Abortion is widely accepted today, by both professing Christians and unbelievers. Abortion even has supporters in the Sabbatarian Churches of God. Let’s look at the history of abortion, review the Biblical record, and note some facts about abortion.
Poverty was not the reason for the high rate of abortion among the Romans in the century preceding, and during the early Christian era. By this time, Roman honor and respect for marriage had virtually become extinct. Juvenal (ca. 140 A.D., Satire 6.161) said that a chaste wife was almost nonexistent. Countless Roman women committed adultery, and when they became pregnant, they destroyed the evidence of their unfaithfulness, by abortion.
Another motive for abortion was the desire to be childless. Unmarried and childless elderly people were courted by fortune hunters who wanted to receive the inheritance of these old fools.
Long before the birth of Christ, faithful Jews, contrary to the pagan societies around them, held to the sanctity of human life. Josephus said that Bible law “forbids women from either to cause abortion or to make away with the fetus,” and a woman who aborts her child “destroys a soul and diminishes the race” Against Apion, 375.
To the Greeks and Romans, however, human life was cheap and expendable. Plato argued that the city-state had the prerogative to force a woman to submit to an abortion to prevent overpopulation, Republic 5.461. Aristotle likewise said that at times “abortion must be practiced” Politics 7.14. However, the fifth century B.C., Hippocratic Oath said, “I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion.” Even though some ancients frowned on abortion, the general practice favored it. (See Under the Influence, How Christianity Transformed Civilization, by Alvin J. Schmidt, pp. 55-57.)
Does the Bible specifically prohibit abortion? There are strong scriptural indications that answer in the affirmative. Galatians 5:19-21 lists the works of the flesh. Among these are adultery, fornication and witchcraft (KJV). The word translated “witchcraft” is Strong’s #5331, pharmakeia, the making and administering of potions. We usually associate potions with witches. Schmidt says, “However, it is quite likely that when Paul used the word pharmakeia in Galatians, he meant the practice of abortion, because administering medicinal potions was a common way of inducing abortions among the Greco-Romans. . . . In Revelation 21:8, where the Apostle John condemns ‘sexual immorality,’ [whoremongers] these two words are immediately followed by the plural word pharmakois [sorceries], evidently because sexual immorality often resulted in unwanted pregnancies being aborted” (p. 57).
During the coming plagues of the Sixth Trumpet (the second woe), idolatrous opposers of God will refuse to repent of their deeds, Revelation 9:20. In verse 21, we see that “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries [pharmakeia], nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” Right between murder and fornication is pharmakeia, which may mean giving potions to cause abortions. Mystery Babylon the Great is condemned because “by thy sorceries [pharmakia] were all nations deceived,” Revelation 18:23. “Without,” meaning they are not part of the New Jerusalem, “are dogs [sodomites], and sorcerers [pharmakos], and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie,” Revelation 22:15.
We see proof of the connection of pharmakeia to abortifacients in extra-Biblical literature. Plutarch (A.D. 46-120), a pagan, uses pharmakeia to note that it was especially used for contraception and abortion purposes (Romulus 22 of his Parallel Lives). An early Christian document, the Didache, forbids abortion, using the words, ou pharmakeuseis (you shall not use potions), immediately followed by ou phoneuseia teknon en phthora (you shall not kill a child by abortion). Clement of Alexandria (155-215), an early Church Father, identifies pharmakeia as an abortifacient. In criticizing women who conceal their sexual sin, he links abortion (phthora) with the taking of potions (pharmakois). Numerous other references are given on page 58 of Schmidt’s book.
Church councils of both West and East condemned abortion. Basil of Caesarea (d. 379) formulated church canons (laws) for the Eastern Church, which opposed abortion and the guilds (the sagae) which provided abortifacients, surgical devices for abortion, and sold aborted bodies to the manufacturers of beauty creams. The sagae were the ancient version of Planned Parenthood. Basil asserted, “Women . . . who administer drugs to cause abortion, as well as those who take poisons to destroy unborn children are murderesses.”
