Abortion -- What Does God Think?

by Pastor Jess Foglesong


“For us murder is once for all forbidden; so even the child in the womb, while yet the mother's blood is still being drawn on to form the human being, it is not lawful to destroy. To forbid birth is only quicker murder. It makes no difference whether one take away the life once born or destroy it as it comes to birth. He is a man, who is to be a man, the fruit is always present in the seed.” (Tertullian A.D. 197, Apology 9:8)

“Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family or excessive wealth. Behold into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time!” (Hippolytus of Rome, A.D. 199 - 217; Refutation of All Heresies, 9:17.) 

In my eyes, abortion is abhorrent! And I’m sure it is the same -- in God’s eyes! It is the convenience of ridding (killing) of a fetus growing in the womb -- no matter what trimester. The woman decides (for various reasons: embarrassment, fear) that she does not want to keep the baby, and instead chooses to abort it. In many countries it is allowable -- depending on their laws. In the United States (where I reside) it is by law (Roe vs. Wade) legal, but no later the second trimester.

But is it right? I suggest that it is not; that it is a grave mistake. One that God emphatically forbids. The killing of children -- who cannot defend themselves -- is tops on God’s list of “no no‘s.” Historically, many societies -- including biblical history -- have been admonished; and even have mysteriously disappeared, due to this practice. One example were the Canaanites, who practiced child sacrifice, offering them to their idol gods. One of the main reasons why He gave their land to the Israelites -- promising that it would be a land of milk and honey!

Human (including children) sacrifice has been prevalent throughout the world -- in both small and large societies. Very abhorrent to God. He sees it as “playing God;” as out right murder; as evil; as repulsive … unlike His Character, and His Government: which is based on love and respect.

In today’s progressive, modern societies abortion is rampant. Nearly all countries take part in this practice. And the death toll incredibly, is in the millions. And the main reason? Convenience! Here in America, ever since records have been compiled, hundreds of thousands of infants have been killed, by being aborted. All for the sake of allowing a woman to have a choice, to disregard a human life growing inside her. And due to the circumstance of her pregnancy, she decides to cast it aside; sacrificing it for  convenience.

In God’s eyes, there is no reason -- none what-so-ever -- why an infant should be “terminated:” The action that caused the impregnation has no bearing on the imminent assassination of the outcome: the offspring. It is a life; it is precious; it is one of a kind; it is created and owned by God!

What did the Early Church Say?

From: OrthodoxyToday.org:

Given the Christian understanding of the unborn child, it is hardly surprising that condemnations of abortion appeared early in Church history. Possibly the earliest is the pseudonymous Epistle of Barnabas, written in Alexandria, Egypt between A.D. 117-132. It states quite unambiguously: “Do not murder (Greek: phoneuseis) a child (Greek: teknon) by abortion (Greek: phthora), nor commit infanticide.” (19:5). Similarly, a Syrian Church manual known as the Didache (literally, “The Teaching”), written sometime before A.D. 140, gives the same stricture in the very same words: “Do not murder a child by abortion, nor commit infanticide.” (2:2:2). In both these early sources, abortion is condemned as the murder (phoneuseis) of a child (teknon), not a vegetative “fetus.”

Another interesting second-century condemnation of abortion comes in the form of a popular vision of hell known as The Apocalypse of Peter, written between A.D. 125-150. Many early Christians, like Clement of Alexandria, actually thought it was written by the apostle Peter, and so regarded it as canonical scripture. The Muratorian Fragment, written in Rome in the second century, even lists it among the canonical books, though with the proviso, “Some will not have it read in church.” Though certainly not written by Peter, the document does give a valuable insight into the belief of second-century Christians regarding abortion. The Apocalypse of Peter first gives us a vision of the torment of murderers being consumed by beasts and covered by worms (25), then immediately turns to those women responsible for aborting their unborn children:

“And near that place [in hell] I saw another strait place into which the gore and the filth of those who were being punished ran down and became there as it were a lake: and there sat women having the gore up to their necks, and over against them sat many children who were born to them out of due time, crying; and there came forth from them sparks of fire and smote the women in the eyes: and these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion.” (The Apocalypse of Peter, 26.)

