Broadcast

Understanding Abortion: A Thoughtful Analysis of an Emotionally Explosive Issue

From the series Culture Shock

The issue of abortion in our society is so volatile that it’s escalated to near civil war proportions. Often it’s hard to get past the emotional rhetoric to hear the facts from both sides. Chip takes the emotion out of the debate, and looks at understanding abortion from both the pro-abortion and pro-life sides of the issue. He brings a balanced, informative perspective to this highly emotional subject.

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Message Transcript

It’s near quitting time, you’re at your office and you’re packing some things up and there’s a light tap on the door. It’s Debbie. She’s twenty-nine years old, she’s an up and coming executive. She’s on the fast-track, huge potential. And she asks just before you leave, “Could I, can I get a moment? I need to ask you something.”

You stop unpacking, go to your desk, invite her to sit down. And the second that she needs ends up forty-five minutes. Debbie begins, through tears, to talk about the man that she thought was going to be the answer to her dreams that was in her life and is now gone and she’s three months pregnant.

And she’s on the fast-track and she doesn’t know what to do. And she turns to you and says, “I know you’re a good person. And you’re my boss. What should I do?” What would you tell her? And why would you say that?

Scene number two: you sit down to eat dinner and, wow, the day is over, it’s great, the phone rings, you look down, you press the button, you’re not going to take it right now. And within seconds a text pops up and it says, “Amy – I really need to talk to you tonight.” Amy, wow.

It’s a sixteen year old girl that you’ve known her since she’s four or five years old, great family friends, you vacation with their family. You’ve seen her grow up and be this amazing student. She has a volleyball scholarship ahead of her. And she said, “I just gotta talk to you.”

She comes after dinner and you go into the study and close the door and spend some time and she relives that moment that she was so excited about three months ago when that guy that is so popular and so cool asked her to go to the prom. And the dream of going out with that super good looking guy turned into the nightmare of her life. And she became a statistic of date rape.

But she felt so overwhelmed and so ashamed and didn’t know how to handle it she just shut it down. She has told no one, not her mom, not her dad, not her sister, not a girlfriend. But you’ve been in the high school ministry and a family friend and you’re safe.

And with tears flowing down her eyes she goes, “What can I do? I mean this will ruin my parents’ reputation. My dad is a leader at the church. My mom teaches women’s Bible studies.” What would you tell her? Why?

Scene number three is June. She’s forty-one years old. You really like her, she’s real rough around the edges. She’s been a Christian about eighteen months. She doesn’t know the social graces of when to talk about what. She’s a little bit loud. She has four kids, comes from a difficult, drug background, has four kids by two different guys.

But it’s so exciting to see what’s happened to her life and she’s really changed and she’s growing and she’s got a great job now and supporting the kids by herself.

And she pulls you in the hall and people are listening and you know this is inappropriate and she goes, “Look, I gotta ask you a question. You remember my husband when he came back, I tried to work it out, and then he left, and he left for good? While he was here … I found out just yesterday I’m pregnant, and I’ve got four kids, and I can’t miss a day of work, and I sure can’t handle five. You’ve been a Christian a lot longer than me. What should I do and why?”

Regardless of where you find yourself landing on the issue of abortion it’s one of the most pivotal, volatile issues in America today.

And it’s an issue that just isn’t out there. It’s not like this is a theological issue. We’re going to address sixty-five percent of all women who have abortions self-identify as Christians. This is what happens inside of all kinds of churches. So what would you say to that person? Not just what do you think but what do you believe and why?

When this topic comes up, usually it’s like missiles being fired at two different groups. I mean there’s heat, heat, heat, heat, anger, often violence. And so we’re going to take a little bit different approach and lean back and do a thoughtful analysis.

We’re going to look at some research. We’re going to look at what Planned Parenthood says and what the Right to Life groups say and we’re going to evaluate where they’ve been, where they are now, look at the evidence.

Because I’ll guarantee, in the next few years, either you’ll have an experience where you’ll need to know the answer to those questions or someone will ask you or you’ve already had one where you really need to know, “Where’s God in all of this?”

So open your teaching handout if you will and to begin I want to frame the issue. And as I frame it, it’s very interesting; I need to do sort of the then and a now. Because if you don’t get the history it won’t make sense to you.

