If you were walking down the street and you encountered a man with a butcher’s knife slaughtering a crowd of small children you would be outraged and incensed. At least you would call the police. Perhaps you would scream for others around you to join with you to stop the carnage. You might even attack the person yourself in order to stop the bloodshed.
However, you could be walking past a clinic in which a doctor is slaughtering infants in the wombs of willing mothers and never know such violence is taking place. The scale of the killing is hard to fathom and, equally hard to fathom, is that such cold killing takes place with legal protection.
As much at the world wants to paint this as in issue of women’s rights or personal choice, it is an issue that affects all of society and its view of all life in general. Most importantly, God has spoken on the sanctity of life and our responsibility to protect the most innocent of lives.
Life is God’s Creation and Is Inherently Priceless
Consider these Bible passages regarding God’s creation of life:
- Zechariah 12:1 – The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:
- Ecclesiastes 11:5 – As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
- Job 10:11-12 – You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit (ESV)
- Psalm 139:13-16 – Poetic description of being formed by God
- Jeremiah 1:4-5 – Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
- Galatians 1:5 – But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace…
- Psalm 127:3 – Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Jesus, as a fetus, is spoken of as a person—a child in Luke 1:39-44
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. (Luke 1:39-44 ESV)
Consider the observation of Dave Miller, Ph.D.:
“Notice that Elizabeth’s pre-born baby is being represented as a living human being. In fact, the term “baby” used in verses 41 and 44 to refer to the pre-born John is the exact same term that is used in chapter two to refer to Jesus after His birth as He laid in the manger (Luke 2:12,16). So in God’s sight, whether a person is in his or her pre-birth developmental state, or in a post-birth developmental state, that person is still a baby!”1
Under the Old Testament, the embryo was legally treated as a person. In Exodus 21:22-25, an man who injured a pregnant woman and killed her child would himself be killed: life for life.
Society Chooses Which Life is Valuable and Which Is Worthless
When humanity rejects God, they become the arbiters of life’s value. Some life is valuable and receives protection but life deemed worthless is ignored or destroyed. Those who have power, either through political or economic force, can choose who is privileged to live and who can be killed for the convenience of the living.
As a society we are repulsed at the atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust in which 6 million people were exterminated because they were deemed undesirable by the ruling power. The genocide of defenseless races, such as the hundreds of thousands of Kurds killed with chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein or millions massacred by their oppressors throughout history in places like Rawanda, Korea, Pakistan, and places throughout the world incite our anger especially when the world does not intervene to stop the killing. We are disturbed by the thousands of homicides that take place in our country each year and are concerned by small reports of deaths in our own city.
In order to maintain our outrage towards political powers who would kill thousands of defenseless citizens or criminals who kill in our streets, we must find ways to describe the killing of infants for the convenience of society in terms that do not seem so offensive. We do not call it “infanticide”, the murder of infants, or even killing. We use terms like “right to choose” to keep the ugly word abortion from the debate. 2
Many in society try to argue that the developing life is not human and therefore should not receive the protection afforded to human life. However, some abortion supporters admit the embryo is human life: “The status of the human embryo appears a simple matter. It is alive, and it is neither hamster nor chicken—it is human.”3 More frighteningly, and will be discussed later, some acknowledge that the fetus is human life but we have the right to kill it even after the baby has been born.
The impact of the loss of the millions who are not born was expressed well by the late President Ronald Reagan:
These children…will never laugh, never sing, never experience the joy of human love; nor will they strive to heal the sick, or feed the poor, or make peace among nations. Abortion has denied them the first and most basic of human rights, and we are infinitely poorer for their loss. We are poorer not simply for the lives not led and for contributions not made, but also for erosion of our sense of worth and dignity of every individual. To diminish the value of one category of human life is to diminish us all.4
Devalued Life Leads to Warped Values
Advocating the killing of infants in the mother’s womb creates a twisted morality that reflects the selfishness of the powerful and the illogical position they hold.
Timing of infanticide
Women who have killed their children in the bathtub or left newborns in dumpsters have been imprisoned and prosecuted for murder. However, if these same mothers would have had killed these children before they were born no one would have blinked an eye. Some women might have praised them as heroes for choosing to abort the life of the children instead of calling them monsters. Life is valuable after birth but not a moment before. That is a warped view. Some have seen the logic of this view and, sadly, have advocated killing children after birth but before they achieve humanistic worth of life criteria. See “Something Deadly This Way Comes”
Value Animal Life over Human Life
Consider this wise observation by Dave Miller:
“Merely taking possession of an egg containing the pre-born American bald eagle—let alone if one were to destroy that little pre-birth environment and thus destroy the baby eagle that is developing within—results in a stiff fine and even prison time. Yet one can take a human child in its pre-born environment and not only murder that child, but also receive government blessing to do so! Eagle eggs, i.e., pre-born eagles, are of greater value to American civilization than pre-born humans!”5
Save the Guilty, Kill the Innocent
Some will not advocate the civil execution of some of the most violent, cold-hearted, unrepentant murderers, child abusers and molesters, or rapists—and will hold candlelight vigil outside of the prisons during executions. Some of these same people will vehemently oppose anyone who would suggest halting the killing of the most fragile, innocent, and harmless members of humanity.
