Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
June 28, 1997
Last Updated :
March 19, 2009
Unique Situations And Abortion, God's Mercy And Compassion, Liberal Entertainment Industry And A Super Sexed Up Society, Sexual Violence: Victims Of Traumatic Rape And Child Incest, Life-Threatening Decisions, Rape And Incest Do Not Justify Abortion, Our Sick Society & Free Will, Right Over Her Body, A Mother's Love, Adoption A Last Resort, Abortionist Tactic, Botox And Hollywood Movie Star Look, Dressing Provocatively, The Powerful Male Libido, Disciplining Our Minds And Bodies, Look But Don't Touch, Societal Boundaries, God's Law Of Love, Ectopic / Tubal Pregnancies And Female Reproductive Anatomy, My Position Regarding Abortion And Pregnancy Complications, Complex Conflict Between Personal Faith And Modern Medicine, Recognizing The Limits Of Our Faith, My Personal Experiences, God's Will And Intervention, Free Will, Love And Conception
It should be very obvious to you, the reader, by now, that I possess very strong feelings regarding the issues of birth control and abortion. I have arrived at my conclusions after years of serious contemplation, and I have strived to examine these issues from different angles, in order that I might be able to present a well-rounded discussion via this series. In order to make this discussion complete, there are still a few more issues which we must examine. One question which we have yet to address is the following: Is it possible that certain unique situations may exist where abortion may be permissible in God's eyes? In other words, do situations exist where God might be willing to extend His mercy, be more understanding of our condition, and even overlook our human frailties, even if those situations are a result of our own mistakes or maybe the mistakes of others? As I have always taught, our God is a God of love, patience and mercy, and not just a God of wrath as some critics like to assume. I am reminded of these Bible verses:
"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23, KJV
"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust."
Psalms 103:13-14, KJV
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
2 Peter 3:9, KJV
In thinking about the previous questions, the first unique situation which comes into my mind involves the atrocities that are committed against women who are victims of sexual violence and abuse. In many parts of the world, incest and rape have become a serious problem as individuals seek to fulfill their sexual fantasies and desires. This problem is not helped in the least by a liberal entertainment industry which does everything in its power to glamorize sexuality, as if it is the most important thing in life, when it most certainly isn't. But regardless, this constant pumping out of sexual fare only serves to awaken our basest instincts. From movies, to magazines, to videos, to online porn sites, to mass emails, to television, it seems that raw sexuality is thrown in our faces at every opportunity. As a result of this never-ending stream of hyper-sex, we now have people who want to look good, feel sexy, and be sexy, even with young girls and women who aren't the least bit interested in their sexual advances. We've created a super sexed up society.
Some people, even Christians, have suggested that under such traumatic conditions, that is, rape and incest, where a baby is conceived without a woman's will or consent, and where a woman is stripped not only of her clothes, but also of her dignity, abortion might be a justifiable option. The people who favor abortion in these types of cases insist that it is unfair to force a young girl or woman to endure a pregnancy which wasn't the result of a true act of love, but rather a violent act of bestial pleasure. Young girls and women who are victimized in this way often feel humiliated, dirty and ashamed, even though they realize that the attack was not actually their fault, at least in some cases.
While I am not a woman, I do understand how carrying such a child in her womb for nine months can be a constant, dreadful, and even traumatic reminder of the horrible experience which she was forced to endure. I also realize that as a result of this unwanted act which was forced upon her, the woman, and possibly even her family, might even despise giving birth to, and having to raise, such a child. As we have already seen, some abortion advocates remind us that the unborn child, who is the most innocent victim of all, may be forced to live in a negative, unloving environment because of conditions which were beyond their control at the time of their conception. In light of these factors, abortionists argue that abortion is an acceptable alternative to forcing the girl or woman, and the unborn child, to needlessly suffer emotionally, or in other ways.
