On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States of America decided that an entire portion of the US population were relegated to a status of non-citizen and deprived of their right to life. That is those who have been conceived but not yet born.
The Supreme Court
This was their thought process in a nutshell: most laws against abortion in the United States violated a constitutional right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. They tossed about terms like “viability of the fetus” (generally 24th to 28th week unless “the health of the mother was in jeopardy” (which has been broadly defined to include her “mental health”).
The majority opinion of the Roe Court, written by Justice Harry Blackmun, declined to adopt the district court’s Ninth Amendment rationale, and instead asserted that the “right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” Douglas, in his concurring opinion from the companion case Doe v. Bolton, stated more emphatically that, “The Ninth Amendment obviously does not create federally enforceable rights.” Thus, the Roe majority rested its opinion squarely on the Constitution’s due process clause.[i] (even though it doesn’t say anything like it but I guess they try to make it say what they want.)
Bryon White (one of the two dissenting justice) in his opinion:
I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.[ii]
Nevertheless murder became the law of the land on that infamous day.
The Biblical perspective
The question first is: when does life start? Let’s look at a few Bible verses to get an idea:
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psa 139:13-16)
Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. (Jer 1:4-8)
And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. (Gen 25:21-24)
We notice a few interesting facts we learn from these verses, first and foremost is that God does recognize life before birth, while they are in the womb. But the baby is in the womb a long time, when does life begin? Look at the first entry: Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. God saw the baby when it was not perfected, while his members were not yet formed.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect,…. The word (q) for “substance” signifies a bottom of yarn wound up, or any rude or unformed lump; and designs that conglomerated mass of matter separated in the womb, containing all the essentials of the human frame, but not yet distinguished or reduced into any form or order; yet, even when in this state, the eyes of the Lord see it and all its parts distinctly; [iii]
So from the above verse I can interpret even a zygote (\ˈzī-ˌgōt\ Function: noun Etymology: Greek zygōtos yoked, from zygoun to join Date: circa 1887 : a cell formed by the union of two gametes ; broadly : the developing individual produced from such a cell.[iv]) the union of the sperm and the egg starts life. We also see that God not only sees the life, but what that life is going to accomplish from the womb as in Jeremiah. Going beyond that we see during Rebekah’s pregnancy that God also sees all descendants of those people born from those in the womb!
God and those who perform abortions
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 upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (Exodus 21:22-25)
Fruit: H3206 yeled yeh’-led From H3205; something born, that is, a lad or offspring: – boy, child, fruit, son, young man (one).[v]
The punishment for committing an abortion is the same (doing anything to a woman causing the unborn child to die) is the same as a murder for a person: death.
In God’s eyes he sees the unborn in the same light as those born: as human beings. We as a society will be held accountable for the atrocities committed on our watch. We average 1.2 million per year and over 48 million since Roe v. Wade.[vi] It is scary, that is eight times the atrocities of Hitler to put it in perspective.
The thought boggles my mind, and we as believers cannot sit quietly while this continues. What can we do? Think about it: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2Chronicles 7:14)
- 1. Christians must pray. We have not because we ask not
- 2. We must be humble, realizing it will take an act of God to save America
- 3. Seek God’s face
- 4. Turn from our wicked ways: first ours then confess the sins of our nation as Daniel did.
- 5. Take action. I am not taking about attacking anybody, but the abortion business is a business. If we reach out to those seeking abortions, show them the atrocities included in abortion (The Tract League, at http://tractleague.com/ have many good tracts on the topic), love them in the name of Jesus. As more people stop having abortions, the clinics will close for lack of business.
Just a few thoughts to get us started. Just remember this is still murder and murder most foul, killing the most innocent that cannot defend themselves, and we have to be their voice.
[i] Wikipedia, Roe v. Wade http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade
[iii] E-sword, John Gills Exposition of the Entire Bible, Psalm 139:16
[iv] zygote. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved April 14, 2009, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zygote
[v] E-sword, Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.