I live in Georgia, and several weeks ago the Governor of our great state signed a very restrictive abortion bill that has made a lot of people very angry! So angry, in fact, that Netflix, Disney, and several other entertainment powerhouses clearly stated, that due to this new law, they would no longer be producing entertainment in Georgia—effectively removing billions of dollars in income from Georgia’s economy
RELATED ARTICLE: Adventist Church Works to Clarify its Stance on Abortion
But the streaming entertainment Goliath, Netflix, went a step further—partnering with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in actively fighting this law in Georgia! Furthermore, two famous directors vowed to give 100% of profits of their shows to directly fight this law; as well as a consortium of other filmmakers vowed to boycott the state. With all that’s happening, the two crucial questions to be asked are:
- Why is this entertainment company and others pushing so hard to fight this issue?
- Why are they suddenly getting involved in politics? What are they afraid of?
Two Opposing Camps
Well, you don’t have to be a social researcher to see that there are clearly two different—and both powerful—worldviews lobbying for the attention and control of the American people and the mainstream culture they represent; one says “worship yourself” and the other says “worship God”.
This issue represents a moral lightning rod and a political “hill to die on” by these two opposing groups, and believe me, both have been fighting many skirmishes and battles in the state and district courts, and both are gathering their metaphorical troops for the final war to end all wars, ending at the Supreme Court!
Before we go any further in our journey together, I’ve got to make three things clear:
- Admittedly this issue is a very contentious one and people feel very strongly (that’s the understatement of the year) about both sides of this issue.
- I personally bear no ill will against those who choose to have abortions—for whatever reason. In my opinion, however, the Bible is clear about the fact that abortion is simply the murder of a living human being.
- God loves and died for people on both sides of this issue, but…it’s really all about the topic of worship.
Let me explain.
The “pro-choice” side is against outlawing abortions because it gets in their way of ultimately living the way they want to live; this is simply a smoke-screen for the general philosophy/worldview of mainstream culture (and entertainment) related to the issues of self-control/restraint vs. their “me-first-do-what-you-feel” attitude. Now I’m not referring to women who are forced to have abortions related to a risk to their own health. Bottom line: folks who are “pro-choice” want to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, and not feel any negative consequences of their choices. In essence, they want to worship themselves more than anything else—ultimately to the exclusion of another human being. Mother Teresa, the Roman-Catholic nun, and missionary incisively noted:
It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.
The “pro-life” side is against any abortions at all and would love to outlaw them altogether; generally, strongly believing that human life begins at the moment of conception (when the male sperm and the female egg first unite). And because of that, they believe that all life is precious and worth protecting—worth protecting more than their own desire to live their lives any way they want. In essence, this group worships God more than anything else.
RELATED ARTICLE: Abortion –Life or Choice?
However, you feel about this issue, it can’t be ignored—and it’s quickly coming to a tipping point. In fact, with the recent addition of two conservative Supreme Court Justices in the past several years: Neil M. Gorsuch & Brett M. Kavanaugh, many states have begun the not-so-sneaky plan of passing strict abortion laws, in the hopes that the fights against them will ultimately end up in the Supreme Court. Many political advisers believe that this will be the case—and likely sooner than any of us think.
It sure seems that based on this one issue, everybody in two usually differing and varied political and cultural camps quickly came together over this issue of worship—and it all started and will end with laws and courts.
But has something like this ever happened before in human history? The answer will surprise you.
New Play from an Old Playbook
Adam and Eve, the parents of all humanity sinned as they fell prey to the worship of self—in fact, all sin is essentially the worship of self over the worship of God!
When Adam and Eve were initially presented with the opportunity to elevate their own needs above those of God, they replaced worship of themselves over worship of God. Consider for a moment what happened:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?’
The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’’
‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (Genesis 3: 1-6, NIV).
Adam and Eve sinned when they doubted the character of God and doubted His ability to comprehensively care for them. This is exactly at the core of why most people choose to have an abortion—they don’t fully trust or believe that God will be able to meet all their needs (even learning of an unplanned pregnancy or complications). However, Jesus spoke to this issue when He assured the anxious hearts of His hearers:
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:31-33, NIV).
RELATED ARTICLE: It’s All About My Self-ie
As a counselor who works with a lot of teenagers, college students, and young adults (AKA: Millennials), I have unfortunately had my share of decades of shocked, breathless and (honestly) ugly-crying, people, who were staring down the harsh reality of a life they never planned or expected. And you might be surprised to learn that those who decided to not have an abortion…still had a difficult time with the pregnancy and, consequently, still had a difficult time dealing with all the things that happened with an unplanned pregnancy, but, as they continued to trust and worship God, in the end, noted that their faith in God was deepened and strengthened.