Ten, twelve years ago the issue of abortion, when you looked at Planned Parenthood’s information or Right to Life information it was very, very clear, the issue was very clearly addressed.

Planned Parenthood, this is from their literature, basically had three premises. Premise number one: as you read the literature they talked very little about the pregnancy, they did not use the word “baby,” the focus was on the mother, her rights, her feelings, her needs, the quality of her life, and the unborn fetus. Not baby.

Premise number two was the anguish she was going through, the pain, the numerous reasons why an abortion was a live option for her. And then third: the basic reasoning was the “who” of the mother versus the “what” of the fetus and the fetus was a mass of tissue, an appendix, if you will, and it’s not different than getting your literal appendix out or a wisdom tooth. And who’s to tell a woman what to do with her body?

That was the Planned Parenthood statements of ten to twelve years ago.

The Right to Life position, on the other hand, was very simple. This group believes that life begins at conception. The developing fetus is a full-fledged human being. It’s just not fully developed.

And so at conception the Y and X chromosomes come together and a human being will never get any more, it will just develop more, and more, and more and so, in essence, the conclusion is very simple. To kill a human being would just be the legalization of murder.

So that was ten or twelve years ago. So the issue became this, the core issue became: is the fetus a human being, just not fully developed human being, or is it a mass of tissue, not unlike some other parts of a woman’s body, that she should have every right to do with as she pleases?

Now that was the core, in fact, I have a statement here from Planned Parenthood that specifically states, “To call the fetus a human being is arrogant and absurd.” So that was then. And you need to know the history because what you need to understand is that times have changed.

Technology has transformed the argument completely. It used to be, when you got a sonogram, a lot of you ladies have seen those and guys you’ve seen those, and they were black and white, kind of grainy, and you could see a little baby moving in there and something.

But technology moved up to 4D. It’s no longer there is a baby that you can feel and you can see and moving and arms and legs. You now have, with technology, a photograph of your child. It’s very clear. Eighty-five percent of all women who see this picture when they have an unplanned pregnancy decide to keep the baby.

This is not a fetus. This is a baby.

So the argument, then, began to shift. Let me give you a read from Planned Parenthood. “The pro-abortion position now is that we all have many important decisions to make in life. What to do about an unplanned pregnancy is an important and common decision faced by women.

In fact, about half of all the women in the United States will have an unplanned pregnancy at some point in their lives. About four out of ten women with an unplanned pregnancy decide to have abortions. Overall more than one out of three of all US women will have an abortion by the time they are forty-five years old.”

So when you read Planned Parenthood’s information now it is no longer “fetus,” they talk about a baby, they talk about a pre-born baby, and so the message is: This is the new normal. It’s unfortunate. We wish there weren’t so many abortions but for very specific reasons we need to keep this as a real option.

And so it will go on to say, then, that the real issue in abortion is simply a matter of timing, viability, and what method that you use.

Interesting, the Guttmacher Institute is the national and international authority on abortion research and status and statistics and so this is how they frame, listen very carefully, this is the messaging of Planned Parenthood.

It says, “The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life.” So in other words, it’s being responsible and understanding the impact.

So three out of four women site their concern for taking care of another person in the family as a reason to abort the baby. Three fourths state that they can’t afford another child, three fourths state that it would interfere with their work, their school, or their ability to care for a dependent. And over half say that this abortion is necessary because they do not want to be a single parent because they’re either unmarried or have conflict with their husband or wife.

Now with that, then, what I want you to do is take a deep breath and I want to reframe, this is the abortion debate today. And I’m going to walk through this and I’m going to use Planned Parenthood’s actual material, I’ll use Right to Life material, we will look at some medical evidence, we’ll look at the history of abortion, which probably will really surprise you. We’ll look at what God says from Scripture.

Because here’s what you’ve gotta understand. Those three stories that I gave, the names were changed to protect the identities of those people. That’s real.

If you haven’t already been faced with that you will be. And you will need to have an answer that’s not what someone else thinks, not what someone else believes. This is a real issue, a core issue of life for all people but especially followers of Christ.

Since 1973, this real issue, fifty million, not fetuses, pre-born babies have been killed. Fifty million people. Both Planned Parenthood and Right to Life would agree these are pre-born babies.

