Abortion Part III: How does abortion affect me spiritually?

ultrasound1So far we have covered the medical and legal ramifications of abortion. Now it is time for the most important part of the discussion: what does the Bible say about abortion?

Life in the womb

The main issue that needs addressed is whether or not the life that was conceived is a living human person. God created everything, contained in three classes of life; plants, animals and people; under which category could this conceived life be classified? Plants, animals, and people all reproduce after their own kind. Since the life inside of a human womb is not a plant or animal, it obviously must be human. Most versions of the Bible do not mention the words “human” or “human being” in referencing anyone. Instead it uses “man,” “woman,” “child,” “son,” “daughter,” “baby,” and “infant.” This means the Bible refers to the unborn baby with terms that imply it is human, just as it does for other humans. (Visit The Bible and Abortions for more information.)

Genesis 25:22 speaks of Rebekah when she was carrying twins and states that the “children struggled within her.” Luke 1:41 tells of the babe in Elisabeth’s womb leaping at the sound of Mary’s voice. Luke 1:36 tells us that Elisabeth conceived a son. In Psalm 139:13-17, David praises God for forming him in his mothers womb. All of these verses talk about children who are in the womb and it speaks of them as living. So if something is living, what gives us the right to kill it? Even if the baby is living because of a sin committed by the mother or is simply an unplanned pregnancy, what right do we have to take the life of another living being? The simple answer is none. Matthew 19:18: “Jesus said, Thou shall do no murder…”


So, what about someone who had an abortion and now realizes it was wrong? You can still be forgiven. God offers forgiveness for any sin through His son when we come to Him and repent. Rom. 1:16; 6:3, 4; 10:9, 10; Mark 16:16; Acts 17:30; 2:38; 22:16. Even after you have asked for forgiveness, you may still have feelings of guilt. Although I have never had an abortion, there are many girls and women who have had one and then realize how wrong their decision was. There are young women who know it is wrong but have one because they feel pressured into having it or simply go ahead with it because they don’t want to admit their sin.

laborThere are millions of personal testimonies online written by women who have had an abortion, including one by the author Vicki Courtney. Guilt, regret and self destruction seem to be the aftermath of abortion in almost all of their stories. And most admit that until they accepted God and repented for their past, they were not able to let go of their decision.

Unplanned pregnancy

If you or a friend is struggling with an unplanned pregnancy, I encourage you to talk to a counselor and sooner rather than later, your parents. If you need more help deciding what to do, there are life-choosing options. Heartbeat International is a pro-life Christian pregnancy center and they can help with your situation. If you would like to call them, you can do so at 1-800-395-HELP. They are non-judgmental and offer a variety of services. By using their website or calling, you can find a center that is close to you.

There are many agencies out there that would be able to help and give you the guidance that you need. But no matter what guidance is given, none is as great as God’s love and commands for us, including His command to care for His children (Matthew 18:5).

By Sarah J. Ancheta

Living a life of potential

h2h2Webster defines potential as “the inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or coming into being.” Jeremiah 29:11 describes it this way: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

As a young woman, you no doubt have had many people list your qualities and the potential for your life. The possibilities are truly endless, they might say. When I was a young woman, my parents affirmed that I could be anything that I wanted to be. They encouraged me to try many things, keep an open mind, and have a prayerful heart. For as long as I can remember, though, I have longed to be a wife and a mother. I had no desire to achieve accolades as a great career woman; no longing filled my heart for a prestigious college degree. In my mind’s eye my potential was for homemaking: my talents, my qualities, my aspirations all for this goal. At 21, I found my first dream realized when I married my husband. We have a wonderful marriage, and I am truly blessed. The years began to pass without my second dream fulfilled. No children surrounded me, calling me Momma. I had no one to nurture. In my despair, I was angry with God. How could He allow me this pain? How could He prevent me from living up to what I saw as my true potential? I had so much love to share, so many things to teach my child about God, such a desire to hold my precious children. Perhaps God didn’t have a plan for my life after all. Maybe I was wrong all along in thinking that motherhood was what I was created for. I began to question my very existence and everything I had ever believed.

