Children are an inheritance from the Lord that bring blessing , as well as responsibility into the home. The bible revealed that Jesus loved children and referred to their faith as a blue print of that which is necessary for us to do to enter into the kingdom of of heaven. (Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven….Matthew 18:3). It was in this same breath of this proclamation that He also condemn anyone who willfully injure or harm a child. (Matthew 18:-10…Luke 18:15-17).
Despite the special place of children in the heart of God, recent history has not been so kind to them, particularly before birth. Since the 1980s the Center for Disease Control and prevention has recorded the number of surgical procedures that resulted in abortion to be well over one million per year. Although issues surrounding abortion are quite complex, this estimate of lives terminated before their time is staggering and heart-rending.
There are various theological and scientific arguments put forward as to precisely when a fetus constitutes a person. The big question however, is when does life begins?
Several scriptural references do touch the surface and deserve at best a hearing. Firstly, the sixth commandment forbids killing (Exodus 30:13), while the shedding of innocent blood is listed among the seven deadly sins hated by the Lord (Proverbs 6:16-18). In the calling of the prophet Jeremiah, God declared that he was known before he had been formed in the belly and was sanctified and ordained as a prophet before thou camest forth out of the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). While John the Baptist was in the womb awaiting birth, he leaped for joy when he heard the greeting received by his mother from the Virgin Mary who was herself carrying the Christ Child at the time (Luke 1:41-44). These passages tend to be very troublesome for those who argue against the right of the unborn.
According to scriptures, the sanctity of life is of high priority but abortion is a subject matter of high complexity, not as easily judged as some would suppose. Even among Christians there is debate as to whether fetal abortion is ever justified, e.g., when the mother’s life is endangered by a pregnancy. NB: My use of this example is neither to condone the act nor to further confound the issue, but rather to point out its difficulties and thereby emphasize the greater need to minister with compassion to those who have experienced the crisis.
Whether chosen as an alternative to an unwanted pregnancy, or as a last resort to save life, the reality of abortion is traumatic for women who experience it. Hence their desperate need for support and not harsh criticism.