GETTING A WORLD THAT DOESN'T GET IT
What does God say, and how should we respond?
What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘abortion’? A woman's right to choose? Personal autonomy and self-determination? Controversy? A pill? Or maybe something else? Abortion, the deliberate termination of a pregnancy, has been a widespread practice of humanity since ancient times. Throughout history, there has been a large variety of views, laws and practices tied to abortion, as well as considerable controversy. So it is no surprise that we see abortion practised today and a lot of controversy surrounding it.
In our own society, we have witnessed rapid societal and judicial change on this issue. Just a few decades ago, abortion was an infrequent practice, subject to many legislative conditions. Today in Australia, abortion is easily accessible in most states up to 24 weeks of pregnancy and generally accessible, subject to further conditions, thereafter. In the past few years, laws have continued to change. In 2018 Queensland passed legislation which, amongst other things, removed still-existing criminalisation laws and, in 2019, NSW passed similar legislation. Moreover, laws have even been passed to restrict opposition to abortion. It is now illegal for protestors to protest in close proximity to abortion providers in some states. Such legislative change is testament to the significant moral changes that have already taken place within Australian society.
Many questions could be asked about all this change. How does such significant moral change come about? Why do all the states have different and sometimes contradicting laws? These are interesting questions, but fundamentally the starting point for a Christian should be the question of morality and, thereafter, action and legality. Is abortion moral? Is it moral in all circumstances or only in certain circumstances? Should it be legal, and if so, under what circumstances? Should we do anything? Should we get involved or is our time better spent elsewhere? What does God have to say on this issue?
As Christians, we seek to remain faithful to God in all that we do. So for this topic of Christians Engaging Culture we are going to first seek to answer what God thinks about abortion before we look at how we might respond and interact with the wider culture.
Although not always the case, abortion can leave people with a deep sense of guilt and regret that eats away at them and may last many years after the event. As we talk to people on this issue we ought to be mindful that the person we are talking to may have personal sensitivities to this topic. We ought therefore to engage in a manner that is gentle, compassionate and respectful. However more importantly, we should seek to share the hope and forgiveness found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only message that can truly offer hope, forgiveness, healing and ultimately, salvation to the sinner.
Some Brief Statistics
In Australia there are no nationwide abortion statistics. Only South and Western Australia record the number of abortions performed each year. The latest published statistics in South Australia recorded 4,349 abortions in 2017. South Australia had a population of around 1.71 million at the time. Assuming the rate of abortions is similar across the country, this would equate to around 65,000 abortions annually in Australia. Other estimates have placed the number of abortions closer to 73,000 annually.
These numbers are high, but are just a small fraction of those performed worldwide. The 2018 winter issue of the OG magazine by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) estimated that number of abortions performed globally to be between 40-50 million per year.
The material provided on this webpage is a collection of different resources freely available on the web. These resources have been selected to address different facets and concerns around this topic. There are links to resources that provide hard medical facts, others explore biblical morality, others engage with the public and seek to turn conversations to the gospel.
IS ABORTION OK IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES?
God is Not Silent: The Biblical Case against Abortion
Kraby starts off demonstrating that the abortion debate revolves around the question of whether the unborn is a human person. He then argues from Scripture that it is. Moving from here he provides a three-step argument against abortion. He also addresses common pro-choice arguments and shows how language is used in the wider culture in these debates. He addresses those who have had, or have been involved in, abortions and points to the forgiveness and salvation offered in Christ. Finally, he shows the scriptural obligation of Christians and provides some examples of what people can do.
Performing Abortion is "God's Work?" The Real Story of Christianity and Abortion
Albert Mohler responds to people who claim that performing abortions is consistent with Christianity. From the Bible and church history he shows this is absolutely not the case. He concludes, 'Let there be no confusion on this question. The Bible reveals the sanctity of all human life; the early church affirmed the sanctity of every human life; and anyone who performs an abortion is not "doing God's work." Rather, he is undoing it. As the Didache, echoing Deuteronomy, reminds us from so long ago - we are to choose the way of life, and never the way of death.'
Christians facing the issue of abortion
In 2017 John Wyatt spoke on the issue of abotion from a Christian perspective. He starts in Pslam 139 and argues for the personhood of the fetus in the womb and points to God’s creative work and love for everyone and that abortion even in the difficult cases cannot be right.
Celia starts off with the story of a woman who had an abortion. She then moves to the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8) and how Jesus dealt with her. She uses this story to argue that we ought to respond with truth in love and ensure that we make clear that the sin of abortion can be forgiven.
A small caveat: Celia's section leans heavily on John 7:53-8:11. This is a significant textual variant and is almost certainly not original to John (see https://bible.org/article/my-favorite-passage-thats-not-bible for more info). We wouldn’t want to hang any doctrines on this passage, but we think Celia makes many true points that could be made from other parts of Scripture.