Through a series of events, God called me back to Him—called me back to the place where His plans for my life could be realized. It was only when I truly surrendered myself to His call, letting go of my grief, placing my life in His hands that I discovered God’s marvelous plan for me. He had been shaping me, preparing me for the work that He had for me to accomplish.

h2h1He had indeed given me great potential. I just needed to allow Him to help me reach it. I had to release my control over my life and take a leap of faith. I had to say, “Yes, God, I will follow your plan for my life, regardless of where it leads me.” I had to be willing to let go of my dreams, of what I had determined my potential was, and allow God to fulfill the plan He had for me.

Now, I have someone to call me Momma. My precious son, whom I love more than life, was born 8000 miles away in India to another mother. He was born in a land I knew nothing about, in a culture that I am still discovering. Yet God had brought us together through the miracle of adoption. He has given me a greater responsibility than just motherhood. He has asked me to care for and raise a child that wasn’t born to me—a child with special needs, a child of a different race and different background. God asked me to give up my longing for a child who resembled my husband, to parent a child who would never be confused as “my own.”

The result of my leap of faith has been joy beyond measure. My son is the light of my life. Home with us now for two years, he is our delight. Parenting him, teaching him about the love of God, beginning to tell him of the plans that God has for him, has fulfilled me in ways I never thought possible. My heart overflows so much that I want to tell the world how adoption has changed our lives. I feel compelled to share with others the plight of the orphan. I want to not only parent this precious child but to tell the world about others like him. I am a mouthpiece. It is my responsibility to show the world that God is the Father of the Fatherless. Showing how He brought a woman desperate for a child to call her own and a small, lonely child together from across the world to become a family—not for my own praise, but to the praise of our Loving Heavenly Father.

h2h3As I look back over my life, I can see God’s hand in shaping me for adoptive motherhood. I see how He created me for this. How different my life would be had I not listened and allowed God to help me reach my potential—His potential for my life. What joy I would be missing had I stubbornly clung to the dreams and aspirations I had for myself. I would never know the deep satisfaction I have every night holding my precious son as he prepares for bed.

This is my story, but there are countless others. In the Bible, Esther never aspired to be queen, yet God saw her true potential. David, being the youngest and a shepherd, had no idea he would one day be a great king of Israel. It never entered his mind that some day, the Messiah would be born from his descendants.

Like these, God is creating in you the ability, the desire, and the passion for His plans. Psalm 139 tells us that God created us—formed us in our mother’s womb. He has fashioned you for a purpose. Will you live up to His potential for you? In the short term, you may grieve something you think you may have lost; but in the end, you will rejoice in the deep satisfaction of knowing that you have lived up to the great potential that God has planned for your life.

By Pam DeArmon

My Child, Do You Remember Me?

Gifted Girls is featuring poetry this month, and new poems will appear throughout the week. To join in on next month’s theme, send a photo of something you’ve sewn, such as clothing, accessories, blankets, pillows, etc. Please submit photos by Sunday, March 29, 2009.

My Child, Do You Remember Me?

My child, do you remember me?
We met so long ago.
You were formed inside my womb,
yet never allowed to grow.

gg5I never got to see your face,
or hold you in my arms.
I pray someday you’ll understand–
I never meant you harm.

I missed playing peek-a-boo
and going to the park.
I missed holding you in my lap
when you were afraid of the dark.

I missed your pretty pictures
of rainbows in the sky.
I missed the cards on Mother’s Day-
the kind that make you cry.

I missed you learning to ride a bike
and your first dive into the pool.
I missed your every summertime
and your every first day of school.

I missed your every birthday
and watching you grow each year.
I missed saying “I love you”
and showing how much I care.

