A large contingent of people who support abortion contend that an unborn baby is not a life, therefore has no rights and cannot be “murdered.” Is life something that is up for debate? Or are there specific parameters that define life.
As it turns out, there is a science that studies just this subject: biology, the study of living organisms. How does biology define life?
A distinctive characteristic of a living organism from dead organism or non-living thing, as specifically distinguished by the capacity to grow, metabolize, respond (to stimuli), adapt, and reproduce
Dr. Steven Jacobs was doing research for his dissertation:
Since these sources suggested the most common view was that a human’s life begins at fertilization, I designed a survey to understand biologists’ assessment of that view. I emailed surveys to professors in the biology departments of over 1,000 institutions around the world.
As the usable responses began to come in, I found that 5,337 biologists (96%) affirmed that a human’s life begins at fertilization,
with 240 (4%) rejecting that view. The majority of the sample identified as liberal (89%), pro-choice (85%) and non-religious (63%). In the case of Americans who expressed party preference, the majority identified as Democrats (92%).
Biologist aren’t the only ones who observe that life begins at conception. So do doctors.
Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, stated:
“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 that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life….
I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty…is not a human being. This is human life at every stage.”
“Dr. Bernard Nathanson, internationally known obstetrician and gynecologist, was a cofounder of what is now the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). He owned and operated what was at the time the largest abortion clinic in the western hemisphere. He was directly involved in over sixty thousand abortions. Dr. Nathanson’s study of developments in the science of fetology and his use of ultrasound to observe the unborn child in the womb led him to the conclusion that he had made a horrible mistake. Resigning from his lucrative position, Nathanson wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine that he was deeply troubled by his “increasing certainty that I had in fact presided over 60,000 deaths.” – from Why Life Begins At Conception
“Modern technologies have convinced us that beyond question the unborn child is simply another human being, another member of the human community, indistinguishable in every way from any of us.” – Dr. Nathanson
The article also states, “A prominent physician points out that at these Senate hearings,
“Pro-abortionists, though invited to do so, failed to produce even a single expert witness who would specifically testify that life begins at any point other than conception or implantation. Only one witness said no one can tell when life begins.”
ABSTRACT: The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception—fertilization. At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature. This statement focuses on the scientific evidence of when an individual human life begins.
I am no scientist, although my favorite class in High School was AP Biology. However, I have a qualification to comment on this subject.
I have spent a little over 7 years of my life carrying other lives inside of my body.
At conception they have a unique genetic code and immediately begin to grow and develop. Soon their heart begins to beat and I can hear it at my first appointments with the midwife. Soon they have their own brainwaves and thoughts. They begin to move and react to the environment. Boy, do they begin to move! They cannot feel my pain and I cannot feel theirs, because we have totally separate nervous systems. I cannot control their decisions or movements. When I am getting to my due date, all I can do is ask nicely, “Baby, please be born today!” but I cannot make them drop into the birth canal head first. And before they are born I get an idea of their personality by how and when and with what intensity they move.
Each pregnancy was different and each life that was growing inside of me was different. Each one was a miracle that science can only begin to understand!
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice, she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”
The Greek word used to describe Elizabeth’s unborn baby is the same word used in Luke 2:12 and 2:16 to describe the newborn baby Jesus and in Luke 18:15 to describe the babies that the people were bringing to Jesus to touch.
The Bible makes no differentiation between a baby in the womb and a baby that has been born.
Elizabeth also called Mary the mother of her Lord. Mary quickly went to see Elizabeth when she received the news from the angel that she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. She was most likely in her first trimester. The Jesus inside of her was referred to as Lord, the same word for Lord that was used hundreds of times in the New Testament to describe the man Jesus.
The Bible makes no differentiation between Jesus in his fetus form and Jesus in his full grown man form.
“If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”
Old Testament Law also viewed the unborn as a life. Striking a pregnant woman was a punishable offense. If there was injury to her or the baby as a result, then it was a life for a life. In Num. 35:9-15 there is a law that says anyone who kills someone accidentally may flee to a refugee city. The life for life penalty was not in place.
So accidental injury to a pregnant woman or unborn baby was a more serious offense to God than other accidental deaths. Accidentally causing the death of an unborn child carried the same weight as intentional murder.
There are other scriptures that show God’s special care of pregnant women, babies, and children.
“He [the Lord] tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
Matt 19:14, Mark 10:14, Luke 18:16
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.”
The formation of a human is not just the result of biological forces. God is present in the womb, crafting the new life Himself.
“For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
God has a destiny for each child before they are born.
Jer 1:5 “And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Gal 1:15 “But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace…”
Scriptures Affirm the Purpose and Destiny of a Life Exists even before Conception.
Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”
Eph 1:4-5 4 “For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will,…”
Romans 9:10-12“Not only that, but Rebecca’s children were conceived by one man, our father Isaac. Yet before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad, in order that God’s plan of election might stand, not by works but by Him who calls, she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”
Romans 8:29 “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
The Bible is clear. Abortion is the murder of a life that God created, the ending of a purpose and destiny, and violates God’s special favor on pregnant women and little ones.
As a young teen I was asked if I supported legalized abortion, and I said no. Then I was asked about cases when the mother had been raped. My answer was, “Well, in that case it wasn’t her fault, so she should be allowed to get an abortion if she wants to.” I didn’t understand what abortion really was, what it entailed, or what it meant for the baby or for the mother.
At age 14, I had an incredible salvation experience where Jesus came into my heart, the scales fell off my eyes, and the entire world looked different to me. I started going to a non-denominational church, reading the Bible with awe and wonder, and learning to hear God’s voice.
After high school I spent a year with Youth With A Mission doing their Discipleship Training School and their School of Evangelism. I learned so much about God, the Bible, marriage, families, education, homeschooling, and abortion. We had a teacher, Bev Kline, who ran a ministry for pregnant women in crisis. They offered support, counseling, and a home to live in. This incredible woman told our class her story. She had had two abortions and spent many years under incredible pain and guilt. She found healing through Jesus and now spent her life extending that healing to others. She tried to talk to women considering abortion, to spare them the heartache she went through. Bev helped many women keep their babies and see them thrive in their new lives as single mothers. She helped others lovingly give their babies up for adoption.
She had found a purpose and passion in life and was filled with peace and joy. But she never forgot the birthdays of the two children she had aborted and looked forward to meeting them in heaven someday. Bev is still loving women by running Living Alternatives.
During that time I saw pictures of the small humans that had burns all over their tiny bodies because of saline injection abortions. I saw pictures of tiny legs ripped from a tiny torsos by forceps during an abortion. Abortion was becoming real to me. Here are some similar images.
The reality of abortion is extreme cruelty to the most vulnerable humans among us, not the “evacuation of fetal tissue.”
We also had another teacher who started a pro-life group. He explained how abortion was the same to God as the sacrificing of children to idols in the Bible. Some ancient cultures had this practice. Israel had a period of leaving the LORD and worshiping the idol Molech, and/or Baal who required that children be burned in fire to appease his wrath.
“They have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built high places to Baal on which to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal— something I never commanded or mentioned, nor did it even enter My mind. So behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when this place will no longer be called Topheth or the Valley of Ben-hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.…”
In America today we are too educated and sophisticated for idols made of metal or stone. Now our idols are called Selfishness, Convenience, Greed, and Fear and THOUSANDS of babies a day are being sacrificed to these idols.
This teacher also explained to us the procedure called “Partial Birth Abortion” which was legal in some states.
“Partial-Birth Abortion (Brain Suction) – 4 to 9 months of pregnancy
Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby’s leg with forceps. The baby’s leg is pulled out into the birth canal. The abortionist delivers the baby’s entire body, except for the head. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby’s skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child’s brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.”
In the girls dorm at YWAM there were no TVs, computers, or phones. So I picked up a huge book about the origins of Planned Parenthood and read the entire thing (I think it was 400 pages long!) I learned that the founder, Margaret Sanger, despised both blacks and Christians. She lived a very promiscuous lifestyle. She felt that abortion was the answer to society’s woes: to set women free from traditional morals and of course those burdensome babies. She also said that abortion would be very useful in controlling the populations of the pesky lower forms of humans, mainly the Negros. As she began to market her idea, she used the slogan, “Every child a wanted child” and promised that a utopian society would surely follow.
As we can all see now, Margaret Sanger was a very false prophet.
Planned Parenthood started entering the schools and providing “sex education” which was supposed to help prevent unwanted pregnancies. Teenage pregnancies began to skyrocket, and it turned out the “sex ed” was actually creating more clients for her abortion clinics.
I knew a woman who had an abortion when she was young. It left emotional and physical scars so that later when she got married, she could not get pregnant. After much struggle and help from health care professionals, she was able to bring one miracle son into the world. She developed an abstinence based sex-ed course. She was invited into many schools.
I also learned from that book that 80% of women who had an abortion reported negative side effects, many long term.
It was becoming clear to me that abortion was devastating to the mother as well.
I have since learned that women who lose their baby before 20 weeks, whether through miscarriage or abortion, have a much higher risk of breast cancer and that risk goes up with each baby that is lost. On the flip side, for every month a women nurses a baby, her risk for breast cancer goes down. I have virtually no breast cancer risk after nursing my 10 babies. What does this tell me? God created our bodies to work a certain way and when we violate His design, there are negative consequences.
