Learn why abortion is wrong and a murder. It is not about a woman’s right to decide on her body but about killing a child in the womb
Have you ever had an abortion, or are you thinking about having one? Many women have been faced with this situation and they have wondered what to do, since they have not been prepared for the situation.
Below, we are going to study abortion – which certainly is not one of the easiest subjects. We are going to concentrate on whether abortion is the right thing to do, what points are used to justify it, and how the development of a baby generally takes place. It is important to be clear about these because our opinion of abortion depends a lot on what we think about these matters.
The next story describes well what a difficult thing an unexpected pregnancy can be for many people, especially if they are not mentally prepared and ready for it – it may feel like a heavy burden for them. The text also shows that in spite of all the propaganda many who have had an abortion later feel that they did the wrong thing. They may feel guilty but they can no longer undo it.
After a moment’s silence, Nakagawa-san continues, “In the summer, I got pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. I thought that there was no way I would be able to start taking care of a baby, as little Daisuke was just three years old. Nowadays, people seem to think that two children are enough for one family. Education also costs a lot of money. Without more hesitation, I went to the doctor’s and had that small life growing in my belly destroyed.”
Her eyes filled with tears. So did mine.
“I later understood what I had done. I felt like I had killed my own child with my own hands. It was then that I understood that I was a sinner. I’m no better than other murderers...”
“Who told you that abortion is a sin? Did you hear it in church?” Suddenly, I had difficulties getting the Japanese words out of my mouth.
“No, I didn't. We Japanese know in principle that abortion is wrong, but many still do it. Those who have problems with their conscience can go to a special "temple of premature babies" to pray for the soul of their child, and to take a small picture of Buddha there. My mother-in-law told me that I should go to the temple when she saw how miserable I was. But I didn’t want to go, because I don't believe in those gods.”
I thought that the law of God seems to have been written into the conscience of man whether he is a Christian or a Buddhist. But someone has to preach the Gospel – no-one can find it in his own heart. (1).
REASONS FOR AN abortion
When looking for reasons that are usually connected with abortion, we can find at least three important points, all of which we are going to study separately. If you have had to face this matter the next points are probably familiar to you:
1. ’’A fetus is not a person."
2. ”A woman has the right to decide about her own body."
1. ”A Fetus is not a person." The first justification for abortion may be the idea that a fetus is not a person, a perfect human being, but becomes one only at birth or at some later stage of pregnancy. People have claimed that the fetus is only a lump of tissue that does not even resemble a person and therefore does not have any human rights.
However, we might ask whether this view is true or not. Does the fetus become a person at birth, or at some later stage of the pregnancy? We will look at each of these alternatives:
Does birth make a fetus a person? If we think that the fetus becomes a person at birth our first questions are: what makes this moment so important? What makes the fetus change into a person? Does not birth in fact only mean a change of place – a change in which the child moves from the inside to the outside of the womb – just like we go from the inside of a house to the outside?
We must understand that birth does not make a child any more a person as he was a day before birth, for instance, when he was still in his mother’s womb. In both places he has the same body parts – mouth, legs, hands, etc. – in both places, and he is just as dependent on his mother’s care after birth. It is always the same individual; the only change is in the place the child is located.
The next report of a former abortion doctor about ultrasound further clarifies this point. He refers to the fact that with the help of this photographic method we can see how the fetus in the womb is not a lump of tissue or an impersonal being, but it has the perfect features of a small child. A fetus can move, swallow, and sleep – all things that adults and small babies can do outside the womb:
(...) It was the ultrasound that for the first time opened a window into the womb for us. We also began to follow the heartbeat of the fetus with electronic heart monitors. For the first time, I started to think about what we did at the clinic. The ultrasound opened a new world for us. For the first time, we could really see the fetus of a man, measure him, observe him, and become attached to him and fall in love with him. That's what happened to me. The ultrasonic pictures of a fetus powerfully affect a person looking at them. In the New England Journal of Medicine, they published a study about the possibilities of this technology. About ten years ago, the newspaper published a study in which ten pregnant women who had come to the abortion clinic were shown an ultrasonic picture of their fetus before abortion. Only one of the women had an abortion. Nine others left the clinic still pregnant. This proves how powerful getting attached is. I also noticed that I become attached to those unborn babies. (2)
I would still like to add that even though we had a lot of (literally) experimental information about destroying a living person in abortion it was only through ultrasonic technology that our thoughts really changed. With the help of the ultrasound we did not only see that the fetus is a working organism, but we could also measure the fetus’ vital functions, weigh and estimate his age, see how he swallowed and urinated, watch him sleep and wake up and see how he was purposefully moving himself as a new-born child does. (...)
