As I was scrolling through the BBC app on my cellphone yesterday, I came across a headline that intrigued me, so I opened the article and found this lead sentence … “A controversial near-total ban on abortion in Poland has taken effect, the government announced, with enforcement from midnight on Wednesday.” The article reports (and I use selected parts):
Abortion is now allowed only in cases of rape or incest or when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. The majority of Poles oppose a stricter ban and demonstrations took place in Polish cities on Wednesday evening. … But Poland’s conservative government, which has strong ties to the country’s powerful Catholic Church, supports the ruling. The court justified its ruling on the grounds that “an unborn child is a human being” and therefore it deserves protection under Poland’s constitution which ensures the right to life. … Waving red flares and LGBT flags, some carried placards reading “Free Choice, Not Terror”.
Protesters gathered on Wednesday after the government announced a near-total ban on abortion would come into force immediately “I want us to have our basic rights, the right to decide about our bodies, the right to decide what we want to do and if we want to bear children and in what circumstances to have children,” one protester, Gabriela Stepniak, told Reuters news agency.
In 2003, our daughter fell pregnant for the second time. The medical authorities in the UAE diagnosed a problem and suggested she go to the UK or South Africa for treatment. I am uncertain whether these people informed our daughter and son-in-law as to the real reason they suggested this.
She came to South Africa, and here they diagnosed the baby had CMV (Cytomegalovirus). This virus remains in the body for life, and the baby could be born with various complications such as being blind, deaf, braindead and other things. In Rachel’s case, her liver was affected. The parents were offered an abortion. This shocked them, as they are Christian. They decided to keep the pregnancy, and Angela gave birth to Rachel in March 2004. Although a liver transplant was suggested, the new liver would be infected as the virus lives in the body for life.
Rachel gave her parents and brother, as well as us as grandparents, so much joy. She was so well-behaved and seldom complained about her pain and discomfort. Knowing her life would be short, her parents gave her a half-year birthday party in her hospital ward. She went to be with the Lord at the age of seven months and seven days. She would have been 17 years old this coming March. Some might ask whether it was worth it. I’ll get to the real answer soon, but for now, she affected so many lives as people prayed for her from Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia, America, the Middle East, Britain, South Africa, Holland, Zimbabwe … and other countries. We were so proud of the parents because as Intentional Christians they made the right decision before God.
David, after being caught out by God who sent the prophet Nathan to him to expose his adultery with Bathsheba who fell pregnant, writes Psalm 51 as a plea for mercy and forgiveness. In verse 5, we read:
Ps 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Apart from the Doctrine of Original Sin impacting the soul from birth … the soul, once conceived is a sinner. The medical fraternity might refer to a “fetus” until what they call “viable”, but God’s Word declares with all authority that at the moment of conception–as soon as the egg and the sperm gel and unite–there is a sinner! Only a human being can be a sinner. Animals can’t and plants can’t … only humans can be sinners. This means a sinner is a human being. At the moment of conception, there is no fetus … there is a human being … a sinful human being. This is extremely important, because it could affect the way you look at when life starts and whether abortion is permissible or not.
The fundamental question must be, “Who gives life?” Is it the parents? Is it the person who believes they have the authority to either end a pregnancy or permit it to continue? Listen to what we find in God’s Word:
Ps 139:13 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.
God is the one who gives life! He created … He knitted and wove together with such Divine precision that the one in the womb is fearfully and wonderfully made. Does any human have the right to end a pregnancy? One may debate all the arguments, but if God gives life, who is man and who gives man the right to take that life? Is not man created in the image of God?
Ge 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
True, this image and likeness was marred through the entrance of sin … but it was not lost completely. Man still bears the image, and to end a pregnancy is to destroy the image of God in that human being! It is murder irrespective what any government, medical practitioner or pro-abortionist might say! Space is always limited … but one of the greatest problems we have today is sex outside of marriage. Where sex will happen, and it will be difficult to stop unless married (and this is not sanction to have sex outside of marriage), we can honour God and honour the life God gives and stand against abortion.
Lord God, our Father, Creator of all that exists … including ourselves. You alone are the giver of life. Help us as Your people to honour the sanctity of life, standing against abortion and teaching those around us who are younger what You say in Your Word about human life. Help us to remember that every life has a soul that lives eternally. Help us also to be responsible and reserve sex for marriage. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.