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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Abortion #4: Why Do Mothers Obtain abortions?

The Bible teaches that abortion violates God's will. Defenders of abortion, however, usually try to open the door by emotional appeals to traumatic cases. If these exceptions are granted, they proceed to argue for abortion on demand.

A close examination of the reasons for abortion, however, will actually strengthen the general conclusion that abortion should be avoided. Consider the following reasons for abortion.

Conception Outside Wedlock

Abortion defenders use rape and the mother's health to argue for lax abortion laws, but these cases are a microscopic proportion of all abortions.

Fact: More than 3/4 of all abortions occur because the mother is not married to the baby's father!

In any year, women who are divorced, separated, widowed, or never-married account for at least 75% of all abortions. According to the US Centers for Disease Control in 2002, 82% of all abortions were performed on unmarried women ("Abortion Surveillance --- United States, 2002," www.cdc.com).

These figures, however, are deceptively low because: (1) many married women abort babies conceived as a result of adultery; (2) many unmarried women claim to be married to cover up fornication.

Clearly, the vast majority of abortions occur so women can escape embarrassment and inconvenience resulting from fornication.

So, the Bible solution to most abortion is: "flee fornication" (1 Corinthians 6:18).

The Bible repeatedly states that the sexual relationship is honorable within marriage but condemned outside marriage (Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 7:2-5; Rev. 21:8; Gal. 5:19-21; etc.)

Yet, abortion defenders are usually the same people who excuse sexual immorality. They almost never rebuke fornication. They promote sex education programs based on contraception, not abstinence. They claim they object to "imposing morality" on others, then proceed to impose legal abortion on society, including millions of unborn babies!

Incredible amounts of time, money, and effort are spent for clinics, referral agencies, sex education, and political and legal maneuvers to promote abortion. If these efforts were instead spent to promote premarital chastity and marital fidelity, the need for abortion could be substantially reduced.

What about the unmarried women who will still conceive?

Deuteronomy 24:16 says: "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." Justice is one of the weightier matters of the law (Matt. 23:23). May we kill an innocent baby after it is born, because its parents sinned? No, and killing an unborn baby for his parents' sin is likewise a miscarriage of justice.

In 2 Samuel 11 and 12, David committed adultery with Bathsheeba, and she conceived. To cover up the sin, David had Bathsheeba's husband killed, then he married her. Today people would simply have the baby killed before it was born! Why is it wrong to cover up by killing the innocent husband, but acceptable to cover up by killing the innocent baby?

Throughout history sinners have killed innocent people in an attempt to hide their own guilt. Cain killed Abel. Sinners killed Jesus, Stephen, and the apostles. Criminals kill witnesses. And today fornicators kill unborn children.

We oppose abortion, not because we want the mother to be punished for her sins, but because we don't want the baby to be killed for the mother's sin. "The way of the transgressor is hard" (Prov. 13:15). Fornication is wrong. But it simply compounds the error to allow the guilty parents to escape the consequences of their sin by killing an innocent person. Two wrongs do not make a right!

Guilt for fornication cannot be removed by killing the innocent baby (Prov. 28:13). The only way to remove guilt is to repent, confess, forsake sin, and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Hebrews 7:25; 5:9; Matthew 11:29,30).

Desire to Avoid Inconvenience or Responsibility

Many parents are simply unwilling to care for the baby they conceived. They may not want to spend the necessary time or money. They may think they are not "ready" for children or they already have enough children. Maybe the child will interfere with the mother's career. Maybe a child born later in life will be an unwanted burden. Some even get abortions if the baby is not the sex they want!

In such cases, some argue that the mother should have the "right to choose" not to give birth to the baby: hence, "abortion on demand."

Again, we must remember that the unborn baby is a human individual.

Inconvenience or responsibility that a person causes, no more justifies killing him before he is born than it does after he is born. We have no right to kill a child, parent, spouse, or any other person simply because we do not want to care for them.

It is a principle of Biblical and civil law that the rights of one individual end when they infringe on the rights of another individual. For example, I have the right to drive a car, but I do not have the right to drive your car without your permission.

Likewise, a woman does have a right to avoid being pregnant - as long as she is not yet pregnant! After she has conceived, however, the rights of another person must be considered: the baby within her. To kill that other person would be sinful. (Note: even if the baby was just a part of the mother's body - which it isn't - still the Bible denies that "a woman has the right to do what she wants with her body." Study 1 Cor. 6:19,20; Rom. 12:1,2; 6:12-19.)

We must learn to accept the responsibilities that follow our choices.