Catholics and Protestants for hundreds of years continued to oppose abortion, and make laws against the practice. But today, most mainline Protestant Churches support abortion. Exceptions are Southern Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, and the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. The official position of the Roman Catholic Church remains in opposition to abortion, but they do not discipline members who support the practice (e.g., Senator Edward Kennedy). While many Republican politicians give lip service to the pro-life stance, they do little or nothing to stop the practice of abortion.
The primitive Church’s opposition to abortion, along with child abandonment and infanticide, led western society to sanctify human life for many centuries. Historian W.E.H. Lecky said, “the value and sanctity of infant life . . . broadly distnguishe[d] Christian from pagan societies.” Today, the same issue, abortion, is one of the issues dividing Christians from non-Christians. It separates the men from the boys, spiritually.
The following section is an article from a modern pro-life group.
The American Holocaust and Every Christian’s Responsibility to Act
What would you do if you lived in Nazi Germany during World War II? Seriously think about that question. Would you speak up for the Jews who were legally being murdered day after day knowing you’d be counted among them if you did? Or would you be like most Christians who did nothing — turn a blind eye, ignore the cries, and disobey Christ’s command?
Did the threat of death justify those Christians in ignoring the cries of the Jews and ignoring Christ’s words? Our Savior doesn’t think so (Matthew 25:45, 46; John 15:12, 13; Revelation 12:11). And apparent1y the American soldiers of that time didn’t think so either. They marched those Christians — men, women, and children — through those death camps and past the remains of their fellow citizens. The blood of the 6,000,000 victims was partially upon the hands of those who did not try to end the holocaust occurring within their midst.
Now, I ask you another question. What would you do if you lived in Nazi Germany during World War II and had the freedom of speech and the freedom of press? Certainly you would do anything and everything you could to save a life and bring a lost soul to Christ! Could those who still did nothing be innocent? Of course not! They would not be loving their neighbor. Part of the blood would be upon their hands.
(Some of you may know where I am going with all of this, but not entirely. Please do not jump to conclusions but continue to read on.)
Nazi Germany’s holocaust was indeed an atrocity. It claimed approximately 6,000,000 innocent lives. But as loathsome and repulsive as it was, there is still a greater holocaust. It is seven times larger than Nazi Germany’s, currently claiming over 42,000,000 victims! It is America’s holocaust of the unborn. It differs from Nazi Germany’s holocaust in two ways. The innocent victims this time around are voiceless, helpless, and vulnerable infants. The citizens this time around have their God-given rights protected.
Each day in our land 3,500 innocent unborn children are legally murdered! I repeat: Each day 3,500 children are legally murdered! Over ninety-five percent of these abortions are committed in the name of convenience. The rest of these children lose their lives because they possess a [possible] malformation or because they were conceived in rape or incest (neither reason justifies ending the new life). Very rarely does a woman obtain an abortion because her life is endangered.
The methods by which these babies are murdered are horrifying and gruesome. Most die by suction aspiration (being torn apart by a small but powerful suction device). Others are cut apart limb by limb. Still, others die by the following methods: forced ingestion of poison; lethal injection to the heart; removal of brain after partial delivery; and, neglect after complete delivery. Yes, you read correctly. Abortionists have even admitted to fatally experimenting on live late-term babies, after the attempted abortions had failed! Friends, this is Nazi Germany all over again! This is the sickening reality of the American holocaust. The horror stories go on and on!
Our Heavenly Father considers the life of an unborn child equal to the life of an adult. He told Moses that a man who caused the death of an unborn child was to be killed also (Exodus 21:22-25). Scripture makes it clear that our Creator, Almighty Yahweh, forms us within our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13, 14; Job 31:15; Jeremiah 1:5). Abortion is indeed a mockery of the Creator. The blood of the 42,000,000 innocent lives is defiling our land and waxing hot the anger of the Creator (Numbers 35:33; Psalm 9:12).
