Death Before Life
Imagine you are the foreman of a demolition crew. You’re the one who calls the shots, and you’re about to blow up a building. One of your crew members says to you, “Wait! There might be a person in there! I’m not sure there is, but I saw some movement.” What would you do? Would you take the chance and just hope that there isn’t a person in the building, or would you go ahead with the demolition and risk killing the person inside? A mother considering an abortion is much like this foreman. Her whole life she’s been told by people, “It’s only a fetus. It’s just a mass of cells.” In an ultrasound, however, the mother can hear that her baby has a heartbeat, and if she’s far enough along, she can see that it has a little tiny head and body. Still, she’s not sure if that little thing inside of her is really a person. If she were to read the Bible, she would find that the little mass of tissue inside of her is indeed a person. Jeremiah 1:4-5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” And Psalm 139:13-14 states, “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.” And in Isaiah 49:1 we read, “The Lord called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He named my name.” These verses clearly state that a person is a person when conceived, and known by God even before then. And in fact, according to Genesis 1:27, that little person is created in the image of God. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.” Every person is created in the image of God, and He has a unique plan for each and every life, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) And because we are created in the image of God, each of our lives has intrinsic value from the moment of conception.
The abortion battle today centers around this main argument: “What is life?” Merriam-Webster defines life as, “the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body.” When a person talks about life, they are usually referring to the time spent as a human being. They are talking of the moments spent doing the things they love, of the times spent with people they love. People have different opinions of what the purpose of life is. Some think it is to please yourself and do whatever makes you happy, but that is not the real purpose of life. The reason we are alive is to praise God, to do everything for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31), to proclaim His greatness, and to accomplish His will. Just as there are many definitions of what the purpose of life is, there are many differing opinions of when life begins. Some people believe it begins 12-14 days after conception, the time period after which identical twins could form. Others believe it’s not until 26 weeks after conception when the baby’s brain is developed enough to generate recognizable brain patterns. Some even believe life doesn’t start until the umbilical cord is cut and the baby is able to live independently from the mother. Clearly, in the eyes of God,all of these theories are wrong. “For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” “The Lord called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He named my name.” An unborn baby is no less of a person then a baby living outside of the mother’s womb, just as a toddler is no less of a person than a ten-year-old.
Iowa laws are in direct opposition to the clear word of God.All Iowa laws on abortion are based on the opinion that an unborn baby is no more than a mass of cells until it is past 27 weeks gestation, which is the end of the second trimester. At that point, a child becomes a “viable fetus” and after that point, it is illegal to have an abortion. However, it is virtually impossible to enforce that law because it is perfectly legal for a doctor to perform an abortionafter the 27-week point if the health of the mother is at risk, and the definition of “at risk” is completely up to the doctor performing the abortion. You seethe word “fetus” used in the Iowa law over and over again. Not once in Iowa law is an unborn child referred to as an unborn child. It is almost as if lawmakers believe calling the baby a “fetus” will somehow lessen the severity of the consequences of allowing millions of babies to be killed each year. The phrase “with child” occurs 26 times in the bible. Never once does the term “with fetus” appear. Luke 1:41 says, “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb…” In Job 3:16 we read, “Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light?” All life is from God and, according to His word; children are children even before they are born.
In seeming opposition to these abortion laws,if a baby is killed in its mother’s womb as a result of a violent crime, and the pregnancy is past the second trimester, the person who committed the crime is guilty of feticide. Feticide is an act that causes the death of a fetus. The suffix “-icide” is added in place of fetus’ last syllable. It is derived from the Latin word, “occido,” meaning “to fell or to kill.” Feticide is a class C felony and is punishable by ten years in prison and a potential fine of $1,000 to $10,000. Interestingly enough, legal abortions are not considered feticide even though it is an act that causes the death of a fetus. Iowa law, in another obvious inconsistency, statesthat if a baby survives an abortion attempt, it is then a viable fetus and anyone who tries to abort it a second time and succeeds is guilty of a class B felony, and will face a sentence of no more than 25 years in prison.
Our founding fathers stated in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Roe v. Wade opinion made it so the unborn were excluded from these rights.The Bible clearly states that it is wrong to kill the innocent, “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” Proverbs 24:11-12
You don’t have to look very far to see the destruction that Roe v. Wade has wrought. Besides the loss of millions of lives, there are also millions of women living today bearing the scars of abortion, physical and mental.In addition to the fact that a life is terminated with an abortion, it may have many serious emotional side effects on the mother. Some side effects include regret, anger, relationship issues, guilt, shame, suicidal thoughts and feelings, a sense of loneliness and isolation, and many other serious issues. There is actually a medical term for the emotional side effects that can occur.It is called post abortion syndrome and is a form of post traumatic stress disorder. Furthermore,girls are often pressured into abortion by people close to them,including their boyfriend, which only makes their shame and guilt associated with having the abortion that much worse.
Besides the mental and physical scars that abortion leaves on the mothers, abortion has also left some children scarred and wondering why their mothers would try to kill them. On August 29th, 1977, a nineteen-year-old girl walked into a hospital intending to have an abortion. Her baby was to be aborted via saline abortion, that is, a procedure whereby a salinesolution is injected into the amniotic sac, which is meant to burn the baby to death. This process did not work on the baby, and the baby lived. Upon birth, the babywas placed, still living, in a garbage can. A nurse found her crying and saved her life. She was put up for adoption and today, Melissa Ohdenis a 47-year-old mother of one who speaks out against abortion. There are many stories like Melissa’s; however, some children born after botched abortions are not as fortunate as Melissa. Gianna Jessen was born prematurely after her birth mother, seventeen years old at the time, decided to have a saline abortion. As with Melissa, the procedure did not work properly on her. A staff nurse called the emergency medical services after she was born and her life was saved. She spent three months in the hospital and then she was placed in foster care. She was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has to walk with leg braces and a walker. Today, Gianna is a pro-life activist. Says Gianna, “Today, a baby is a baby when convenient. It is tissue or otherwise when the time is not right. A baby is a baby when miscarriage takes place at two, three, four months. A baby is called a tissue or clumps of cells when an abortion takes place at two, three, four months… The best thing I can show you to defend life is my life. It has been a great gift. Killing is not the answer to any question or situation… Our country is shedding the blood of the innocent. America is killing its future.” It is plain to see from the stories of the failed abortions of these two girls, that the unborn are not just a clump of cells. Given the chance, unborn children will become people who go on to do great things; people created in the image of God; people who have great value.
The battle to end abortion has been a long one, and may never be settled here on earth. People often debate when life begins and what the purpose of life is, but they are blinded by their own selfish ambitions. The fact is, we are all created in the image of God to fulfill His purpose here on earth. Abortion laws keep getting less and less restrictive and they are leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Not only are they harmful, they are wrong. An unborn baby is a baby, not a mass of tissues, from the time of conception. Deuteronomy 3:19-20 says, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days…” God has set before you both life and death. So which will you choose?