One of the biggest problems in society is people who want freedom without responsibility. Certain acts automatically demand responsibility. To avoid the responsibilities, we may choose to avoid the act; but we are not free to participate in the act and still avoid the responsibilities.

For example, a man may choose not to drive a car. But if he chooses to drive, then he automatically obligates himself to drive according to the traffic laws. People who want the privilege of driving without obeying the laws are irresponsible, illegal, and immoral.

Likewise, a man may choose not to marry (1 Cor. 7:27,28). But if he chooses to marry, he automatically becomes responsible to love and provide for his wife (1 Tim. 5:8; Eph. 5:25-29). Far too many people want the privileges of marriage without the responsibilities that go with it.

Likewise, if a man and woman choose to enjoy the sexual union, they automatically assume the responsibility to care for any child that may result (Eph. 6:4; 1 Tim. 5:8; Prov. 22:6; etc.). So if a woman wants to avoid pregnancy, the time to exercise that choice is before she has a sexual relationship. When a couple chooses to engage in sexual relations but then kills the baby they conceived, their actions are irresponsible, immoral, and ought to be illegal. It is gross inconsistency to say that a woman has a "right to choose" not to be pregnant, even after she chose to participate in the act that made her pregnant!

Young people, remember: The way to avoid the consequences of an act is to avoid the act! If you do not have the scriptural right to become parents, or if you are not willing to become parents, then do not participate in the act that God designed for reproduction! Furthermore, do not participate in sexually suggestive activities that may overwhelm your emotions. Participating in sexual relations makes you a debtor to raise any child that results. If you don't want the debt, then avoid the act that may make you a debtor!

Inferior Quality of Life

Pro-abortionists ignore the fact that the unborn baby is a human being, but emphasize instead "quality and dignity" of life. They say abortion is justified if the baby might be deformed, poor, abused, or neglected. These are real problems, but is abortion the right solution?

(Note that people often defend abortion as an act of mercy to the child, when their real concern is to avoid inconvenience for the parents. If so, then we are back to the previous case.)

What human being can decide when another human's life is so inferior that we have the right to kill him?

"Quality" and "dignity" of life are relative terms. Who gets to decide, and where do you draw the line, especially regarding an unborn child who has no voice in the decision? Once you justify the killing of innocent humans, where do you stop? Consider some examples.

* Should we kill an unborn child that might be deformed?

Based on medical techniques such as amniocentesis and ultrasound, parents are sometimes advised to abort an unborn baby who might have a birth defect.

But where do you draw the line? The techniques are often inaccurate, and they cannot tell how bad the deformity will be. Many normal babies have been aborted as a result. How great must be the probability and how extreme must be the deformity to justify killing? Further, the vast majority of handicapped people prefer to live rather than die. Handicapped children are often a beautiful blessing to their parents. How do we know ahead of time that the "quality of life" truly justifies killing?

* Should we kill an unborn baby that might suffer poverty?

If so, how poor must the family be? Might their circumstances improve in the future? Might other people help with the financial burden? Are all poor people miserable? Some of the greatest people in the history of the world were born into poverty. Should they have all been aborted?

* Should we kill an unborn baby that might be neglected or abused?

How can we be sure it will be abused or neglected? How badly abused and neglected must it be to justify killing it? Again, neglect and abuse are sins of the parents. Why kill the child for the parents' sins (Deut. 24:16)? Why not instead teach the parents to love and care for the child, and if they will not do so, why not have the government punish the parents (Rom. 13:1-7)?

To really oppose child abuse you must oppose abortion: it is the ultimate child abuse!

The Bible says innocent humans should not be deliberately killed. When we leave this absolute standard, no stopping place can be convincingly defended. We are a ship at sea in a storm with no rudder, chart, or compass.

Does inferior quality of life also justify killing after birth?

Abortion is the first step toward mercy killing ("euthanasia"). If we can kill an unborn baby because it might be deformed, poor, etc., then why not kill all humans who have those problems? What is the difference in moral principle? Further, before the baby is born, we don't really know it will have these problems, so why not wait till after it is born? Then we can decide on the basis of better information whether or not to murder it!

The fact is that the killing of born babies is already a reality! Hospital attendants across the country are reporting deformed babies that were set aside to die without food or attention.

And why not also kill the insane, elderly, and chronically ill? This too is being defended. The Humanist Manifestos defend the right to abortion (page 18) and the right to euthanasia and suicide (page 19). Organized movements are promoting mercy killing. Doctors make headlines for "assisted suicides." Various states are considering laws to grant doctors the right to kill terminally ill patients.