It is here where I found myself; in front of this empirical revolution, all this new information, I started a painful process in which I changed my mind about the justification of abortion. I had finally accepted the change of a paradigm. (3)
Does a fetus become a person during some stage of the pregnancy? Another reason given is that the fetus becomes a person during some later stage of pregnancy.
However, if we examine this theory we can find problems with it – points that show us this theory does not stand on solid ground.
One problem with this theory is found in cases where children have been born prematurely. Many premature babies come into this world at the same age – or even younger – than those babies who have been aborted. The normal pregnancy takes approximately 40 weeks, but some children born prematurely at 20 weeks still stay alive. This shows us that the fetus must already be a person at this stage, because he or she stays alive just like the children who are born later. The current trend is that younger and younger premature babies can be kept alive outside the mother’s womb. This deadline concerning their age has constantly shortened
Therefore, we must understand that no later stage of pregnancy – and no earlier stage for that matter – can be the moment when the fetus becomes a person because development cannot begin in the middle of pregnancy. This cannot be clearly proven or argued for.
The fact that life begins with fertilization was also acknowledged in a recent study asking 5,577 biologists around the world when life begins. Of these, 96 percent said it begins with fertilization (Erelt, S., Survey asked, 5,577 biologists when human life begins. 96% said conception; lifenews.com, 11 Jul 2019). Similarly, the Geneva Declaration of the World Medical Association in 1948, when the unethical behavior of Nazi doctors had been exposed, stated that human life begins with fertilization: "I hold human life in the highest esteem since conception, and I do not use my medical skills against the laws of humanity, even under threat."
So, the only reasonable and possible moment for the beginning of a human life is fertilization because the fertilized egg cell already includes everything needed for development of an individual. There is no need to add anything to the genes: the cell already has all the ingredients needed for a life that may last for a hundred years. All the time, from the moment of fertilization, it is an individual who is growing and developing.
The next Psalm written by David describes this:
- (Ps 139:16) Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
2.”A Woman has THE right to decide ABOUT her own body." The second possible reason for abortion is that a woman has the right to decide about her own body and what she wants to do with it. It has been argued that abortion is almost the same as pulling out a wisdom tooth or an appendix: Only unnecessary body parts are removed.
However, this is not true. It is not true that a fetus is the same kind of a body part as the hands, legs or head, for example. A fetus is attached to the mother only for about 9 months – perhaps less if the child is born prematurely. The fetus or child is only growing in the womb of his or her mother; he or she is not a part of the mother’s body.
Also, the origin of the fetus is not only within the woman's body; the baby was created when the germ cells of a man and woman merged together. Other stages (such as completion of germ cells) were preparatory for fertilization, which results in a new and unique individual. In the same way, the placenta, umbilical cord and fetal membranes – necessary for the baby’s development -- are not a part of the mother's body. They belong to the fetus.
We must, therefore, understand that at no stage is a fetus a part of his or her mother’s body. It is an individual developing in the mother’s womb and getting his or her nourishment from her.