Consider this observation by Bert Thompson:
“While our own Supreme Court was outlawing the death penalty for hardened adult criminals, at the same time it was imposing that same penalty upon millions and millions who never had committed a single crime or harmed a single hair on another person’s head. Their only “crime” was that they inadvertently—through no fault of their own—had “inconvenienced” the fornicator. Their only “crime” was that they had arrived at a “bad time” for the married couple that had time to concentrate only on careers, condos, and cash. Their only “crime” was that they were unexpected, unwanted, and unloved.”6
All Life Becomes Devalued
Societal sanctioning of killing infants opens the door for other convenient extermination of human life. R.A. Gallop noted:
“Once you permit the killing of the unborn child, there will be no stopping. There will be no age limit. You are setting off a chain reaction that will eventually make you the victim. Your children will kill you because you permitted the killing of their brothers and sisters. Your children will kill you because they will not want to support you in your old age. Your children will kill you for your homes and estates. If a doctor will take money for killing the innocent in the womb, he will kill you with a needle when paid by your children. This is the terrible nightmare you are creating for the future.”7
When sex becomes your god, the fetus becomes your sacrifice.
We Become the Enemy We Hated
If someone passionately defended political extermination policies and desire to build a perfect race we would be horrified. We might consider the person a monster. We would make comparisons to Hitler’s extermination of the undesirables in death camps.
Consider these chilling words of abortion supporters: 8
- Bentley Glass recently went on record as stating that “no parents will in that future time have a right to burden society with a malformed or a mentally incompetent child”
- Joseph Fletcher of situation ethics fame has suggested that any individual with an IQ of 20 or less is not a person, and that anyone with an IQ ranging from 20 to 40 is only marginally so.
- Nobel laureate Francis Crick has urged that “no newborn infant should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment, and…if it fails these tests, it forfeits the right to live”
These are respected intellectuals, not the ranting of some maniacal bloggers on the fringes of society with a loose hold on mental stability. To these “intellectuals” have been added the sobering, chilling voices of Professors Alberto Giubilini of the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva of the University of Melbourne and Oxford University who, in Now, an even more chilling development comes in the form of an article published in 2012 in the Journal of Medical Ethics arguing for the morality and legalization of “after-birth abortion.”
Giubilini and Minerva argue that the infants lack of ability to anticipate the future makes it permissible to terminate their lives, preferring to call the procedure “after-birth abortion” since they do not consider the birth of the child “morally significant.” There arguments are as follows:
- First: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus, that is, neither can be considered a ‘person’ in a morally relevant sense.”
- Second: “It is not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to be a person in the morally relevant sense.”
- Thus: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack the properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”
Other medical professionals, scientists, and philosophers could develop different or additional criteria to determine who lives and who forfeits their right to life. It is an arbitrary decision when you take God out of the picture.
The quotes of Glass, Bentley, Frick, Giubilini, and Minerva remind me of another piece of legislation which stated:
“the authority of certain physicians to be designated by name in such manner that persons who, according to human judgment, are incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death.”
The quote is from the 1939 order Adolf Hitler gave which set the precedent for “Aktion T 4”, the Nazi infant euthanasia program that targeted those who evidenced signs of mental retardation or physical deformity.9
Code named “Aktion T 4,” the Nazi euthanasia program to eliminate “life unworthy of life” at first focused on newborns and very young children. Midwives and doctors were required to register children up to age three who showed symptoms of mental retardation, physical deformity, or other symptoms included on a questionnaire from the Reich Health Ministry. A decision on whether to allow the child to live was then made by three medical experts solely on the basis of the questionnaire, without any examination and without reading any medical records.
Nazi furnaces spewed the ashes of “undesirables” across the landscape to the disgust of the world; today aborted infant embryos are cremated on a larger scale and few recoil in horror.
Inconsistent Reaction to Atrocities
Facebook and YouTube shares for horrific events that should be brought into the spotlight receive great publicity when the infant slaughter of much greater proportions is sometimes ignored or people tire of the debate.
According to the Center for Disease Control (as close to an official unbiased source I could find), in 2008 there were 825,564 abortions in the United States from 49 reporting areas. Worldwide the number is in the millions per year. “The majority (62.8%) of abortions in 2008 were performed at ≤8 weeks’ gestation and 91.4% were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; 14.6% of all abortions were medical abortions.” Source: MMWR 2011;60(No. 15).