And it’s not just some number or statistic that’s why this is important to talk about, this is real.

Last night, and I don’t know how God works this but it was just before the service and I was walking up that aisle. And as I walk up the aisle a guy stopped me and said, “I just want to say something. I’ve looked at the notes, I see what you’re going to speak on tonight.” He came pretty early, was sitting next to his wife.

He says, “If I get up and leave I just want you to know it’s not you.” I said, “Well, what do you mean?” He goes, “Well my mother was fourteen years old when she was pregnant with me and her entire family and everyone wanted her to abort me. And this fourteen year old was just like a crusader who refused to have me aborted. And every time this subject comes up…” and he just started to cry. He goes, “It is so emotional for me.”

And what I want you to get, this isn’t about statistics or numbers or theories or political views. This is about life. And then it was very interesting, his wife sitting next to him, she said, “Well I’m sure glad she did because I don’t know where I’d be without him.”

And all I want you to know is you listen as we weigh the evidence, as you evaluate how you would answer that question. It’s easy to answer it hypothetically. It’s real different when it gets down to a real life situation.

And so with that let’s look at the issue. The issue today is that does the pre-born baby have an inalienable right to live, under any circumstances, or does the mother have the right to terminate her pregnancy to care for her family and her welfare, both present and future?

The Right to Life position hasn’t changed. If the pre-born baby is human life then it’s inconceivable to take the life of an innocent human being. It amounts to murder.

The pro-abortion position has changed. If a pre-born baby negatively impacts the mother’s mental or physical health, or that of the welfare of her family or future, then safe, legal, abortive options must be kept available to that woman.

So all I want you to do is realize these are polar opposite views that people are deeply passionate about. Often so passionate they’ve not only been vocal but violent with one another.

And we need to understand what’s the evidence? What’s the medical evidence when you look at this? What’s the historical evidence and then what’s the biblical evidence?

Let me go through and give you a little medical evidence or background on what happens inside of a woman as she’s pregnant. The heart begins to beat between the eighteenth and the twenty-fifth day after conception. Brain waves have been recorded as early as forty-five days.

The baby’s movements can be felt by the mother as early as six weeks or forty-two days. At eight weeks the baby possesses the fingerprints that it will have the rest of its life. All the bodily functions, all the systems are present by eight weeks and they’re functioning by eleven weeks. And at eleven to twelve weeks a baby can suck its thumb.

So there’s the medical evidence - what exactly has happened in those early weeks up to eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve weeks.

Now interestingly, someone did an evaluation. Harvard Medical School has a criteria for, “How do you know when someone is dead?” Right? I mean, how do you know for sure when someone is dead?

So Harvard Medical School has four criteria to determine whether someone is dead. And so I’ll give those to you and then what I want to show you is that if you reverse those it tells you something about when someone is actually alive in the womb.

According to Harvard Medical School, the four criteria are, one: no response to external stimuli. In other words they don’t respond to pain. Two: no spontaneous movements or respiratory efforts. Three: no deep reflexes. And four: no brain activity by a flat electroencephalogram.

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If you would say to someone, based on that criteria and did not tell them the age of a pre-born baby at eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve weeks, they would say, “It’s alive. This is a human being.” Fully human just not fully developed.

So there’s the medical evidence. We’re not disagreeing on this anymore.

Historically then. What’s the background on abortion? You might think that, like I did, several years ago the first time I ever heard the word “abortion” I have a sister who is a nurse and I think I was a senior in high school.

I’d never heard the word and she said something about it and it was right around the Roe versus Wade and all of that. I graduated from high school in 1972 and so ’73 maybe I was a freshman in college or so.

And she gave me all this information and I did not know what she was talking about. Later, like you, I’ve seen what’s happened in America and so I thought abortion is this big issue in America right now.

False.

Three different eras of abortion. The first is the Greco-Roman world. Okay? Aristotle, Plato, all the way up through the first three hundred years of the Church. Abortion and infanticide were just normal. It’s just the way it is.

And so they had, there was a time of quickening - a woman could feel a baby - and they said that if you could feel the baby and it was thought to be a girl, you could kill the child forty days and under. If it was a boy you needed to wait until ninety days.

