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Scripture Reading: Luke 1:39-45
Life and Death in the Womb
1. Social activists, abortion advocates, embryonic stem cell research proponents, genetic engineering supporters demand a view of human life in the womb that removes moral responsibility and guilt for the termination of unborn human life. (1.3 million annually in America; about 42 million worldwide each year)
2. For example, using the term fetus: “an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind; specifically: a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth” (Merriam-Webster).
“Whether or not abortion should be legal turns on the answer to the question of whether and at what point a fetus is a person. This is a question that cannot be answered logically or empirically. The concept of personhood is neither logical nor empirical: It is essentially a religious, or quasi-religious idea, based on one's fundamental (and therefore unverifiable) assumptions about the nature of the world.” [Paul Campos, professor of law at the University of Colorado (“Opinions: PAUL CAMPOS: Abortion and the rule of law," Scripps Howard News Service, 2002-JAN, at: http://www.nandotimes.com/)]
“The real question today is not when human life begins, but, ‘What is the value of human life?’ The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother's body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being.” [President Ronald Reagan, (“Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation,” The Human Life Review, 1983-Spring, Online at: http://www.nationalreview.com/).
3. Pro-abortionists assume things they must prove:
a. Assume there is a difference between being human and being a person.
b. Assume a time when the fetus is not a person, but “potential life” (a potential person).
c. Thus, they conclude that a human fetus does not possess “personhood”.
4. What can be proved empirically (by observation and experience):
a. New human life begins at conception and sustained by implantation, then goes through stages leading to birth.
b. Human fetus is an individual and distinct human being; not merely the mother’s body.
5. What can be accepted by faith (from the teaching of the Scriptures):
a. Human life is in the image of God, Gen. 1:26-27.
1) Life in the womb and out of the womb is equally regarded as human life, Lk. 1:44; 2:12.
2) Therefore, whether in or out of the womb, human life is in the image of God.
b. The life in the womb is distinct from the mother’s life, Lk. 1:44.
c. The deliberate termination of human life (made in image of God) is sin, Gen. 9:6.
1) Abortion is the deliberate termination of human life.
2) Therefore, abortion is sin.
6. Abortion is the murder of unique and innocent human life that exists in the image of God.
I. ARGUE WITH SCIENCE, NOT WITH THE BIBLE!
A. Human Life Begins at Conception: Humanity of the embryo is not a matter of religion, but of medical science.
-The Ecuadorian Federation of Societies of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FESGO)
“Science teaches that human life begins at conception,” the declaration states. “If it is also true that it is affirmed by religion, it does not for that reason cease to be a strictly scientific truth, to be transformed into a religious opinion. He who denies that human life begins with conception does not need to contend with religion, but science. To deny this certainty of biology is not to express a lack of faith, but a lack of basic knowledge of human genetics, something that is even known by the general public.” (The 15 Conclusions of the Workshop on the Prevention of Abortion, FESGO, April 17, 2008) (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061714.html)
B. Distinct Human Life in the Womb: The declaration also corrects a common misconception about the fetus: that it is a “part” of the mother, rather than a distinct human life.
“From the moment that the ovum is fertilized, a new life is begun that is not part of the father, nor of the mother, but rather a new human being that develops autonomously…Human life must be respected from its conception, without exceptions.
“To affirm that the woman can do with her body whatever she wishes, besides being a conceited claim, has absolutely no basis in science: the embryo is not part of the body of the mother, nor is the fetus an internal organ of her body: the DNA of the embryo is distinct from that of its parents.” (Ibid.)
II. WHEN WE COME INTO EXISTENCE WE ARE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7.
A. The Uniqueness of Humanity: God Forms Our Spirit within Us, Zech. 12:1.
1. Adam was a living being when the breath of life entered his body (2:7).
2. Without the spirit we are dead, Jas. 2:26.
3. Since the unborn child is alive, we conclude that the spirit (the part that is in the image of God) also exists, even while the body is still in its earliest stages of development.
B. Answering the Question: “WHEN DOES PERSONHOOD BEGIN?”
1. When new and unique human life exists that did not previously exist.
2. When it is possible for that new human life to die.
III. BIBLE EVIDENCE THAT HUMAN LIFE IN THE WOMB HAS “PERSONHOOD”.
A. Each Person is made in the Womb, Job 31:13-15 (Job was made “in the womb”).
1. David said “my” substance was known to God, who saw him being yet “unformed”, Psa. 139:13-16. The fetus (embryo, unformed mass, 139:16) was David – not his mother!