And all of this has been practiced before ... in Nazi Germany! That brings us to genocide or the "holocaust." If we can kill people because we think they have an inferior quality of life or are a burden on others, how can we condemn the Nazis who killed millions of Jews (along with the unborn, deformed, elderly, etc.) whom they considered to be inferior and a burden on society? And what about the Communists who have killed millions of "Capitalists" for the same reason? Millions of Christians have been martyred because others thought they were unfit to live.

The quality of life argument is just a way of saying we have decided some people are unfit to live. What do you say when someone decides you are the one who is unfit to live? Matthew 7:12.

All these people are just Humanists who accept the logical consequences of evolution. If men are just animals, not in the image of God, there are any number of "reasons" why we should put them out of their misery, just like we do animals. But if there is a God who created man in His own image and who forbids the killing of innocent humans, then abortion, euthanasia, and genocide are all immoral for the same reasons.

How should we treat people who are handicapped or in misery, poverty, etc.?

* Do not do violence to troubled people, but protect and assist them.

Psalm 37:14 - It is wicked to do violence to the "poor and needy." Yet abortion and euthanasia defenders say to kill them!

Job 29:15,16 - Job was eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, and a father to the needy. Don't kill them; help them!

Matthew 25:34-46 - Our eternal destiny depends on whether or not we aid the sick, needy, disadvantaged, and unfortunate. The way we treat these people is the way we treat Jesus Christ.

(See also Gal. 6:2; Luke 14:12-14; Psalm 82:3,4; Jer. 22:3; Deut. 15:7,8,11; Isa. 1:17.)

* Have faith that God can help people endure any problem they may face.

1 Corinthians 10:13 - God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability. He will always make a way of escape, so we can endure the hardship.

Philippians 4:10-13 - Paul said he had learned to be content, even in prison. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Instead of using problems as an excuse for murder, we should trust in God's help. People, who justify killing to escape problems, simply display their lack of faith in God.

(See also Rom. 8:31-39; James 5:10,11; Psalm 46:1; 34:19.)

* Understand that spiritual matters outweigh the physical, and physical problems can produce spiritual benefits.

Proverbs 28:6 - A poor man with integrity is better than a perverse rich man.

Matthew 18:8 - It is better to receive eternal life maimed and lame than to be physically whole and receive eternal punishment.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 - God chose not to remove Paul's physical thorn in the flesh, because it made him a better person spiritually. Many people can testify to the blessings they have received as a result of physical hardships. (See also 1 Peter 1:6,7; Rom. 8:28; 5:3-5.)

1 Samuel 16:7; Luke 12:15 - God does not judge men according to outward appearance, but He looks on the heart. A man's life consists not of the abundance of things he possesses.

A fatal error of the "quality of life" argument is that it invariably measures "quality of life" in terms of physical circumstances. Instead, true quality of life is determined by ones character and service to God. This cannot be measured by any medical technique!

The "quality of life" argument is based on a false and perverted standard of human worth. The Bible, however, does not just forbid doing violence to innocent people. It also shows how to deal with the problems life brings.

(See also Prov. 15:16,17; 16:8; 1 Tim. 6:6-10; James 2:5.)

Conception as a Result of Rape

This case is difficult because everyone sympathizes with the woman who has been forced against her will. Bad as rape is, it is harder still to think the victim must then give birth to a baby she conceived against her will. All this, however, is human reasoning and emotion. We must remember that God's ways are higher than ours, and we must submit our will to His (Isa. 55:8,9; Jer. 10:23; Prov. 14:12; 1 Cor. 1:18-25; Luke 16:15).

Consider these facts:

The case we are considering occurs very rarely.

Rape itself is not rare, unfortunately; but it rarely leads to conception. Consider the following statistics for conceptions from rape in major cities: Chicago - no cases in 9 years; Buffalo - no cases in 30 years; St. Paul - no cases in 10 years (3500 rapes); Philadelphia - no cases in 19 1/2 years. One survey polled doctors who had delivered a total of 19,000 births, but not one of these doctors had ever delivered a baby conceived as a result of rape. (U.S. Congressional Record, 7/25/83; Handbook on Abortion, by Dr. and Mrs. J. C. Wilke, pp 38,39).

The percentage of abortions that occur as a result of real rape is infinitesimal. If, however, rape were considered a justifiable cause for obtaining an abortion, we could be sure that many women would falsely claim they were raped, just to get an abortion!

If a raped woman does conceive, we must remember that the life within her is still an innocent human being.

It is still wrong to kill the baby because the father sinned - Deuteronomy 24:16. Every passage we have studied that condemns killing innocent humans would still apply in this case. What if we discover after it has been born that it was conceived as a result of rape? Could we kill it?

