We have in our culture a conundrum. On the one hand, written into the core values document of our nation [constitution] we say all humans are created equal. By that the original framers of the constitution meant that all humans are deserving of freedom, dignity and equal rights under law. Today, we demand and are guaranteed these rights as adults. However, unborn babies have no such guarantee. They are the ones in our society that are at risk. They are denied freedom if an adult says so. They are denied the dignity of living if it seems inconvenient to an adult. They have unequal rights under the law. In other words, they are considered expendable and of much lesser value to the adult population in our society, who wield power over them.
The statistics are staggering if we stop to actually think about it. I have read that abortions are the most common surgery performed on women. In 2011, 1.06 million abortions were performed. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions occurred . Those are big numbers and are hard to visualize. I lived in Loveland Colorado years ago, a town at the time of 35,000 souls. A million deaths would equal three towns of Loveland’s size wiped off of the map. We think horrible tragedy if an airliner goes down killing two to three hundred people. Yet each day over 2700 babies are killed equating to six 747 airliners carrying 450 passengers each, crashing every day. Would our society tolerate such massacre? No.
So how did we as a nation move from “all are created equal” and therefore protected under the law to only some are protected? I think that the answer is based on where we, as individuals, see life originating. Abortion is not just a non-Christian issue. The congregants of the Church at large [Protestant and Catholic] are severely divided on this issue. This article is written from a Christian perspective. My source material is unashamedly the Bible. And I am going to state right up front that I believe that God is the originator of all life. I do not believe that we evolved out of some primordial slime pit from a one celled-organism into the complicated entity that we are today. God was there when each of us had our start. Hold that thought…
Here is an interesting question: Does God believe that humans He creates are equal in status – babies and adults? In order to answer that, I have to go to the source where God speaks to that issue. I have found five ways that God speaks to the issue of equality of human life. Here they are:
FIRST: God cares for the unborn. When God was forming the nation of Israel, He told them that “If men fight and hit a pregnant woman and … there is serious injury, then you will give a life for a life.” [Exodus 21:22-25] God is expressing a deep moral code here. Even human life that seems to have little or no value to us humans is invaluable to Him. In other words, God is telling us that He expects us to respect life from the very beginning, both of the mother and of the child. Precaution should be taken to insure that no hurt might occasion a miscarriage.
SECOND: We are to protect the helpless. Jesus Himself told said to the Disciples: “It is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” [Matthew 18:14] What are amazing are the contradictions we have within the boundaries of the law. In many states, the law says that it is illegal to distribute drugs to a minor. That includes ingesting drugs when a woman is pregnant. If caught, they will be prosecuted under the law. That means that it is illegal to do harm to the baby a woman is carrying. However, it is perfectly lawful to kill it! All alcoholic drinks carry the federally mandated warning: “In accordance with the Surgeon General, woman should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.” So the government is insistent that women should be warned that alcohol can harm their baby but there is no warning about the risks of abortion to the baby; it is killed. We live in a conflicted society because we refuse to protect the helpless from perishing as God intended.
THIRD: Children are from God. “Children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” [Psalm 127:3] Here is the problem. Our society has moved away from acknowledging God. Therefore we have no reason to see babies as a blessing from Him. We no longer see babies as something to value but more of a commodity.
FOURTH: God forms every child. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” [Psalm 139:13-16] Of course, if one believes that they evolved from an ape or some lesser form of life, what God has to say is meaningless and foolish. For me, knowing that there is Someone who is intimately concerned about me rather than my beginnings being chance evolution in a swamp is a source of great comfort. It gives me a reason for my name and for being. There is a future for me. I have a destiny. This life is not all there is to my existence.
God plans the future of every child. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you …” [Jeremiah 1:5] God has a distinct purpose for each life He creates. Our goal is to discover and work out His plan.
We have in our culture a conundrum. Our society, including a large segment of Christians, have opted to question God. It happened in the Garden first when the Tempter asked Eve “Did God really tell you …?” It takes a radical commitment to listening and adhering to the principles God has laid down for our welfare to follow a different path than society. But that is the only path that leads to emotional and physical health.