As I noted earlier, I pondered this issue in my heart for a number of years. I was forced to ask myself if the same rules apply when a woman's free will is abrogated through such acts of sexual violence. As I point out in several of my articles, free will is a right that is given to us by our Creator; so I had to question if God would judge a woman the same when she considers abortion, not as a matter of personal convenience, but rather as a result of having been a victim of rape, or in the case of a young girl, perhaps a victim of incest. If we look at these issues squarely in the eye, then we are forced to recognize that when a woman or a young girl is raped, she really only has one of two choices: either she can submit to her attacker and let him have his way with her, and hopefully save her life, or else she can choose to struggle and resist, and possibly end up dead.
That would be a very tough decision for any woman or girl to have to make, and she won't have very much time in which to make it: "Do I fight for my dear life to protect my honor and possibly die here, or do I submit and let this jerk have his way with me?" If you were in such a situation, what would you do? What if you have a loving family at home who needs you? What if you have children who need their mother? How would this factor affect your reactions to a rapist? Tragically, even if a woman does not resist, she could still die if the assailant is sufficiently scared and desperate. It is really a risky situation regardless of which choice she makes; and no matter how we choose to look at it, she is going to pay a price one way or the other. If she isn't killed, the attack will leave her scarred for life, and she may end up pregnant as well. Her life will simply never be the same.
Obviously, I can't provide a definitive, one hundred per cent conclusive answer regarding how God views the abortion option when it involves cases of rape and incest, because no human truly knows the full mind of God. However, what we can do, as we have been doing throughout this series, is to make our own personal decision regarding these issues, based upon what we do know from the Scriptures. When I first began my own journey regarding abortion years ago, I concluded that sexual assault might possibly represent a valid exception to the prohibition to abortion rule; however, since then, I have become persuaded that this argument reveals itself to be flawed when we expose it to the light of God's Word. So reiterating a point that I made earlier, one selfish act of violence -- such as rape or incest -- doesn't justify an even worse act of violence; that is, slaughtering a defenseless, innocent, unborn child in the early stages of its development, through a cold-hearted act of abortion.
I obviously do not believe that young girls and women being subjected to rape or incest occurs by the Will of God. These things occur as a result of our sick, sinful society, and the fact that we each possess free will. If God were to somehow intervene in order to prevent sexual assaults from occurring, it would in essence deprive us of our free will. Yet at the same time, neither do I believe that if a pregnancy results from such a sexual attack, that it is the Lord's Will that the developing child be slaughtered through a merciless act of abortion. Two wrongs simply do not make a right. While a child may not have been conceived under ideal conditions, and in fact may have been conceived under horrific conditions, it still does not give anyone the right to destroy it, not even its mother. That is where her rights over her own body end. She did not create that life. She was just the vehicle of its creation. That new life belongs to God. He gave it a spark of His Spirit.
Having said that, I firmly believe that every effort should be made to try to convince a rape or incest victim to carry out her pregnancy. If enough emotional support is provided, who knows, perhaps as the months go by, the Lord will work on that girl's or woman's heart, so that she is willing to accept the role of motherhood, in spite of the fact that she was a victim of a terrible assault against her body. It may not be easy for her at first, and may in fact be emotionally very stressful, but God is capable of healing her wounds if she will allow Him to do so. Furthermore, when she finally sees her baby for the first time, maybe the child will just melt her heart and make her decide to keep it. Surely no one can love a child as much as their own mother who labored to bring them into this world. Even if the mother still chooses to surrender the baby for adoption, at least the child will have been given a chance at life, instead of being callously slaughtered by an abortionist.
In closing my argument regarding this particular issue, let me remind you again that, as we saw in part three, only one per cent of all abortions are attributed to rape and incest; and we can't even really be certain how valid this figure is, because some young girls and women will in fact lie when it comes to the true circumstances surrounding their pregnancy, just to facilitate their obtaining the abortion. It seems to me, then, that highlighting these two issues is just another tactic that the abortionist camp likes to use in their quest to keep abortion legal. They obviously realize that if they push these sensitive issues in our face, more people will be inclined to be sympathetic towards abortion.
