Of all the political, social, and moral debates that have gone on for the past forty years, it would be hard to come up with a more sensitive topic than abortion. Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973, 60 million children have been ripped from the safety of their mothers’ wombs and brutally murdered. That is not the debate, those are the facts. And many experts believe the true number of abortions has been greatly under reported.
Contrary to many opinions, the debate is not about when life begins. For years people entangled themselves in endless arguments about whether life begins at fertilization, or when the heart starts beating, or when brain waves are detected, or when the first breath is taken, and on and on. Very few would deny that the unborn child is alive. If only our government applied the same standard to humans that it applies to eagles! According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act “provides criminal penalties for persons who ‘take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, at any time or any manner any bald eagle . . . [or any golden eagle], alive, dead, or any part, nest, or egg thereof.’ ” Is an egg alive? Yes, we would agree there is a baby eagle waiting to be hatched. The act provides penalties of up to $200,000 and a year in prison for the first offense.
Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, is a leading proponent of the utilitarian concept of “the greatest good for the greatest number” as the only measure of good or ethical behavior. Therefore, Singer proposes that the boundary between human and “animal” is completely arbitrary. This in turn leads the professor to his ultimate, horrifying conclusion: “Newborn babies have no sense of their own existence over time. So killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living.”
Legalized abortion has not reduced child abuse or sex trafficking, as pro-abortion advocates once promised it would. Rather, since the passage of Roe v. Wade, we have succeeded in cheapening human life to its lowest possible level. In the early days some prophesied that it would lead down a slippery slope to euthanasia. These prognosticators were laughed to scorn at the time, but today we have laws allowing assisted suicide in nine states and the District of Columbia.
The debate over abortion has little to do with “is the child alive?” and everything to do with “is the child’s life valuable?” Mankind has exchanged God’s law for human-created ethics and rationalizations. So what does God’s Word have to say about His precious gift of life?
“So God created man in his own image; in the image of God He created him.” (Genesis 1:27) Being created in God’s image gave man the unique ability to have a relationship with his Creator. It also fit man for his task of subduing all of nature under his control as God instructed.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5) God informs us that as He actively formed the pre-born prophet Jeremiah, He knew him and had plans for him.
“My times are in Your hand.” (Psalm 31:15) Life is the most precious gift of God next to faith in Christ. All should have opportunity to make use of their time of grace to seek the Lord and His will.
David W. Bernthal is a retired teacher. He is a member of Luther Memorial Church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.