(part 3 of the series)
In 1973 the United States Supreme Court made their controversial decision known as Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal in this country. The young lady, known as “Jane Roe,” was said to have conceived after she was raped, and she wanted an abortion, which were being performed illegally at the time (called “back alley abortions”).
Ms. “Roe” (Norma L. McCorvey) has since come out and admitted she lied about having been raped, and that the child she conceived was her third out of wedlock. She is now a pro-life advocate, and her case McCorvey v. Hill (2005), sought to overturn Roe v. Wade, but was denied by the Supreme Court.
The fact that the little lady who started the big war (to use the language of President Lincoln) has been on both sides of the issue serves to typify the fact that the country itself is split. Where should Christians stand on this matter?
I personally believe that the Bible teaches that life begins at conception. In my most recent book Asleep in Heaven’s Nursery (available Here and Here) I lay out these days in the life of a developing unborn child:
• Day 1—fertilization
• Day 6—embryo implants in the uterus
• Day 22—a heart pumps the baby’s own blood
• Week 3—spinal column, nervous system, liver, and kidneys forming
• Week 4—the baby is 10,000 times larger than it was at conception
• Week 5—eyes, hands, and legs are developing
• Week 6—brain waves are noticeable; mouth, lips, and fingernails are forming
• Week 7—eye lids, toes, and nose are forming; he is swimming and kicking
• Week 8—every organ is in place; cartilage is turning into bone; he has unique fingerprints and he can hear
• Weeks 9-10—teeth are developing in the gums; he can hiccup
• Weeks 11-12—he can urinate and “practices breathing”; he has a full skeletal structure
• Week 12—vocal chords are complete
• Week 14—the heart pumps several quarts of blood per day
• Week 15—he has all his taste buds
• Month 4—his bone marrow is forming and he weighs half a pound (from chapter 3, “When does a life become a life?”
This timeline shows that the child is developing and is very much alive when an abortion takes place. In that same chapter I make the case that an unborn baby is a human in the same way that an acorn is a tree, just in its smallest form.
The pro-choice person might say that if a fetus has to develop into a baby, then it is not a baby. But I say that this change is no different than a baby developing into a toddler, who will develop into a teenager, who will develop into an adult. To cut off the process anywhere is to terminate the life of a human.
To quote Ray Comfort in his groundbreaking documentary 180, “Finish this sentence: it’s OK to kill a baby in the womb when______.” He asked that question to abortion advocates, and no one could give him an answer. Comfort pointed out that the Holocaust of the Nazi’s murdered 6 million Jews, but abortion has murdered 55 million babies in America alone.
But more important than my book or Comfort’s documentary, consider the words of the Most High God. In Psalm 139:13-14 David says that God formed him in his mother’s womb (some translations say “knit together”), and in Jeremiah 1:4-5 we read the Lord saying those same things to Jeremiah.
If these are lives knit together or formed by God, then the mother has no right to choose if the baby lives or not. Her choice should be to not have sex if she doesn’t want a baby. Our Sex Ed classes spend all their time passing out condoms and putting them on cucumbers; maybe they should get back to the basics of the birds and the bees. No sex = no baby. (For the record, I wish these classes didn’t even exist)
Rape and Incest
I know that some women conceived against their will, and the previous paragraph doesn’t apply to them. Should we vote to keep abortion legal for these women? People running for office on the pro-choice side usually claim to only want to keep abortion legal for those reasons, and yet I have never seen a pro-choice candidate actually propose any legislation that would make abortion illegal if there were no rape or incest.
What is important to remember is that less than 1% of abortions performed annually were because of rape or incest (this is pointed out in Randy Alcorn’s book Why Pro Life?). And the notion that babies conceived in incest should be aborted because of the tendency for handicapped births? This is also something that is blown out of proportion.
Just because a woman is raped, why does the child have to die? He could be viewed as a blessing that came from a tragedy. He could also be put up for adoption, where plenty of famous people made their start, like President Bill Clinton, the late Steve Jobs of Apple, and Babe Ruth, who learned the game of baseball at an orphanage.
I sympathize with the woman who did not want a baby and conceived one after she was raped. But there are millions of families who would love to adopt your baby.
I’m one of them.
Stem Cell Research
This issue goes hand in hand with abortion because it involves terminating a tiny life. Famous people like Michael J. Fox, First Lady Nancy Reagan, and Christopher Reeve have become the faces for this cause.
The idea is that by harvesting stem cells we might make a scientific breakthrough and cure some diseases. But the media is not exactly straightforward on this issue. We must remember the difference between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells.
Adult stem cells are collected without terminating a life; embryonic stem cells cannot be. Adult stem cells have cured dozens of diseases; embryonic stem cells have not.
Even celebrity doctor Dr. Oz told Oprah that embryonic stem cells have done more harm than good, transforming themselves into cancer in case studies. They have not, and cannot, cure diseases, he concluded on her TV show.
Matt Maher, whose opinion should never be taken seriously, told David Letterman that, because President Bush believed in God we cannot cure Parkinson’s Disease. But the reality is that embryonic stem cells had been experimented with for years before they were brought to the spotlight during the Bush Administration, and they were not going to cure Parkinson’s, or anything else.
Adult stem cells led to the cure for Polio and dozens of other things, and hopefully they will lead to the cure for cancer and Parkinson’s, and diabetes, and everything else that ails us.
What should matter to the Christian voter is that embryonic stem cells are harvested in a lab. This means that an egg is fertilized to produce the necessary ingredients, or in other words, a life is created to be destroyed for science. These embryos could be implanted into a woman (IVF) and carried to term. In President Bush’s newest book, Decision Points, he has a picture of himself with a “snowflake baby,” a child born that was once in a lab that could have been killed for his stem cells. That boy and his parents were in the White House when President Bush banned the practice of harvesting life for its destruction.
If you think that your vote for a candidate will not affect this issue, consider that the absolute first thing President Obama did in office was overturn the Bush decision on embryonic stem cell research. I only say that to caution the voter: know where the candidates stand on this issue.
So how should a Christian vote when it comes to abortion or embryonic stem cell research? The Bible shows us that life begins at conception, that even a baby in a womb or a lab is still a life. To vote for a candidate that will keep these practices legal is to share in their judgment.
Each president will have a say in how this issue plays out. I always hear people say that we shouldn’t care so much about this issue because no president can overturn Roe v. Wade. While that much is true, consider what the last three presidents did on this issue.
President Bill Clinton signed partial birth abortion into law, which allowed for 3rd trimester babies to be aborted by the cruelest of means.
President George W. Bush immediately banned partial birth abortion, and it took the Supreme Court years to uphold his ban. He also banned the harvesting of embryonic stem cells for research.
President Barack Obama overturned the Bush decision on stem cells. He also has allowed for our tax dollars to pay for Mexican abortions, and Obamacare will will use tax dollars to make abortion free here.
What will the next president do? You better know before you vote for one. Also consider that the Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the president, so you should know what kind of judges the candidate will appoint, whether they are pro-life or pro-choice.
If the bench had 9 Justices that were pro-life, then McCorvey would have gotten her way and won her case to undo the first case she won.