There are so many documented complications following abortion from increases in many kinds of cancer, poor general health, problems with future pregnancies, and on and on. The most concerning is the death rate in the year after abortion.
“According to the best record based study of deaths following pregnancy and abortion, a 1997 government funded study in Finland, women who abort are approximately four times more likely to die in the following year than women who carry their pregnancies to term. In addition, women who carry to term are only half as likely to die as women who were not pregnant”
What do you know? Pregnancy is actually good for women because God’s creation is good and He loves women. Pregnancy taken to the birth of a full term baby can actually protect a woman from DYING!
A year after YWAM, Chris and I got married and started having babies. We were learning first hand how our babies were being fearfully and wonderfully made by God who was knitting them together in my womb and bringing them through astonishing developments week by week. This was not a clump of cell. This was a miracle!
In quick succession I had a girl and two baby boys. My fourth pregnancy produced a beautiful baby girl, Ashlyn, who was diagnoses with a rare chromosomal disorder. Soon we realized that she was developmentally delayed and had unexpected abnormalities in her body. Yet she is such a vital part of our family. Most children like her never make it out of the womb alive. 80% of Down syndrome Babies are aborted in America. In some countries it is close to 100%.
I met a friend a few years later who took a special interest in Ashlyn. She even organized a fundraiser to help get Ashlyn the special therapy she needed. One day she told me her story. She was close to her due date with baby number 3 when the doctors realized that her child had some sort of problem, likely chromosomal in nature. They urged her to abort. Abortions in the third trimester were not legal in our state, so she and her husband traveled to another state. The abortion was preformed and she got a picture of her dead daughter. She and her husband had since divorced. Her older daughter was practicing self -harm.
I listened to my sweet friend and I heard a torture that I have never experienced in all the hardship of caring for a child who is physically and mentally handicapped. I wouldn’t wish that type of pain on anyone.
In the last year I have watched the movie, “Unplanned”, story of Abby Johnson who went from Planned Parenthood’s Employee of the year to a Pro-Life advocate. Please read her book or watch her movie. It explains so much about what it is like inside the abortion industry and what it is like to have an abortion. The turning point for Abby was when she was called in to assist with an abortion for the first time. It was her job to hold the ultrasound probe so the doctor could see the baby in order to suction it out.
When the suction tube came near the small baby, Abby saw it recoil and move out of the way. It tried to find a safe place but the little body could not escape.
“Beam me up Scotty,” said the doctor as the baby was ripped from the womb and ended up in a bloody heap in the machine.
Just a few weeks ago I was able to attend a Kick Off Rally for our local chapter of 40 Days of Life, the Pro-Life organization that helped Abby get out of the abortion industry. I met many precious Catholics who have been standing and praying in front of our city’s Planned Parenthood since 2006. They have pictures and stories of the babies and mothers they have saved from abortion. I was able to tour Little Bee, a mobile ultrasound unit by Undefeated Courage. They park in front of Planned Parenthoods in the area and offer free ultrasounds for pregnant women. Planned Parenthood always does an ultrasound for any client wanting an abortion, but only to determine price. The client is never allowed to see her baby moving on the screen, never allowed to notice the beating heart.
Four out of five women who receive an ultrasound on a mobile unit decide to keep her baby. She can plainly see that what is in her womb is a human child, HER human child.
I also learned about Rachel’s Vineyard, a local ministry that helps women heal from abortion. Their pamphlet reads, “One in Four Women will become a victim of abortion by the age of 45.”
Interesting, I had never thought of it that way. But now I understand why the woman is a victim too. She is being lied to by her culture, celebrities, media, lawmakers, educators, and her health care providers. Most of all she is being lied to by Planned Parenthood counselors who are trained to sell a product. They only product they have to sell is abortion. The pain, grief, guilt, and negative side effects are downplayed or never mentioned. Her baby is referred to as “the pregnancy”, “contents of the uterus”, or “fetal tissue.” She is never told that her baby is a real human baby, a life worth living, and a life worth saving.
She is never told that when God gives a woman a baby, it is His way of showing His favor and giving her His highest blessing. She is never told that babies are always a blessing and never a curse, that the child in her womb may become the best thing in her life.
I love to talk about pregnancy, labor, birth, and everything to do with babies and motherhood. It is my great passion in life! Women sense this and seem to open up to me. I have heard so many stories over the years! Many times I have heard a woman say,
I am so excited to introduce my second guest blogger, Patricia Leach. She was one of the first to show love to a scared and shy teenager when I first visited Life Center (Word Fellowship at that time) back in 1989. She became my pastor and my role model as I watched her live a life of integrity and compassion. Now I am honored to call her my dear, dear friend! She participated in the March for Life on January 27th and here is her story.
