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Updated: Apr 23

BY Steve McGill

Recently, a statement from one of the presidential nominees stirred up much debate. He said abortion policy is “all about the will of the people” and that “now it’s up to the states to do the right thing.” Many agree with this sentiment. Others feel that geography should not predict whether you live or die in our country. And this touches on the beating heart of the matter: whether having existed for one moment or for nine months, the unborn child is a living human, and the murder of a human is illegal in every state, no matter what the age of the victim and no matter where the murder occurs. 

Why has the abortion issue been debated for so long? Could it be that it’s because the life that hangs in the balance is not yet seen? If so, this would justify the taking of human life by a blind person. Could it be that it’s because the developing human is not fully developed? If so, this would justify the taking of the life of the prematurely born infant—“If it ain’t nine months, kill it if you wish.” Or could it be that the debate continues simply because we’ve lost touch with what once were core tenants in a civil society. Tenants that could be summarized in one crucial statement: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But then, if you don’t believe that an unborn human is an “other,” that statement becomes a moot point.

In fact, the unborn are “others.” God told Jeremiah the prophet that “Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came out of the womb, I sanctified you.” In other words, before Jeremiah even existed in the womb, God somehow knew him, and before Jeremiah was fully formed and born, God sanctified him. Jeremiah’s sanctification would not have been possible had he not been an “other.” By definition, when one is referred to as “you,” one is acknowledged as an “other.” When we speak with our children about experiences of them before their birth, we use the word “you.” “YOU moved in my belly and I was amazed.” “I thought a lot about what I was going to name YOU.” “I got more and more excited as YOU grew in my stomach.”

The unborn can only be considered “others” when considering that every unborn child exists as God’s child. The writer of the Psalms said, “I was cast upon you from the womb: you are my God from my mother’s belly.” If you believe that every human life is a gift of God, you are agreeing that the taking of a human life at any point in its existence is taking on the role of God. As the book of Job states: “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.” In this passage, Job was referring specifically to birth and death. 

God epitomized the mandate for us to “do unto others” when He gave his only son to take our place on a cross. And in doing so, He offers us forgiveness . . . even if we’ve recklessly taken on His role by taking the life of the unborn. We see this in Colossians 2:13-14: “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” 

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