- SOCIETY & LIFESTYLES
Is abortion simply “a woman exercising her rights over her body”—or something much more grave?
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Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, America has been dealing—in part—with its social, economic and moral problems through the disposing of the unborn. It can be said that each child born in the U.S. since 1973 is not only an American citizen—but is also a survivor of its laws.
With over two decades since Roe v. Wade, and as the world descends further into the fog of “the new morality” (which began taking shape in the mid-twentieth century), society still cannot even agree on the simplest of issues concerning abortion. Many, claiming that abortion is a woman’s God-given right over her body, continue this practice blissfully unaware—not wanting to know the truth behind such unresolved issues as: Have millions of human lives been aborted, or were they merely fetal tissue? And, what exactly is the value of a fetus?
According to today’s standards, it is not worth much. In the October 2003 issue of Reader’s Digest, Dr. Eric Keroack, an ob-gyn in Boston, stated, “A fetus is considered so precious that we spare no expense to save its life; yet it’s also so worthless that it can be legally disposed of.”
Why is it that after thirty years, the most monumental issues surrounding abortion still remain in debate? How can it be that, while millions of either human beings or “blobs of organic matter” are being aborted, so many questions concerning this procedure remain unanswered?
Why can science send men to the moon, discover amazing complexities of the human cell, and create the most intricate, technological innovations, yet cannot even answer the crux of the abortion debate: WHEN does life begin?—and—WHO has the right to take it away?
According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Blackmun, such difficult questions need not be resolved. But is this true? Should we dismiss such an all-encompassing decision, simply because those trained in the fields of medicine, philosophy and theology are unable to come to a unanimous consensus? Can one dare risk the lives of millions while waiting for such a universal decision—coming from a mankind who cannot even agree on the simplest of matters?
In this part of the series, we will analyze these questions. We will also examine the global effects of abortion and how it has affected the marriage and family institutions, and learn why the media has presented such a one-sided view of “abortion on demand” to the now not-so-trusting public. We will also see, after examining the facts, the true implications of abortion.
In Part One, we saw how legalized abortion has affected America. But what effects has it had on society as a whole? Although abortion does not seem to be as controversial in the rest of world as it is in America, this is not because the procedure rarely occurs.
Notice: While nearly 50 million abortions have taken place in America alone since 1973, an estimated 46 million abortions take place around the world each year—over 126,000 a day. According to a United Nations Population Newsletter, 20 million of these are performed illegally.
According to “Abortion Policies: A Global Review,” by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, of 192 countries and territories analyzed, 55 provide abortion on demand. Of these, 27 restrict abortion on demand only to the first trimester (weeks 1 through 13).
Of these same 192 countries and territories, all but four offer legal abortions to save the mother’s life. Also, 135 offer abortions to mothers who may suffer from a health or mental “risk” (and this is open to interpretation), if the pregnancy is the result of rape, the unborn has a birth defect, or simply upon demand.
In countries (mainly Catholic) where abortions are prohibited, mothers who self-induce abortions—and this is becoming more common each day—are charged with infanticide and imprisoned. Yet, in a bordering country, the procedure may be legally available, and all a mother needs to do is visit a clinic.
Illegal abortions are commonly performed in unsanitary conditions, with unsafe surgical procedures and by untrained people, and account for an estimated 78,000 deaths of pregnant women worldwide each year.
On the worldwide scale, the abortion rate (the number of abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44) can range from a low of 6.5 in the Netherlands, to a high of 77.7 in Cuba. The U.S. abortion rate is 21.3, comparable to other developed nations, such as an 18.7 rate in Sweden and a 22.2 rate in Australia.
In Poland—where abortion was declared illegal nearly ten years ago—a Dutch “abortion boat,” consisting of a tugboat with a women’s clinic, is reported to have been stationed in international waters to offer Polish women pregnancy counseling, birth control and the abortion pill known as RU486 and, if asked, to perform abortions. This group of abortionists, called “Women on Waves,” is hoping that Poland will ease its stance on abortion once it is part of the EU. These “abortion tours” are becoming more common, and frequently visit international waters near nations that restrict abortions.