Keeping our Father’s view of unborn children in mind, let’s examine the Messiah’s teachings. In Matthew 22:39, we find the second greatest commandment: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Looking back to Exodus 21:14, 22, 23, we realize this commandment includes our unborn neighbor. One question should be asked: If I was an unborn child destined to be murdered, what would I want those on the outside to do? The answer would be: Anything that could possibly save my life! This, then, is what the Messiah said we should do. Jumping over to Matthew 25:31-46, we find a familiar parable. In it, our Savior teaches us to care for the oppressed and needy. When we do, He explains, we are caring for Him. Those who cared will see eternal life (this isn’t the sole determining factor, of course) but those who did nothing “. . . will go away into everlasting punishment.” Certainly any oppressed person is counted among those to be cared for, including the voiceless infant victims of the American (and worldwide) holocaust.
Every true Christian in America has the responsibility to do something to end this bloodshed in our land. To shuffle your responsibility off on those already actively defending life, is not only irresponsible, but also deadly. Thousands of babies continue to die daily as a constant reminder of the lack of soldiers. So what can you do?
First of all, DO NOT abandon your present ministry. Our world is in dire need of truly knowing the Messiah. There are plenty of hungry, homeless, and lonely individuals still suffering and waiting for relief. They need to see Christ’s love. All of these are very important ministries. Do not forsake them unless our Father says otherwise. However, do not forget the fact that there is a horrible massacre occurring. Do all you can, Pastors, to educate your congregation and try to motivate those with time to become involved in saving the lives of babies. Speakers, set aside a few minutes to address America’s holocaust and the need of soldiers (ultimately this is how I became aware). Whatever you are doing, try to find opportunities here or there to inform and motivate.
If you do not have an organized ministry, or if you have time for another, you can easily become active in ending America’s holocaust. Pray to the Father and ask Him to guide you. Educate yourself. Generally where the information is, contact addresses are also. Contact those organizations for information and/or resources. Then act. Write letters to editors, picket abortion clinics, talk to mothers before they enter the clinics, distribute literature, volunteer at crisis pregnancy centers, try to motivate others, etc. Whatever you do, do it with love. Share the message of our Father’s forgiveness through His Son’s blood. Joy unspeakable will fill your heart when a mother you counsel chooses life for her child!
I would like to pass on an important address to you. It is the address of a non-profit, all-volunteer, Christian organization who has put together a free package of information and resources for those sincerely wanting to begin in this outreach. The organization sells absolutely nothing. Simply request their “anti-abortion action pack.” It will be extremely helpful in becoming active. Their address is: Baysis of Life, PO Box 106, Lapaz, Indiana 46537. (Please only request it if you honestly want to get involved.)
At the beginning of this article I asked you what you would do if you had lived in Nazi Germany during World War II. Now I ask you this: What will be your response to America’s holocaust? If we do not help these infants, will we be justified? (Proverbs 21:13).
Baysis of Life provides the following statistics on abortion in America.
Abortion Facts and Statistics for America
Abortion is the spontaneous or artificially induced expulsion of the embryo or fetus (Henry Campbell Black, M.A., et al, Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th ed., St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing Co., 1990 p. 7).
Spontaneous abortions, or miscarriages, are a natural part of life. As much as we try, we cannot prevent them from occurring. However, artificially induced abortions, whether they be surgical or chemical, are not a natural part of life and can be avoided. The “abortion controversy” is based upon whether or not this latter class should be legal. The “pro-life” voice (42% of the U.S.) states it should not be legal; the “pro-choice” voice (48%) states otherwise.
In Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113, 1973), the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, legalized unrestricted abortion in all 50 states during the first trimester (first three months of pregnancy). During the second trimester, the Court gave the states the right to regulate abortion procedures to promote the mother’s health. And, during the third trimester, the states could forbid abortion altogether except when necessary to preserve the mother’s life or health. The Supreme Court [has since] found all abortions “constitutional” up until the day of birth.