Choose God First, Last & Best
This entire issue of abortion is just another way that humanity has decided to rebel against God and worship a lie instead of the truth (see Rom. 1:18-32). How then, do we need to make sure that we ultimately keep God’s first commandment:
‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (Ex. 20:3, NIV).
If we place our focus on daily consciously choosing to serve and worship God first, last & best—regardless of what comes our way, then we can be sure that we won’t worship ourselves.
Real Life: Part One
Joel is a college junior. He likes sports and music, and he enjoys spending time with his friends. He’s a business major, planning to go on to grad school for an MBA, though he knows he’ll have to work hard to make the money. Joel’s mom is a single parent, and money has always been scarce. Joel’s mom is just thirty-seven. She can’t believe she has a son already in college. When she was fifteen, she got pregnant. She was going to get an abortion, but a friend talked her out of it at the last minute. Raising Joel alone has been difficult sometimes, but she’s proud of her son. A few years ago, she told him the story of how he was born. Joel’s grateful to his mom for giving him a chance to live. Joel calls himself an “abortion survivor.”
RELATED ARTICLE: Abortion is not the Answer
Sara is a twenty-one-year-old college sophomore. Friends think of her as a pleasant, successful college student, but she’s a little quiet and reserved. She doesn’t have a boyfriend and doesn’t seem interested in dating. None of her friends knows that when Sara was sixteen, she got pregnant and had an abortion. She was desperate, and it seemed like the only way out. Five years later, she still thinks about the baby she might have had. She can’t imagine being a single mother at her age, and she’s relieved that she’s been able to get on with her life. But she still wonders about that child and still feels guilty about ending its life. She’s had a difficult time with her relationship with God. For a long time, she felt shame and sadness and felt that God was angry with her for what she did—in fact, for a long time she felt that God didn’t really want anything to do with her and would never forgive her for what she did. Things are much better between her and God these days, but she’s still not ready to get emotionally close or have sex with anyone else again—not only because she doesn’t want to disappoint God and make Him sad or she’s afraid of getting pregnant, but also because she doesn’t want to let anyone into her private, painful world. In a different way, Sara, too, is a survivor of abortion.
Both Joel and Sara will carry around life-long wounds related to their experiences with abortion.
What’s the Problem?
Few issues are more emotionally intense than the issue of abortion. For a woman who chooses to have an abortion, the decision is almost always a difficult one. The woman who makes this choice is facing an unwanted pregnancy; she may have little family support; she is often troubled about whether her choice is morally right or not. No doubt about it: abortion is a traumatic event.
The question of abortion raises hot debates and high emotions whenever it’s brought up—maybe even in your family, friends, church, school, or community.
By The Numbers
- Half of the pregnancies among American women are unintended, and about four in 10 of these ends in abortion.
- About half of American women will have an unintended pregnancy, and nearly 3 in 10 will have an abortion, by age 45.
- The overall U.S. unintended pregnancy rate increased slightly between 1994 and 2008, but unintended pregnancy increased 55% among poor women while decreasing 24% among higher-income women.
- Overall, the abortion rate decreased by 8% between 2000 and 2008, but abortion increased 18% among poor women while decreasing 28% among higher-income women.
- Some 1.06 million abortions were performed in 2011, down from 1.21 million abortions in 2008, a decline of 13%.
- Nine in 10 abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
- A broad cross-section of U.S. women have abortions:
- 58% are in their 20s;
- 61% have one or more children;
- 56% are unmarried and not cohabiting;
- 69% are economically disadvantaged; and
- 73% report a religious affiliation.
What You Need to Know
Abortion has always been part of human society. Before modern times and modern medicine, women who were faced with an unwanted pregnancy often used drugs or other means to try to bring on a miscarriage—a self-induced abortion. In the United States, the rate of abortions has risen since abortion became legal in 1973, but worldwide, women continue to seek abortions whether they’re legal or not.
RELATED ARTICLE: Abortion –A moral issue?
The vast majority of abortions are performed because a woman is faced with a pregnancy she does not want. She may feel she is too young, too poor, or too immature to raise a child. Her parents, husband or boyfriend, or friends may have pressured her into having an abortion. Or she may already have more children than she can cope with and feels unable to raise another. In some cases, abortion is performed because the mother is the victim of a rape or incest, or the unborn baby is known to be severely deformed. These cases, however, represent a very small percentage of all abortions.
What the Bible Says
The Bible does not directly address the issue of abortion at all. However, Christians who are pro-life point to many Bible texts which show that God places great value on all human life—even the life of the unborn:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16, NIV).
