Roe v Wade
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There are few things that move my heart more than the topic of abortion and there has been much talk about it lately. I hope you have been following along, but if you are like most evangelical Christians, you probably haven’t. In fact, if you are like most believers, you don’t really know much about the abortion debate at all, let alone the philosophical, scientific and biblical arguments against it.
Over and over during the commentators on both sides have talked about how much misinformation and misunderstanding there is about abortion. I myself am amazed by the lack of understanding on the part of Christians regarding the importance of this subject and saddened that most Christians couldn’t give a meaningful defense for unborn life. Sure, many believers seem to know that abortion is inherently wrong, but they can’t articulate why. I want to change that.
Laws In the US
Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of Roe vs Wade which essentially created the right to on-demand abortions in the US by allowing abortions that would protect the woman’s “psychological and physical well-being” — in other words, for any reason. There is one law, the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act” which punishes anyone who commits violence against “a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb” (source), except those performing abortions.
Laws in Canada
In Canada, there have been no laws governing abortion since January 28, 1988 when the Supreme Court decided in R. v. Morgentaler that having abortion laws in the Criminal Code was unconstitutional as it violated a woman’s rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
How Canadian Law Sees the Unborn can be summarized best by quoting from this paper found on the Government of Canada’s website. “…under Canadian law as it is now, the fetus is not considered to be a ‘legal’ person and therefore has no rights until ‘born alive’. This rule… is that ‘once a child is born, alive and viable, the law may recognize that its existence began before berth for certain limited purposes. But the only right recognized is that of the born person.” Even after that the law seems to be inconsistent, considering how Canadian Justice Joanne Veit treated the murder of a newborn baby.
Some Helpful Resources
Here are few resources that will give you the tools you need to understand and communicate why Christians believe that abortion is wrong and why we defend the lives of the unborn.
The Briefing “40 Years After Roe” by Albert Mohler
I recommend you listen to this to get an understanding of current issues, history and pertinent worldview questions. He’s US based, but his insights are extremely helpful. I also recommend this sermon and these articles on “The Sanctity of Human Life”.
“We Know They Are Killing Children — All Of Us Know” by John Piper
John Piper gives 11 powerful and easily understandable evidences that abortion is murder. He expands on them, but here they are:
1. Anecdotally, abortionists will admit they are killing children.
2. States treat the killing of the unborn as a homicide.
3. Fetal surgery treats the unborn as children and patients.
4. Being small does not disqualify personhood.
5. Not having developed reasoning does not disqualify personhood.
6. Being in the womb does not disqualify human personhood,
7. Being dependent on mommy does not disqualify personhood.
8. The genetic make up of humans is unique.
9. All the organs are present at eight weeks of gestation.
10. We have seen the photographs.
11. When two rights conflict, the higher value should be protected.
“Ten [Biblical] Reasons Why it is Wrong to Take the Life of Unborn Children” by John Piper
If the previous list wasn’t enough, here are some arguments from scripture.
1. God commanded, “Thou shalt not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
2. The destruction of conceived human life — whether embryonic, fetal, or viable — is an assault on the unique person-forming work of God.
3. Aborting unborn humans falls under the repeated Biblical ban against “shedding innocent blood.”
4. The Bible frequently expresses the high priority God puts on the protection and provision and vindication of the weakest and most helpless and most victimized members of the community.
5. By judging difficult and even tragic human life as a worse evil than taking life, abortionists contradict the widespread Biblical teaching that God loves to show his gracious power through suffering and not just by helping people avoid suffering.
6. It is a sin of presumption to justify abortion by taking comfort in the fact that all these little children will go to heaven or even be given full adult life in the resurrection.
7. The Bible commands us to rescue our neighbor who is being unjustly led away to death.
8. Aborting unborn children falls under Jesus’ rebuke of those who spurned children as inconvenient and unworthy of the Savior’s attention.
9. It is the right of God the Maker to give and to take human life. It is not our individual right to make this choice.
10. Finally, saving faith in Jesus Christ brings forgiveness of sins and cleansing of conscience and help through life and hope for eternity. Surrounded by such omnipotent love, every follower of Jesus is free from the greed and fear that might lure a person to forsake these truths in order to gain money or avoid reproach.
How to Pray
1. Pray that God will bring common sense to the lawmakers and have them end abortion.
2. Pray for women who have had abortions, that they may have the spiritual healing that can only come through Jesus Christ.
3. Pray for the fathers of the aborted children, that they may grieve, repent and find healing through Jesus.
4. Pray for abortionists, that God’s hand of conviction will be heavy upon them and they will repent and be healed.
5. Pray for churches, that they might know how to confront this issue with grace and truth.
6. Pray for Christian crisis pregnancy centres, that God might expand them to give woman more alternatives to abortion and save the unborn.