Did you know it’s a crime to destroy an eagle’s egg in the United States? Yet killing an unborn child is permitted. Society today is completely mixed up!
And the scourge of abortion is worldwide. It was reported several years ago that “nearly a third of pregnancies in Europe end in abortion” (Claire Bates, Daily Mail, Jan. 19, 2012). In China the number is an unthinkable 23 million per year (“China Commits ‘Staggering’ 23 Million Abortions Per Year, According to US State Dept.,” LifeSiteNews, April 15, 2016).
How does ending life in this way find such widespread acceptance? Many in favor of abortion make the woeful argument that what is growing in a woman’s womb is not really a human being.
But an unborn child is a human being. It’s not a piece of tissue. “A baby’s heart beats in 22 days, hiccups begin [at] 52 days, organs function 8 weeks after conception—in short … abortion kills a human” (Keith Riler, “Thirty-Six Couples Wait for Every One Baby Who Is Adopted,” LifeNews.com, July 9, 2012). The unborn can even hear and respond to music!
For those facing an unwanted pregnancy, abortion is the wrong answer. We must all learn to seek direction from God—and His forgiveness where we have gone astray—learning to value precious human life as He does.
What does the Bible say?
Society may call the unborn mere “tissue,” but Scripture makes it clear that the unborn is a child. Exodus 21:22-23 Exodus 21:22-23 22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
23 And if any mischief follow, then you shall give life for life,
American King James Version×says regarding expectant mothers: “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life …” (emphasis added throughout). This meant the death penalty if the woman or the unborn were killed. Some will dispute that, but notice further that the unborn here is called a child.
Now consider Luke 1:1-2 Luke 1:1-2 1 For as much as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2 Even as they delivered them to us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
American King James Version×, which contains the story of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Mary, pregnant with Jesus, encountered her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John: “And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe [John] leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41 Luke 1:41And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
American King James Version×). Elizabeth said: “For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy” (verse 44). The Greek word translated “babe” here is the same word we find in Luke 2 referring to Christ as “the Babe … in a manger” (verses 12, 16).
Again, the baby John leapt for joy in his mother’s womb. Clearly he was already a real person while in the womb—as was Jesus. Would it have been okay for John or Jesus to have been aborted then?
So both the Old Testament and the New Testament affirm that the unborn are indeed tiny babies! They have every right to human life!
Disaster at the U.S. Supreme Court
One of the most tragic decisions ever handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court was the January 1973 landmark ruling of Roe v. Wade, which allowed women across the country the “legal” right to abort the young life in their womb. This ruling has been interpreted to mean that the unborn do not have constitutional rights.
How horrific and sad! If the unborn have no constitutional rights, then who will protect the unborn?
The argument that every woman has the right to decide what is best for her own body is quite shallow. Do children in the womb have no rights concerning what is done to their bodies—whether to live or die? Who will speak for them?
Amazingly, “Jane Roe,” the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade whose real name was Norma McCorvey, later had a complete change of heart and came to regret her role in legalizing abortion. She became a Christian pro-life advocate in the mid-1990s and remained involved in campaigning to make abortion illegal until her death in 2017, stating “that her role in the landmark court case was the biggest mistake of her life” (Alexandra Desanctis, “Little-Known Facts About Roe v. Wade,” National Review, Jan. 23, 2017).
Not just the woman’s sin
Abortion is so often labeled the sin of the woman ending her pregnancy. But men who’ve fathered the children being aborted have their share of the guilt as well—many encouraging and even paying for abortions. Teen girls and young adult women often acquiesce to pressure put on them by boyfriends, afraid of losing that relationship. And many husbands are complicit in their wives getting abortions out of convenience, not wanting extra mouths to feed.
And then there are the doctors and facilities actually providing the abortions—along with the industry and political groups behind them. Indeed, society at large stands guilty in this sin as well.
In America, there is such a disdainful and presumptuous attitude over this spiritual cancer. One abortion clinic counselor went so far as to film her own abortion in order to “eradicate stigma surrounding pregnancy decisions and fight for the right of all people to carry out those decisions without shame, stigma or coercion” (Lindsey Beaver, “New Jersey Abortion Clinic Counselor Explains ‘Why I Filmed My Abortion,’” The Washington Post, May 8, 2014).
How sick this society has become! With such widespread promotion of abortion, it’s clearly not just the sin of each woman who has one.