Source: NRL Educational Trust Fund, Abortion: Some Medical Facts 8/99, pp. 7-10, 13, 14, 17, 18.
1. (First trimester, surgical) Suction Aspiration — A powerful suction tube with a sharp cutting tip is inserted into the womb. The suction dismembers the body of the developing child and tears the placenta from the uterine wall. Blood, amniotic fluid, placental tissue, and fetal parts are sucked into a collection bottle.
2. (First trimester, surgical) Dilation and Curettage (D&C) — A looped shaped knife is inserted into the womb. The body of the child is cut into pieces and removed. The placenta is then scraped off the wall of the uterus.
3. (First trimester, chemical) RU-486/prostaglandin — Progesterone, a natural hormone vital to maintaining the nutrient-rich uterine lining, is blocked by the mifepristone contained in the RU-486 pills. The child starves as the nutrient-rich lining disintergrates. The woman is given prostaglandins 36-48 hours later to induce labor. Normally, the dead child is expelled 4 hours later. RU-486 was approved by the FDA in 1996.
4. (Second trimester, surgical) Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) — Sharp forceps are inserted into the womb and then used to take hold of parts of the child’s body. The parts are then torn off the body and removed. The child’s skull is then crushed and removed.
5. (Second and third trimesters, surgical) Partial-birth Abortion (D&X) — Forceps are used to clasp the child’s leg and pull him or her into the birth canal. The child’s head is intentionally kept just inside the womb. Scissors are then stabbed into the back of the child’s skull and opened up to enlarge the wound. A suction catheter is inserted into the skull and the young child’s brains are sucked out. The child’s head collapses and the baby is then removed completely. Complications include the child “accidentally” slipping out of the birth canal.
6. (Second and third trimesters, surgical) Hysterotomy — Incisions are made in the abdomen and uterus. The child is removed along with the placenta. The child may be alive afterwards making many question how, when, and by whom the child dies.
7. (Second and third trimesters, chemical) Salt Poisoning — A large needle is inserted into the amniotic sac through the woman’s abdomen. As much as a cup of amniotic fluid is removed and replaced with a strong saline solution. The child swallows the salt and is poisoned. The child is also scalded by the toxic chemical. Delivery occurs 33-35 hours later. The child is burnt, shriveled, and dead (usually).
An Interesting Fact: The “Jane Roe” who fought for abortion “rights” in Roe v. Wade is now a pro-life activist.
Statistics for 1996
Source: “Abortion Surveillance United States, 1996,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 48, no. 55-4, July 30, 1999; The Alan Guttmacher Institute; Centers for Disease Control.
Approximately 1,370,000 children were aborted in the USA [in 1996]. Of the women who obtained abortions: 80.4% were unmarried, 52.2% were under 25 years old, 59.1% were White, 35.2% were Black, 44.2% had never given birth, 88% were in their first trimester, 96.5% underwent the suction aspiration procedure.
There were 314 abortions for every 1,000 live births. Abortions outnumbered live births in the District of Columbia. California, the state which performed the most abortions, reported over 280,000 abortions. Wyoming, the state which performed the least abortions, reported 208.
The top seven reasons women gave for obtaining abortions were: (1) life-style concerns, 76%, (2) couldn’t afford the child, 68%, (3) problems in relationship, 51%, (4) unready for responsibility, 31%, (5) embarrassed about sex, 31%, (6) not mature enough, 30%, (7) enough children already, 26%.
An abortifacient is a drug or medicine capable of, or used for, producing abortion.
Common abortifacients include oral contraceptives (OCS), Depo-Provera (DMPA), and Norplant. All of these abortifacients make it almost impossible for the newly conceived human being to implant in the uterine lining. Millions of abortions due to abortifacients are often overlooked. It has been calculated that 2.73 million to 7.8 million abortions occur every year by abortifacients alone. The intrauterine device (IUD) also prevents implantation of the newly conceived human, and is even labeled “anti-implantational” by the FDA. The IUD adds another estimated 3.82 million abortions annually to the death toll.