True, the consequence is that the woman must give birth to the child. Unfortunately, in this life innocent people often suffer the consequences of wrongs done by evil people. Drunken drivers kill or injure innocent people. Thieves steal from innocent people. The Bible contains many such examples (Acts 2:23; 1 Peter 4:12-16; John 15:18-20; 2 Cor. 11:23-26; 1 Thess. 3:2-4).

But none of this justifies harming other innocent people. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, but did not use this to justify doing wrong to others (Gen. chaps. 37,39-41). Jesus suffered at the hands of wicked men, but He did not wrong others because of it. We should imitate His example (1 Pet. 2:19-24). We must do good even when we have been wronged (Rom. 12:17-21).

And remember 1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13. God will provide what we need to do His will. Again, we should comfort and help one another and trust in God for strength. Two wrongs still do not make a right. And above all, nothing here changes the Bible principles we have studied. Remember, the real reason people want legal abortion is to cover up fornication or to avoid inconvenience to the parents!

Danger to the Life of the Mother

The principles we have already discussed would adequately deal with abortion for the comfort, general health, or emotional well being of the mother. But what if the mother herself would die if the pregnancy continues?

Medically speaking, such cases simply do not occur.

"Thousands of physicians across the United States, each of whom has cared for hundreds of mothers and infants during their respective years of practice, state firmly they have never in those thousands of pregnancies seen a single instance where the life of the infant had to be sacrificed to save the mother, nor have they seen a situation where a mother has been lost for failure of a physician to perform an abortion ... abortion is never necessary, because competent physicians, using the latest medical and surgical techniques, can preserve the lives of both the mother and the child" - Dr. John Grady (Family Review, Spring, 1981).

"Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life" - Alan Guttmacher of Planned Parenthood, 1954 (via Allen Co. R.T.L. News, 10/81).

Dr. Joseph DiZoglio questioned a number of doctors who did abortions (including one who did 15-20,000): "...all said they have never performed an abortion that was absolutely for medical reasons ... Never means never - not one case" - (Allen Co. R.T.L. News, 10/81).

"...the reasons for therapeutic abortion (to save the mother's life) have disappeared" -Dr. John Hand, (ibid.)

"Abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother" - Dr. Joseph P. Donnelly (ibid.).

"Medical reasons for provoking abortion are just about non-existent. In fact, no basis on pure medical grounds ever really stands up" - Dr. Bernard Pisani, Family Review, 1981.

The life-of-the-mother argument is the abortionists' last resort, but their "battering ram" is a wet noodle! The problem simply does not exist, so why should we compromise Bible principle?

In any such considerations, decisions must always be made remembering that the unborn is a human being.

Difficult decisions should treat the unborn as fully human as if it had been born. Even if exceptions did exist, they would still just be exceptions. The exception is not the rule. The rule is to be determined by Bible principles, not by alleged exceptions.

In cases of doubt, remember Romans 14:23 and have faith in God to help with our needs in answer to prayer.


The Bible teaches that the baby who has been conceived and lives in its mother's womb is a living human being, a separate and distinct person from its parents. Therefore, it has just as much right to live as any other human being. To deliberately kill it would be just as wrong as killing any other innocent human being.

Abortion is wrong, therefore, because it is a failure to love, appreciate, and care for a human baby. It is also wrong because it constitutes the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.

The Bible provides the necessary steps to solve the abortion "dilemma" for those who are willing to respect its teachings:

(1) Flee fornication.

(2) Learn to love, appreciate, and care for the baby.

(3) Learn to trust God for the strength to face any hardships life brings. Study His word, pray, and seek help from other Christians.

(4) Help others who have needs or problems caused by the birth of a baby.

(5) Speak out in defense of life. Seek to deliver those who are about to be slain (Prov. 24:11,12). Do not compromise with sin, but reprove it (Eph. 5:11; 2 Tim. 4:2-4; Prov. 28:4; Gal. 6:1, etc.).

What should a woman do if she has aborted a baby and now realizes she did wrong? She does not need to spend the rest of her life with the burden of unforgiven guilt. The Bible says abortion is wrong, but it also gives something else that humanistic beliefs cannot give: a source of true forgiveness for guilt. God will forgive if we will come to Him according to His conditions. Read and obey these passages: Rom. 1:16; 6:3,4; 10:9,10; Mark 16:16; Acts 17:30; 2:38; 22:16.

(c) Copyright 2012 by David E. Pratte - We copyright our material, not to prevent its use, but to prevent its misuse. You have permission and are encouraged to save this article for future reference and to email copies of it to your friends and acquaintances, provided no fee is charged and no changes are made in content.