So what you’re going to find about the whole abortion issue, it’s been exploiting women from all the way back to ancient civilization.

If you would take a brand new baby that’s born, similar to like in China today, you could take that baby to the father in the Roman world and if it was a girl instead of a boy, often it would be automatically killed.

If there was some defect for any reason or the father just didn’t want it he had absolute legal right to kill the child, both in or outside the womb.

So what changed? What changed was something called the Church was birthed. And the sacredness of life. And it took a few hundred years but three hundred years later you find that abortion is almost completely eliminated. It becomes a moral code that because of the Church’s stand on life.

In fact, right after the apostles, there are the Church fathers and writings, the Didache, and they passionately argue for the sanctity of human life at every level, post and before a child was born.

Well, for about fifteen hundred years you don’t have much to say about abortion. I’m sure there were some done secretly or illegally but it was never mainstream at all until, are you ready for this? The next time abortion gains huge popularity is in the middle of the 1800s in America.

1840 was like a super promiscuous era in the life of America. Most women before that time averaged about seven children, large families. Fifty years later they’re averaging 3.5 children by the turn of the twentieth century.

What, if you get a magazine, the New York Gazette at the time, had page after page after page of advertisements for abortions. They predict as many as a fifth to one third of all babies were aborted.

So what stopped abortion then? Two unusual groups. One, the American Medical Association, which was just developing. And the early feminist movement. The doctors realized they were getting these women who had been through these abortions, and think of the technology or lack of it that they had then, and half of the children that they were delivering so there was economic reasons and professional and moral reasons.

So the AMA came and then it was a time of huge promiscuity in our country. And so as is today, men were covering their tracks or women were covering their tracks of promiscuity, and so abortion was basically birth control.

Those two groups came together and by the turn of the century there were laws on the books where there was absolutely no abortion in America.

It was about 1967 to 1969 there was a sense that there was a need for therapeutic abortions, in other words, if there was a case where maybe the child versus the mother’s life… and so they argued for a law to allow therapeutic abortions.

Well you turn very quickly, that moves to the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade and we now have the last multiple years with about fifty million pre-born babies that have died. So that’s the history.

It’s kind of interesting to me I had no idea. I didn’t know, this year in the world, forty-four million pre-born babies will be aborted, globally. Globally.

We’re an interesting species that is destroying itself. Now, this final era has added a new twist, at least for me, I just learned this two weeks ago. There is yet another group that has become pro-life, at least a portion of it.

This is Elisabeth Cornwell, she’s the executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation. Does that ring a bell? Richard Dawkins? The famous atheist? She says, “There’s a war on the womb. As a secular pro-lifer, I believe my case is scientifically and philosophically sound. Science concedes that human life begins at fertilization and it follows that abortion is ageism and discrimination against a member of our own species.”

So we now have atheists who are pro-life. In fact, the late Christopher Hitchens when asked, “Are you pro-life?” said affirmatively, “Yes.” He repeatedly defended using the term “unborn child” against those, these are his words, on the left who say an aborted fetus is nothing more than a growth, an appendix, or a polyp. “Unborn child seems to me to be a real concept. It’s not a growth,” he says, “you can’t say that the issue of rights don’t come into question.”

Now, I don’t know about you but when atheists are pro-life, and they’re adamant that it has nothing to do with God, they’re adamant it has nothing to do with religion, in fact, they have harsh words to say why they think religious people are pro-life.

But what they’re saying, logically, is how could a species kill itself? How do you remove fifty million people? I mean, a part of you wonders… you know, as I met that man it just struck me last night. He’s forty-eight years old and you think about what if his, whoo, life wasn’t there?

Well then that wife wouldn’t be there and if the wife wouldn’t be there then their kids wouldn’t be there and if their kids wouldn’t be there then…

You know, you start doing the dominos and you start thinking, “Whoo.” This is, in all likelihood the most important moral issue, not just of our day, but in all history.
I remember as a young Christian, I didn’t grow up as a Christian, I never read the Bible, I didn’t understand it when I started to. I read the New Testament a couple of three times before I could ever try the big part, the early part, the Old Testament.