We are all the time talking about a child who grows inside his or her mother. The next Bible verse refers to this: an angel called the fetus a son three months before his birth. If we do not take this clear fact into consideration, we will certainly be wrong:
- (Luke 1:36) And, behold, your cousin Elisabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
The following quotes refer to how a fetus is not part of his mother’s body or some lump of tissue. The same body parts as adult have - hands, feet, eyes, mouth, ears - show that it is a real person:
One cannot perform abortion eyes closed. One must be sure that everything has come out of the womb and one must count that there are enough of legs and arms, rib cage and brain that is coming out. Then when the patient is waking up from their narcosis, and asks, whether it would have been a girl or a boy, my resilience has reached its limits and that is when I usually walk away. – If I perform a surgery, where I clearly kill a living being, I think it is folly to talk about destroying nascent life. It is killing, and I see it as killing.” (4)
I had a doctor colleague in the hospital, with whom I talked about abortion. He defended abortion as a woman’s right, and I, on the other hand, objected it as a violation towards a child’s life. One time in the middle of the night I caught him pale leaning against a wall and I asked if he was feeling ill. He told me that he was just performing an abortion, when a tiny leg detached from the thigh had dropped from the suction machine. He started to feel nauseous and groaned: “This is the job of an executioner.” (5)
3. SYMPATHY. One of the most common reasons to justify abortion is sympathy. Many people may say that, "It is good for both the mother and the child that the abortion is carried out.”
We may, however, ask whether sympathy is the right reason to carry out an abortion. Even though we understand the situation may be difficult, we can still question whether or not sympathy should be used to justify an abortion. We know that an abortion destroys a small baby, not just a lump of tissue. This makes the use of sympathy to justify it questionable. We might as well accept the killing of new-born babies and older children because they do not happen to please us. The only difference between these two is a short period of time and the location of the children. One of them is still in the womb of the mother, the other is outside the womb.
We must, therefore, understand that neither pity nor sympathy is a good reason for aborting a child. Even though they may seem good reasons at first, these emotions will lead us to destroy a life that has already begun.
“I was surprised that in both cases sympathy and love were presented as reasonable values. The women were advised to get an abortion because of sympathy. For the same reason, they were urged not to have an abortion. Everyone was sympathetic. But who was right?
I had to find instructions according to which I could decide who was right. I had to have more than sympathy to work with. It took a long time for me to go through all the issues that affected the decision of abortion, but after a long and difficult journey, I saw that I had joined those who powerfully try to protect the rights of an unborn child. In other words, abortion started to look like an alternative that I couldn't accept as a solution for an unwanted pregnancy.” (6)
How DOES development take place? We know that the development of a human being takes place during a gradual process. Our life begins in fertilization, but the fertilized egg cell does not change immediately into a girl or a boy weighing three kilos, or into an adult; everything takes place gradually over the course of several months.
This development continues until the adult age, so that those parts of the body which we have all the time also grow and change. Because of this, all of us are a different size in the womb than, for example, at the age of one, five, twelve or twenty, even though it is all the time a question of the same individual and the same limbs, just as Paul said about himself:
- (Gal 1:15) But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,
When we talk about development in the womb, we can find several stages of development that follow each other. We can also note that already at a very early stage, the unborn child totally resembles people who have already been born into this world, so that he or she at least has the same limbs. Let’s go through these development phases:
- Even though the new individual is smaller than an apple seed at the age of two weeks, he or she is enough to stop the menstruation cycle of the mother. From that moment on, the unborn child affects his or her mother’s body throughout the pregnancy.
- At the age of about 3 weeks, the heart starts to pump blood to the child's own body. The blood group can be different from the mother’s. A few days after this, we can see rudimentary hands and legs.
- At about six weeks, we can take an electroencephalogram (EEG) of the child's brain. Measuring it is very important, because the end of a life is usually defined as the moment when all brain activity ends.
- At 7- to 8 weeks old, a child already has hands, legs, fingers, and toes as well as a face with the eyes, nose, and mouth. Individual fingerprints will also be formed soon after this and they will not change after this – except as comes to their size. At this stage, the child is also able to grab with his or her hands and feel pain. Most abortions are made during the 8th week of pregnancy.
- A 14-week-old child is the same size as the palm of an adult and his or her heart pumps 24 liters of blood every day. The features of the face start to resemble those of the parents already at this stage.
- A 20–21-week-old child can these days be kept alive also outside the womb, and stay alive. Children even older than this are aborted in some countries.
Adoption IS ONE alternative. When we understand that abortion is wrong, because it ends a human life (in test tube fertilization and certain contraceptive methods, such as using a coil, we face the same ethical problem, because these can destroy any excess fertilized egg cells), the only alternative left is carrying on with the pregnancy: letting the child live. This should be done, because otherwise, we will destroy the human life that has already begun.