Ironically, while abortion is prolific around the world, it is most controversial in America. Why? In an article, “The war that never ends,” The Economist explains that although other countries (mainly in Europe) have legalized abortion, it is not such a debated issue as it is in America. This is mainly due to how it was legalized in the U.S.
European nations legalized abortion through legislation, occasionally through referenda. This open-forum discussion allowed opponents’ objections to help mold the laws to suit both sides as much as possible. This gained the support of both sides, who felt that their opinion was voiced. Also, Europe provides abortions free, with slightly stricter time limits for when the procedure can be performed, stating that it is available for the health of the woman—not her right.
On the other hand, America placed abortion rights on par with freedom of speech and religion—stating that it is a part of one’s right to privacy. Placing abortion rights under the banner of the American Constitution is what has caused the firestorm among so many.
The Economist further attributes the battle over abortion to America’s supposed high regard for “Christian values and morals,” and for an American fondness for “arguing about fundamentals.” The article continues, “Europeans routinely turn moral issues into technical ones—and then hand them over to technocratic elites. America is a country of fundamentalists, thanks to its constitutional tradition, its legal culture and perhaps its Puritan heritage. For Americans, abortion can never be just about health. It has to be a clash of absolutes: the right to choose versus the right to life. Add to that the openness of the American political system, which makes it impossible to hand controversial questions over to technocratic elites, and you have the making of an endless argument about fundamentals.”
In effect, abortion has become a battle of “rights.” On one side of the trench are those standing up for the “right” of a mother to decide whether her unborn child lives or dies. On the other side are those defending their “right” to uphold life and to practice what they believe to be “Christian” morals and ethics.
But there is an additional right that many have overlooked. This right is found on a document signed on July 2, 1776—called the Declaration of Independence—which states, “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.”
According to the technocrats, this right to life, however, hinges on the exact moment when human life begins. Some believe it to be at conception—when the sperm and the ovum meet. Others claim that life does not begin until the fetus takes in its first breath, similar to when life entered Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Since brain waves are one of the legal criteria in determining whether someone is alive, and are measurable in the unborn child by week seven, it has been said that, legally, life begins at that time. However, the exact moment that life begins must be determined. After all, millions of lives hang in the balance.
For over two decades, some in the medical profession—whom the world has “knighted” with the responsibility to discover when human life begins—have claimed that they still do not have the irrefutable proof needed to determine when life begins. But there are many others in medicinal science who plainly state that this proof has been found—yet it continues to be dismissed by the skeptics.
Notice: “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception. I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and any interruption at any point constitutes a termination of a human life” (Dr. Jerome LeJeune, genetics professor, University of Descartes in Paris).
“Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception” (Prof. Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School).
“The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter—the beginning is conception” (Dr. Landrum Shettles, discovered male-and female-producing sperm).
“By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception” (Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman of the Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic).
“The exact moment of the beginning of personhood and of the human body is at the moment of conception” (Dr. McCarthy de Mere, medical doctor and law professor, University of Tennessee).
“The majority of our group could find no point in time between the union of sperm and egg, or at least the blastocyst stage, and the birth of the infant at which point we could say that this was not a human life” (Willke & Willke, Handbook on Abortion, 1971, 1975, 1979 Edit., ch. 3).
“Scientifically there is absolutely no question whatsoever that the immediate product of fertilization is a newly existing human being. A human zygote is a human being. It is not a ‘potential’ or a ‘possible’ human being. It is an actual human being—with the potential to grow bigger and develop its capacities” (Dr. Dianne Irving, “When Does Life Begin? Scientific Myths and Scientific Facts,” International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 1999).
