From Brethren, February 1997
Why Are You Crying?
I will never forget the day almost exactly 14 years ago that I walked smiling into the doctor's office for a routine pregnancy check-up. The doctor pulled out his stethoscope and listened. "There's no heartbeat," he said. "I'm afraid your baby is dead."
I was stunned. Slowly tears began to trickle down my cheeks. The doctor looked at me and said, "Why are you crying over such a little thing?"
To me, my baby was a precious gift of God, a lost life to be mourned. To my doctor, it was a thing, a growth needing surgical removal because I had not yet suffered a miscarriage.
Today, 1 February 1997, I am crying again. Our parliament has now decided that from today onwards, unborn babies are things. They are just growths that can be surgically removed if the mother so wishes.
You, my sisters, are one day very soon going to know someone dear to you who is pregnant and who does not want to be pregnant. You may even know someone like that at this very moment. I pray not, but this person may even be you. The law of our land says that any such person may go have an operation called an abortion. After the operation, she will no longer be pregnant. She will no longer have to worry about who will look after the baby. If she is still at school, she will not have to worry about interrupting her school work. If she is working, she will not have to worry about missing work or losing her job. If she is unmarried, she does not have to bear any shame in the eyes of men. No one will ever see her swelling belly. She will be able to carry on her life as normal. Perhaps she will even be able to marry someone else and not have to worry about whether or not her husband will accept another man's child. What are you going to say to such a person? My sisters, I want you to be firmly convinced of how God feels about this before you are tempted to give or accept wrong advice. Is abortion really murder? Is an unborn baby really a human life? What does the Bible have to say about this?
First of all, the Bible calls the unborn baby a "child" or "babe" in Luke 1:41-44. Notice that this particular unborn baby (John the Baptist) was already filled with the Spirit of God to leap for joy when he heard the greeting of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The same Greek word is used for newborn children (Luke 2:12-16; Acts 7:19) and even older children (2 Tim. 3:15). The Bible speaks of unborn children as living persons. In Genesis 25:21-23, God told Rebekah that two nations were in her womb. Samson (Judg. 13:5), John the Baptist (Luke 1:15), and the apostle Paul (Gal. 1:5), were all chosen to be spokesmen for God when they were still in the womb. David said of Jesus, "From My mother's womb You have been My God" (Ps. 22:10). "He (God) is not the God of the dead but of the living" (Luke 20:38).
When does a person receive his soul? The Bible says that the body without the spirit is dead (Jas. 2:26). We have seen already that the Bible considers an unborn child to be a living person. Can you be sure that the unborn child has no soul? From what the Bible says, I am convinced that an unborn baby does have a soul. If you cause someone's soul to depart from his body, have you not committed murder?
God's Word is most important, but before any woman goes for an abortion, she should also know what is going to happen to her and to the baby.
If a woman is three months pregnant or less, the baby is less than four-inches long. The baby is, however, very much alive. He is almost fully formed, he swims, he sucks his thumb, and he even has facial expressions. The results of a study of unborn babies in London was released about six months ago. The study said that a baby may feel pain already at the 6th week of pregnancy. In the United States (and I assume South Africa will follow the same procedures), the doctor uses an instrument to force open the muscle that holds the womb closed (the cervix). He then cuts the baby and the afterbirth into small pieces so that all the pieces can be sucked out of the womb. He uses an instrument some-thing like a small vacuum cleaner to do this. The pipe of the vacuum cleaner is not large enough to suck everything out at once. That is why the baby must first be cut in pieces. This operation is called a D&C.
Some mothers do not go for an abortion when they first find out about their pregnancy. They think, "Maybe I just skipped my time this month," or "Maybe I will miscarry," or "Maybe my boyfriend will marry me." Many are ashamed and frightened and worried. They only go to the abortion clinic after they are 13 weeks pregnant. If the mother is more than three months (13 weeks) pregnant, but less than seven months pregnant, the baby will be from 4-12 inches long. With modern medical help, some of these babies can survive if they are born prematurely. There are basically three different ways used to abort these babies.
(1) A solution of very salty salt water is injected into the womb. The salt burns the baby's skin and causes the baby's veins to burst. The baby thrashes around inside the mother for about an hour until it dies. Once the baby is dead, a woman will usually go into labor within about 24 hours and give birth. This operation, however, is not always safe for the mother.
(2) New drugs, called prostaglandin, have been developed which cause the woman to go into labor without harming the baby. The labor pains are, however, much worse than normal birth pains. The drug also causes diarrhea and vomiting. This operation is safer for the mother than the salt injection, but women do not like it because it is so painful. Another big "problem" is that, because the baby is not harmed, quite a few of the babies are born alive. Then the medical staff has to smother them or leave them alone to die gradually. The mother may never stop feeling guilty if she hears her baby crying. Many of the doctors and nurses who perform this operation develop severe emotional problems.
(3) The most common operation of these three in the United States is called D & E. However, I will be surprised if it is used much in South Africa be-cause it is the most expensive. The mother is put to sleep. Then the hole of her womb is forced open much wider than with a D & C. The doctor then uses instruments to cut the baby in pieces, but the pieces are too big for the vaccum-cleaner-type instrument. The doctor must take the baby out, piece by piece. The nurses must keep track of the pieces to make sure none of the baby is left behind. If a baby who is born at this time cries, do you think he feels no pain when the doctor cuts him up?
Are you feeling sick from reading this article? Think how God must feel! "The darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You have formed my inward parts; You have covered me in my mother's womb. . . . Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed" (Ps. 139:12-16). Do not be deceived, God sees each unborn baby in each womb. He sees each abortion and knows the pain that each baby goes through.
I do not have the latest statistics, but in the United States in 1982, for every 1000 babies born, 359 were aborted. That means that out of all women who get pregnant, including women who wanted to get pregnant, more than one fourth of them will choose to cause the death of her own child. Between the years 1973 and 1982, over 10,000,000 babies died in the United States through abortion. I shudder to think how many have died since. What will happen in South Africa?
My sister, we all know that fornication is sin and that murder is sin. "... Murderers, and fornicators, .. . their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8). If someone commits fornication, she can be forgiven if she repents. But is such a person truly penitent if she chooses to commit murder to escape the consequences of her sinful deed?
"(They) shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with blood" (Ps. 106:8). Many women choose to have an abortion simply be-cause they feel they do not want a child at this time or they feel they have enough children. Are not such women now sacrificing their sons and daughters to the idol of their own selfishness?
"There are six things the Lord hates, Yes seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood . . ." (Prov. 6:16-17). Is there any blood more innocent than that of an unborn child?
Sisters, let us teach others so that our blood-polluted land will be turned from its sinful ways and escape the vengeance of God. Sister, I am crying, are you?
Note: The medical information and statistics in this article come from the book, The Least of These What Everyone Should Know About Abortion, by Curt Young
Guardian of Truth XLI: 9 p. 10-11