vital signs abortion

This is the tenth of thirteen issues selected by our members and resulting from a nationwide faith and values study called Vital Signs.

Each week, we will cover a new topic with in-depth insights and biblical perspective in order to encourage, equip, and inspire praying Americans leading up to the 2020 Election.

America’s life or death decision

Abortion continues to be a contentious issue among Americans and a new Barna Group survey of adults shows it’s increasingly a confusing one as well.

One-quarter of those who say they are pro-life believe abortions should be allowed if the unborn child is less than one month old. Almost a quarter of pro-lifers believe abortions should be legal in all or most circumstances. George Barna states, “In spite of the fact that they call themselves ‘pro-life’ [and] they say that they wouldn’t have an abortion or advise somebody to have an abortion, they think that everybody should have the right to choose.” However, “Nearly nine out of ten adults who claim that they are pro-choice individuals also say that all human life is sacred,” Barna states.

Barna argues that many Americans want to avoid the conflict of taking a position, and they make their choices based on emotion rather than logic or faith – adding up to what he calls “a recipe for convoluted reasoning and indefensible positions.”

History shapes the nation’s proabortion view

Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) shaped the eugenics movement in America and saw abortion as a tool to help accomplish that. In 1916, Sanger opened the first birth-control clinic in the United States and founded the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

She once gave a talk to the Ku Klux Klan and helped promote the “Negro Project.” In her own words, “[Birth control] means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks— those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”

In a letter to Clarence Gamble in 1939, Sanger wrote: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Today, 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods

Sanger was an advocate of selective births. In an interview with Mike Wallace in 1957, she said, “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world, that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically.”

Since abortion was legalized in the United States in 1973, there have been approximately 62 million unborn children killed in the womb.

That means there are more than 3,000 abortions per day or 22 percent of all pregnancies in America (excluding miscarriages) are now terminated.

In the Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court justices granted abortion rights. In their ruling, they chose not to identify when life begins, as that would have changed the outcome of the case.

Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the opinion for the majority, which recognized that a woman’s choice to have an abortion is protected by her right to privacy. Blackmun wrote, “The word person, as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn.”

Norma McCorvey, known as “Jane Roe,” was the plaintiff in the case. However, McCorvey never had an abortion and later repudiated her pro-abortion stance. She originally met with her lawyers, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffey, to plan for an adoption, but her attorneys were only interested in getting abortion legalized.

In her testimony to a Senate subcommittee, McCorvey said, “Sarah and Linda were looking for somebody, anybody, to use to further their own agenda and I was their most willing dupe.”

In January 2019, Weddington also sat beside New York Governor Andrew Cuomo when he signed the Reproductive Health Act which allows for aborting babies up until their birth.

In Doe v. Bolton, a case that appeared before the Supreme Court the same day as Roe v. Wade, plaintiff Sandra Cano, known as “Mary Doe,” also never had an abortion. She later fought to overturn the Court’s decision. In her testimony before a Senate judiciary committee, she said she felt like a prisoner of the case. “I was a trusting person and did not read the papers placed in front of me by my lawyer. I did not even suspect that the papers related to abortion until one afternoon when my mother and my lawyer told me that my suitcase was packed to go to a hospital and that they had scheduled an abortion for the next day,” said Cano. 

In Roe v. Wade, Justice Blackmun said that abortion was primarily a medical decision. Yet the Doe v. Bolton decision gave an exception for emotional issues to justify a reason for an abortion.

Last June, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas filed an opinion dissenting from a decision to strike down a Louisiana law that required abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, calling the Court’s record on abortion “grievously wrong.”

“The plurality and [Chief Justice John Roberts] ultimately cast aside this jurisdictional barrier to conclude that Louisiana’s law is unconstitutional under our precedents. But those decisions created the right to abortion out of whole cloth, without a shred of support from the Constitution’s text. Our abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled,” Thomas wrote.

United States Supreme Court Building

Regarding when human life begins, medical professionals have confirmed for years the answer is conception. A 2014 research brief on the scientific view of when life begins, published by the Charlotte Lozier Institute stated: “Human embryos from the one-cell (zygote) stage forward show uniquely integrated, organismal behavior that is unlike the behavior of mere human cells.…This organized, coordinated behavior of the embryo is the defining characteristic of a human organism.”

A recent five-year research study revealed that an overwhelming majority of biologists from 1,058 academic institutions confirm that “a human’s life begins at fertilization.” The biologists identified themselves as “very pro-choice, very pro-life, very liberal, very conservative, strong Democrats and strong Republicans.”

What does God say?

The Bible is very clear about the sanctity of human life when He says “You shall not murder” in Exodus 20:13. The value of human life is intrinsic as every person is created in God’s image and very precious to Him. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

God is also clear that life begins from conception. There is no Bible verse saying that an embryo only becomes a living soul at the second or third trimester. Therefore, killing a preborn child because of the circumstances of its conception is not biblical. In fact, ending an innocent unborn child’s life because of inconvenience or emotional factors is unjustifiable and violates God’s clearly defined moral order.

Isaiah 44:24 says, “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.” Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

God knows each of His precious children even before they are conceived: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

Of course, God chose for the Lord Jesus Christ to begin His incarnation as an embryo, then growing into a fetus, and born as a human baby: “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son” (Luke 2:6-7).


  • Pray that God would reveal His truth to America and to the world regarding the sanctity of human life and abortion.
  • Pray that God would give you wisdom from Scripture regarding His position on preborn children.
  • Intercede for America’s judges and justices to embrace truth on abortion from God’s Word.
  • Pray for the nation’s leaders, elected officials, and candidates running for office that they would seek the mind and heart of God concerning this issue.
  • Ask God for opportunities to have healthy discussions on the topic with other Christians.

Pray the Vote


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