As we have already seen, in many sexual assault cases, women are the victims of unbridled sexual desire. Sadly, however, there are cases where the woman must be willing to accept at least some of the blame. As I said, we live in an age where we are constantly reminded that we must feel good, look good and act sexy. Modern technology has given us breast implants, tummy tucks, nose jobs, Botox treatments and other things as a means to achieve this worldly pursuit, and many women, and men, have embraced it. However, this vain desire to look like movie stars can have very negative consequences if we are not careful. For example, in the case of sexual assault, how many times have we heard someone say, or possibly even thought to ourselves, "Ah, just look at how she dresses. She must have been asking for it".
As we all know, the plain truth is that a lot of modern women enjoy dressing in a very provocative manner. Such women claim that they have a right to dress as they please, and that they do it because it makes them feel good about themselves, and lifts their ego. These women who "flaunt their stuff" and who "dress to kill" need to wake up and realize that if they want to send out those kinds of signals, then they are asking for trouble, because men are not made of stone.
Considering then how some women dress, as well as the barrage of sex-related influences which bombard our senses on a daily basis, and the general sexed up society in which we currently live, is it really any wonder that some males finally reach a point where their thoughts and sexual desires are translated into physical actions, resulting in cases of rape and incest? This is not to excuse them for their selfish actions by any means, but some women are surely to blame as well. They need to exercise wisdom in deciding when, where and with whom to dress in a certain manner. Doing this will help them to avoid unnecessary problems, and possibly even save their life. This is particularly true in large cities inhabited by hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people, where it's much easier to hide from the law.
If a woman chooses to dress "hot" and sends out signals that she is "hot", some men will automatically assume that she is looking for someone to cool her down, and they will oblige, whether that is really the woman's intention or not. God has endowed males with some very powerful emotions and hormonal reactions which we must deal with every time that we behold a beautiful woman. While the majority of men are capable of dealing with these powerful emotional and sexual urges in an appropriate manner, other men just don't know how to keep themselves in check. The Bible refers to this as having rule over our own spirits, and the Apostle Paul tells us that we must keep both our mind and body under subjection. In other words, we must discipline both our mind and body, as we see by these verses:
"He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."
Proverbs 25:28, KJV
"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
1 Corinthians 9:27, KJV
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
2 Corinthians 10:5, KJV
I'm a regular guy; I enjoy looking at a pretty woman just as much as the next fellow; but it is in adopting the policy of discreetly looking, but not touching, that we can all avoid a lot of difficulties. God obviously made women to be beautiful and attractive to men, so I see absolutely nothing wrong with admiring what He has seen fit to create for His, as well as men's pleasure. However, it is in recognizing the boundaries where we will all do well. Most societies, regardless of how primitive they may be, have established some system of social boundaries. If we pass those boundaries, then we must expect to pay the consequences. In their most simplest form, most of man's universal laws are merely a reflection of God's primary and all-encompassing Law of Love, and doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. We shouldn't do anything which will harm another person in any way.
Having now examined rape and incest, do any other situations exist where abortion might be warranted, and even justified? What about a woman whose life is threatened by complications during her pregnancy? One example involves what is referred to as an ectopic pregnancy. This form of pregnancy results when a fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than the wall of a woman's uterus. This kind of pregnancy, which is rare, usually occurs in the Fallopian tubes. Also known as oviducts, uterine tubes or salpinges, the Fallopian tubes are four minute, cilia-lined tubes, (one left pair and one right pair), which carry the ovum, or eggs, from a woman's left and right ovaries to her uterus, where they can then be fertilized by the male's sperm. When a pregnancy occurs in the Fallopian tubes, it is referred to as a tubal pregnancy.
About ninety-eight per cent of all ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tubes. However, please note that ectopic pregnancies can also occur in other areas; such as in the cervix, (the narrow neck that is located between the uterus and the vagina), in one of the ovaries, or in the abdomen.
