According to the World Health Organization, 73 million induced abortions take place each year. That’s 3/10 of ALL pregnancies. 1
The Guttmacher Institute reports that 74% of women who opt for an abortion do it because “having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents” while 73% stated that they could not afford a baby. Forty eight percent mentioned that they did not want to be a single mother or that they were having relationship problems. 2
When Does Life Begin? What Science Shows Us!
Once the sperm enters the egg, the genetic material contained within the sperm spreads out. A new membrane then forms around the genetic material, creating what is referred to as the male pronucleus. Twenty-three chromosomes—the genetic material from the father—emerges within this newly formed cell. 3
Meanwhile, due to the sperm cell entering the egg, the female genetic material finishes dividing. This process results in the female pronucleus being formed. Like the male pronucleus, the female pronucleus also contains 23 chromosomes. 3
As the male and female pronuclei form, thread-like material pull them towards each other. The chromosomes then join together, forming what’s referred to as a “zygote.” Everything from gender to hair color is set at this very moment! The process of fertilization is now complete. 3
This newly formed zygote is a separate entity that, given the right environment, in nine months, will result in the birth of a fully developed human baby. Clearly, life begins once the zygote is formed!
It is worth noting that pregnancy tests cannot detect the formation of a zygote this early. Detecting pregnancy is dependent upon finding the hCG hormone in either the blood or urine of the mother. This hormone cannot be detected until 6-12 days after fertilization has taken place. 4 Life literally begins before we even know it! Terminating the life of a zygote is terminating human life itself.
The abortion debate, therefore, is not a debate over when life begins but rather, it is a debate about when personhood begins! Consider, plants are also “alive” but no human-being on earth would argue that it is not OK to kill plants. After all, our lives depend on it. We must ingest plant-life in order for our bodies to be sustained. So, then, is it OK to terminate a human life?
When Does Personhood Begin? What the Bible Reveals!
Psalm 139:13-16 For You have possessed my reins: You have covered me in my mother’s womb. (14) I will praise You; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] Your works; and [that] my soul knows right well. (15) My substance was not hid from You, when I was made in secret, [and] curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Your eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Your book all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them.
- Notice that the psalmist uses the pronoun “me” when referring to himself in his mother’s womb. The Bible makes plain that personhood begins in the womb! Although the verse does not specify when in the womb personhood begins, since we cannot be sure, abortion must be avoided at all costs!
- The only case in which abortion would be acceptable is if it was to save the life of the mother. These cases, however, would be extremely rare! Alan Guttmacher, former president of Planned Parenthood, said, “Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal disease such as cancer or leukemia, and if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save the life.” 5
Now, notice in Isaiah 44:24 and Job 31:15 that God says that He is involved with forming every human being in the womb:
“Thus says the Eternal, your redeemer, and He that formed you from the womb, I [am] the Eternal that makes all [things]; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by Myself.” (Isaiah 44:24)
“Did not He that made me in the womb make him? and did not One fashion us in the womb?” (Job 31:15)
Finally, note that there are also examples in the Bible that show that God separated some individuals from their mother’s wombs for a great purpose! Just imagine if the mother’s of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the apostle Paul had decided upon getting an abortion.
Isaiah 49:1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, you people, from far; The Eternal has called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother has He made mention of my name.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 Then the word of the Eternal came unto me, saying, (5) “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you, [and] I ordained you a prophet unto the nations.”
Galatians 1:15-16 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called [me] by his grace, (16) To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
- “Abortion.” World Health Organization, 2021, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/abortion
- Lawrence B. Finer, Lori F. Frohwirth, Lindsay A. Dauphinee, Susheela Singh, Ann M. Moore. “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives.” Guttmacher Institute, 2005, https://www.guttmacher.org/journals/psrh/2005/reasons-us-women-have-abortions-quantitative-and-qualitative-perspectives
- Nucleus Medical Media. “Fertilization.” YouTube, 2013, https://youtu.be/_5OvgQW6FG4
- Amos Grünebaum. “How Early Can Pregnancy Be Detected?” babyMed, 2019, https://www.babymed.com/pregnancy-tests/how-early-can-pregnancy-be-detected-with-a-test#
- Alan Guttmacher. “Abortion Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” The Case for Legalized Abortion Now (Berkeley, California: Diablo Books), 1967, page 3.