Many years ago I walked with my eldest son, then only four years old, in a local pro-life parade sponsored by one of our community’s pregnancy centers. David’s tiny hands clenched the cardboard sign that together we had crayoned in shades of blue and pink. He was focused on our course and held his Walk for Life placard with bold resolve. Beside us, my husband with baby #2 in tow added the exclamation point that we are a family who stand for life.
In preparation for the event and in the simplest of terms, I had explained to David what it meant for a woman to choose to have an abortion. His cherubic face tightened in disbelief that such a procedure could be performed upon a baby living inside its mommy’s ‘tummy’. Far too young to grasp the issue’s many ramifications, his incredulous expression still captured the dreadfulness of this senseless practice.
What began as an impulse born from such a conviction became a reality when I decided to attend the 44th March for Life in Washington, D.C. My involvement in the pro-life movement has included stints of red-taped-LIFE silent protests on the state capitol stairs, an annual Mother’s Day fundraiser – the Baby Bottle Blast – and for many years, our own personal monthly contribution to the same local pregnancy center. But to join the national gathering? I often watched the previous marches from the comfort of my home, admiring those braving the elements while adding my amen to impassioned speeches and faith-filled prayers. Somehow this year was different. I had to go.
Maybe, too, it was the recent footage of an earlier march that week that motivated me. Other women had descended on Washington for what appeared to be a variety of causes. And though I support their cry for equal and respectful treatment, much of the rhetoric fell flat to me against the backdrop of anger and vulgarity. Their assembling also included an unwillingness to embrace women with my pro-life viewpoint. What was deemed ‘The Women’s March’ lacked the very openness and acceptance they purported. In many ways, they did not stand for me. So early the day of the March for Life, I headed south with a friend to join what turned out to be hundreds of thousands and show my support. In going, I didn’t need anyone to stand for me;
I wanted to make a stand.
Upon arriving at the National Mall, we caught our first glimpses of the day. The crispness in the air hinted to the clarity of vision we would share with fellow marchers. Unfurled in the distance surrounding the Washington Monument, a circle of Stars and Stripes silently witnessed a cause rallying with pride.
Our feet fell in step upon well-manicured grounds, as slowly we made our way through the security checkpoint and secured a spot to hear the presentations. Chants of ‘We are the pro-life generation’ earmarked this vocal vigil which earlier began with songs of worship, The National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. Lawmakers who have challenged the status quo of Roe v. Wade rallied the crowd with hopes of legislative strides. Each succeeding speaker’s message, though all passionate, was distinctly set within parameters of compassion and civility, as if the movement itself had matured and wrapped its arms around the many casualties – yes, the babies, but mothers and fathers, too – that such a history of atrocities had produced. In the press of humanity we stood, fully aware that we were partaking in a moment.
And then the trek began – about a mile and a half journey up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court and Capitol Building. A sea of people – some reports 600,000 strong – formed a wave of movement deep and wide.
Donning colored caps, individual groups could be identified more easily, and it soon became evident we owed a debt of gratitude to our Catholic brothers and sisters for their belief in the sanctity of life. Priests, nuns and parochial students comprised a large constituency, their prayers petitions in the walk to the legislature.
Other faces, too, formed this underpinning of a movement more energized than ever before. The trio of grandmother-daughter-granddaughter marching together and the countless smiles of so many, many young people, all spoke to the generational value now placed on the pro-life message.
The faces of black, white, Hispanic and others – women AND men – holding signs, walking arm-in-arm, united for the unborn, for those individuals from a variety of backgrounds too young to stand for themselves.
The exception-to-the-rule faces, courageous mothers and children holding pink placards stating ‘My mom was conceived in rape – I love our lives’ caught my breath and filled my eyes with tears.
The ‘quitters’, professed former medical personnel who once assisted with abortions – their lives now redeemed by a message of forgiveness – boldly proclaimed the Gospel of peace.
And mostly, the victims, the 58 million sacrificed in our national holocaust, whose voices will never be heard and whose lives will always be missed. Their absence was the most prominent, yet their unseen faces the most cherished.
My son David is now a father. As daddy to our first grand baby, he understands fully what words failed to explain those many years ago. His very hands were the first to greet her as a thriving unborn, she crossed the threshold into this side of living. Someday I will tell her of my impulse escapade and the day I marched for life.
But that is not what is noteworthy. If my influence has merit, then may I be a role model to how a strong woman stands – for the unborn yes, but also in the many arenas where life is not deemed as precious. She stands for her convictions, and she stands with character. She may stand with others, yet she may stand alone. Ultimately, it is to God she must answer and from Him, she is graced to stand.