Roe v. Wade, 40 Years Later

Tuesday, January 22 marks 40 years since the landmark case Roe v. Wade where the Supreme Court voted 7-2, declaring that state laws prohibiting abortions are unconstitutional.

The subject of abortion is certainly difficult to discuss because it’s political and is often found to be offensive; emotions run high on both sides of the spectrum, yet it’s an important subject that affects all of us in various ways and is in the political spotlight. It’s estimated that over 50 million babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade was enacted 40 years ago (about the population of America in 1880).

I’m pro-life for a number of reasons, and I believe we have to battle for the rights of those who are the most vulnerable among us. The Bible teaches us that man is created in the image of God, and that gives each one of us intrinsic value that doesn’t have to be earned. In fact the Bible tells us in Genesis one that man was created on Day Six:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

God saw all that he had made and called it “very good.” Mankind was the crowning act of his entire creation. All his other creations- heavens, earth, sky, land, plants, stars, animals- were all proclaimed to be good, but after man was created God announced that his creation was “very good.”

What God considers to be good has a greater connotation than what we consider good. We tend to think that anything we like is good, but when God proclaimed his creation to be “good” or “very good”, there was no blemish or defect.

Genesis two tells us: the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

These verses reveal the origin of man. God created man in his image. In other words man didn’t evolve from other organisms. Therefore man does have tremendous value and worth. This is why murder is wrong. It’s not simply that it’s illegal because we want to protect ourselves and others from harm; it’s because the intentional taking of a life is an affront to God and his character and attributes. If, however, God doesn’t exist and we’ve evolved from other organisms, then we have no intrinsic value and have no more worth than an earthworm. I think that’s the only real argument that can be made to justify abortion. But if God does exist, then that, in effect, negates all the arguments supporting abortion. Only God has a right to take a life, regardless of the rationale otherwise.

One may argue that Adam and Eve were created by God as adults, so none of this has any bearing on the issue. So what about a baby that hasn’t been born? We also see that God forms us together in our mother’s womb. God knew Jacob and Esau while they were still in their mother’s womb, and the Lord prophesied about who they would later become.

Psalm 139:13 tells us, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

In Luke 1 we see that Elizabeth’s baby (John) leaped for Joy upon hearing Mary’s greeting.

These passages reveal that the baby in the womb is a life worth protecting. Once conceived, the baby is a person and is just as human as you or I, even though it’s at a different stage of development. We all have the same DNA that makes us human. At that point the life of a human is in the hands of God, and it is he who has a right to give and take our lives.

Ultrasounds and other photographic techniques have even provided us a glimpse into the womb, and we can see the development of the child at the various stages. We can see that this is a person that deserves the right to live and be loved.

Yes, there are many hard and difficult issues associated with abortions. The typical arguments in favor of abortion asserts that a woman has the right to do with her body whatever she wants; it’s a privacy issue; the baby is just a mass of tissue and isn’t a person; we shouldn’t force our religion or beliefs on others; we shouldn’t force a woman to have a baby after rape or incest; woman who are young and poor may not be able to afford to take care of the baby; it helps with population control; it helps lower the crime rate; it’s in the best interest of the woman who’s trying to better herself and her career; it eliminates those who may be born into poverty and keeps them from suffering a life of poverty; it eliminates the unfit and those that are undesirable; the woman’s life may be in danger; we don’t want back-alley abortions where women are dying; the baby isn’t wanted, so it’s compassionate to have it aborted; the baby has Down syndrome or some other birth defect, and it’s compassionate to end its life rather than allow it to suffer. And certainly there are other arguments, including those where the pro-choice advocates attack the integrity of those who are pro-life advocates.

But whatever the argument, none of them have any merit when God is acknowledged and allowed into the life of our nation. Abortion is only given credibility when God is removed, and that is to our detriment. I want to see a nation that, not only values the life of an unborn child, but also gives honor to God. If we’re to make any real progress and address the underlying issues, the church needs to have a stronger influence and do a better job of communicating and living the gospel message. The church needs to be at the forefront, meeting the needs women where they are, giving them sound guidance.

I wanted to address some of the individual arguments because there’s so much that could be said, but I don’t think that’s necessary at this point. Perhaps I can save that for another time. For now I just hope and pray that our nation turns towards God rather than move further away from him.

President Obama was just inaugurated for his second term. We need to be in prayer for him and those he’s appointed to various offices. We need to pray that God would change his heart and that he would produce good laws that are pleasing and glorifying to God. Join me and many others as we lift our nation up in prayer and seek to protect those who have not yet been born.

3 thoughts on “Roe v. Wade, 40 Years Later

  1. Naturally, abortion is not right. However, there may be certain context where abortion may be permitted. I hear both sides of the argument and I am in favour of preserving life. However, if a woman don’t want to keep a child in their womb you have got to pay attention on how to manage it. Society can compel her to keep the baby until delivery, but what may be the psycho impediment on the baby while in the womb.

    • Thanks for your comments.

      I think it sounds reasonable that there could be exceptions where abortion may be permitted, but I’m reluctant to go there because I think it opens the door for bad decisions. Would we allow an exception for sever deformities? Where do we draw the line? And who gets to decide? Anyone can then demand an abortion, pointing to some kind of imperfection. Ultimately, I think there are very few legitimate exceptions that could be argued.

      Some might argue that a woman has a right to a safe and legal abortion, otherwise there could be back-alley abortions and women would die. I don’t think that’s a good argument either because, if a woman does have a right to a safe and legal abortion, then that presupposes that someone else is obligated to perform the abortion, but I don’t think anyone is under such an obligation.

      I think we’re better off as a society educating an expecting mother, provide alternatives, and care for her needs, and the needs of the baby. Compassion for both the mother and child I think is the best answer.

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