Video/ Podcast duration: 42:00 (Note John starts speaking at 3 minutes and finishes around the 20 minute mark and Celia takes over)
When is a person? Christian perspectives on the beginning of life.
This is an essay by John Wyatt on the personhood of the unborn. He discusses secular and Christian arguments and provides strong biblical arguments as to why a fetus is a human life from conception.
Ray Comfort engages the public directly on the 7 reasons people commonly have for an abortion. He engages and responds, changing minds. Finally, he turns the conversations to the gospel.Video duration: 42:28Speaker: Ray ComfortPublisher: Living Waters (permission not yet sought)Originally published at: https://www.livingwaters.com/movie/7-reasons/Date accessed: -11/9/2020
A Biblical Mandate to Do Something About Abortion
This article reviews many of the reasons that Christians don't do much about abortion, like 'we should focus on evangelism' or 'we don't want to get distracted by social action. It responds with biblical urgency. It is a clarion call for Christians to wake up to the evil of abortion and do something to stop it.Estimated read time: 33:43Author: Michael SpielmanPublisher: abort73Date accessed: - 15/09/2020
What does Abortion Mean at Different Stages of Pregnancy?
This series of four animated videos describe how a pregnancy is terminated and a child aborted during different stages of pregnancy. The videos are narrated by Dr Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist.
The numbers are significant, In 2017:
2425 Suction or Aspiration Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) abortion were completed in South Australia alone. Assuming equivalent rates across all states, this would equate to approximate 36,100 D&C abortion procedures annually in Australia in 2020,
1522 abortions were medically induced in South Australia alone. Assuming equivalent rates across all states, this would equate to approximately 22,700 abortions by pill annually in Australia in 2020,
369 D&E abortions were completed in South Australia alone. Assuming equivalent rates across all states, this would equate to approximate 5500 D&E abortion procedures annually in Australia in 2020,
Induction Abortion. We do not have any statistics as to the prevalence of this procedure in Australia, but it is used overseas.
WARNING: Viewer caution is advised as these videos are graphic animations and can be hard and distressing to watch.
1st Trimester Surgical Abortion - SuctionDuration: 3:23Speaker: Dr. Anthony LevatinoPublisher: Live ActionDate accessed: - 13/9/2020
FOUR QUICK THINGS YOU CAN SAY
All human life is precious and an unborn baby is a human life and therefore should be protected, whether it is wanted or not.
The most important question is 'what is it?' If it's just a lump of cells, like a cancer, then of course there's no problem with abortion. If it's a human life, then we must honour it like all other human life.
God created all humans in his image and commanded that one should not murder. Abortion is a direct violation of this command as it deliberately ends the life of an unborn baby.
To someone who maintains that abortion is about personal choice. “If choice is so important, why doesn’t the baby get a choice?”
TWO WAYS TO TURN DISCUSSION TO THE GOSPEL
Many people who have been involved with an abortion feel a sense of guilt or/and regret. These feelings are common to all humans as they stem from the conscience God placed in all of us. We all feel regret or shame over something we have done, or failed to do. God meant for these feelings to lead us to seek healing and forgiveness which only he can fully provide. God wants all mankind to turn to Him and find healing and forgiveness for all sins, not just abortion.
Abortion is the deliberate killing of an unborn human being. God calls this murder and he has said that people who do such things will be judged and ultimately condemned on the last day. However, he also wishes to show his mercy and desires for all people to repent and be saved. Therefore he provided a way out for all people who choose to repent and trust in the sacrifice of his son, Jesus, on the cross (1 Timothy 1:15). Indeed, we have all fallen short of God’s standards and need God’s gift of salvation.
FOUR BIBLE PASSAGES CONCERNING ABORTION
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you, before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
21 “‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.
GROUP OR PERSONAL REFLECTION
How should a Christian respond to a woman who has had, or is considering an abortion under difficult circumstances? Maybe she has no income and no family to support her. Maybe she was raped.
How can Christians show God's love to those who suffer guilt, loss or shame from an abortion
What would you say to someone who believes that to be against abortion is to be anti-woman?
Do men have a responsibility when it comes to abortion or is it only a women’s issue?
If a baby is going to be born with a congenital problem leading to either a life-long disability or early death, then isn’t abortion an act of mercy?
Are there any circumstances where Christians should support abortion?
Is Molek alive and well today? Who is he and what does he look like?
PRAYER FOR ABORTION
You have made all life sacred and precious in your sight. From the great to the very small, all people are loved by you. Thank you for the gift of children and new life. We lament that our culture today does not always value human life, in particular the lives of those not yet born. We ask that you would change our culture; that you would install in people's hearts and minds that the unborn are people and that it is wrong to kill them, no matter the stage of development.
