psalm 139

This is the final part of my blog on abortion.  You can find part 1 HERE.

As a Christian, my worldview is based on the Bible, so I want to examine what Scripture says about human life.  The opening chapter of the Bible explains that: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)  Every human life is important to God because He created us to be in His likeness.  No other work of God’s creation bears the title of being created in His image—humanity is exceptional.

The entirety of Scripture is clear: God values an unborn baby as a person.  In his famous psalm, David explains the providential care that God had in forming him as a person inside the womb: For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.  Psalm 139:13-16 ESV

This passage confirms that God, in his sovereignty, has a part in forming unborn persons.  He saw David as special even before he was born; He even wrote the plan for his life.  What might this look like?  Grudem explains that “God was active as the unformed substance (embryo) grew and developed; indeed he is the one who formed my inward parts and knitted me together.” [1]

Additionally, Jeremiah tells of God’s loving care: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)  This passage informs us that God forms an unborn baby in the womb, and that He knows us before birth actually happens.  Patricia and Keith Miller explain: “God is actively and personally involved in the life of every unborn person, even regarding plans for each day of his or her life.”  [2] Furthermore, the in Isaiah 491:1 the prophet says that “The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.”

Next, in Luke’s Gospel, we are told Elizabeth’s baby leapt in her womb upon learning the news that Mary was carrying the Messiah.  (Luke 1:44)  Consequently, pediatricians recommend reading or playing music for babies while in utero.  Why?  This all confirms that a baby is able to feel such emotions as joy in the womb.

Finally, Exodus 21:22-25 reveals how God, through The Law, set measures to protect the life of an unborn child.  “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life.”  Although this passage is linked to violence done to a pregnant woman specifically, it is clear that the unborn child is still regarded as a person treasured in the eyes of God.

In adhering to a pro-life stance, the personhood of an unborn child is the primary issue.  Sadly, statistics show that 18% of “born again” Christian women in America have had abortions. [3]

Paul reminds the Church in Corinth: “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)  Because it takes a human life, abortion is one of the most defiling things a woman can do to her body.

Women have to live with the consequences and shame post-abortion.  David Reardon, author of Aborted Women: Silent No More, states that “over 95 percent would not now have chosen abortion, and that 66 percent feel they are now worse off than they would have been had they not had an abortion.” [4]

Abortion is not just a pain-free procedure for the baby and mother. In Suction, a method used in 80 percent of dilation and cutterage abortions, the doctor dilates the cervix and places a suction tube into the womb.  In the procedure “the suction tears both the baby and his or her placenta from the uterus sucking them into a jar.  The force of this suction is twenty-eight times stronger than a normal vacuum cleaner.”[5]

Conclusion

If we are to be faithful to thorough biblical exegesis, we must conclude that God cares about the status of every person, even in the womb.  The Law, The Writings, the Prophets, the Gospels, and Paul’s letters all confirm that human life is valuable to God.  Therefore, we must be faithful to speak out against all injustice.  The prophet Micah famously instructed God’s people “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”(Micah 6:8)  An aspect of this social justice is protecting the rights of unborn children.  The Church must do this in love, and in the name of Christ.

Furthermore, we must make the Church a safe-haven for those women have chosen abortion in the past.  Most women regret having an abortion.  They will need to go through the healing process and our response is to offer restorative counseling to these women regretting their decision.  More than ever the Church needs to proclaim that abortion is wrong, but forgiveness and restoration can be found in Christ.

  1. Wayne Grudem and others, eds.  The ESV Study Bible.  (Wheaton: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 1116.
  2. Patricia A. Miller and Keith R. Miller, Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Youth.  (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2006), 17.
  3. John S. Feinberg and Paul D. Feinberg, Ethics For a Brave New World.  (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 64.
  4. Feinberg, 130
  5. Feinberg, 74.