January 22 was the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. The New York State Senate celebrated the occasion by passing the Reproductive Health Act, liberalizing the state’s already liberal abortion code.
This law essentially decriminalizes abortions right up to the point of birth. If a health-care practitioner decides killing a baby will be good for a mother’s health or even her psychological or emotional well-being, he can now legally end that young life.
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law, the New York Senate erupted in jubilant cheers.
Several other states are working to follow New York’s lead, including Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Washington. Virginia legislator Kathy Tran proposed a new state law similar to New York’s, aimed at lifting restrictions on abortions during the third trimester, even up to birth. She was questioned in a subcommittee whether her law would permit abortions during dilation—which is when the baby is beginning to emerge. She said yes.
Abortion advocates say they are defending women’s rights. They’re nobly crusading for “freedom,” for “equality,” for “health.” But what Tran is boldly advocating, and what New York state leaders are openly celebrating, is not just that they are preserving current abortion rights. They are expanding them—and strengthening abortion culture in America.
Right now in America, on average, an abortion is performed every 30 seconds. That’s nearly 3,000 abortions every day, 1 million abortions every year. Excluding miscarriages, 1 out of every 5 pregnancies ends in the poisoning, dismemberment or other method of destroying the baby before—or as—he or she is being born.
But Cuomo, Tran and others say we need more.
Everything is moving in the direction of more abortion, looser laws and fewer restrictions—yet liberals act like the real danger is a supposed assault on women’s rights. They’re fighting the supposedly aggressive, dangerous efforts of those who would restrict those rights, most notably the Supreme Court’s newest appointment, Brett Kavanaugh, whom they fear could overturn Roe v. Wade.
Liberals warned that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would mean that “millions of people will die,” and are now pushing laws to counteract that. Meanwhile, since Roe v. Wade, abortion mills have killed more than 61 million unborn little boys and girls.
Here is an unmistakable reality: These abortion advocates have a casual, even hostile perspective on human life.
Opposing this trend are those who view human life as very special, uniquely worthy of preservation and protection.
These two perspectives could not be more different. Which is your view?
Rapidly Changing Standards
It was just 2008, during her first run for president, when Hillary Clinton—perhaps the most prominent champion of abortion in America—said she wanted to reduce the number of abortions. Her policy was for abortion to be “safe, legal and rare—and by rare, I mean rare.”
That position—only a decade old—is like a relic of ancient history.
On January 30, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam spoke on a local radio program supporting Tran’s proposed law. Explaining how late a baby could be aborted, the governor said, “[I]f a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen: The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated—if that’s what the mother and the family desired—and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother” (emphasis added).
There is no mistaking what he said. He is describing a child who has already been delivered—and a discussion taking place over whether to allow that child to live or die.
Lifetimes ago, the left abandoned the realm of absolute right and wrong when they committed to abortion. Ever since, they have reasoned and campaign-promised their way through the logic. Abortion should be done for a good reason, they said. It should occur early in pregnancy, they said. It should be rare, they said just three presidential elections ago. But since there is no stage between conception and a baby’s first breaths where he or she suddenly becomes a human being, they moved their demands. Not in the direction of making abortion earlier and rarer, but further and further toward the light at the end of the birth canal.
And now, even after that.
Governor Northam spoke with such humane terminology—keeping the infant comfortable and such … before killing it. The language always sounds so honorable and principled.
He said this would be “done in cases where there may be severe deformities” or the child “is non-viable.” Even if this were absolutely true (likely not), and it was only done when there absolutely were severe deformities (what is “severe”?) or non-viability (for how long?)—we are still talking about a form of eugenics.
This is infanticide. This is murder.
Many people were horrified by what Governor Northam said. But what was the story in the mainstream media? According to the headlines, the real story was the overreaction by Republicans. Apparently anyone revolted by the idea of killing a child after delivery is just trying to deny women their rights.
That is always the story.
It’s not about the fact that abortion is big business. It’s not about the fact that abortion clinics are encouraging abortion and trying to move patients in and out as quickly as possible. That Planned Parenthood alone takes in $1.7 billion a year in revenue, and that American taxpayers subsidize nearly a quarter of all abortion costs, no matter how morally opposed they are to it. It ignores the moral dimension of this question entirely.
This is what happens when we come to view human life as nothing more than matter—atoms colliding with atoms. This is what happens when we say there is nothing sacred about human life.
Man’s Place of Honor
Where does the view of the sanctity of human life come from in the first place? We may think the inherent, precious value of human life is self-evident. But the example of the abortionists teaches us that this is not so.
Most people don’t stop to think about it, but our high assessment of human life comes from the Bible.
This Book reveals that human beings were created by God. Its very first chapter describes God renewing the face of the Earth, creating a beautiful environment that would support life—first the atmospheric and geological conditions, then plant life in spectacular variety, then animal life in the skies and seas, then land creatures of every kind, “cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind.” Why did God do all this? For human life! As His crowning physical creation, “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness …. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
The Bible’s first chapter shows that human beings are unlike any other creation: We are made in God’s image and likeness—after “the God kind.” It further reveals that God gave us dominion over all the other creatures.
