abortion is a procedure that ends a woman’s pregnancy. In 1988, Morgentaler challenged the law in Canada that restricted abortion. The Supreme Court ruled in his favour, and since then, there has been no law limiting access to abortions in Canada. During this time, Morgentaler alone has performed more than 100,000 abortions.

Most abortions are done on women who are still in their first three months of pregnancy. To perform an abortion, a doctor will open a woman’s cervix and insert a powerful suction tube with a sharp cutting edge. The suction pulls apart the body of the developing baby and sucks placenta, blood, amniotic fluid, and foetal body parts into a collection container.

Some abortions are done later on in pregnancy. To carry out a “partial-birth” abortion, a doctor reaches into the uterus, takes hold of the pre-born baby’s leg with forceps, and pulls the baby by its legs into the birth canal. At this point the baby is alive, but just the head is inside the womb. Then the doctor forces scissors into the back of the baby’s skull and spreads the tips of the scissors apart to make the wound bigger. Next, the doctor replaces the scissors with a suction tube that sucks the baby’s brains out. The head collapses and is removed from the uterus.

These procedures are both completely legal in Canada. In fact, most abortions are even paid for by Canadian taxpayers through the publicly funded health care system. Since 1969, when abortion first became legal, over three million pre-born babies have died from abortion in Canada. In the United States abortion has been legal since 1973. Since then, there have been over 48 million abortions in the US, and the numbers of abortions increase every day.

How do so many people justify killing defenceless babies? Basically, people who think abortion is okay do not believe that pre-born babies are people. When they talk about the pre-born, they use technical words like “fetus” or “embryo”. Using these words makes it easier to think of pre-born babies as mere “blobs of tissue”. If the doctor is just getting rid of a chunk of flesh growing in the mother’s uterus, then there is nothing wrong with having an abortion, right?

Wrong. The pre-born are much more than a clump of cells. Science shows that from the moment of conception, when the sperm and the egg unite, the pre-born child is a distinct, living, whole human being. At this moment, the pre-born child has all the genetic information that it needs to develop into a unique individual with his or her own hair color, body shape, and personality. All it must do now is grow and develop—just like a newborn, toddler or teenager!

Just as Jews were denied legal status as persons under the Third Reich, pre-born children are dismissed as less than human in our society today. Jews living in Nazi Germany were unprepared and outnumbered. Pre-born children are vulnerable and voiceless. Millions have been robbed of their dignity and being. That is what happens when we fail to protect the weakest people in our society: they wind up in mass graves near Auschwitz, or garbage bins outside hospital doors.

Unfortunately, Morgentaler did not learn from the last Holocaust.

Next: Abortion: A Christian Response by Bruce Aleman