Image/Identity: Why should Christians oppose abortion?
When Grace and I first met in high school, I was strongly in favor of abortion and the eugenics ideology of Thomas Malthus that was held by Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. I wrongly believed less fit people should be sterilized, not permitted to conceive and encouraged, if not required, to abort and won debates on the issue in high school and college classes.
Grace was a Bible-believing pastor’s daughter who was consistently pro-life. I won most of our arguments from a rhetorical point of view, but she was right, and I was wrong. Today, as we parent our five wonderful children together, I cannot even fathom what I was thinking. As a new Christian, the Bible completely transformed my mind on this issue.
Behind abortion is racism that began with Nazi mastermind Malthus who brought death in concentration camps to reduce minority populations and Sanger who brought death in clinics, both in an effort to reduce minority populations. Yes, clinics are little concentration camps. Trying to promote social Darwinism, Sanger set up the first clinics in the poorest and most ethnic neighborhoods to reduce the “less fit” (1).
Theologian Wayne House says, “In 1933 the magazine for Planned Parenthood, known in Sangers [sic] day as Birth Control Review, actually published ‘Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,’ by Ernst Rudin, Hitlers [sic] director of genetic sterilization and founder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene.” (2) Furthermore, later that same year the magazine “published an article by E. A. Whitney, entitled ‘Selective Sterilization,’ which strongly praised and defended Nazi racial programs.” (3)
Sanger saw birth control as the most effective way to eradicate “feebleminded” people, whose mental ability was less than that of a twelve-year-old (4). Sanger also said, “Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tyranny of Christianity no less than Capitalism.” (5)
Today, abortion providers continue the racism as out of the roughly million abortions a year in the United States, the majority of abortions are for minority populations.
Here is a summary of the eight core biblical truths that pertain to the issue of abortion:
- God is the Creator and Author of human life (6)
- God made humanity in His image and likeness, making human life unique and sacred (7)
- God intends for human beings to fill the earth (8)
- God confirmed that life begins at conception and declares that an unborn baby is a sacred life (9)
- God knows us from our mother’s womb (10)
- God declares that when human life is taken without just cause (i.e., capital punishment, just war, self-defense), the sin of murder has been committed (11)
- God is sovereign over the womb and can ultimately open and close it as He wills (12)
- Children are a blessing from God to be provided and cared for by parents as well as extended family and the church, including those who are adopted as Jesus was (13)
Writing for Fox News I said, “Of all the Ten Commandments, number six is the only one that our nation has codified into law. ‘You shall not murder.’ Since 1973, legal abortions in America have taken the lives of 55 million people…That total of 55 million lives equals 17.5% of the country’s current population, is greater than the population of any state in the Union, and is greater than the population of 219 of the world’s countries including South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Australia, Argentina, and Canada. Fifty-five million is about the same as the population of the 25 smallest states and Washington D.C. combined.” (6)
I included my interview with Dr. John Piper about his conversation with an abortion doctor. Piper said, “Before I could get my first of 10 arguments out of my mouth, [the doctor] said, ‘Look, I know I’m killing children.’” Piper was astounded and asked the man to explain why he would do such a thing. “To be honest, my wife wants me to because it’s a matter of justice for women [and] the lesser of two evils in her mind.” (14)
Additionally, the Bible assumes that an unborn baby is a human life and assigns the death penalty for anyone who takes an unborn life because it is murder. Exodus 21:22–25 says:
When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out [the Hebrew term is yasa, a live birth—not shakal, the typical term for miscarriage], but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
God come to earth as a baby, but He grew up to become a man who died on the cross to forgive any and all sins – including the taking of an unborn life. For Christians, this debate hits close to home. Mary was probably a teenager, poor, possibly uneducated, living in a small rural town. She got pregnant out of wedlock in a highly religious cultural context. If she walked into a clinic today, we know what she would be encouraged to do. But Mary gave birth to God. Jesus came into the world through the womb of a woman who fits the stereotype of someone who “should” get an abortion. Thankfully, Mary courageously brought Jesus into the world so that He could save the world from death.
(1) To learn more about the history of Planned Parenthood, read George Grant, Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood (Nashville, TN: Cumberland, 2000).
(2) Ernst Rudin, “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,” The Birth Control Review (April 1933): 102.
(3) Leon Whitney, “Selective Sterilization,” The Birth Control Review (April 1933): 85.
(4) H. Wayne House, “Should Christians Use Birth Control?” Christian Research Institute, http://www.equip.org/site/c.muI1LaMNJrE/b.2717865/k.B30F/DE194.htm.
(5) David Goldstein, Suicide Bent: Sangerizing America (St. Paul: Radio Replies Press, 1945), 103.
(6) Gen. 1–2; Deut. 32:39; Ps. 139:13–16
(7) Gen. 1:27; James 3:9
(8) Gen. 1:28, 9:1
(9) Exod. 1:16–17, 21:22–25; Lev. 18:21; Jer. 7:31–32; Ezek. 16:20–21; Mic. 6:7; Matt. 2:16–18; Acts 7:19
(10) Jer. 1:5; Job 10:9–12, 31:15; Ps. 119:73; Eccles. 11:5
(11) Gen. 9:5; Exod. 20:13
(12) Gen. 20:18, 29:31, 30:22; 1 Sam. 1:5–6; Isa. 66:9; Luke 1:24–25
(13) Gen. 1:28a; Ps. 127:3–5, 128:3–4; Matt. 18:5–6; Mark 9:36–37, 10:16; 1 Tim. 5:8
(14) Mark Driscoll, “What do 55 million people have in common?” https:// www.foxnews.com/opinion/what-do-55-million-people-have-in-common.