When asked in an interview, “When does life begin?,” Hadley Arkes, author of “Natural Rights and the Right to Choose,” replies, “The leading textbooks on embryology say it’s the union of two gametes, a male gamete or spermatozoon and a female gamete or mature ovum. You can phrase it different ways, but on the medical side there is no dissident on this matter. What we find is that people are not arguing over the science, they’re arguing over the social definition of a human being. People throw in all these other attributes—it has to be alert, and articulate. Well, many of those things aren’t manifest in a newborn child. He’s not snapping off witty sentences...But we know the capacity for it is there” (Newsweek, “The War Over Fetal Rights,” June 9, 2003).
The mountain of proof that life begins at conception is so great, Dr. William Harrison, an ob-gyn in Fayetteville, Arkansas, stated, “The real issue in the abortion debate is not when life begins, but is it morally meaningful life? Well, I don’t know.”
With every passing year, the fundamental views regarding the beginning of human life are changing. Medical science is discovering that they are able to save premature babies at earlier stages. With state-of-the-art innovations, allowing mothers to see their unborn child develop, smile, blink and move within the womb, assumptions on when human life begins are in question. In fact, it is reported that many women seeking an abortion have a change of heart once they see the baby through ultrasound images.
As technology continues to evolve, those who ignore the above statements are presented with a tragic dilemma: As society descends deeper into the modern “new morality,” how long can millions of potential lives be disposed of until medical science unanimously agrees to some irrefutable proof of when human life is worth saving? How long will it be until the public becomes so accustomed to this “constitutionally-protected right,” that it simply refuses to know the answer?
Science has clearly proven that life begins at CONCEPTION—when the sperm and the ovum meet. It is then only a matter of time for the physical human features to develop.
Why do so many people continue to debate nonsensical questions such as “When is the fetus’s life worth the value of a human life?” According to the facts presented by science—it is at conception! At that moment, to take the life of the human fetus is morally and ethically wrong—it is outright MURDER!
Another aspect of modern society that has been deeply affected by abortion is the institution of marriage and family. Since the mid-twentieth century, the new morality has been molding society, especially the younger, more susceptible minds.
What does this new morality entail?—Premarital sex, unmarried couples living together, open sexual experimentation, tolerance and exhibition of different sexual lifestyles, constant conditioning of children to be accepting of any and all forms of sexuality—and the list goes on.
Before this new morality came on the world scene, couples dated for marriage, and held a high regard for the institution of marriage. Sexual relations were saved for after marriage. Children were a blessing to have, not a curse—as they are to many in today’s “get” society. Women would never dream of having an abortion, never mind to maintain a career or a single lifestyle.
But it is far different today.
Couples no longer feel that they have to get married, because “so many people are getting divorced, we’ll just live together.” Today, single and even married women have the occasional abortion because they cannot handle the stress or responsibility of a child. Families are torn apart through adultery and other domestic problems, and, because of the “tolerance” taught in schools, children are unable to grasp a clear-cut definition of exactly what a family should be. Because of sex education in classrooms as early as elementary school, by the time teens graduate from high school, many have had more sexual encounters than they can actually count.
And, as stated, any American born after 1973 is a survivor of legalized abortion—not simply a citizen of their country.
This is the NEW MORALITY—and is further promoted by many in the media and politics to appease the degenerating morals of a decadent society, paralleled by that of ancient Rome. (To learn more about the God-ordained institution of marriage, read our free booklet The Purpose of Marriage – Ever Obsolete?)
William J. Bennett, in his book The Broken Hearth, writes, “Men and women today can have sex more promiscuously, more casually, and with much lower odds of pregnancy and childbirth. For the first time, on a large scale, sex has been de-linked from both marriage and procreation. The results of this revolutionary shift are all around us, in our homes, on our streets, in the books we read and the movies and television shows we watch. Sexual promiscuity, heterosexual and homosexual alike, is a fact of life, incorporated into the mentality and often then behavior of even the youngest adolescents, and reinforced even by well-meaning adults through programs like the free distribution of condoms in schools. As for the by-product of increased promiscuity, the more measurable ones can be found in high rates of abortion and out-of-wedlock births, as well as the relentless march of sexual diseases both old and new.”