Without the Bible and its seen and unseen effect on our history and our society, perhaps most or all of us would view human life as an accident, a product of blind evolution and altogether insignificant.
The rest of the Bible reveals why God made man and what His purpose for us is—and it is a most inspiring truth. God took pains to reveal it in order to give us hope, inspiration and motivation to live productive, moral and purposeful lives.
Most people do not understand the Bible, but flip it open to almost any page and you will see evidence of the specialness and purpose of human life.
King David wrote, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:3-4). Out of all His vast creation, why does God care so much for human beings? “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea …. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” (verses 5-9). David was awestruck at God’s stunning creation, and the fact that God crowned human beings with such honor at the head of it all.
One New Testament author quoted studied David’s psalm. “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” he wrote (Hebrews 2:6). He quoted the verses about God putting creation under human dominion—then expanded on them. Herbert W. Armstrong explained in his book Mystery of the Ages: “But now the writer of the book of Hebrews is inspired to expand David’s prophecy to add something radically different—something to happen in the world to come!
“This revealed knowledge of God’s purpose for mankind—of man’s incredible awesome potential—staggers the imagination. Science knows nothing of it—no religion reveals it, so far as I know—and certainly higher education is in utter ignorance of it.
“Nevertheless, it is what God says He has prepared for them that love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).”
Mr. Armstrong showed that the passage in Hebrews 2 plainly reveals God’s purpose for man. God made human beings to actually help Him govern not just Earth, but the universe! It describes God crowning Jesus Christ “with glory and honour”—and then intending to bring “many sons unto glory“ the way He brought His Son Jesus Christ to glory!
The truth about God’s purpose for human beings is awesome and wonderful! Mr. Armstrong wrote an entire book about it, called The Incredible Human Potential, which shows that this inspiring purpose is in the Bible from beginning to end (request a complimentary copy). God wants us to understand this truth. It gives our lives meaning and direction.
And it gives us crucial perspective on just why it is so important to protect and preserve life.
When we reject this truth, as modern secular society has, then we cannot see anything particularly special about human life. Humanism and other ideologies and religions provide poor substitutes. Left empty-handed, we descend into the type of thinking you see in America today in the abortion culture.
God’s Law Protects Life
Having created us for a wonderful purpose, God is serious about protecting human life. He gave several laws for that purpose, most powerfully the Sixth Commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13; New King James Version).
Throughout history, societies that departed furthest away from godly thinking have come to view murder not as a sin or a crime, but as a valuable tool for getting what they want. In the 20th century alone, governments helmed by Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Hirohito, Pol Pot and Ho Chi Minh took a very cheap view of life, and they killed millions upon millions of people in pursuit of their political aims.
God considers human life so valuable that He commands, “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death” (Exodus 21:12). Did you know this is the only law that is repeated in all five books of the Pentateuch? (see also Genesis 9:6; Leviticus 24:17, 21; Numbers 35:16-18, 31; and Deuteronomy 19:11-13). Many people believe the death penalty is unjust and hypocritical—that it somehow degrades human life. God says it actually shows the supremely high value of human life! It forcibly demonstrates just how precious was the life of that innocent victim by demanding the severest of penalties for the one who took it.
(Now, you cannot understand human life and God’s plan for it without understanding the Bible’s teaching on the afterlife. The Bible reveals that God will resurrect all sinners who have never known Him—including murderers who were executed. Each person will receive the opportunity to repent and live forever—e.g., Revelation 20:11-12. So that execution for a crime is not an eternal death sentence.)
God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. But He demanded the death penalty, not only to put a murderer out of his misery (and then reserve him for resurrection) but also so that others would hear and fear, to prevent more innocent life from being taken. Such a serious command protecting life has a powerful deterrent effect: Fewer people commit murder, meaning fewer murder victims and fewer executed murderers.
In the law God gave Israel, even the punishment for manslaughter, accidental killing, was severe: The killer had to uproot his life and flee to a city of refuge, remaining there until the high priest died (Numbers 35). This too engendered deep respect for the life of our fellow man.
God’s law even commands that an animal which kills a human being is to be killed (Exodus 21:28-32). Many other ancient codes of law address the matter of an animal injuring or killing a human being—but only in God’s law was the animal subject to the death penalty and its flesh rendered unfit for human consumption. In Babylon, for example, the uppermost concern was to protect the property of the wealthy and powerful. In God’s law, the sanctity of a human life, formed in the image and likeness of God, was paramount.
Most relevant to recent events, God even gave a law to protect the life of an unborn child in the womb.
In Exodus 21:22-23, the New King James Version reads, “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows [meaning, no injury comes to the fetus], he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.” The perpetrator had only to pay damages for whatever inconvenience or hardship might have come on the parents. “But,” it continues, “if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life.” In other words, if his actions caused the unborn child to die, he was sentenced to death!
In the eyes of God’s law, human life is sacred. And the life of an unborn child is equal to that of an adult.
This law gave the penalty for accidentally killing a fetus. How do you suppose the God who made that law views the doctors who perform abortions for profit, or counseling services that pressure pregnant women into killing their babies, or judges who decide it is “legal,” or politicians, lobbyists and activists who encourage such laws and debate the merits of intentionally leaving a newborn to die on a hospital table?