By comparison, many outraged and shocked people forwarded the Kony 2012 video about the abduction of children to be forced into Joseph Kony’s LRA force in Uganda. About 30,000 children over 30 years of conflict were abducted. Any children abducted by Kony constitutes a tragedy but it is such a small number compared to the children aborted in the US in one year.
For years, people protested and argued with politicians about the military deaths in the Iraq conflict. As sad as any death is, there were 6,580 deaths to date in the combined wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over an 11 year period. National outrage for over 8 million US deaths in that same period has not materialized. Considering the 825,564 slaughtered in 2008, that number is 200,000 less than those killed during the FOUR years of the Civil War and half of the US military deaths during FOUR years of WWII. Wikipedia has 1,343,812 in all US wars combined. So two years of abortions in the US alone trumped deaths from every war since the Revolutionary War.
How should we respond?
Should we murder abortionists to stop abortions?
One might argue that we should kill those who kill and do the greater good by stopping the murderers. If you saw a man killing children in a playground wouldn’t you feel some obligation to stop him—even if it meant killing him—to save the children?
However, when Jesus came to earth He had the power to destroy every murderer, abuser, rapist, and violent evil person, yet He did not. His children must reflect the longsuffering and mercy of Jesus. He taught men to reject the evil, He did not kill the Ceasars, Herods and every tyrant.
All judgment and vengeance belongs to God, Romans 12:17-21. We cannot right all wrongs but we can work within our government and teach others so that the good will prevail—we cannot do evil and expect good to result.
Pray that the senseless slaughter will stop. Our God has the ability to bring upheaval within society and bring about reform. Pray that the hearts of men and women will change so that their hearts will not be cold towards their children.
Teach others, defend the truth, and train our children. Do not be silent while the slaughter takes place. It is hypocrisy to criticize the citizens of towns outside of the Nazi death camps or nations that failed to respond to genocide when we do not speak out against the infanticide taking place outside of our own walls.
Oppose the killing in ways that do not break laws or otherwise dishonor God. We need to use the representative government to voice our disgust and call for politicians to act with courage and change the vile laws that permit these things to occur.
Do not become numb to the horror and do not tire of being a voice for these who cannot speak for themselves. Always remember the scale of the atrocities committed in this country and throughout the world. Based on the 2008 CDC abortion numbers and the 2010 Census, if the number of babies aborted in 2008 were born and occupied a city, that city would be the 11th most populous city in the country. The city would be approximately as large as San Francisco.
This injustice incites the anger of God and should arouse righteous indignation in us as well. God has always stressed the importance of His people protecting the weak and defenseless.
- Exodus 23:7 – Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. (ESV)
- Proverbs 6:17 – There are six things that the LORD hates…hands that shed innocent blood (ESV)
Abortion is the extermination of the weak and undesirable because they do not have the power to defend themselves, purchase their freedom, or advocate their right to live. It is not right when a nation does this. It is not right when a dictator does this. It is not right when a woman and her doctor do this. The scale of death is staggering and we must be diligent to never become numb to the slaughter taking place in what we call civilized countries throughout this world.
What would the fetus say in its defense? Listen to the testimony of a former aborted fetus, Gianna Jessen. Jessen is the product of a failed saline abortion. She was born with cerebral palsy brought on by the abortion attempt. She was adopted by a loving family. Hear her testimony:
Fortunately for me the abortionist was not in the clinic when I arrived alive, instead of dead, at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of April 6, 1977. I was early, my death was not expected to be seen until about 9 a.m., when he would probably be arriving for his office hours. I am sure I would not be here today if the abortionist would have been in the clinic as his job is to take life, not sustain it. Some have said I am a “botched abortion”, a result of a job not well done.
I am happy to be alive. I almost died. Every day I thank God for life. I do not consider myself a by-product of conception, a clump of tissue, or any other of the titles given to a child in the womb. I do not consider any person conceived to be any of those things.
I have met other survivors of abortion. They are all thankful for life. … When I speak, I speak not only for myself, but for the other survivors, like Sarah, and also for those who cannot yet speak.
See also her testimony in Australia that is on YouTube. It is very moving.
1 Miller, Dave. “Abortion and the Bible” Apologetics Press. Accessed 9/25/05. http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1964
2 Krauthammer, Charles. “Roe vs. Roberts” Washington Post Online. Accessed 9/25/05. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/15/AR2005091502141.html
3 Robert Edwards quoted in Apologetics Press article: “Shall We Murder to Stop Abortion?” Accessed 9/25/05. http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/435.
6 Thompson, Bert. “God’s Attitude Towards Abortion.” Accessed 9/25/05. http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1976
9 Cochran, Sylvia. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/pro_life/115711