Again, this is the NEW MORALITY.
According to what is acceptable in society today, the God-ordained institution of marriage and the family is no longer the same. No longer do all families have a father and a mother, raising healthy, happy children to live the way God intended. In fact, God has been pushed completely out of most people’s lives. They do not want the Creator of all things—the Originator of human existence—to be in their lives, homes, schools or government. That is the true origin of the abortion debate—the governments of men have thrown out God’s instructions in His Holy Word—the Bible!
Now that you have seen what science states regarding the facts behind the origin of life, ask yourself the all-encompassing question: What does God think about abortion? Although society has strayed from the true God, removing Him from the picture, what does He—as the AUTHOR of human life—say on this matter?
To understand what God thinks of abortion, one must understand the difference between crime and sin. They are not the same, nor are they defined by the same set of laws.
According to most of man’s governments, abortion is a legal procedure. In countries where it is illegal, it is a crime to have an abortion, often resulting in a prison sentence. If someone holds up a bank and steals money, this is a crime. A crime is the breaking of man’s laws.
Sin is similar, and is defined in I John 3:4: “Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Sin is the breaking of God’s laws. Depending on where you live, it may not necessarily be a crime to have an abortion, but it is a SIN—and is a clear breaking of the Sixth Commandment, “Thou shall not kill” (Ex. 20:13).
In living contrary to God’s ways, humanity has resorted to killing millions of innocent children—all in the name of creating his own laws, apart from God.
This has been the effect of Adam rejecting God’s revealed knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Instead of learning and obeying God’s laws, man chose to decide for himself right from wrong (Gen. 3:6; I John 2:16; Prov. 14:12; 16:25).
In II Timothy 3, Paul further describes how society would be in the end times—almost 6,000 years after Adam’s fateful decision in the Garden: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves [abortion kills children, simply so that people are free of them], covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection [all parents want the best for their child—abortion is the complete opposite], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God [while many profess to esteem Christian ethics and morals, they continuously go against Him]; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof...Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth [mankind has had a wealth of knowledge at his disposal, yet cannot come to agreement over the most basic understanding]” (vs. 1-5, 7).
It is this same mentality, described by Paul, which made the court ruling in 1973 to legalize abortion in the United States. This same mentality fuels both sides of the abortion debate, bringing it to ever-increasing confusion and violence, and is the same mentality that Paul stated would abound in the last days of mankind’s rule over the earth.
For 6,000 years, humanity has been cut off from God and His Holy Spirit (Isa. 59:1-2)—which imparts spiritual understanding—leaving only fallible human reasoning to solve all of man’s greatest problems. In the Garden of Eden, God offered man His Spirit, which would have been available to the entire world had Adam eaten of the Tree of Life (Gen. 2-3).
Instead, Adam ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:9), which gave him the capacity to understand only physical knowledge. Since then, society has lived contrary to God’s spiritual laws, only acquiring physical knowledge. Humanity has also been in ignorance of God’s spiritual Plan of salvation for humanity.
Another incredible force behind society’s slanted views of abortion is the media. While the media is supposed to present unbiased reporting on all issues—including abortion—watching news telecasts from various media outlets presents a far different picture.
What has this created?—A wave of ideologue rhetoric, spoon-feeding the American public on how they should think on certain issues. All this, while under the banner of presenting the unbiased facts of the day. Many people are beginning to identify this, as evidenced by a recent Gallup Poll, in which nearly half the country stated that they believe the media has a liberal bias.
For example, imagine if a disease spread around the world, and 126,000 lives were lost. One can expect to go home and hear some reporting on this epidemic of holocaust proportions. What if a war broke out, and 126,000 soldiers were killed in one day? Surely, one could expect to turn on the television and see thousands protesting the war—calling for its quick end. Yet, each day, this many unborn children are aborted worldwide, with nearly 50 million in America alone since 1973!