Other Abortion-related Information
The Wor1d Health Organization (WHO) estimates 100,000 to 150,000 induced abortions occur daily, or about 36 to 53 million annually.
Three weeks after fertilization, the unborn child has a beating heart. Six weeks after fertilization the child has measurable brain waves. And at twelve weeks all of the child’s organs have developed and are functioning. The child only grows and matures after that.
Less than one percent of all U.S. abortions are a result of rape or incest.
Reported cases of child abuse (not including abortion) have risen every year since 1973, from less than 250,000 cases in 1973 to over 3,000,000 in 1997.
A child is capable of living outside of the womb at 22 weeks after fertilization.
For more information and statistics on the abortion topic read, “Abortion: an Eternal Social and Moral Issue,” by Gale Group.
Sources for this section are:
Dr. Bogomir M. Kuhar, Ph.D., Infant Homicides Through Contraceptives, 4th ed., (Bardstown, KY. Eternal Life, 2000) pp. 5, 19, 20, 23-25, 41-45; “Investigational Contraceptives,” Drug Newsletter, May 1987, 34; “Contraceptive Technology Update,” January 1990, 5. Paul Weckenbrock, R. Ph., The Pill: How does it work? Is it safe? (Cincinnati, Ohio: The Couple to Couple League, Inc., 1995); Physician’s Desk Reference (Montvale N.J.: Medical Economics, 1998).
This information is provided by: Baysis of Life, PO Box 106, Lapaz, Indiana 46537
We encourage you also to check out the Prolife America website, www.prolife.com.
Sing a Little Louder
After a speech, Pro-Life activist Penny Lea was approached by an old man. Weeping, he told her the following story:
“I lived in Germany during the Nazi holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. I attended church since I was a small boy. We had heard the stories of what was happening to the Jews, but like most people today in this country, we tried to distance ourselves from the reality of what was really taking place. What could anyone do to stop it?
“A railroad track ran behind our small church, and each Sunday morning we would hear the whistle from a distance and then the clacking of the wheels moving over the track. We became disturbed when one Sunday we noticed cries coming from the train as it passed by. We grimly realized that the train was carrying Jews. They were like cattle in those cars!
“Week after week that train whistle would blow. We would dread to hear the sound of those old wheels because we knew that the Jews would begin to cry out to us as they passed our church. It was so terribly disturbing! We could do nothing to help these poor miserable people, yet their screams tormented us. We knew exactly at what time that whistle would blow, and we decided the only way to keep from being so disturbed by the cries was to start singing our hymns. By the time that train came rumbling past the church yard, we were singing at the top of our voices. If some of the screams reached our ears, we’d just sing a little louder until we could hear them no more. Years have passed and no one talks about it much anymore, but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. I can still hear them crying out for help. God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene.
“Now, so many years later, I see it happening all over again in America. God forgive you as Americans, for you have blocked out the screams of millions of your own children. The holocaust is here. The response is the same as it was in my country — SILENCE!”
Have you ever wondered HOW people could have stood by and let this just happen? Do you wonder why the Christians in this story chose to just sing their praise to God a little louder to drown out the victim’s cries?
The old man’s story is in the past. The past cannot be changed. It is easy to think we would act differently now. But the old man’s last words are haunting: “It’s happening all over again in America with abortion.”
As American Christians, we have become so comfortable in our lovely buildings and padded pews. We have beautiful fellowship halls for our many banquets. We have the latest sound equipment for our praise and worship. We have computers to keep our records. We gather together each week and shut ourselves inside our buildings. We raise our voices as loud as we can, all in the name of God.
And yet, in the heavenly realm, our voices raised in praise are drowned out by screams of agony from millions of babies who are being executed before they are born. We can’t see them. We can’t hear them. But it is happening right now!
