Roe v. Wade: Do We Have the Right?
In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion, ruling that it is a woman’s right. What does the Bible say about our rights concerning pregnancy and life?
Forty years ago this past January, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in a landmark decision. Since then, there have been nearly 55 million abortions in the United States. Each year approximately 1.2 million abortions take place in America. That amounts to one abortion about every 25 seconds.
The fundamental reason behind the court’s decision was a woman’s right to privacy under the 14th Amendment. Basically the court said, “It’s a woman’s body; she can do what she wants with it.”
Ever since that ruling, the debates have continued about when life begins and about the rights of the unborn.
God is the Source of life
The Bible is clear that life itself comes from God (John 1:1-4; 1 Timothy 6:13). The world we live in is not the result of evolution but is the creation of God for a divine purpose. Understanding that purpose removes all doubt about whether abortion is acceptable or not.
God created the animals before mankind. And God said the animals were made “after their kind” (Genesis 1:21, 24-25, King James Version). But mankind is different.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’” (verse 26). Mankind is made after the God kind! Jesus Christ even said that we are much more valuable than the animals (Matthew 10:29-31).
Though it may seem hard to grasp, the Bible reveals that God is creating children through mankind! God’s intentions are to bring “many sons [and daughters] to glory” (Hebrews 2:10).
When God created Adam and Eve, He told them to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). God wanted mankind to produce many children, whom He wants to ultimately bring to glory as children of God in His family.
It is God who designed our reproductive systems. An examination of biblical principles shows that God does not prohibit all forms of birth control (see “Is Birth Control Wrong?”). Still, He knows we cannot prevent every pregnancy. Even though God understands there will be unplanned pregnancies, nowhere in the Bible does it say He sanctions the ending of unwanted pregnancies.
In God’s eyes, any pregnancy means there is a potential child of God. Only God, as the Giver of life to all babies, has the right to decide the future of the unborn.
To whom do babies and children really belong?
A fundamental truth we need to understand is that all of us—you, me and our children—ultimately belong to God. It is He who will determine our ultimate fate. Therefore, regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court said, only God has the right to decide if someone’s life should be terminated.
Ancient Israel participated in child sacrifice. This was part of the reason God punished them. God was angry with them because they murdered His children.
“Moreover you took your sons and daughters, whom you bore to Me, and … you have slain My children” (Ezekiel 16:20-21, emphasis added).
Many people were brought to tears when 20 innocent children were slain at an elementary school last year. But what about the 1.2 million unborn babies who were also slain in 2012?
Every baby and child is precious to God. He graciously gives us stewardship of them beginning in the womb (Psalm 127:3-5). Yet God tells us we will answer to Him if we believe that someone—including the unborn—is worthless (Matthew 5:22).
God places a high value on those having birth defects as well. For example, Jesus Christ said that God had a purpose for a man who was born blind (John 9:1-3). All will ultimately be healed, just like the lame and the mute mentioned in Isaiah 35:6.
When life begins
From a biological and theological perspective, a new life begins at conception (for more on this, see our article “Is Birth Control Wrong?”). And that God-given life develops quickly, long before a woman even realizes she is pregnant.
Within just a few days after conception the embryo attaches itself to the mother’s uterine wall and begins receiving oxygen through the mother’s blood. Within a month, there is a circulatory system; and within six weeks, a distinct heartbeat can be heard.
Yes, God says, “Thus says the LORD who made you and formed you from the womb” (Isaiah 44:2).
King David said, “You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14).
God even selected Jeremiah to become a prophet before he was recognizable as a fetus (Jeremiah 1:5).
Yes, it is God who is really making these tiny miracles of life.
So why would we even entertain the idea that we have a right to end a life that God is creating?
Life is precious
We need to remember that we would not exist if it weren’t for God. He has created us for an incredible future as His children for all eternity.
Just as we would not want God to discard us from becoming His children, we should not discard the unborn.
It’s just not right.
For more about the incredible meaning of human life, see the articles “Purpose of Life” and “Children of God.”