Regardless of where an ectopic pregnancy occurs, it's viewed as a medical emergency, because unless it is discovered in time, and treated properly, it could possibly result in the death of the expectant mother. This is because a developing fetus produces certain types of enzymes which allow it to implant itself in different kinds of tissues. If, as occurs in ectopic pregnancies, the embryo implants itself anywhere other than the uterine wall, it can result in tissue damage, particularly to the surrounding blood vessels, as the embryo strives to find a sufficient source of blood. The damage can result in internal bleeding. In about 50% of cases, ectopic pregnancies can resolve themselves without medical treatment. This is because the intratubal bleeding serves to expel the implanted embryo in a process referred to medically as a tubal abortion.
In cases where an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed late, and the intratubal bleeding becomes heavy, or where a Fallopian tube is in danger of rupturing, or has already ruptured, quick medical treatment is required, as these conditions can threaten a woman's health or life. One approach is to use the abortion-inducing drugs Methotrexate and Misoprostol to expel the fetus. In more serious cases, surgery is required. Depending on where the ectopic pregnancy occurs, and when it is first discovered, it leaves ten to fifteen per cent of women infertile due to damage to the Fallopian tubes or to the ovaries, or due to necessary removal of the same. In the case of abdominal pregnancies, sometimes other organs may need to be removed as well. It should likewise be noted that death due to rupture of the Fallopian tube is rare in cases where women have access to modern medical facilities, so timely discovery and accessibility is extremely important.
As I noted earlier, ectopic pregnancies are rare, occurring in about one per cent of all pregnant women. Of those one per cent, ninety-eight per cent are tubal pregnancies. We've also seen that half of all tubal pregnancies are self-correcting, meaning that a woman's body often expels the embryo when it attaches itself in the wrong place. While some women mistake this for a miscarriage, in the medical profession, this is actually known as a tubal abortion. The general consensus is that all ectopic pregnancies should be terminated before they become a serious health threat. However, it should be noted that there have been a few rare cases where both mother and child have survived such pregnancies. In fact, according to my research, in recent years, one woman even gave birth to triplets through surgery.
In light of the above information, what position should we adopt concerning abortion, when it involves emergencies such as ectopic pregnancies? Are ectopic pregnancies a justifiable reason for undergoing an abortion? Obviously, this is clearly a question which must be answered on an individual, personal basis. You can't answer it for me, nor I for you. As much as I personally detest abortion, after serious consideration, I was forced to come to the following conclusion. If it can be medically proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that a woman's life will be in jeopardy if she continues to carry a child, or if her life is already in jeopardy due to complications with her pregnancy, then this is one case where I would have to agree that abortion may be a justifiable option. In fact, this is the only case where I can see that abortion might be a justifiable option. Short of a woman's life being in real danger, as verified by an honest physician, I don't see any other valid reason for ever considering abortion.
My reasons for adopting this position are the following. As I explained earlier, if a woman has a family who needs her, that is, a husband and children, then this is a case where the needs of the many may possibly outweigh the needs of the one; that is, the unborn fetus. God has already given this woman a husband, and possibly other children to care for. If this is the case, is it right for her to sacrifice her life, and jeopardize the needs of her family, in order to try to live up to a personal moral standard, or possibly to meet the expectations of her church? In a life-threatening situation such as an ectopic pregnancy, we need to ask ourselves which takes precedence; the life of the mother, or the life of the developing fetus. The central question is which decision will accomplish the greatest good. If a woman refuses to undergo an abortion, it is possible that both she and the fetus will die. No good can come from such a decision. Two lives may be lost, and the remaining family will suffer as well due to the loss of their wife and mother.
The Bible plainly teaches us "Thou shalt not kill"; so from a Scriptural perspective, we could conclude that in the case of a Christian woman, she was willing to sacrifice her own life rather than kill the unborn fetus. On the surface, such an act may appear to be a noble gesture; however, if medical technology is available which can save her life, and if the woman refuses to avail herself of it, indirectly, is she not really killing herself, and committing an act of suicide? Is it possible that her religious convictions are clouding her common sense? Is it not better to save one life, rather than to lose both?