My child, will you forgive me
for the life I stole from you?
Will you know the tears I’ve shed
for that child I never knew?

I know you’re in a better place,
and someday, I’ll meet you there.
For Jesus has forgiven me,
my sin, I no longer bear.

My child, will you remember me
on that day we meet again?
Will you even know my face
or wonder where I’ve been?

“Yes Mother, I remember you;
we met so long ago.
Why I could not stay with you,
I really do not know.”

“Come with me and meet the Lord,”
my child will smile and say.
“I’ll take your hand and lead you there,
for He’ll wash your tears away.”

Finally, I’ll approach His throne,
my sins as white as snow,
and He’ll hold me tight and say to me,
“My child, welcome home.”

Vicki Courtney ©1995

His Plan

Gifted Girls is featuring poetry this month (today’s poem was written by a Gifted Guy), and new poems will appear throughout the week. To join in on next month’s theme, send a photo of something you’ve sewn, such as clothing, accessories, blankets, pillows, etc. Please submit photos by Sunday, March 29, 2009.

His Plan
gg3Psalm 139:13-18a (NASB)

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in our book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand

– King David

Abortion Part II: How did abortion become legal?

eightweeksafterconception1All photos in this article were taken eight weeks after conception, when the baby was just over one inch long. Abortion Part 1 can be read here.

Most of you have heard of the Supreme Court case called Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion. But until recently I never really understood what the case was really all about and how this decision could be made which allowed women to abort a pregnancy.

In this case, a woman (named Norma McCorvey, who chose to be called Jane Roe) sued the state of Texas represented by the district attorney of Dallas County, Henry Wade. The Texas law at the time only allowed abortion as a life-saving procedure on behalf of the mother. Many states had similar laws or banned abortion all together. Ms. Roe stated she had been raped and did not wish to continue the pregnancy, and that her lack of freedom to get an abortion infringed on her right to privacy.

Roe v. Wade is not the only case to shape the abortion debate, however. There was a Georgia case called Doe v. Bolten which “involved a married woman who was also denied an abortion for not meeting the necessary state requirements” (Georgia law allowed for abortion if the life or health of the mother was threatened, if the baby was seriously deformed, or if the pregnancy was a result of rape). A three-judge District Court ruled that Roe did have basis to sue, and declared Texas abortion law void for being “vague” and “overbroad.” The District Court ruling in the Doe case was split. It ruled that there were some unnecessary bureaucratic burdens that might hinder someone from receiving a due abortion, but they still held that the State had a right to restrict abortion according to the principles already in place. Both decisions were appealed, both decisions ended up before the Supreme Court, and both verdicts were handed down on the same day, January 22, 1973.

Legal verdict

Roe ruled (7-2) that though states did have an interest in protecting fetal life, such interest was not “compelling” until the fetus was viable, or able to live on his or her own (placing viability at the start of the third trimester). Thus, all state abortion laws that forbade abortion during the first six months of pregnancy were thereby invalidated. Third trimester abortions, on the other hand, were only legal if the pregnancy threatened the life or health of the mother. The Doe verdict, however, defined “health of the mother” in such broad terms, that any prohibitions to 3rd trimester abortions were essentially eliminated. According to Justice Harry Blackmun’s majority opinion, a woman’s health includes her “physical, emotional, psychological, (and) familial” well-being, and should include considerations about the woman’s age. “All these factors may relate to health,” Blackmun argued, so as to give “the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment.” In other words, if a woman is upset about her 3rd trimester pregnancy (psychological health), her doctor has the necessary legal basis to abort.” (For more information, visit Abort73.com.)