But I’ll never forget reading the Old Testament and in some of those obscure passages it talks about the Canaanites and these weird people and God is judging them. And then it actually said some of them would take their children and they would sacrifice them, which, by the way, still happens today. That they would sacrifice to Molech, was a false god, and they thought they would appease the god’s anger by putting their babies in the fire.

And I remember thinking, I mean, I’m like nineteen years old. I’d been a Christian a year. I’m thinking, “That’s insane! How could anybody be so… I mean, how could anybody kill your own baby? How bizarre. How barbaric.”

And then I just think we’ve got it in spades. But we just have different gods. Our gods are the gods of convenience. The gods of, “Gotta finish school.” The gods of, “Can’t afford this.” The gods of, “I don’t want my life messed up.”

This is a profound issue for God’s people and I would remind you it’s not out there.

As I prepared this, and tried to look at things objectively, the thing that shocked me was sixty-five percent of all the women that have abortions self-identify as Christians.

In between services it seems like God keeps wanting to bring people that have an issue and there’s a very cute, young gal. She looked to be nineteen to twenty-three, twenty-four. And I learned from my research that fifty-six percent of all abortions are done, women in their twenties and another eighteen or twenty percent are done by teenagers.

So about seventy percent of all abortions are going to be women thirty and under.

And she said, “You know when you were talking about it and sharing about it something I think you need to say that didn’t come out very strongly.” I said, “What’s that?” She goes, “Well, I come from a very good home, a very religious home, I mean in the good way. And my parents really had high standards and I left home and I found that I missed my period.

“And it was this three weeks and I thought I was pregnant.” And she said, “I was trying to think of what my options were.” And she goes, “You know, I grew up in a Bible teaching church, I know what’s right, I know what’s really true, but when I thought because I’ve heard so much growing up, ‘Premarital sex is bad, it’s wrong, we’re moral, this is what’s right,’ I thought I would be marked for life by my parents.

“Will you please tell parents that they need to make sure their kids know, ‘Yes, premarital sex or sexuality outside of God’s boundaries is wrong,’ but will you remind the parents to let their kids know, ‘but no matter what you ever do I will love you, I’ll support you, and we’ll go through this together.’”

She said, “I was so glad and relieved because I wasn’t pregnant.” But she said, “I would have made a decision completely against everything I believe because I felt like I would have lost my parents.”

Sounds like the Church… we need a little work, huh?

Well what does God say? I mean, we’re followers of Jesus. What’s God say? I would say to you, will you please turn in the Old Testament to First Abortion 1:9? But that does not exist. The Bible, now I don’t have the eleventh commandment, “Thou shall not abort.” Although there’s one very close.

But what I will say is that there are two premises in Scripture that I think we can get God’s view on abortion. It’s by deduction. And the first premise is this, all through Scripture. The first premise is that all of life is sacred and that human life is the most valuable, precious commodity in the world.

And I wish I could have a visual where I could have one of those huge scales, you know? And there’s a big thing over here where they’re like this. And I would take all the money in Fort Knox, and all the money in the New York Stock Exchange, and I would put it over here.  And then over here, I would have you standing on the scale.

And what I want you to know, from God’s perspective, if you were a week old, if you were two weeks old, five years old, eighty years old, forty-five years old – when God sees your human life, over against all that wealth, that doesn’t even come up on the scale.

You are more valuable. You are more valuable. Every human life is more valuable than all the money, anywhere, in all the world.

And you say, well, where do you get that?

Let me give you the lines of reasoning. Value is determined by three things. Its creator and design, the protection afforded it, and by the value of its cost.

If you are a lady and I don’t know much about this. But I’ve traveled enough to know that if you have one of those really cute bags with a V and an L-type thing on it? Louis somebody? That if it’s a for real one, and not a knockoff, if Louis designed it, you’ve got a few bucks in that one, right?

I mean, you might find one that will hold as much at Wal-Mart, at Target, right? And I don’t know who designed those but the Louis Vuitton ones, they cost a lot because of who made them.

Who made us? The Bible says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female.” He created them and God says, “You have infinite value and worth because I, the Creator of all things, made you and I made you in My image. You can think, you can feel, you can respond, you can create. You were made to have fellowship with Me.”

The second basis of value is the protection afforded something. If you have a junky car you can leave it outside in the rain, the snow, the sleet. Doesn’t really matter. If you have a refurbished classic car, worth tens of thousands of dollars, it goes right in the garage.