As I said, these are difficult questions which we must answer on a personal basis. In my case, I concluded that unless the woman has a great deal of faith, and is thoroughly convinced that God is going to perform a miracle by saving her life, as well as the life of the unborn child, then regardless of how distasteful it may be, an abortion may be the more pragmatic option in a case involving an ectopic pregnancy. In my view, it is better that the woman survives in order to care for her family. Not only that, but unless she suffers internal damage as a result of having an ectopic pregnancy, she may very well have other opportunities to bear children at a later date. On the other hand, if the woman dies due to complications which arise from her ectopic pregnancy, and if they are newly-weds, the husband will be left without any children whatsoever.
The conflict between personal faith and medicine is complex. It would be great if we all had the faith to effect miracles in our lives, but the truth of the matter is that most of us don't possess that kind of faith; so when it comes to hard choices such as ectopic pregnancies and abortion, we have to come to terms with ourselves and recognize the limits of our faith, and do what is both lawful and pragmatic, even if it means relying upon a medical procedure that we normally find utterly repulsive.
It is a humbling experience to recognize that we don't have the faith that we thought we had. In my own life I have been faced with this reality on a number of occasions. The most recent incident occurred more than seven years ago when my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Believe me, I prayed desperately that God would deliver my child from her affliction. It tore me up inside every time my little girl had to undergo a blood test or receive an insulin injection. The idea of her having to endure up to five blood tests per day, plus two or more insulin injections a day for the rest of her life was a heavy emotional burden on me. Why was God allowing my daughter to be afflicted in this way? Surely it was not her fault. After all, she was just a child. Were my sins so grievous that the Lord chose to punish me through my daughter? Had I done something wrong in caring for her which has caused her body to turn on itself?
I was flooded with questions, emotions and guilt. I begged the Lord to heal my daughter, but it never happened. In the end, I realized that my faith was not enough, and that God must have some reason for allowing this to happen to us; but to this day, I am still not certain what that reason is. Am I still plagued by guilt? To be honest, even though several doctors have told us that there is nothing that I could have done to prevent my daughter from getting Type 1 Diabetes, I must admit that, yes, at times, I still do feel the guilt. I wonder if I am being punished for my sins. After all, as we are told in God's Word:
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23, KJV
"For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men . . . Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good? Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD."
Lamentations 3:33, 38-40, KJV
But the main point I wish to emphasize here is that if my daughter was to remain alive, we had no choice but to rely upon modern medicine. Legally, as well as medically, there was no other option. In my personal life, I have refused to take medicines for many years. I won't even take something for a migraine headache unless it is really severe. I would rather endure the pain until it subsides. It is not just a matter of personal religious convictions as you may possibly think; but rather the fact that I simply do not like to put artificial chemicals in my body. Only God knows what they do to us, particularly substances such as antibiotics which do good on one hand, while doing harm on the other. I've taught my daughter the same views, so maybe you can understand how profoundly the discovery, almost eight years ago, that she is a Type 1 diabetic, affected our lives.
Imagine if I had continued to convince myself that I had the faith, and that it was just a matter of time before the Lord would heal my daughter of her diabetes. Even worse, imagine if I had decided, based upon my personal faith, to withhold insulin injections from my daughter. Of course, I never did this, or even considered it, but if I had, she might be dead today, and I might be in jail. So my point is that we need to recognize the limits of our faith, and act accordingly. To do otherwise is simply to be motivated by our pride. It is also foolish and dangerous, particularly when it involves the life of another person. Which is better, to seek medical attention and save a person's life, or pretend to have faith and end up in jail as a result of contributing to a person's death through inaction?
In spite of what I've stated previously, there will no doubt be some Christians who will continue to argue that we should simply trust the Lord concerning situations such as ectopic pregnancies. Fundamentalists may insist that it is better to die trusting the Lord than to rely upon modern medicine, and that if the woman became pregnant, then it must have been by God's Will. For me personally, this line of thought leads to other difficulties, some of which I have not yet been able to resolve for myself, even after so many years of embracing the Christian faith. For example, where does God's Will and Intervention end, and human free will begin? Where does God's Will end, and normal, human biological reproductive functions begin?