A change of heart

eightweeksafterconception2Norma McCorvey, the woman who originally pushed for the legalization of abortion, announced on August 10, 1995 that she had become an advocate of the pro-life movement. She wrote in her book, Won By Love, “I was sitting in O.R.’s offices when I noticed a fetal development poster. The progression was so obvious, the eyes were so sweet. It hurt my heart, just looking at them. I ran outside and finally, it dawned on me. ‘Norma,’ I said to myself, ‘They’re right.’ I had worked with pregnant women for years. I had been through three pregnancies and deliveries myself. I should have known. Yet something in that poster made me lose my breath. I kept seeing the picture of that tiny, 10-week-old embryo, and I said to myself, That’s a baby! It’s as if blinders just fell off my eyes and I suddenly understood the truth–that’s a baby! I felt ‘crushed’ under the truth of this realization. I had to face up to the awful reality. Abortion wasn’t about ‘products of conception.’ It wasn’t about ‘missed periods.’ It was about children being killed in their mother’s wombs. All those years I was wrong. Signing that affidavit, I was wrong. Working in an abortion clinic, I was wrong. No more of this first trimester, second trimester, third trimester stuff. Abortion–at any point–was wrong. It was so clear. Painfully clear.”

McCorvey herself had never had an abortion because the courts took longer than her nine-month pregnancy to rule. She gave birth to a baby girl during that time and placed her up for adoption. In 2005, McCorvey petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 decision, stating that the case should be heard again due to evidence that the procedure may harm women, but this petition was denied. (To read more about the specifics of this case, you can visit the Wikipedia article about Norma McCorvey.)

Norma McCorvey, or Jane Roe, changed her mind, and her heart. She knew what she had done was sinful, but it was too late to go back. She couldn’t give life back to the babies she’d assisted in murdering, and she couldn’t erase the law she’d helped to put in place. It’s too late for those babies to have a chance at life, but it doesn’t have to be too late for others.

God’s verdict

eightweeksafterconception3Just because something is legal does not always mean it is ethical. There are many laws that as Christians we may not agree with (i.e. legalization of alcohol, cigarettes, federally funded planned parenthood, gay marriage, etc.). So, many people may ask why abortion is such a big issue when there are many things we don’t agree with. Abortion does not involve just one person. There is an innocent life that, whether or not it can survive outside the mother, is a life all the same—one that God created and has a plan for. Psalm 139:13: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” The legalization of abortion also affects not just adults, but teens. It also affects women in many different situations: married women who don’t want more children, unwed women, and victims of sexual crimes. Legally, these people have rights to privacy. Of course privacy is an important right. However, ethically we have an obligation in our obedience to God to protect life.

There are always ongoing legal cases regarding abortion and there always will be as long as there is more than one point of view. As Christians we must remember that just because something may be legal or acceptable in the world, does not make it acceptable or right in the eyes of God. We must be obedient to do what He views as right.

By Sarah J. Ancheta

Abortion Part I: Medical Breakthrough? Or nightmare?

FootInWombAbortion has become an acceptable resolution to an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. However, as Christians it is important that we know why abortion is unacceptable and the truth about what really happens during an abortion. I am going to cover the medical, spiritual, and legal perspectives of abortion. In this month’s article, we will look at the life of the mother and discuss the baby in a strictly medical scenario.

One thing that continually surprises me is how little people think about the affects an abortion has on their own body. It is true that pregnancy can be hard on a woman’s body. It puts pressure on blood vessels, and there are several conditions that can be related to pregnancy. However, getting an abortion can put you at higher risks for complications and most importantly, it ends a child’s life.

Is a “fetus” human?

I have done quite a few reports on abortion in the past for various courses I have taken. The more research I do, the more it hurts me. I heard my child’s heartbeat when I was 6 weeks pregnant. The baby’s heartbeat usually begins beating 21 days after conception. At that point, most women don’t even know they are pregnant yet. By 10 weeks of pregnancy, a baby has developed its brain, kidneys, liver, hands, fingers, eyelids, and fingernails, and can kick (although it’s usually unable to be felt by the mother yet). Most importantly, for those who argue that a fetus is not a human, upon conception, a fetus already has all the chromosomes needed to make up a human being and is constantly multiplying its cells. For cells to multiply, it must be living, and for it to have the 23 chromosomes (which determine hair and eye color, shoe size, etc.) it has to be human. These facts only point to the unborn as being a living human being.