If you have jewelry that you get that’s called, I think, costume jewelry and not that it’s not nice but it’s in the twenty to thirties, maybe even a few hundred dollars. You lay that out on the dresser.

If you have diamonds and expensive jewels, they go in a safe. You see, the more you protect something the more valuable it is.

In Genesis 9:6 God says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed for in the image of God has God made man.”

After all the violence in the world and God judged the world through the flood Noah comes out and God says, “There’s a new parameter in the progress of revelation. I’m going to put a box around human life and I’m going to protect it. You take human life and you’ll sacrifice your life.”

And God’s saying, “Because My mark, My image, is on the soul of every human being and so I’m going to protect it.”

The third value is by cost. If I told you outside there are two cars, one costs seventy-two thousand dollars, the other costs seventy-two hundred dollars. Which one would you like? I’m running to that door, I don’t know about you.

See, the more something costs the more valuable it is. The Scripture says in I Corinthians 6:20, “You were bought at a price, therefore honor God with your body.”

And if you ever wondered what that price is, how much did you cost? Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and give His life,” and here’s our financial term, “a ransom for many.”

What are you worth? What’s the life of every single person worth, in the eternal mind of God? You are worth the death of His Son, to pay for your sin, to allow relationship with Him.

So pretty logical. We know that who designs something, how well it’s protected, and the cost of it, determines value. What if we could go to Scripture and, by deduction, find out that all the same things are true of the pre-born child or in the old days, the fetus?

And what you’re going to find is that’s premise number two. Premise number two is: Scripture affords the same sacred value on the fetus, or the pre-born child, as it does all other human life.

Listen to Psalm 139. This is an amazing passage. Listen to this. This is early on. This is the embryo stage. This isn’t week six, week eight, week nine. This isn’t even fully bodily functioning.

And David would write, inspired by the Holy Spirit, speaking to God, “For You created my innermost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I’m fearfully and wonderfully made and Your works are wonderful; and I know it full well. My frame,” or literally, “my skeleton was not hidden from You, when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body,” or literally, “my unformed substance.”

Hebrew scholars say a good rendition of that, “my embryo.” “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”

See the Bible says is that the creation of who you were, and who I was, was taking place long before all the systems were on go, and long before the fingerprints were there, and long before in the womb you could suck your thumb.

A passage God is really speaking to me about right now is in Jeremiah. And as I was reading Jeremiah chapter 1 He calls Jeremiah, in the midst of a moral slide, totally away from God, to step up and make a real difference and take a very unpopular view.

And so Jeremiah is afraid. In fact, he says, “I’m a child. I can’t do it. I don’t have what it takes.” Listen to what God says to Jeremiah and think of the application for our subject.

God speaks to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Now most of all us are not going to be appointed as a prophet to the nations. But when someone is afraid and says, “I can’t do this,” God’s answer is, “Before you were ever born, I knew you. I appointed you. I wove you together. The DNA you have, the history you have, the family you were placed in, the baggage that you have, the color of your eyes, the gifts that you have – you are My masterpiece created,” Ephesians 2:10, “into Christ Jesus, for a good work that God, before the foundations of the earth wants you to walk in.”

And so God says, “I’ve been creating and designing, not just full-fledged human beings at any week or stage, but even before conception.” It’s an amazing thought.

Notice the protection afforded the fetus. Remember Acts, Acts…Exodus 20? Ten Commandments, right? Well after the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 Moses comes down and gives them.

Well Exodus 21, and 22, and 23 begin to expound on the application of not stealing or don’t commit murder. And so as we pick up the story in Exodus 21: 22-25, we don’t know the details.

But it says if two men are involved in fighting and we don’t know whether a woman comes to try and rescue her boyfriend or her husband, or why it would be. But if there gets to be violence between a man and a woman and the woman is pregnant, listen to, very carefully, the protection afforded both the woman and the unborn baby.

“If men are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there’s no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.

But if there is serious injury, the antecedent is, to the woman or the baby, you’re to take life for a life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for a hand, foot for a foot, burn for a burn, wound for a wound, bruise for bruise.”

And so God affords the same protection to a pre-born baby as He does to you and to me.