Babies are being aborted UP UNTIL THE DAY OF BIRTH in this country. Their organs and brains are “harvested” for use in medical experimentation. In Wichita, Kansas, the smoke stack from the furnace of Dr. Tiller’s abortion clinic belches out black smoke and the sickening smell of burning flesh. These are bodies of the seventh, eighth, and ninth month old babies being “disposed of.”
If the Christians in the old man’s church had done something, they would have probably been killed. That is not the case with us. We don’t even have that as an excuse for our silence. Years from now will you be like that old man trying to explain your apathy as millions were led away to slaughter in abortion clinics? Or will you raise your voice and cry out in protest for those who have no voice! The choice is YOURS.
But, What Can I Do?
There may be no train tracks behind your church. No train rumbling by with voices crying out for help. Yet in every major city in America there are abortion clinics where unborn children are being killed.
Churches are reluctant to get involved because abortion is perceived as a “political” issue. It is too “controversial.” Yet, abortion has always been a moral issue and considered a sin. It has been thrust into the political arena only recently just as killing Jews became “politicized” in Germany. Regardless of any politics involved, it is still a sin — and fighting sin is the Church’s domain!
What can you and your church do?
First, Pray. Pray for our country. Pray for our leaders. Pray for the people on the front lines of this battle — the counselors at Crisis Pregnancy Centers, the sidewalk counselors who take truth to the abortion clinic doors, the post abortion ministries that help women who have had abortions find Christ’s love and forgiveness.
Second, Educate yourself and those around you. The people who sat in the pews, singly loudly to drown out the pleas of those being led to death did not change the reality of the horror. They did not want to know the truth. Don’t be like them. Find out about abortion and share what you find with your friends and church members.
Third, Act. As a church, adopt a crisis pregnancy center and have a baby shower. Volunteer your time at a maternity home, crisis pregnancy center or other Pro-Life organization. If you can’t do that, leave literature in places where people will read it.
If the killing of over 4,000 unborn infants a day does not move the Church into action, what will? If we Christians don’t speak out against shedding of innocent blood, who will?
Penny Lea, author of the poem and story of “Sing a Little Louder,” is a well-known Pro-Life speaker and writer. She directs “I Believe in Life,” and speaks around the country. This article reprinted with permission of I Believe in Life, Box 3226, Boone, NC 28607, 828-265-2663.
Additional Facts About Abortion
In the United States, it is legal to abort a baby up until the day of birth.
In the D&X procedure, babies are “partially aborted”: so the head is still in the cervix, but the body is out. While in this position, the live baby is still considered an “abortion” therefore a nonperson. The live baby’s brains are sucked out and the other organs are harvested and sold to “researchers.” The baby receives no anesthesia and is alive until the procedure kills him.
Every day in America, about 4,400 babies die painful deaths by dismemberment, chem.ical poisoning, lethal injections into the heart, being torn limb from limb and now, being partially delivered and having their brains sucked out and their organs sold.
Baby and mother are abortion’s victims. Many women who have abortions suffer physically and mentally. Depression, anxiety, grief, infection, sterility, and even death are not uncommon as a result of abortion.
Only 1% of abortions are preformed as a result of rape or incest. Most abortions are done as a form of birth control because the baby is “inconvenient,” “two expensive,” or a “burden.”
Freedom of Choice?
A well-known Sabbatarian Church of God pastor says that our society is more free now with legalized abortion, then it was before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. He is old enough to know better. When the state gives women the choice to murder their innocent babies in the womb, all of our freedoms are in danger. Euthanasia, state killing of the aged and infirm, in the name of the good of society, is coming next. Hitler’s Nazi regime was ahead of its time.
Nineteenth century feminist founder Susan B. Anthony said, “I deplore the horrible crime of child murder [abortion] . . . . No matter what motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed . . . but oh! thrice guilty is he who for selfish gratification . . . drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime.” Today, however, feminists support abortion. God speed the return of Jesus Christ to stop the great evil of modern society — abortion.
— compiled by Richard C. Nickels Ω