On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court handed down the landmark decision in Roe vs. Wade and established that all women have a basic right to abortion, developing the idea that the Constitution protects a person’s privacy, particularly when it comes to matters involving children and procreation.
In January of 2008, America crossed the shame-filled line of over 50 million reported abortions since 1973’s Supreme Court ruling. This number represents a population greeater than any state – greater than California (36 million) and greater than the next two states combined (Texas and New York with 23 and 19 million respectively). If you took the 25 states with the lowest population, the total of those 25 states is less than 50 million.
So let’s talk about why I am – why we are – pro life.
No, I do not believe that the human fetus is nothing but a conglomerate of tissue mass in the womb of a woman. No, I do not believe that at the will and wisp of the mother-to-be that pregnancy should be terminated. Abortion should never be used as a measure of birth control. The church through the ages has stood united against abortion. It is tragic to think that one of the most dangerous places a child can be in America today is in its mother’s womb. I’m not here to give a bunch of statistics as to how many are aborted and what the socio-economic status of the mother or father might have been. I’m just here to state facts.
Recently a man by the name of James Bynum authored an article entitled, “Key Facts In the Pro-Life, Pro-Choice Debate.” In this article he traces the development of the child in its mother’s womb. With some editing I reproduce what he said. Let God’s Word, as well as your conscience, be the guide before you ever think of the abortion alternative.
Month One: Brain, heart, eyes, mouth, inner ears, digestive system, arms, and legs develop. The heart starts beating by the 25th day. The baby is 1/2-inch in length and weighs less than an ounce.
Month Two: Facial features, elbows, knees, fingers, and toes develop. The baby has all major body organs, and brain wave activity can be recorded. The placenta attaches to the baby and allows for nutrient and waste transport. This is done by diffusion across two sets of capillaries, the mother’s and the baby’s. The blood never crosses the placenta. Blood type and Rh factors are often different, and contact of mother’s to baby’s blood could cause a reaction that would initiate an immune response from the mother which would cause a miscarriage. Muscles begin gentle kicking exercises, and baby has permanent fingerprints. Baby begins to respond to touch and move away from painful contact. Baby sucks its thumb. Baby is now 1-1/8 inches in length and weighs less than an ounce.
Month Three: Baby is completely formed. It begins kicking, can turn its head, squint, and frown. Teeth, lips, and genitals have begun to develop. Kidneys develop and begin to produce urine.
Month Four: The baby has a strong heartbeat, moves, kicks, sleeps, wakes, swallows, and can pass urine. Baby has eyebrows and hair on its head. Skin is pink and transparent. Vocal cords and taste buds are present. Baby weighs 5 ounces and is 7 inches in length.
Month Five: Baby is kicking, turning from side to side, moves head over heels. Fingernails have grown, sleeps and wakes at regular intervals. Weighs 1 pound and is 8-12 inches in length.
Months Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine: Baby exercises, opens and closes eyes. Bones are hardening, systems are continuing to develop, and baby can hear sounds outside the body.
There are four rather common pro-choice arguments:
l. We can’t really know when life begins. Scripturally, the beginning of life is easy to prove. (See Jeremiah 1:5). Biologically, the answer is slightly more complex. When the egg and sperm join, they begin dividing and growing. They use nutrients, energy, and give off wastes. Even before conception , the sperm and egg require nutrients to go through day-to-day life functions and they give off waste. In essence, life exists before conception.
At conception 23 chromosomes come from the man and 23 from the woman. When they combine, the new cell is everything genetically it will ever be. It has all the physical potential it will ever have to be a thriving, growing human being.
Some would say, “But it’s not viable in the woman so it isn’t consistent with life.” We could take that argument further and say that until 16-18 months after birth the child is not viable. If a mother breast feeds, or bottle feeds, the baby relies completely on its caretaker for food and protection. The prenatal baby is no different. It also requires from its mother (the primary caregiver) nutrients and protection. They only difference is in how these things are provided. In the womb, nutrients are transported across the two blood supplies and the mother protects the baby by providing a safe place for it to develop, and by watching what she puts into her body. After the baby is born, the mother provides nutrients through breast milk or (by any caregiver) a bottle. Protection is accomplished by the parents’ constant vigil to keep the child out of harm’s way.
2. I’m pro-choice, not pro-abortion. In this country where freedom has a premium value, that sounds really good, even to most Christians. So, what’s wrong with this? The problem is the choice we are protecting. Upon closer examination, we see that it isn’t the choice that’s being protected but the consequences. We’ve found a way to do whatever feels good and not have to be held accountable.
Choosing to have sex is like choosing to speed. It’s between responsible and irresponsible behavior. The ticket is the consequence; it’s being held accountable to a standard. And isn’t life more important and precious than a traffic ticket? Abortion is a means to fulfill selfish desires without paying the price.
3. It’s my body and you can’t tell me what to do with it. On the surface that even has a ring of sensibility. Remember 23 chromosomes come from the father. This makes the baby genetically different than either the mother or the father. To elaborate, the mother’s immune system doesn’t recognize the developing baby as the mother’s cells and begins to attack it. It is only by a special defense mechanism that is built into women that keeps all new pregnancies from spontaneously aborting.
The blood supply of the baby is not the same as the mother. Many times it is a totally different blood type and the two blood supplies don’t mix.
4. It’s just a blob of flesh. The DNA in the new cells gives specific directions how to make new cells. By the fifth day the cells are already starting to specialize to make different organs and tissues. That’s very organized, not the blob that the enemy would like us to believe.
From conception to death, each moment of life is genetically directed. There is no happenstance in how we grow, develop, and function.
I am a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather. I have lived almost eighty years. I believe in the sanctity of life . . . from its very beginning to its very end.
“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:13-17)