Instead, what fills newspapers and broadcasts are headlines of abortion clinic bombings, or intolerant, “anti-choice” groups trying to take away a woman’s right over her body. Biased references to both sides of the debate are all over headlines: “Anti-choice” and “anti-women,” versus “pro-choice” and “pro-women.”
However, certain black-and-white developments regarding abortion—such as President Bush’s banning of partial-birth abortion—have been particularly difficult for the mass media to ignore and shuffle away under news headlines about “the war against women continues” or “another bombing at an abortion clinic by crazed ‘anti-choicer.’”
But, God has revealed His Plan for humanity through His Word—the Holy Bible. This great truth cannot be understood by the most intellectual minds; neither can the God-rejecting mind—which seeks to remove God from every aspect of life today—understand it unless God allows it to.
God’s supreme purpose is to reproduce Himself through man! While man is earthly, made of dust, God is spiritual, composed of eternal and inherent life. (To learn more about God’s Plan to reproduce Himself, read our free book The Awesome Potential of Man.)
At the end of man’s 6,000 years of misrule, war and misery, Christ will return, establishing God’s kingdom and government on the earth. Christ’s saints—those who obey God’s Word and are in God’s Church, the spiritual mother (Gal. 4:26; Heb. 12:22-23)—will then rule the earth with Him. Today, true Christians have in them an earnest—or small portion—of God’s Spirit (II Cor. 1:22; 5:5), which will change Christians into spirit-composed sons of God.
This great understanding parallels physical reproduction—the conception and birth of a human life—to spiritual reproduction—the conception and birth into spirit life. This is the grand purpose of human life today, and is the gospel message that Christ brought—that of birth into the FAMILY AND KINGDOM OF GOD.
After repentance and baptism, the life of a Christian begins through spiritual conception—the receiving of God’s Holy Spirit. Spiritual conception is pictured by physical conception, which begins human life. Until the Christian is BORN—born in the Spirit and into the Family of God at Christ’s Return—he is in a period of spiritual gestation. Just as the human fetus grows and develops within the mother’s protective womb, a Christian is nurtured within God’s Church, and grows to become a full-grown Christian (II Pet. 3:18; Eph. 4:12-13), like Christ our elder Brother (Rom. 8:14-17).
At Christ’s Return, this small amount of God’s Spirit within each Christian will change, causing the physical, carnal man to be born of the DIVINE NATURE of God’s Family (I John 3:1-2).
The parallels between the physical conception and birth into a human family and the spiritual conception and birth into the God Family are not by coincidence—they were authored by God, and have always been a part of His Plan for mankind. If you understand this great truth, it also is not by coincidence—God is revealing it to you!
This is the AWESOME POTENTIAL OF MAN—so says your Bible. The truth behind the modern holocaust of abortion is that vast numbers of potential sons of God are being slaughtered every day!
As we have seen, human life begins at conception. To deliberately kill or injure such a life is MURDER, and is punishable only by God the Father—the great Lawgiver. Tragically, this world, cut off from this great understanding, continues to slaughter God’s greatest creations—His future sons!
But there is still hope. If you have experienced an abortion in your family, or have perhaps undergone the turmoil of this procedure yourself, God reveals that a time is coming when the world will be at peace, and all who have died will be raised to live again.
At that time, all who have died—including the many millions of aborted children—will be resurrected, and reunited with their families. At that soon-coming time of God’s kingdom, these aborted children will get a chance to live, and learn what it means to be born into the human family—and later into the GOD FAMILY.
This is the good news of the wonderful world that awaits mankind. This is the gospel message that Christ brought to this world. If society would only give heed to this warning (Ezek. 33) and obey God, they could prepare for this time of lasting peace and happiness for all!