RELATED ARTICLE: Abortion, Darwin, and Grace
The fact that God said that we shouldn’t murder (Ex. 20: 13) is a vital commandment that you are breaking if you choose to have an abortion. Also, choosing to end the life of an unborn child can cause feelings of separation from God and feelings of guilt and shame.
God showed that He had plans for some of His people, such as Samson, John the Baptist, and Jesus Himself before they were ever born. Knowing this, it’s hard to believe that the unborn child is a “non-person,” an insignificant piece of human tissue. God’s Word supports the idea that human beings are precious and valuable to God even before they are born.
What the Church Says
The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists state:
Abortion, the intentional termination of an established pregnancy, is not morally acceptable for purposes of birth control.
Seventh-day Adventists have traditionally not been as outspoken as other conservative Christians in supporting the pro-life position. Our church does, however, teach that “prenatal life must not be thoughtlessly destroyed. Abortion should be performed only for the most serious reasons.” These reasons include:
- a threat to the pregnant woman’s life
- serious danger to the woman’s health
- severe defects diagnosed in the unborn child
- a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest
Our church does not condone abortions for reasons of:
- birth control (getting rid of an unwanted accidental pregnancy)
- gender selection (aborting a baby because you wanted a boy instead of a girl)
- convenience (it’s simply the easiest way out of the situation) 
However, Seventh-day Adventists have great respect for the personal freedom of individuals. We recognize that it’s wrong to either force a woman to have a child or to force a woman to have an abortion. Either one would be a threat to her personal freedom. This is why Seventh-day Adventists, as a denomination, have traditionally not been involved in calls to make abortion illegal. Individual Seventh-day Adventists can, of course, study the pro-life/pro-choice arguments for themselves and become involved in the issue according to their own conscience. But both the Bible and our church make it clear that human life, including prenatal human life, is something that God places great value on. That is why we do not advise women to have abortions for any but the most serious reasons.
RELATED ARTICLE: Abortion –History of Adventist Guidelines
What the World Says
Abortion is a “hot” issue for people around the world, including Christians. Many conservative Christians believe that abortion is murder—the murder of an unborn baby. Many churches and Christian groups work very hard to discourage women from having abortions and encourage governments to make (or keep) abortion illegal. People who hold these views are usually called “pro-life” and can often be seen on the news, protesting and picketing abortion clinics.
On the other hand, many people, including some Christians, believe that a woman has the right to choose an abortion if she believes that is the best option for her. These people, who believe abortion should be legal, are usually called “pro-choice.”
As we’ve just seen, our church does not tell its members whether they should be “pro-life” or “pro-choice” in the debate on abortion. This debate generally centers around whether or not abortion should be legal in your country.
What Can I Do?
As you consider the issues around abortion and decide what your view is, be aware that both pro-life and pro-choice forces agree that the best solution to the abortion problem is prevention. If there were no unwanted pregnancies, there would be no abortions. Some people will tell you that birth control is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies. In fact, every birth-control method has some rate of failure—except abstinence. Choosing to follow God’s plan for sex has a 100% success rate! God’s plan is for both men and women to wait until they’re married before having sex—and part of the reason for that is so babies will be born into committed families that are ready to care for them. Yes, having sex with protection is safer than having sex with no protection. But the best plan is God’s plan—a lifelong commitment to a family in the form of marriage—a family you can love and care for. When God says “Don’t!” What he’s really saying is “Don’t hurt yourself!”
RELATED ARTICLE: Saving Sex for Your Spouse
It’s My Problem!
So far, we’ve been talking about abortion as an abstract, political and moral issue—something you might debate in a middle-school, high-school, college classroom or Sabbath School. But what if the issue is real and personal for you? What if you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy? Or what if a good friend is pregnant and comes to you for advice? How do you know what to choose?
We’ve seen the biblical evidence: the unborn human life is valuable to God. Unless you’re in one of those rare situations where your life or your child’s life would be seriously endangered by continuing the pregnancy, abortion is not God’s best for you.
Let’s look at three better choices.
- Single Parenting
In many cultures, raising a child alone is becoming a more-and-more acceptable option. However, there is still a price to pay for choosing to raise your child alone—statistically, your family is more likely to live in poverty, and your children may face social and emotional difficulties. Also, the task of raising a child alone is tremendously difficult and exhausting for the parent who chooses to do so.
Still, this may be a good choice for you, if you have a strong network of family and community support to back you up. Be sure to seek counseling from your pastor, your doctor, or a professional counselor if you choose the challenging task of being a single parent.
