“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.”
– Jeremiah 1:5
This Sunday, January 22, marks the 44th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize abortion in the United States. In their landmark Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment protects a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. Interestingly, the 14th Amendment was intended to protect an individual’s rights while providing him/her with equal protection under the law. Evidently, the Supreme Court justices didn’t believe these protected individual rights extend to the unborn child. As a result, over 58 million pre-born babies have been aborted in the U.S. since 1973. That’s roughly equal to the entire populations of California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and New Mexico combined!
Fast forward 44 years. Here we are just two months after our national elections, where well over 100 million Americans went to the polls and voted for a slew of candidates and a laundry list of propositions. And one of these propositions in the State of Colorado slipped under the national radar: Proposition 106. It passed by an overwhelming 2/3 majority, making Colorado the sixth state to legalize doctor-assisted suicide.
With these sobering realities in mind, Christian leader Dr. Frank Wright recently wrote, “Will a differently constituted U.S. Supreme Court make a difference in the defense of life? It could, but we have heard those promises before. Besides, a question more important than whether the courts will defend life is: Why is the culture running headlong after death?” Now, that’s a sobering question. Why is our culture running headlong after death?
Honestly, one of the main reasons is because we as a nation no longer read, understand, or embrace what God’s word says about the great value of human life. We have failed to embrace what God says in the very first chapter of the Bible—Genesis 1. He makes it clear that all life on earth is good and beautiful. But only human life is sacred, which is defined as “connected to God and dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration.” Every human life is connected to God in a way that a dog or cat couldn’t be. Every human life is dedicated to a religious purpose—to worship Him and love Him in a way that a rhino, monkey, or polar bear never could. As a nation, we have rejected these timeless truths.
And we have ignored and rejected the timeless truth of Psalm 139:13-15, where King David answers the “when” question: “When does God create human life as good, beautiful and sacred?” David answers—in a mother’s womb. David expresses amazement at the thought of God creating his kidneys, lungs, and heart before he drew his first breath. Without a doubt, human life begins in the womb. Therefore, the life of the unborn child is good, beautiful and sacred in the sight of God. From God’s perspective, a fetus is not a clump of cells, a mass of tissue, or an inconvenience. What the medical community labels a “fetus” is a child, created with great love and care by our Creator. As a nation, we have rejected this timeless truth.
The truth is: There are only four differences between an unborn child and a toddler, and none of these differences taken individually or together diminish the value and “humanity” of the unborn child. See for yourself. [These four differences form the acronym, SLED.]
SIZE. For years pro choice groups like Planned Parenthood have argued that a human fetus is not a human being because of its tiny size. But since when does human size equate to human value? Would anyone make the case that a 7-foot-tall NBA center’s life is 3 ½ times more valuable than a 2-foot-tall toddler’s life? Would anyone try to convince us that a teenager is twice as human as a two-year old because the teenager is twice as tall? No way! The size argument is completely illogical. Size has nothing to do with human value.
LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT. Abortion clinics have peddled the lie that because a child in utero is less developed than a baby, it’s not a human being. Because the heart isn’t beating until the second month and the pain receptors aren’t functional until the second trimester, it’s not a baby. But since when does level of development determine human value? Toddlers are less developed than teenagers. Teenagers are less developed than adults. Many adults have diabetes or other diseases that keep them from feeling pain, and some severely disabled adults aren’t self-aware. Would any reasonable person conclude that children and adults with developmental disabilities are less human than those who are perfectly healthy? I think not!
ENVIRONMENT and DEGREE OF DEPENDENCY. These last two differences between an unborn child and a toddler are equally important. Abortion advocates make the case that because a human fetus is inside his/her mother and is completely dependent upon her for survival, the fetus is not a human being. But under close scrutiny, both of these arguments fall apart. When toddlers change environments, do they change their value? Is a toddler in the house more human that a toddler in a swimming pool? As for degree of dependency—Is a retiree on dialysis and oxygen less human than a senior with a clean bill of health? Hardly! You see, dependency is irrelevant to value. In fact, a greater level of dependency signals us as compassionate human beings to help and fight for the one who is dependent. Right?
Perhaps we will never fully understand why our culture has been running headlong after death. But of this we can be sure: God holds all human life—from the earliest stages in the womb to the final day of hospice care—as good, beautiful, and sacred. Therefore, we as His followers must also hold all human life to be good, beautiful and sacred. As God loves and defends human life, so too must we.
Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville. For more information,
visit www.fccvv.com and join us for worship Sundays at 10 am.