Life begins at conception. Not only is this true by biblical reckoning, it is also the only scientifically viable view. The question cannot be satisfactorily, definitively answered any other way. After conception, there is no stage of a child’s development, no moment of maturation, that suddenly makes him or her become a human being. He or she is a human being at conception. The only reason there would be any disagreement over this point is that people want to carry on with their lives without an unwanted, unborn child—and thus want to justify killing it.
The Danger of Human Reasoning
This message about the supreme value of human life is consistent throughout the Bible. It is when we ignore that revelation from our Creator that we get ourselves into trouble—when we begin to rationalize acts of brutality toward other human beings, even killing.
Abortion advocates always use noble-sounding language like “freedom” and “choice” and “health care” and “equality” and “women’s rights” and “women’s health.” (They wouldn’t get very far proclaiming the virtues of “fornication,” “poisoning” and “dismemberment.”) However, the closer you look into the actual reality of abortion, the more shocking and grotesque it is. Once people remove God from the picture, once they discard absolutes and begin traveling down that road in their thinking, they end up justifying actions that are more and more horrific.
When human beings discard the truth that God is our Creator, and hypothesize that His vast, spectacular, beautiful creation is a cosmic accident without meaning, purpose or inherent value—when we reject God’s revelation and begin reasoning our way through questions of life and death—then rationalization for all kinds of destructive behavior increases, even murder.
God says abortion is murder. Society vehemently disagrees. It has disagreed for decades, but lately this view has gotten bolder and more aggressive.
People are using the laudable language of “rights” and “freedom”—even, ironically, “health”—but what are we talking about?
We’re talking about making it easier to murder.
A 2006 documentary called Lake of Fire included footage of an abortionist, holding a tub containing the contents of his latest procedure. He is washing out a tub of intestines and bones and organs and tiny hands, ensuring he evacuated everything properly. He is measuring the length of a tiny severed foot on a ruler to assess how far the child’s development had advanced. And this is the language coming out of his mouth: “Well the media attention is always directed for the fetus and the gory parts, if you will, of providing the procedure—when the really important thing is that we’ve been able to help this young lady get on with her life. She’s planning to go to school and she doesn’t have to take on the responsibilities of parenting. And here in just a few minutes we’re able to facilitate her decision to not be a parent at this time.”
How compassionate. How magnanimous and high-minded he is—as he holds a tiny decapitated head with his fingers. Don’t focus on the gory parts, he says. Focus on the fact that we’re helping her live her life the way she wants to live it. And look—it takes mere minutes to turn that life into a tub of body parts.
This is what the people passing these laws are really celebrating. Not “reproductive rights.” Not “protecting a mother’s health.” They are celebrating a woman gaining the freedom to walk away from parenthood—to make the same terrible choice that an irresponsible man can—by murdering her child.
How can they have grown so callous? What is really behind such thinking? The Bible exposes its true origin: “the god of this world,” a malevolent spirit that hates human beings and wants to destroy us—and yet who rules this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). “He was a murderer from the beginning … there is no truth in him … for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). Surcharging the air with hostility toward the Creator, he is “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).
Yes, that murderous, lying spirit “now worketh”—in a world increasingly filled with and governed by “children of disobedience.”
Look starkly at the abortion issue, and the contrast is stunningly clear between the view, and influence, of that evil being—and that of the beneficent Creator.
The Apostle Paul prophesied in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 that “in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves [selfish, self-centered] … disobedient to parents … Without natural affection … incontinent [without self-control], fierce [brutal] … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”
We are living in these “last days” of which Paul prophesied. Our world is rife with the attitudes he forecast—attitudes that lead to illicit sex, and to unwanted babies. And to brutal abortions on a mass scale. And to celebrating this ghoulish reality.
God is already correcting us for these sins, and that correction is about to get far more severe. One day soon, however—thanks to that correction—people will get reacquainted with the Creator they have turned their backs on. And they will learn to cherish the sanctity of the gift of life.
A God of Life!
God is a God of life! He created life, He created human beings, and He protects human beings from other human beings. God loves human beings and wants the best for us. This is a beautiful truth that abortion advocates do not recognize. When we believe God’s truth and revelation, when we accept His guidance, when we follow His laws, we are blessed for it. Our lives become infused with purpose and hope. Our thinking becomes cleaner and brighter and more positive. A society that respects His creation and His laws also respects life, in all its forms.
If you are open to the biblical truth on this subject, read “Is Abortion Really Murder?” Besides physical proofs, it gives compelling and inspiring spiritual perspective on the preciousness of an unborn life! Realizing what the Creator of human beings is doing with physical and spiritual conception and birth will stun you and stir you.
God tells us, in Deuteronomy 30:19, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” God wants us to live! He gives us His truth and His law that we and our children may live!
And He tells us plainly—He pleads with us: Do not choose death. Don’t go your own way. Don’t reason your way through this. Follow me. Obey me. Learn to think as I think. Learn to view human life as I do. Learn my wonderful purpose—for you and for your children. And choose life!