It’s usually not a good idea to rush into a marriage just because a baby has been conceived. The reality is that if you’ve already made one mistake (getting pregnant before you’re married), it’s not wise to complicate matters with another mistake (getting married too young and before you’re ready). A stable, two-parent home is the best place to raise a child, but a hasty, poorly planned marriage will not create a stable home. However, if you are in a serious, committed relationship and have made the mistake of becoming sexually involved before you were ready to get married, you may want to think about marriage, now that a baby is on the way.
If marriage seems like it may be an option in your case, counsel carefully with your parents/legal guardians, pastor, and with a professional counselor. An unplanned pregnancy is not the ideal start to a marriage, but with God’s guidance and blessing, you can grow a strong Christian home.
Adoption, once a common choice for a mother whose baby was born out of wedlock, has now become much less frequent. As single parenting is more accepted in society, fewer mothers want to lose all contact with their children. But there are still thousands of loving, caring Christian couples wanting to adopt children—often because they are unable to have their own children. If you choose to have your child adopted, he or she has a better chance of being raised in a stable environment with parents who can support him or her financially, emotionally and spiritually.
If adoption seems like an attractive prospect to you, discuss the option carefully with your partner, your own family, your pastor, a professional counselor and your doctor. If you are interested in finding a Seventh-day Adventist home for your child, contact:
Christian Family Adoptions
- 6040 SE Belmont Street
- Portland, OR 97215
- Office: (503) 232-1211
- 1400 136th Ave. Suite 201
- Vancouver, WA 98684
- Office: (360) 816-1400
- Toll-Free: 1-866-238-3281
- E-mail: [email protected]
- Website: http://christianfamilyadoptions.org
Even if you’re facing an unwanted pregnancy and struggling with whether or not to have an abortion, remember that God hasn’t abandoned you. He still loves and cares about you deeply. He will not leave you to make this important decision alone, nor will He abandon you to deal with the consequences. Look for support from loving, nonjudgmental Christian family, friends, pastors and counselors. God brings caring people into our lives to help us through our difficulties.
For many women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy, abortion can seem like an easy solution–quick and confidential. But, you have time to slow down, take a breath, and get information. Before you make any decision about the outcome of your pregnancy, find out what your options really are and what each option can mean for you and your child, now and in the future. You [always] have the time to find out.
If abortion is your choice, you will want to ask your health provider about the risks and side effects that you may experience. Having that information can help you make an informed decision.
Emotional and psychological side effects are more common after an abortion than physical side effects. No one can predict what any one person will experience. Some women report a sense of relief where others report grief and sadness. Emotions after the fact can be related to an individual history of emotional, relational, or religious beliefs or experiences. For some women, they report being surprised by how much an abortion affected them.
So, slow down and get the answers that you need before you make any decision.
I recommend that you:
- Talk with trained professionals, your health care provider and a counselor who can answer your questions and talk with you about your circumstances and choices.
- Avoid isolating yourself so that you don’t live with a secret or try to face this alone. Stay connected to family and friends who can provide support to you.
- Consider how you thought about abortion before you found yourself facing an unplanned pregnancy.Having someone to talk to can really help you sort through your feelings.
- Avoid anyone who is pressuring you or trying to coerce you to do what they think is best, not what you want to do. The decision about your pregnancy is yours to make and you will have to live with that choice.
- Find someone who has also gone through an unplanned pregnancy or through the options that you are considering. Although your circumstances are different, it can help to hear about someone else’s experience and decision-making.
The ugly reality is that abortions come with lots of other potential unintended emotional consequences that are:
- Guilty feelings
- Sense of loneliness or isolation
- Loss of self-confidence
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Relationship issues
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings
- Eating disorders
Abortions can also be very dangerous for the mother and can lead to further physical problems in both her short and long-term future. These can include:
- Cervical, ovarian and liver cancer
- Uterine perforations
- Cervical lacerations
- Subsequent pre-term deliveries (not being able to have a baby until it’s ready to naturally be born)
- Handicapped newborns in later deliveries
- Ectopic pregnancies
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Long-term reproductive damage
Already Had an Abortion?
What if you’ve already had an abortion? While some young women are able to continue on as if nothing had happened after an abortion, many are tormented by guilt, shame, and regret and feel that they have committed an unpardonable sin, and God can never forgive them! This is completely untrue!
God has promised to forgive any and all sin if the person asking sincerely confesses their sin.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, NIV).
