How Should Christians Approach the Discussion of Abortion?
- Dawn Hill Author
- 2022 7 Jun
“There are two spheres of revelation; the Bible (special revelation) and nature (general revelation). In the latter, God manifests Himself through the created order. What God reveals in nature can never contradict what He reveals in Scripture, and what He reveals in Scripture can never contradict what he reveals in nature. He is the author of both forms of revelation, and God does not contradict himself” (R.C. Sproul).
Last year, the United States Supreme Court accepted a case concerning abortion rights in the state of Mississippi where a law banned abortions after 15 weeks of gestation.
With the recent leak from the court indicating a potential ruling in favor of this case, this is a significant decision as it would overturn Roe v. Wade, returning power to the states in dealing with abortion.
This decision is one that has many people praising the impending decision while others fight for what they view as personal bodily autonomy with regard to reproductive rights.
At the core of this debate is the fundamental understanding that abortion involves the ending of an unborn life, a life created in the image of God.
At the core is the value of human life being devalued and even dehumanized in the stages of embryonic and fetal development. As Christians, our first appeal is to Scripture.
This is the foundation upon which we stand for truth. We believe God created the world as He said He did in Genesis. We believe God created male and female in His image. We believe life is precious because God values human life.
A Biblical Defense for Life
We see that Scripture tells us that God knitted David’s inward parts while in the womb (Psalm 139:13). This applies to us all. He saw our unformed body and like David, our days were ordained by Him before they even came to pass (Psalm 139:16).
We also read in Psalm 22:9-10, that David proclaims, “You brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.”
We know the Word confirms children being a heritage and reward from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). The Bible confirms repeatedly the blessing of a womb not barren.
The New Testament tells us while Mary was pregnant with Jesus and visiting her cousin Elizabeth, John the Baptist leapt joyfully in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:44-45). The Apostle Paul acknowledges he was set apart by God in his mother’s womb for the work of the Lord (Galatians 1:15).
The Word of God has no difficulty in expressing that human life is found in the womb of a woman when she is pregnant. There is no confusion on God’s part. He designed life. He knows what defines human life because He defines it.
We can confidently say that what we see before us in our society right now is the suppression of truth, and the Bible also tells of this taking place in other ways in the time of the early church.
Paul told the Romans,
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be know about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20, ESV).
The truth concerning human life from the womb is before every one of us. God has made it so, whether those who were created by Him admit it or not.
Though the truth is suppressed by those who would deny human life in the womb, it does not change that every life in the womb of a woman has been formed by God’s divine design in procreation.
Biology demonstrates a divine Creator with an exquisite blueprint. Science is on the side of Scripture, the sure foundation of truth.
God’s Handiwork in the Womb
When we begin to understand the complexity and the intricacy of human development, we cannot deny God created life and that life is indeed within the womb of a pregnant woman.
Consider for a moment what takes place at fertilization; the DNA of the mother and the father unite to form a unique genetic code for an individual (zygote) that will never exist again.
This complete genetic code is distinct from the mother and father. It is at this moment that another human life comes into existence. God does not abide by man’s rules of sentience or consciousness. Science supports that new life begins at this moment of fertilization.
Consider how this human being in embryonic form grows rapidly for 40 weeks, forming organs and appendages. Consider how the cells of the baby have cellular changes aiding in the mother’s body not attacking the embryo as a foreign entity.
The fact that cells know where to go and what to do in forming specific organs and such is amazing!
The fact that a heartbeat begins at 18 days, heart-pumping blood that is separate from the mother and likely different from the mother’s blood type again confirms to us the existence of a separate human life.
There are many facets of human development we could examine on a biological level fascinating us and overwhelming us at the complexity and beauty of God’s creation. We are all, both male and female, left without excuse.
According to this author, “For over 100 years, Human Embryology has stated that in sexual reproduction a new, whole, individual, living human being begins to exist at the beginning of the process of fertilization, i.e. at “first contact” between the sperm and the oocyte (“egg”).
This is an objective, empirical, and modern scientific fact, and is documented in the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development as Carnegie Stage 1a.”
The Carnegie chart is the gold standard internationally among human embryologists in understanding human embryonic development during the first eight weeks of pregnancy.
These stages are required to be used in all professional textbooks authored by human embryologists.
The fact that life begins at fertilization is both scientific fact and biblical truth. As Christians, we can appeal to Scripture and to science in defending the life of the unborn who are not potential lives, but actual lives created by God.
Scripture such as Psalm 139 and others remind us of God’s personal involvement in human life from the moment of conception and each human life represented as an embryo and subsequent fetus is simply in a smaller form — in a different location; the individual on the outside of the womb as a toddler or adult is the same individual who resided in his/her mother’s womb, give or take 40 weeks.
Size, age, and location do not change God’s unique design in creating human beings.
How Should We Respond?
As believers in Christ, we appeal to Scripture for our foundational truth, and science is affirmed by the Word of God. It is important during this crucial time in our society we pray for this decision and for those who are making it.
We are to pray. We share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the midst of darkness because human hearts are transformed by the good news of His death, burial, and resurrection to cleanse us from sin and unrighteousness and to give us eternal life.
Laws of man do not change human hearts, but God does by His Word and His Spirit. Human life in the womb is worth defending biblically and scientifically — with grace and without shame on anyone involved in a very nuanced and complicated systemic issue.
For further reading:
What Does the Bible Say about Abortion?
What Does Psalm 139 Mean by 'Fearfully and Wonderfully Made'?
Prayers for the Unborn and Pregnant Women
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/nicoletaionescu
Dawn Hill is a Christian blogger known as The Lovesick Scribe and the host of The Lovesick Scribe Podcast. She is passionate about sharing the truth and pointing others back to Jesus Christ through the written Word as the standard of authority for Christian living and instruction while being led by the Holy Spirit into maturity. She is the author of NonProphet Woke: The Reformation of a Modern-Day Disciple. She is a wife to Nicholas and a mother to Anabel and Ephraim. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.