I had an abortion. Can God forgive me?
While some women have seared consciences and feel justified in having had one or more abortions, many others have great heartache, regret and guilt. Many remain haunted at having made the biggest mistake of their lives. Frightened and scared at the time, they fell for the lie that abortion was the best way out of their difficult situation. Looking back later, they see things differently. After months or years, some wonder: “Will God forgive me?” “Can God ever forgive me?”
Some of us have done some pretty bad things. Some of us can’t seem to forget a past that haunts us to this day.
Can God forgive adultery? Yes! Can He forgive murder? Yes! Can He forgive abortion? Yes!
Let’s read about God’s willingness to forgive in the words of Micah 7:18-19 Micah 7:18-19 18 Who is a God like to you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retains not his anger for ever, because he delights in mercy.
19 He will turn again, he will have compassion on us; he will subdue our iniquities; and you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
American King James Version×: “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
The patriarch Job said in Job 14:17 Job 14:17My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and you sew up my iniquity.
American King James Version×: “My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and You cover my iniquity.” Hebrews 8:12 Hebrews 8:12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
American King James Version×states, again within the context of repentance, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
As long as we respond properly to the grace of God, there is no sin He cannot forgive!
God wants us to respond to His mercy. He wants us to fall under His mercy, not under His condemnation.
On the other hand, don’t go to the other extreme and think, “Well, okay, I’ll go ahead and have that abortion and then ask God to forgive me.” Romans 6:1-2 Romans 6:1-2 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
American King James Version×says: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
Please, please do not take God’s grace for granted.
Repentance is the path to forgiveness
Some sorrow over their sins to the point of despair. The apostle Paul mentioned the need to expel from church fellowship a man who had been sleeping with his stepmother (1 Corinthians 5:1-5 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that has done this deed might be taken away from among you.
3 For I truly, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that has so done this deed,
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5 To deliver such an one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
American King James Version×). But after this man repented, Paul told the congregation to “forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow” (2 Corinthians 2:7 2 Corinthians 2:7So that contrariwise you ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
American King James Version×).
Paul knew of the healing process of repentance and forgiveness. He stated, “I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (verses 10-11). One thing that stands out here is that we must accept God’s forgiveness for our horrible sins lest Satan take advantage of us through doubt and discouragement. Yes, God is willing to forgive the sin of abortion, as long as one repents.
King David, writer of most of the Psalms, admitted his sins to God. He said in one: “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalms 32:5 Psalms 32:5I acknowledge my sin to you, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the LORD; and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
American King James Version×). In his lifetime, David had committed the sin of both adultery and murder, yet he clung to the realization that God removes our sins from us “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalms 103:12 Psalms 103:12As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
American King James Version×).
Our study guide Transforming Your Life: The Process of Conversion explains true, biblical repentance as follows: “The Greek and Hebrew words translated ‘repent’ both refer to a change of heart, a significant shift in our thinking, a transformation of purpose with emphasis on modifying one’s conduct … Thus, when we repent we must turn away from the sins we are guilty of committing and we must unconditionally surrender our will to God.”
Repentance also means that a person will remorsefully say in effect, “If I had to do it all over again I would never do it.” And to be forgiven you must fall upon God’s mercy, accepting the shed blood of Jesus Christ who laid down His life for you and is willing to cover your sin.
No one likes to face their own sins. No one likes to admit they must repent. Indeed, true repentance is the most painful inner experience a person can go through. It is also the most healing of human experiences. Again, David said of the truly repentant: “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit” (Psalms 32:1-2 Psalms 32:1-2 1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
American King James Version×, New International Version).
All of repentant humanity can be forgiven of any and all of our sins. The repentant person can cry out with the trusting plea of Jeremiah the prophet: “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise” (Jeremiah 17:14 Jeremiah 17:14Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise.
American King James Version×).
If you are considering an abortion, don’t do it. Seek help, for indeed help is out there. Find a pro-life minister and his wife for advice, or a pro-life Christian counselor. And if you’ve already had an abortion, know that God stands willing to forgive you. Receive the encouragement and exhortation our living Savior gave the woman caught in adultery in John 8:11 John 8:11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.
American King James Version×, saying, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
God our Father is the great Giver of life. As His children, let’s determine to preserve the lives of the unborn, who are also His children, at all costs.