Real Life, Part Two
Joel and Sara met in the spring semester before Joel’s graduation. When a group of mutual friends at a cafeteria table got started discussing the subject of abortion, Joel was pretty opinionated. He didn’t explain why he thought abortion was so wrong, but he made his views clear. Sara didn’t say much—but near the end of the discussion, she turned to Joel. “You can’t say that,” she said. “Your mother made one choice, and you’re glad for that, but you don’t know what it’s like for a woman who makes a different choice. You have no idea what she might be going through.”
After dinner, Joel and Sara ended up walking across campus together. They barely knew each other, but Joel was intrigued by this quiet girl and the emotion she’d shown in their brief conversation. He asked her out, and somewhat to her own surprise, Sara accepted.
RELATED ARTICLE: Why God Doesn’t Define You by Your Mistakes
Joel and Sara dated awhile before he finally asked her what lay behind that statement she’d made about abortion. Eventually, they both shared their stories and talked through their different viewpoints. By that time, they were serious about each other. But when the subject of sex came up, they knew that even though they were adults, the answer was “No”—for now. Sara never wanted to be hurt again like she’d been before and feel as if she was disappointing God and making Him sad. And Joel could never risk leaving the woman he loved alone with a baby, as his father had done to his mom.
A year later, Joel and Sara were married. They struggled at first, with both of them in university, but the struggle was worth it once they were both out of school, earning money and ready to start a family. On the day Joel and Sara first held Baby Elizabeth in their arms, they were overwhelmed with gratitude to God. “This is what having a baby was meant to be like,” Sara whispered, “All of us together—depending on God. I know we’ll make it.”
Choose God First, Last & Best
This entire issue of abortion is just another way that humanity has decided to rebel against God and worship a lie instead of the truth (see Rom. 1:18-32). So how do we need to make sure that we ultimately keep God’s first commandment:
‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (Ex. 20:3, NIV).
If we place our focus on daily consciously choosing to serve and worship God first, last & best—regardless of what comes our way, then we can be sure that we won’t worship ourselves.
Related Article: How to Let Go of the Past that is Holding You Back!
If you want to make an informed decision on this issue, think about some of the questions below:
- Do I truly believe what God has to say about the value of life?
- Do I truly want to respect God’s opinion and obey His views on the value of life?
- When do I believe life begins: at conception, at birth, or at the point where a fetus (unborn baby) could live outside the womb if it were born?
- Which is more important—a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, or the right of the unborn baby to live? What can we do when these rights conflict with each other?
- If the government outlaws abortion, is it interfering in people’s right to make moral decisions?
- If you had a friend who came to you and told you that she was pregnant or that he had gotten someone pregnant, what would you do? What should you do? Is this the kind of secret that it’s ever OK to keep?
- If you, or your girlfriend or your sister was pregnant before they got married, what would you do?
- Pastor Chip Ingram, presentation on Abortion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXW3U2EY0F8
- Bethany Christian Services: Toll-free Crisis Line: 1-800-BETHANY http://www.bethany.org/main/pregnancy-resources/abortion
- Focus on the Family’s Pregnancy Centers Initiative: http://www.heartlink.org
- Focus on the Family’s Adoption Initiative: http://icareaboutorphans.org
- Family Life Podcast: Childbirth Joy, Abortion Pain: http://www.familylife.com/audio/topics/life-issues/relationships/women/fltw-20130119-childbirth-joy–abortion-pain#.VNPhm1bfxoE
- Family Life Podcast: October Baby: http://www.familylife.com/audio/series/series-featured-in-2012/october-baby
- Movie: October Baby: http://octoberbabymovie.net/themovie
- Movie: Sarah’s Choice: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392996/
- Book: Healing After Abortion http://astore.amazon.com/cceforg-20/detail/1934885517
 Downloaded on June 9, 2019, from https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/tv/netflix-says-it-will-team-aclu-fight-against-georgia-abortion-n1010921
 Downloaded on June 9, 2019, from https://marchforlife.org/mother-teresa-favorite-quotes/
 Accessed on February 5, 2015, from https://www.guttmacher.org/media/presskits/abortion-US/statsandfacts.html
 Accessed on February 6, 2015, from http://www.adventist.org/information/official-statements/statements/article/go/0/birth-control/42/
 Accessed on February 6, 2015, from http://www.adventist.org/fileadmin/adventist.org/files/articles/official-statements/Statements-2010-english.pdf, pp. 134, 135.
 Accessed on February 5, 2015, from http://www.bethany.org/main/pregnancy-resources/abortion
 Accessed on February 6, 2015, from http://americanpregnancy.org/unplanned-pregnancy/abortion-emotional-effects/
 Accessed on February 6, 2015, from http://afterabortion.org/1999/abortion-risks-a-list-of-major-physical-complications-related-to-abortion/