And finally Psalm 51:5, the price, the cost. David has found himself in a situation that probably some in this room are feeling right now. For many of you, sitting in this room, statistically, that have had an abortion. For many of you men who were the one who nudged them to have an abortion.

Or for some of you men who you wanted that son or that daughter and for whatever reason your wife or girlfriend said, “Not now. We can’t afford it. I can’t handle it.” And you didn’t stop it.

We are a people that have sinned greatly against God and as we look at the medical evidence, and as we look at history, and we look at the Bible, some of us followers of Jesus find ourselves sitting here realizing, “I killed a human being.”

And there’s a sense of overwhelming guilt, and shame, and remorse. For some of you it was ten, or fifteen, or twenty, or thirty years ago and you’ve pushed it down so far but the thought, when you walked in and even looked at the notes it was like, “I wish I could run out of here.”

But I’m glad you didn’t.

Because God did not bring you here to shame you, He brought you here to say, “Many other people whom I love deeply have made very deep mistakes. David committed murder, Moses committed murder, the apostle Paul committed murder. I forgave them, I cleansed them, and I used them.

“And if you would draw near to Me, I will even take the painful parts of your past and I can even use them for good. I brought you in this room today to love you and to forgive you.”

And in Psalm 51 if you ever want to find a prayer of someone who is so broken and realizes. He was in denial for a year and God sends a prophet who tells him a story that brings him out of his denial.

And then Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of confession for murder and adultery. And when he gets to verse 5 he says this, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

See the false theology is thinking somehow that sin only occurs when we act and do a sinful act. The truth of the matter is we’re in Adam. And so we’re born in Adam. In the womb we’re in Adam.

And so the price of Christ’s blood paid for all people, of all time, those inside the womb and outside the womb. And so, again, value by design, value by protection, and value by cost.

The Bible is real clear.

Now, to be fair, I think if I was at this point and I was having a debate I would ask someone from Planned Parenthood to come and say, “Okay, you’ve heard what I’ve said. There’s a very obvious bias. I believe the Bible. I’m a follower of Jesus. I would like you to give me the top three or four reasons why abortion on demand must not be made illegal. And then after you get done with yours I’m going to come over here and I’m going to ask someone from Right to Life to respond to you because all of these people in this room, they either have made, or are ready to make, or will make a decision about life itself.

“And now they know what accountability brings with knowledge. They know medically what’s inside the womb, they know historically where we’ve been, and they know what God says. So Planned Parenthood, give it your best shot.”

Planned Parenthood would say, “Here are the four reasons why we must have legal abortive options. Number one, when the woman’s life is at stake with the baby. If we didn’t have abortion how could we save the woman’s life?”

Issue number two: rape and incest. “How can we punish a person for being violated by someone else? They should never have to live with the horror and the memories of this child because they were raped or incest.”

Number three: “If we abolish abortion then all the women will go like in the past and they’ll have butchers doing illegal abortions and they’ll be killed or maimed.”

And number four: “It would eliminate the best technology that we have. We live in a day where we do realize now, because of technology, that it is a baby. But there are times that it’s just impossible for a woman to be a good mother, or a future, or it would put so much stress on her life, and her family, we now have an abortion pill and it can be taken early on and it’s very simple, it’s not painful, and RU486 is being used around the world.  If you eliminate abortion it would eliminate this new technology for those that have to have abortions.”

And that would be what they’d say.

And so I would say to the Right to Life person, “Well how would you respond?” They would respond by saying, “Well, number one, C. Everett Coop was a surgeon general, in pediatrics for thirty years, and his testimony is that in all of his time himself, his colleagues, or any medical understanding with the technology we have today there has never been a time where the life of the mother and the child had to be chosen between. So that’s a straw man.”

That’s a very emotional argument it just doesn’t happen.

Secondly, of all the people that are raped not one percent but .06 of one percent of those who are raped ever get pregnant. But, you know, it doesn’t take meeting too many guys like I did named Don that whether his fourteen year old mother got raped or whether is was by incest he’s pretty happy that he’s here. So two wrongs can’t make a right.

Third, the thesis that back alley abortions are going to occur, eighty-five percent of all abortions were done legally before Roe versus Wade. Only fifteen percent were done illegally and in a given year it was recorded three hundred deaths of women.

