There was so much talk on abortion on social media last week. I got involved at a point when I reposted a 6-minute spoken word video on my facebook wall by 3 of Humble Beast’s artists. The video, which was posted by desiringggod.com, is entitled ‘73-17’. According to the article that came with it, between 1973 and 2017, there have been 60 million abortions in America ALONE!
This is clearly not worthy of celebration. In fact, I was appalled at this fact when I read it. Those were 60 million lives that could have been but weren’t given the chance. For various reasons women commit abortions. All kinds of women take this decision: married, single, rich, poor, abused etc. I am not outraged at them, but rather the system that allowed this. I am not quite keen on acquiring a tag but if this viewpoint makes me pro-life, then so be it. One thing I know is that nobody can be more pro-life than the fetus. Within a period of 9 months, what started as a clot of blood develops limbs and transforms rapidly into a full-blown human being in the womb. That is pro-life. Nothing can be more indicative of a pro-life stance than growth. Absolutely nothing. Always remember that humanity loses a pro-lifer after each successful abortion.
But it is an issue of choice, they say. It is an issue of what the bearer of the baby says. I’m really not here to debate that, but I just wanted to point out a few things I noticed from the ongoing discussion on social media. From what I know about abortions, especially the ones I have heard about, it was the guys who forced the idea on the ladies. In Lecrae’s song ‘The Good, The Bad, the Ugly’ he recounts how he forced his woman to get an abortion when he was much younger. He stated in the song that the lady went on with the plan because she loved him. But from all indications, he regrets that decision. I remember hearing a story about this macho man in the neighborhood I grew up in running after a lady with a glass of water and some pills in broad daylight. He was literally forcing her to terminate the pregnancy in the full glare of everybody around.
All lives matter; those in womb matter too. The life of a fetus matters no matter who takes the final decision to end it.
My main concern is the misrepresentation of the word of God in the ensuing debate. I couldn’t help but cringe at some opinions which were expressed based on faulty analyses of scripture. Two bible stories emerged in most of the discussions:
- Onan spilling his seeds (withdrawing while having sex with Tamar)
- God declaring that he knew Jeremiah before he formed him in his mother’s womb.
Onan’s story is quite an interesting one. He was the second son of Judah. His older brother Er was married to Tamar and he displeased the Lord so he was killed. As their custom was, Tamar was given to Onan to sleep with for her to bear a child to continue the lineage of Er. Onan knowing that the child wouldn’t be counted as his, chose to spill his seed. God killed Onan for what he did. NOTE: God didn’t kill him for merely spilling his seed, but for the implications of this act. Many times I’ve heard people use this story as the basis to condemn masturbation. Masturbation is indeed sexual sin but Onan didn’t masturbate. What he did was a deliberate act to discontinue his brother’s lineage. It is also worthy for us to note that this is the same Judah whose lineage became the tribe of Judah. Both David and Jesus came from this tribe. It is easy to tell why God had a keen interest in the affairs of this family. I can’t tell the exact reason but I am tempted to believe God’s decision to kill Onan had a lot to do with the implications of his actions on the tribe of Judah (According to Gen 38:9).
It is not right to liken what Onan did to masturbation or even abortion. A sperm is not a fetus. Therefore whatever means of birth control a man applies to prevent conception cannot be likened to abortion. Why? Because conception has not taken place yet. The male body is fashioned to naturally dispose of semen once in a while in the sleep of the said man. Is this abortion too? Does this apply to menstruation too? I get what this is all about, though. It is all because some ladies are of the view that any man who takes a stance against abortion is primarily attempting to take away a certain level of freedom from women. Also, there is this assertion that a man’s opinion is worth very little on the topic of abortion. Are we implying that one can only have an opinion on a topic when it directly affects him/her? Do we need to strip the proponent of a contrary view of his right to express it? Doesn’t that imply our assertions are weak in the face of opposition? Nobody’s view should be discredited because of his gender. That is sexism indeed.
The other bible story that has come up in this discussion is the story of Jeremiah. God told Jeremiah:
‘Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth of the womb I sanctified thee and, I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations’
Many have misinterpreted this because they have either misquoted the verse or have truncated it to suit their interpretation. God didn’t say ‘before you were formed in the belly…’ but ‘before I FORMED THEE in the belly…’. What difference does that make? A lot! The understanding that this verse implies God knows each sperm by name and therefore when a man ‘spills his seed’ he has committed abortion is false. God formed Jeremiah in his mother’s womb. God didn’t just know him before that, he ordained Jeremiah way before he formed him in the womb. This means, that verse up there is not about identity or identification but rather predestination. The verse doesn’t mean God knows each sperm by name. It means God knows which one would eventually fertilize the egg and in this case, it was Jeremiah. So before he was a clot of blood, God had already ordained him to be a prophet unto the nations. As simple as that. Therefore abortion is the termination of that which God has formed. As Ravi Zacharias said ‘We can’t talk about human rights without the right to be human’. If your human right terminates another person’s right to be human, how many humans will be left if everybody exercised that right?
There are so many push factors when it comes to abortion for eg. Poverty, stigmatization, unpreparedness etc. It is my hope that we wouldn’t lose sight of the real issue as we go on to fight these factors. Also, there should be counseling and therapy available for women who have already committed abortions. The trauma they go through is unmatched and therefore special care must be given to their psychological health.
We are all fallible. It is natural to want to deal with your mistakes lest they interrupt your plans for the future or because you can’t afford to live with the consequences. But is it right to end a life so you can live yours comfortably? I believe as many of us that read this post should try and answer this question and please share your views with me in the comment session. Thanks.