“We can get you scheduled this afternoon. Like we’ve told you at the last appointment this pregnancy should be terminated.” I was 17 and pregnant. At the last appointment, the doctor noticed abnormalities and scheduled additional tests. Already alone, overwhelmed, and scared, I felt like I couldn’t breathe when the nurse came in to pressure me once again to consider abortion.
Today the pregnancy that “should’ve been terminated” is a 21-year-old, high-functioning woman on the autism spectrum. Looking back, what science considered a chromosomal abnormality is the most incredible and miraculous gift I have ever been given. Those who told me it would change my world for the worst changed it for the better.
I still remember the feelings of fear, feeling trapped, and being terrified of the future. I didn’t know how to face my parents, how I was going to finish high school, or how to support a baby; and I’m not the only woman to face an unplanned pregnancy. Every year, over three million women (about 50%) in the U.S. will face an unplanned pregnancy and of those pregnancies, 43% end in abortion.
Over 98% of the abortions performed today involve women who simply do not want to have the baby. Less than two percent of abortions are for the reasons of rape, incest, or the mother’s life is at risk. With today’s technology, a child can survive outside the womb at just 21 weeks gestation.
Regardless of these facts, abortion is one of the biggest industries in our nation. It is also one of the biggest mission fields. It has been 40 years since the Supreme Court rule of Roe v. Wade. Since then, there have been 60 million abortions in this country. That is 55 million children lost and millions of women living with the decision that they ended a life.
The Guttmacher Institute, the researchers for Planned Parenthood, shared that women feel immediate relief after having an abortion but 81% will develop mental health issues and there is a 261% chance of alcohol misuse and 313% increased risk of drug abuse. So, what does the Bible have to say about it? Why is it important to us?
What Does the Bible Say about Abortion?
The word abortion is never mentioned in the Bible. However, in those days, abortion, infanticide, and child abandonment were permitted under Roman law. In fact, there are several passages that reference the killing of women and children during wars against Israel’s enemies.
Simply put, abortion is murder. It is the killing of a human being who is created in the image of God because he values human life. That does not mean the Bible is silent on the matter though because it has a great deal to say about the value God puts on life and even when life begins. King David illustrates this most beautifully in Psalm 139.
For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
Without the benefit of ultrasounds and modern science, David penned these words that our hearts instinctively know. Life is life. It is precious, no matter if it is one day or 100 years on this earth. Even within the womb God sees life, he values it, he is the author, and he has ordained all the days of its life just like he has with each of us.
Jesus reaffirmed his position, the value of life, and even children by coming into the world through a young, unwed, teenage girl named Mary. In those days, an unwed, pregnant woman could be put to death in the eyes of the law. Another passage about life references Mary’s cousin Elizabeth when she became pregnant in her old age. While John was still within the womb, he already revealed his personality when he lept for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice.
The same New Testament Greek word “brephos” is used to describe John’s inter-uterine joy (Luke 1:41), the baby Jesus (Luke 2:12,16), and the children approaching Jesus during his ministry (Luke 18:15). The Bible has dozens and dozens of scriptures referencing the value of life.
- This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, (Isaiah 44:24).
- Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his, we are his people, the sheep of his pasture (Psalm 100:3).
- Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5).
- But when He who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through His grace (Galatians 1:15).
- Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for giving us through Christ every possible spiritual benefit as citizens of heaven! For consider what he has done — before the foundation of the world He chose us to become, in Christ, His holy and blameless children living within His constant care (Ephesians 1:3-4).
The only reference of the life of an unborn child is one of the Mosaic laws that referenced miscarriage: If a woman has a miscarriage as a result of a fight, the man who caused it would be severely punished up to death.
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 accordingly 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 (Exodus 21:22-25).
Friends, our humanity is given. It is not earned. For those who say a woman gets to decide when life is a life is to play God. Only he alone has the authority.
For Those Who Have Had an Abortion
Perhaps you have a friend who has had an abortion or perhaps you have. I don’t know your story; I don’t know your circumstances, but I do know this: Jesus isn’t shocked by abortion. He knows everything about you, and he wants to take the crushing shame and insurmountable pain off your shoulders. He wants to wash you in grace and set you free.
When Jesus receives you, you are united with him. He goes to God on your behalf. And do you know what our mighty, Father God says? “You have been crucified with Christ — you’ve already been through judgment — you are now hidden in Jesus. You are my child in whom I am well pleased.” You are fully known and loved by God.
And the beautiful part? Your child is waiting for you. He or she is with Jesus and when she asks when she will get to see you, Jesus simply replies, “Tomorrow,” because one day in his courts is 1,000 years on this earth.
If you have an abortion, find a friend that you can trust and open up about your story. Look for a biblical counselor in your area as well and join an abortion recovery group if there is one in your area. You do not have to live with pain and guilt. God can use your story to set another woman free and perhaps save the life of a child too. Who the Son sets free is free indeed.
Personhood, Grace, and the Sanctity of Human Life
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/petrunjela
Heather Riggleman is a believer, wife, mom, author, social media consultant, and full-time writer. She lives in Minden, Nebraska with her kids, high school sweetheart, and three cats who are her entourage around the homestead. She is a former award-winning journalist with over 2,000 articles published. She is full of grace and grit, raw honesty, and truly believes tacos can solve just about any situation. You can find her on GodUpdates, iBelieve, Crosswalk, Hello Darling, Focus On The Family, and in Brio Magazine. Connect with her at www.HeatherRiggleman.com or on Facebook.