As I mentioned earlier, when a young girl or woman is raped and she becomes pregnant, I have a difficult time accepting that it occurred by the Will of God. That baby is the result of a brutal act of selfish pleasure. It did not involve the woman's will, or much less God's Will. Previously, I clearly explained that I believe that human conception occurs by the Will of God, and that it is not just a biological function. So am I now contradicting myself and reversing my previous position? Before answering, please consider the following explanation.
While I do believe that conception involves the Will of God, that is only a part of the overall equation. In my opinion, there is another condition which must first be met, in order to determine if a pregnancy has really occurred by the Will of God; and that is that the unborn child must have resulted from two individuals who engaged in a mutual, loving, sexual relationship. Love is a primary requisite, because the Bible tells us that God is love. In short, God blesses a mutual sexual union which is motivated by genuine love. Obviously, one-night-stands, casual sex, rape and incest do not qualify. While one-night-stands and casual sex may be a mutual act, they certainly don't involve real love. It is either lust or mere infatuation.
So I've considered the possibility that some pregnancies may occur by the Will of God, while others do not. Clear Biblical examples include the births of Isaac, Samson, and, of course, Jesus. These were obvious miraculous births which occurred in contradiction to our understanding of human conception. They required Divine Intervention. I'm not suggesting that a child must be miraculously conceived in order for a pregnancy to be viewed as the Will of God. As I said, if a pregnancy is the result of a mutual, loving sexual relationship, then it may very well have occurred by God's Will. Picture a triangle in which the man is at the bottom left corner, the woman is at the bottom right corner, and God is at the apex. When they are united by love, and their wills are in unity with each other and with God, it may result in a conception.
So what about all of the other pregnancies that occur in the world which are not the result of a genuine act of love? As with many things in this life, I posit that they occur, not necessarily because they are the explicit, perfect Will of God, but simply because the Lord has endowed each one of us with free will. In other words, God has stepped back a bit, and allowed each of us to make our own decisions, including with whom to engage in sexual intercourse. The pregnancies which result from such encounters are thus the normal fruit of human sexual intercourse and human biological processes, whether real love is present or not. The Lord set the human reproductive machine in motion in the Book of Genesis when He first said "Be fruitful and multiply", and we are witnessing the result of that commandment to this day.
As I explain in other articles, I also believe that the Lord has chosen not to interfere for a time, so that we humans can learn some valuable lessons through our own poor decisions and actions. Life is a school, and God is the Schoolmaster.
Returning to the issue of ectopic pregnancies and abortion, if we accept the view that everything comes from the Hand of God, as opposed to the belief that some things occur as a result of our own choices, and not necessarily because God willed them to happen, then we are confronted with a rather serious dilemma. Are we to believe that it is God's Will for a woman to become pregnant, to then develop life-threatening complications, such as a tubal pregnancy, and then for her family to watch her die? I certainly believe that God knows what is best for us, but I am not convinced that this is the manner in which He operates. Free will has to take over at some point. To know your wife may die if she continues with the pregnancy, and not do anything about it, is waiving your right to free will. Of course, some people may argue that in choosing to trust the Lord, they have exercised free will.
Personally, however, I don't think that I would make the same decision if I were in that position. As I said, the Lord has given us a mind to make own own choices. In a situation such as I have just described, He expects us to decide what is the best course of action to take. In this case, as I explained earlier, I believe that it is better to try to save one life, than to lose both. After all, God is in the habit of creating life and saving life, not destroying it. If the Lord wants to take a Christian woman Home, I am sure that He can find a lot easier way to do it than to allow her to become pregnant with another life, which then threatens her own life, and then take both of them Home. This sounds illogical to me. So, to reiterate, as much as I detest abortion, this is one case where I might be willing to accept it, and only in this case.
Please go to part eight for the conclusion of this series.
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