In the laws governing American society, there are fundamental principles traceable to God’s moral law.
Whatever one’s opinion about the United States being built on Christian principles or not, the law is framed so that, most of the time, most legislators, judges, lawyers and police condemn those who murder, lie and steal. And one of the Ten Commandments says, ‘You shall not murder’ (Exodus 20:13).
However, there is one immoral event that has happened legally every day in the United States since 22 January 1973. It is the murder of unborn children.
Abortion, a practice accepted by society, ostensibly in support of women’s rights, inherently denies the idea that infants are created in the image of God and are human.
It is an issue that has caused great debate all over the world, and the recent release of undercover videos in the USA of Planned Parenthood’s practices have brought the horrors of this practice right into the open.
Abortion is certainly not a new practice. It has been performed in every barbarian and civilised culture since the fall of man. The ancient Greeks and Romans practiced it, and even killed deformed or sick children after birth.
Since the rise of the Christian church, the killing of children has been condemned in the West, although not officially until the sixteenth century. Abortion was banned by civil law in the United Kingdom and the United States in the nineteenth century, but only for a little while. As people began to demanding their civil rights in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the value of the unborn was thrown out the window for the sake of reproductive health.
It is interesting to note that the first countries that legalised abortion were the Soviet Union (1919), Iceland (1935), Sweden (1938), and Nazi Germany (permitted for some in 1935).
The first abortion clinic in the United States began in Brooklyn, New York, when Margaret Sanger, her sister and another woman opened a clinic in 1921. They were initially arrested and convicted for distributing ‘obscene materials’, but their prison sentences were never served.
Sanger and her associates gained popular support and soon clinics, under the name of the American Birth Control League, sprouted up all over the country. By 1941 there were 222 clinics, and 49,000 women had been processed in their system.
The American Birth Control League was given a new guise in 1942 and renamed the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. By 1973, abortions were widespread, but laws varied from state to state on whether women may have an abortion based on health issues or in cases of rape.
Roe v. Wade
In 1970 a case reached the United Supreme Court concerning an appeal from the Texas District Court (Texas had been represented by attorney Henry Wade), in which Norma McCorvey (under the alias ‘Jane Roe’) had wanted to have an abortion but was denied that ‘right’ because her pregnancy was not the result of rape or incest (at the time, Texas allowed abortions in those circumstances).
During the district court hearing, McCorvey’s case had been upheld, though the court had not changed the laws barring abortion. The district court’s decision was based on was the Ninth Amendment of the Constitution, which states that rights not enumerated in the Constitution shall not be denied to the people.
The case eventually came to the US Supreme Court and, after much deliberation, it was ruled that abortion was a fundamental right under the Constitution. Since that day (22 January 1973), millions of unborn children have perished in the name of human rights.
The Roe v. Wade trial brought greater power and unmitigated government funding to Planned Parenthood (PP) and, until this past summer, unbridled support from various state legislatures.
While the operations of PP were never honourable, American society turned a blind eye to their practices and very few cases brought to light just how barbaric abortions actually are. Today’s abortions involve killing unborn babies with drugs or, in the final stage, through surgical force.
In July this year, the Centre for Medical Progress released a series of undercover videos that revealed that PP and their affiliates have participated in selling aborted baby organs, tissue and body parts.
Not only is this practice cruel and barbaric according to God’s law, it is banned by US law. As I watched some of the undercover footage, I was shocked by how flippantly and casually these ‘brokers’ behaved while they discussed the sale and value of baby organs.
The senior director of medical services at PP, Deborah Nucatola, told undercover investigators that PP sells the ‘specimens’ for $30-100 apiece depending on how intact they are.
Not only did the investigation uncover that PP is involved in selling body parts ‘for research’ (which is illegal), but PP unabashedly admitted that the procedure by which they procure body parts is identical to ‘partial birth abortion’, which is also illegal.
To put it delicately, a late term abortion means that the doctors are able to obtain more developed organs, but the procedure becomes complicated to remove the entire baby from the uterus intact.
The doctors therefore change the legally prescribed procedure to obtain the required body part. Both of these practices are punishable by prison and substantial fines (10 years and $500,000 for the sale of baby organs and tissue).
Since the release of these videos, three states have stopped funding PP, in addition to eight others who refuse to give any funds to any organisation that performs abortions.
Moreover, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, has called for a congressional investigation of the abortion agency. Yet, in spite of these measures, it may be some time before these practices actually cease. I hope and pray that they end very soon.
Since 1973, over 58 million have been aborted babies in the United States, while the worldwide total number of abortions since 1980 is over 1.3 billion. More babies are being killed by the minute.
This horrific practice has killed more humans than all the wars and genocides of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is appalling that our society can be ‘okay’ with this practice and shamelessly kill unborn children because they are not deemed human until born.
While many have written to their congressmen to try to stop these horrid practices and many have marched and shouted in the streets decrying their wickedness, we must not forget that God is always in control, even in situations as horrible as these.
Moreover, I think the proper response of Christians toward those who carry out abortion is not hatred but rather gospel love. Are we not as vile as they; and were we too not once dead in our trespasses and sins?
Please pray that these practices will indeed end, but also pray for boldness to share the gospel to these people. There are many abortion doctors who have been converted and have sought to share the gospel with those who continue to perform abortions.
May the Lord frustrate the work of the evil one and may he save those who are perishing — both abortion doctors and infants in the womb!
Ben Wilkerson served with Sheffield Presbyterian Church, UK, and is now a Christian writer residing in the USA