The Bible also recognizes unborn children. Luke 1:41: “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” The child was recognized as a babe although it was not yet born.

For more detailed facts and information discussing the unborn, visit ChristianAnswers.net.

What happens in an abortion?

FeetOutsideWombI have seen the images of what abortion doctors call the “products of conception” of an abortion. However, because we have established that it is a baby, I will refer to it as that. The images are too graphic to share, and frankly, if I were able, I would erase the images from my memory. However, I will tell you a little about the procedure. (I am putting all of this into layman’s terms to make it easier to understand; I am in no way inflating or worsening the procedure to scare anyone—this is what really happens! For those who are faint of heart, you may want to skip the next two paragraphs.) Depending on what stage of pregnancy you are in, your doctor, and your medical history, there are several ways in which doctors go about it. In one procedure they use a long thin tube and insert it into the uterus and attach a syringe to suction the baby out of the mother. This procedure is called manual vacuum aspiration and is done up to week 7 of the pregnancy. The most widely used method of abortion is called suction curettage. In this procedure, the mother is usually given some type of anesthetic for pain. The doctor will insert metal rods to stretch the cervix open. Once open, the doctor then inserts a long tube into the uterus and connects it to a suction machine. The machine pulls the baby’s body apart and out of the uterus.

As graphic as these procedures are, partial birth abortions are even more horrific and vile.  Partial birth abortions are done between 24-36 weeks of pregnancy. During the procedure, “the cervix must be dilated using laminaria. Forceps are then introduced into the uterus to grasp the baby’s legs. The baby is delivered breech while the head remains inside the birth canal. Using blunt-tipped surgical scissors, the base of the skull is pierced and a suction catheter is inserted to extract the brain. This causes the skull to collapse and the dead baby is then fully delivered.”

Any way you look at these procedures, it is clear to me that abortion in any shape or form is murder. It kills an innocent, living human being.

(Abortion procedure information taken from pregnancycenters.org/abortion.html)

What can abortion do to the woman?

Abortion has many side effects. It can cause excessive bleeding, infection, and sepsis, damage to the uterus and uterus lining, and damage to other internal organs. On top of these side effects, having an abortion could affect future pregnancies. Women who have abortions have an increased chance of delivering prematurely. Many women who have abortions also suffer emotionally. They have feelings of guilt, anger, depression, and other symptoms which could lead to more physical ailments. There is also talk of a link between breast cancer and abortion:

“Medical experts are still researching and debating the linkage between abortion and breast cancer. Here are some important facts:

kikiCarrying your first pregnancy to full term gives protection against breast cancer.  Choosing abortion causes loss of that protection.

A number of reliable studies have concluded that there may be a link between abortion and the later development of breast cancer.

A 1994 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found: “Among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had experienced an induced abortion was 50% higher than among other women.”(http://www.pregnancycenters.org/abortion.html)

Ok, what can or should I do if I am a pregnant teen?

My advice would be to first, confess and ask God to forgive you for your sins, and repent. In this time, there is no one you need more than Him. Second, find an adult you trust. This needs to be someone who will support you. This person can be your parents, a friend, a counselor, or a teacher. This is one scenario where I STRONGLY urge you to talk to your parents as soon as possible. Procrastinating is unhealthy. You need to get medical treatment (prenatal vitamins, ultrasounds, etc.) as early as possible to ensure you and the baby are healthy.

It is important that you remember that just because you may sin, causing an unplanned pregnancy, you can still ask for and receive forgiveness. There is no reason to physically punish yourself with a harmful, unnecessary procedure or take an innocent life because of your mistake. Confess, repent, and prayerfully make a wise decision for your child, and yourself.

By Sarah Ancheta