We pray for the church, that we might become bold and brave and a beacon of light in this culture; that we may speak out for the unborn while showing love and compassion to all who are affected by abortion, be it women, partners or family. May the church show your love to these people and ultimately lead them to the healing, forgiveness and salvation that only your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ can provide. Please change our culture, please save the unborn and please bring many to repentance and faith.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Performing Abortion is "God's Work?" The Real Story of Christianity and Abortion
Albert Mohler responds to people who claim that performing abortions is consistent with Christianity. From the Bible and church history he shows this is absolutely not the case. He concludes, 'Let there be no confusion on this question. The Bible reveals the sanctity of all human life; the early church affirmed the sanctity of every human life; and anyone who performs an abortion is not "doing God's work." Rather, he is undoing it. As the Didache, echoing Deuteronomy, reminds us from so long ago - we are to choose the way of life, and never the way of death.'Estimated read time: 7 MinutesAuthor: Albert MohlerPublisher: albertmohler.comDate accessed: - 9/8/2020
Ten Reasons Why It Is Wrong to Take the life of unborn children
Piper provides 10 biblical arguments against abortion
God commanded, thou shalt not murder
The destruction of conceived human life whether embryonic, fetal or viable is an assault on the unique person-forming work of God
Aborting unborn humans falls under the repeated biblical ban against “shedding innocent blood”
The Bible frequently expresses God’s high priority God on the protection and provision and vindication of the weakest and most helpless and most victimized members of the community.
Suffering has a purpose
A sin of presumption to assume all aborted children will go to heaven
Bible commands us to rescue our neighbour
Aborting children falls directly under a rebuke of Jesus
It is God’s right to take and give life, not ours
Saving faith in Jesus brings forgiveness which sets people free from the pressures that may lead someone to forsake God’s truth
Pregnancy outcome statistics
This is a link to the South Australian Government Statistics. Reports detailing pregnancy statistics from 2001-2017 are available for download.
Estimated read time: n/aAuthor: SA HealthPublisher: SA HealthDate accessed: 11/09/2020
What is the sanctity of life? Why do Christians believe in the sanctity of life?
This article argues that human life is sacred because we are created in God’s image. Furthermore it argues that only God has ownership over life and the Bible affirms the value God places on human life. It then addresses when life begins and argues that Christians should be seeking ways to love and protect others, and ultimately share the gospel.Estimated read time: 4:35Author: UnknownPublisher: Compelling TruthDate accessed: 11/09/2020
Pregnant from rape - Extended interview with Jennifer
This is a moving interview of a woman who was badly raped and became pregnant. She talks about her experience, and why she decided to keep her baby in the face of medical advice to abort. She is thankful to God for her son, and argues powerfully that aborting him would not have given her healing.
In her own words Jennifer said:
“I'm talking to emphasize the humanity of my son. It's (keeping my son) not just a choice. It's not just a decision. It's life-changing for more than your life.
(People say) “I'm pro-life, except for in cases of rape.” Then you're saying that my son is somehow less deserving, less worthy, less important; that there is something intrinsically wrong with him because of how he came to be.”
“So many people….use our story of the one-percent to justify the slaughtering of the ninety-nine, and it's not true. The lies they tell you are not true, the lies that you can heal, that you can move on, then everything will be better if you just get rid of your baby. Healing is found in that complete, innocent love. Healing is found in being able to save someone when you couldn't save yourself.”Duration: 26:18Speaker: JenniferPublisher: Live ActionOriginally published at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k2_UQP1V4QDate accessed: - 13/9/2020
Interviewing the public, Ray Comfort asks hard moral questions on life and death. Engaging moral pitfalls and common pro-abortion arguments head on. He shows how abortion is morally similar to the holocaust the occurred during the second world war. Finally, he turns the conversations to the gospel.Duration: 33:03Speaker: Ray ComfortPublisher: Living Waters Originally published at: https://www.livingwaters.com/movie/180movie/Date accessed: -11/9/2020
Abort73 is an pro-life activist organisation that has complied a number of abortion statistics for the US, UK and Australia.
Is Abortion Ever Justified?
This article examines the difficult case of when a mother’s life is put in jeopardy by pregnancy and whether abortion is justified in such situations.Estimated read time: 10:12Author: not providedPublisher: Abort73Date accessed: 15/09/2020
Common Abortion Fallacies
This article address and responds to eight common pro-choice arguments:
What if the child is unwanted?
What if the mother cannot afford a child?
What if the baby is deformed?
What if the mother is addicted to drugs?
What if the woman was raped?
Where are we going to put these people?
Women will abort anyway (backyard abortion)
This page was posted on: 19/09/2020