In the early days of abortion, it was 1.6 million abortions a year, we’re down to 1.2 million abortions now. And three hundred a year would not begin to tip the scales of the hundreds of women, when you’re talking of that many, who’ve died in legal abortions.

Finally, this pill that sounds so easy and the new technology. It’s not like you get a pill, take it, and everything goes away. You have one visit, followed by a second visit, by a third visit to a doctor. And when you go through all that then you, as a woman, will find yourself alone in your bathroom aborting your little baby.

And you will find yourself in one of the most traumatic situations in your bathroom you’ve ever had as this small, little child comes out of your human being and you live with the reality of that the rest of your life.

In fact, what this Right to Life person would say is, “What’s never mentioned is the trauma and the pain that women go through, years after sometimes, the post-abortive syndrome.”

I have in my hands a young girl that wrote this. She said, “At the age of fifteen I became pregnant and my mother panicked seeing only one solution. She took me to get an abortion. I spent the next twenty-five years keeping silent. I didn’t recognize that my subsequent cries for help were in the form of suicidal thoughts as being the consequence of my sin.

“Turning to drugs and alcohol for refuge only postponed my pain. A double life earned me something that was very odd. Straight A performance by day, rebellious, mind-numbing behavior by night.

“Eventually I married and sadly learned I could not bear children. And despite the inconclusive medical evidence I couldn’t help but blame the abortion.”

Where do we go, c

hurch? Where do we go from here? Get your pens out. I want to give you four specific applications. Number one, find forgiveness and healing. Find forgiveness and healing. It’s available, it’s available here, it’s available today.

The Psalmist would pray, “God, you are forgiving and good, O Lord, you’re abounding in love to all who call upon You.” And then he cries out, “Hear my prayer, O Lord. Listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble, I’ll call to You for You will answer me.”

And I would just, with all my heart, whether you’re a man, whether you’re a woman, if this is a part of your past, God brought you in this room, on this day, not to condemn but to forgive and to heal. But you have to cry out.

The Scripture is absolutely clear. If we confess. It means “agree with,” own our stuff, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Forgiveness is a step in time, healing is a journey and a process.

Second, we need to take responsibility. Proverbs 24:11 and 12 says, “Rescue those being led away to death. Hold back those staggering towards slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he’s done?”

We can’t be passive. This can’t be, “Oh, abortion, it’s political.” Abortion isn’t political. Abortion is moral. It’s just become political. We can’t know this is happening, first of all, we gotta model this in our church. And that means that there’s gotta be a safe place, in safe homes when people have unplanned pregnancy, even if it’s a result of sin where you say, “Yeah, that was wrong, but okay, we’re going to love you, we’re going to walk through this together.”

It needs to start in your homes, it needs to be taught in our youth groups, as it is, and then we have to be people who say, “We’re going to take responsibility.” If atheists are stepping up to the plate and saying, “Life matters!” shouldn’t the Church of Jesus Christ?

Are you kidding me? We gotta wait for the likes of Dawkins and Hitchens to say, “Only a species illogically and insane would kill itself.” Let’s get out of all the stuff that’s around this, and all the guilt, and all the shame, and all the issues.

It’s among us. And let’s confess our sin and then whether you need to volunteer, or whether you need to pray, or whether you need to give money, I don’t know what you need to do but there’s probably nothing more important that you’ll do than stand for the cause of life.

And that’s why we partner with organizations right here in our community who do that.

The third application is setting limits and I’ve put a passage you can read carefully. Romans 13 says, “The government will enforce certain laws.” Violence, name calling, abusive speech, so much on the pro-life agenda has been done in ways – shooting doctors – we absolutely deplore all that. Absolutely deplore.

More wrongs don’t make a right. We need to be winsome, loving, bold, treat people with dignity and respect, though you may disagree with everything they believe.

It’s love that never fails. The Bible says it’s the kindness of God that leads to repentance. It will be our bold, clear, “I totally disagree but I care and we’ll treat you with dignity,” not yelling, and screaming, or shooting, or bombing.

And finally, the application is acting in love. Ephesians 4:15 says that we’re to speak the truth in love. And I would just encourage you that no matter what we do in this area, we must have our message and our methods tell the same story.