The only exception to this could be if the mother’s life is in danger. If the mother’s life is in danger, it also means that the child does not have any possibilities to live because his or her life is connected with the life of his or her mother. In these situations – which are, however, extremely rare – we can understand that aborting the pregnancy may be justified.
On the other hand, if you are pregnant and cannot take care of the child, you can also consider other alternatives. In a situation where you feel that you cannot take care of the child – for example, getting pregnant because you have been raped – you might consider giving the child up for adoption. Sometimes adoption is the best alternative. It can be the best alternative from the point of view of the child, the mother, and also many childless couples. So if you are faced with this situation and you do not perhaps have the ability to take care of your child, it is worth your while to consider this possibility as a good alternative.
Perfect forgiveness. One mistake we often make is that we do not think about issues in the light of eternity. We may think that we only have this short life, and that is why we perhaps do not consider the idea that there may also be life after this one.
However, when we study the New Testament, we can see that after this life there will be judgment, when all our actions and everything we have done during this life are weighed. You, who have not considered these matters yet, should consider the possibility that perhaps these issues are true after all. They indicate that if we deliberately keep on sinning and do not care about the consequences of our actions, we will not inherit the kingdom of God:
- (1 Cor 6:9,10) Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
- (Rom 14:12) So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
- (2 Cor 5:10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.
The verses above indicate that everyone will give an account of himself to God. If we live our heart hardened and think that there will be no consequences for our actions, we are certainly deceiving ourselves.
The good news, however, is that everything can be forgiven. The Bible indicates that God has already prepared forgiveness for every one of us. He has done this by sending His own Son to die for our sins. This took place almost 2,000 years ago; and if you now turn to Jesus Christ and want to give your life to Him, you can personally experience the forgiveness of your sins (you can simply pray, "Lord Jesus, come into my life and forgive me.”). This is told in the Bible:
- (Acts 13:38) Be it known to you therefore, men and brothers, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins…
- (Acts 10:43) To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins.
- (1 John 2:12) I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
Whether it is a question of abortion or other issues you or other people may carry on your conscience, you can receive forgiveness for those too. Even if you have committed great or small sins, you will always have possibility to be forgiven. The next example of everyday life refers to this:
- Jesus hung on the cross so you would receive forgiveness for your abortion, I assure you. He suffered your punishment, because He loves you.
- Yes, that is what I have been listening to and tried to believe ever since you returned from your summer holiday. Before that, the forgiveness of the sins didn’t interest me. I thought that I wouldn't be able to believe in the Creation and miracles. But now I understand that it is much more difficult to believe in forgiveness. It feels so – so selfish, quite too easy -- If you only believe, you will be forgiven, and you don’t have to pay for your sins.
- You Japanese haven't really gotten used to getting anything for free. Even gifts must always be compensated with other gifts.
- Quite so! Already when we were small kids our mother told us that we must immediately give something in return, otherwise we will lose trust in the eyes of our neighbors, assured the women. - And of course there is also the proverb: Something that you have gotten for free, will be expensive.
- The forgiveness of sins isn't free either, because its price is the blood of the Son of God. But He has already paid for it, there is no need for us to reconcile our sins again.
- Is it true then that everything will be forgiven when we ask God for forgiveness in the name of Jesus?
- It is true. You can also believe that all your sins have been forgiven for the sake of Jesus Christ. (7)
1. Mailis Janatuinen: Tapahtui Tamashimassa, p. 17
2. Bernard Nathanson: Antakaa minun elää (The Hand of God), p.107.
3. Bernard Nathanson: Antakaa minun elää (The Hand of God), p.123-124.
4. Suomen kuvalehti, n:o 15, 10.4.1970
5. Päivi Räsänen: Kutsuttu elämään (?), p. 146
6. Bill Hybels: Kristityt seksihullussa kulttuurissa (Christians in a Sex Crazed Culture), p.89-90.
7. Mailis Janatuinen: Tapahtui Tamashimassa, p. 18
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life
Grap to eternal life!