So, according to the Apocalypse of Peter, those guilty of abortion suffer next to common murders in hell. While this account is not inspired Scripture (and shouldn’t be taken literally), it does give us an important insight into common attitudes about abortion among second-century Christians. 

You do not Owned Yourself!

Ownership is exclusively the right of the Creator to terminate, not the created. God is the Creator, the Designer, the Producer, the Director -- of the entire universe, and all that is within it. So if we (humans) decide to end a life -- whether it is after birth or before, we are crossing the line. God, and only God has the right to shorten the life span. We all die eventually; with a life span of approximately 90 years, He gives each of us the knowledge of how to care for ourselves in order to live a long and full life. He guarantees this! But we, as selfish human beings seem to want to be like God. To be able to rule and make decisions of life and death.

Life -- no matter what the circumstance -- begins at conception when two human cells converge in the fallopian tube, and immediately start dividing. And as it slowly travels down toward the uterus, it divides even more, until it reaches its target -- the wall of the woman’s uterus. There it divides rapidly during this first trimester (1st to 12th week). The baby’s brain, spinal cord and the main organ – heart will start forming. At the same time the baby’s legs and arm buds would have just popped up. Baby is still an embryo at this stage. However, during the 8th week your baby’s major organs will start forming, the heart will also beat with a rhythm. Arms and legs will start growing longer and toes would begin to form. Eyes will also pop up in the front and your baby will now look more like a human. During the 12th week, your baby’s external sex organ will be visible and can later find the baby’s gender.

Meanwhile, the woman realizes that she is pregnant … and chooses to abort the “thing” inside her. She made a mistake for whatever reason, and needs to ‘cover’ her “goof”, her miscalculation. She calls the hospital and schedules an appointment for the purpose of aborting the fetus. They advise her that it should be done as soon as possible … and she agrees. She is informed that “The Law” states that she has a right to terminate her pregnancy.

Inside her womb, the embryo continues to grow into a fetus, maturing steadily: all life systems are a “Go.” God assures that the creation of life is “automatic” -- all systems check out. This is going to be a healthy baby, at the end of the nine months of development.

But wait! It is the woman’s day of reckoning! She can still say “NO” -- “I want the baby to live.” Many around her give their opinions: some encourage her to go through with the abortion; others plead for her to let it live, and give it up for adoption.

Who does she listen to? Well, it is the dilemma of American society. They voted for a “Law” that allows a woman to make a choice. That she has the right to decide what happens to her body. Others have taken the stance of protecting the “life” of the fetus -- who cannot speak for itself.


The procedures of the Abortion:

If she decides to go ahead with the abortion, these are the options and procedure:

During an abortion, the pregnancy is removed from the uterus. The options vary depending upon the stage of pregnancy. During the appointment, clinic staff will explain the procedure, risks, medications, options, and what to expect afterwards.

The Abortion Pill:

The Abortion Pill is an option up to 8 weeks LMP. Prescription is taken in pill form at the clinic. It causes the end of the pregnancy. Then 24-72 hours later, the woman uses another pill to cause the uterus to contract and expel the tissue. A follow-up appointment is required to make sure the abortion is complete. Occasionally more than one follow-up appointment is necessary. To use this method, women must live within 2 hours of a hospital. Some women prefer Medical Abortion because the process feels more natural and private; they can decide where they are when they go through the experience, such as staying home for the weekend. Side effects of the second medication include cramping, bleeding, diarrhea, nausea, etc.