2. Divine intention and formation of the person who is in the womb, Isa. 49:1, 5 (Messiah).
B. Children in the Womb, Gen. 25:21-23.
1. Children come to birth, 2 Kgs. 19:3.
2. Sons in the womb, Ruth 1:11 (cf. Gen. 25:4): In or out of womb… “sons” (Heb., ben).
3. Woman “with child” – not “with fetus”, Exo. 21:22.
C. There is Personal Identity (Personhood) in the Womb.
1. Job was conceived and formed and born; not merely an unborn fetus, Job 3:3.
-“Male child” (man-child, Heb. geber): Elsewhere means a “man” or “human individual” (Job 4:17) – This is the case without exception.
2. Job could have perished in the womb and been carried from the womb to the grave, Job 10:18-19.
D. A Mother, whether Child is Unborn or Born.
1. Mother of a dead baby, Num. 12:12.
2. Mary was identified as a “mother” early in pregnancy, Lk. 1:43 (1:36, 56-57).
E. A Baby both Before and After Birth, Lk. 1:41, 44. (brephos, babe)
1. After conception (1:24) but before birth (1:57), life “in her womb” (1:41) was a brephos.
2. John was a living human being (son) in his mother’s womb and after birth! Lk. 1:36, 57
3. Jesus in the manger was also a babe (brephos), Lk. 2:12, 16.
F. The Taking of Human Life in the Womb is Murder, Exo. 21:22-23.
1. Killing plant life is not murder, Gen. 1:29.
2. Killing animal life is not murder, Gen. 9:3.
3. Killing human life is murder, Gen. 9:6.
4. Life in the womb is not plant life or animal life, cf. Gen. 1:25, 28 (according to its kind).
5. Abortion is murder – the taking of innocent human life.
-Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former pro-abortionist who worked in an abortion clinic but quit and now opposes abortion: “To vehemently deny that life begins when conception begins is absurd…I had to face the fact that in abortion, a human life of a special order is being taken.”
IV. WHY DO WOMEN HAVE ABORTIONS?
A. Most Common Reasons Offered to Legitimize this Immoral Act.
1. It’s legal. Many things are legal but not moral (Acts 5:29).
2. Rape or incest. (1%)
3. Potential health problems of mother or child. (6%)
4. Social reasons (birth control / unwanted pregnancy, convenience, economic hardship). (93%)
“1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).” (“Abortion Facts”, The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, http://www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html)
B. What Abortion Really is:
1. The murder of innocent human life.
2. Loss of “natural affection”, Rom. 1:31; 2 Tim. 3:3 (“unloving”).
3. Loss of respect for God and for human life God gave us (Acts 7:25, 28; Rom. 1:28-31).
C. The Answer to Unwanted Pregnancy is not…
1. To define the new child out of existence.
2. Adding more violence to the violence of rape or incest.
3. Replacing the physical pain and trials of health problems with the mental, emotional and psychological trauma and pain of abortion.
4. Discarding a new life because that new life is inconvenient or unwanted: Adoption is a viable alternative to keeping the child (if unmarried).
5. In the case of fornication, do not add sin upon sin.
6. “I can always repent later.” (Willful sin, Heb. 10:26-27)
D. The Answer to Unwanted Pregnancy is…
1. Respect for the new life that has been conceived.
2. Solutions that honor that new life (keeping the child, adoption).
3. To repent of fornication if that first occurred, Acts 17:30.
E. The Answer to One Who has Already had an Abortion:
1. God loves you and you can be forgiven (cf. Lk. 23:34; Acts 2:36-38; 1 Jno. 1:9).
2. You can heal spiritually, emotionally and psychologically, Phil. 4:6-7, 13, 19.
1. The unborn has personhood, identity and distinct life.
2. Abortion is not a woman’s “right”; it is the termination of the rights (life) of the child!
3. The blood of innocent millions cries out to God; what will we do? (Gen. 4:10; Matt. 2:18)
4. If you have sinned; repent and honor life! (Deut. 30:19)
Isa. 59:15-16: The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene... (NIV)
Isa. 26:21: See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer. (NIV)