In the first trimester, measured usually to 13 weeks LMP, aspiration is used to empty the uterus. This first trimester abortion involves three main steps: (1) an injection to numb the cervix, (2) insertion of a soft flexible tube through the cervix into the uterus, (3) suction created by an aspirating machine or a hand-held mechanism to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. It is done in an outpatient clinic, doctor's office or hospital and takes less than five minutes to complete the actual procedure.

 D & E (Dilate and Evacuate):
In the second trimester to the 26 week. Appointments are made for 2-3 consecutive days. On the first day, an ultrasound (sonogram) is performed to determine the size and position of the fetus. Then, the abortion procedure is begun by numbing the cervix with injections and inserting dilators into the cervix. Overnight these dilators gently expand, opening the entrance to the uterus. The next day, the cervix is again numbed, the dilators are removed, and the doctor uses special instruments to evacuate the uterus and remove the pregnancy. The final step is suction using the aspirating machine. In more advanced pregnancies, additional dilators are inserted on the second day and the fetus is removed on the third day. The medical procedure lasts about 10-15 minutes.

From the View of the Fetus

The procedure sounds routine and painless, but believe me it is not painless for the fetus. Imagine floating in a container of fluid, seemingly nothing in the world to bother you. You are being fed; you are being cared for; everything is coming into being. You are becoming a human being. The only sound you hear is the thumping sound of your mother’s heart. It is soothing and peaceful. You feel like dancing but you know you can’t. You feel like a fish in a fishbowl, wondering what would it be like on dry land. You see someone (or something) seated at your side … and you wonder who she is. You are amazed that you are able to communicate with her. She says that she is an angel and was sent by God to teach you all of the wonders of the universe and the world. That God places an angel with every baby that is conceived, and accompanies them through the nine month process of becoming a full fledged human being. You are comforted by her, and feel at ease with her soft voice and touch.

But what’s this? You are abruptly shaken when something -- a foreign object -- pulls you apart. The angel tries to comfort you, but it’s too late: Your body is wisped out of your only know domain; you are torn to bits. You are pulled into a bright, intense light … and you hear the chattering of voices and sounds. Your arms stretch out, trying to touch the one who is causing the calamity; you gasp for air, for life. And you look to find for her: your friend the angel. And yes! She is still there at your side. She never left you; even though you are feeling the cruelty and vengeance of those that have disrupted your life as a fetus.

You reach over to take the hand of your comforter -- the angel -- and she takes you in her arms; and as you look down upon the scene … you see your broken body, discarded, like a dirty rag into the waste container. The bright red stains of your blood scattered everywhere. But you are now leaving -- prematurely -- with the angel of God to another bright light that you see up ahead: it is the lights of the Gate of heaven. God has rescued you!

What is God’s Stance?

What do you think is God’s stance on this matter? Well, I can tell you that this question is an easy one to answer. He will always vote for “life.” He is a God of life. He does not and will not, relinquish His capacity as Supreme Creator of the universe -- to human beings. We do not have the right and the authority to take a life! He reserves that to Himself; and He does that through attrition (usually). Unless there is a very unusual situation: He may simply “shorten” a person’s life span. We do not own our body; God owns us, because He is the Creator: our maker!

So when an infant is conceived, God expects the process to go full term. A society that makes it a policy to sacrifice, execute, abort an infant is high on His list of extinction: The Canaanites, the Minoans, the Mayans, the Incas, early Polynesian cultures … and many more. Today, America and many European societies are in jeopardy.

If not for one thing! The true “Sacrificial Lamb:” The Christ, Jesus. God has come to earth and entered the human stream as a fetus; as an infant; as a child, then a boy; and finally as an adult. He became a Servant, a Representative, a Redeemer, a Savior of God. Humanity benefited from this action, by being -- born again! Free from the tyrant; the prince of darkness -- Satan! Although he is still with us in this interim time, before he is sentenced to hell forever.

Yes, if it wasn’t for the Gospel of Christ, we would all be doomed to eternal damnation --- Separated from the Life-Giver! God!