Prayer For Women Planning An Abortion
Pregnancy: Unplanned Pregnancy – About Abortion
For lots of reasons, teens may have an unplanned pregnancy. Depending on a young woman’s beliefs and resources, she may choose to carry the pregnancy to term and keep her baby, place her baby up for adoption, or have an abortion (before 20 weeks).
Terminating a pregnancy is often an emotional and complex decision for a woman at any age. If a young woman has an unplanned pregnancy in the US (or many other countries) she has a legal right to decide to have a safe termination of the pregnancy, an abortion.
Since 1973 abortion has been an option in the US for women of all ages. However, if she is under 18, depending on the laws in her state, she may need to obtain one or both of her parents’ or legal guardian’s permission or a judge’s approval.
In some states she may be excused, if she was the victim of sexual assault. For more information about different state laws regarding abortion, see the Planned Parenthood website.
There are different reasons why someone might think about having an abortion:
- The pregnancy wasn’t planned
- The pregnancy is harmful to the mother’s health
- The pregnancy is the result of rape
- The fetus may have a birth defect
What are the options for a woman who has an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy?
There are many things to think about before having an abortion. If a young woman decides that an abortion is the right decision for her, the next thing she’ll need to think about are her options; whether she wants to have a:
- Medical abortion (take the “abortion pill”)
- Surgical abortion (a procedure)
What is a medical abortion?
A medical abortion involves taking a prescription medicine called “Mifepristone” which is also called the “abortion pill”. The pill is used to end an early pregnancy. It works by blocking progesterone, the hormone that builds up the lining of a women’s uterus (womb) during pregnancy.
Without progesterone, the lining of the uterus is unable to hold a pregnancy. As the lining of the uterus breaks down, bleeding occurs. The abortion pill is very effective. It works about 96-98% of the time if a woman is 8 weeks pregnant or less. If taken between 8-10 weeks of pregnancy, it is about 93% effective.
If the abortion pill doesn’t work a surgical abortion may be suggested.
Other facts about taking the abortion pill:
- The first pill is usually taken in a doctor’s office or a clinic – (this is when the termination begins)
- The second pill should be taken at home – you’ll need to make plans to have someone stay with you. The medicine in this pill is called Misoprostol, and it will cause vaginal bleeding (similar to a period) and cramping which usually lasts a few hours.
- Bleeding can be light-heavy with or without clots and it can feel a regular period or a miscarriage
- It is also common to feel dizzy, nauseous (sick to your stomach), and/or have diarrhea or loose stools
Is the medical abortion safe?
A medical abortion is considered safe; however, when taking any medication there’s always the possibility of having a reaction. In just a small percent of the time, the abortion pill is not effective. If it doesn’t work, the pregnancy will need to be terminated by a surgical abortion.
Rarely, someone may have: an allergic reaction to the pills, heavy bleeding, or infection. It’s also possible but rare to have an incomplete abortion (this is when some of the tissue is left behind in the womb) or an undetected pregnancy outside of the womb (ectopic pregnancy).
Very rarely, a complication can be fatal.
There are some reasons why the abortion pill may not be the right choice for you.
You should not take the abortion pill if:
- You are not sure that you want to terminate the pregnancy
- You are more than 9 weeks pregnant
- You don’t plan on taking the 2nd dose
- You can’t keep your follow-up appointment with your doctor
- You do NOT have a phone and ride to and from the clinic
- You don’t have someone who can be with you when you take the pills
- You have a blood-clotting disorder or if you take any anti-blood clotting medicine
- You have an IUD (intrauterine birth control device) in place. You will need to have this removed before having a medical abortion.
A medical abortion is a termination method that is a safe option for some women (who do not want to be pregnant) but not for others. Talk with your health care provider to see what method is best for you.
What is a surgical abortion?
A surgical abortion is a procedure that terminates a pregnancy, which is typically performed up to 14-16 weeks after the pregnant woman’s last period. A doctor or advanced practice nurse usually performs the procedure in an out-patient office or clinic, or hospital.
What is the surgical abortion ?
First, relaxation and pain medicine are given. Next, the cervix is numbed. Once numb, a thin tube is inserted into the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus. The tube is attached to a special vacuum. When the suction is turned on, the pregnancy tissue is removed. Sometimes tissue is also removed with another medical instrument called a “curette”.
Afterwards, the doctor will usually prescribe an antibiotic, and tell the patient to rest. The patient will then be given instructions to call her doctor or nurse if she has any questions or concerns, heavy vaginal bleeding, pain or tenderness in the abdomen, vaginal discharge that has an odor or looks pus, or a temperature of 101° or more or just not feeling well.
Is it safe to have a surgical abortion?
An abortion performed by a medical doctor or clinical nurse specialist today is typically a safe and routine procedure. Before abortion became legalized in the US, there was no regulation or standard-of-care.
Illegal abortions were expensive, painful and there was a high risk of infection because of unclean conditions and lack of follow-up care.
Now abortions are performed in safe, clean offices with a staff of medical professionals who also provide counseling and after-care.
Although complications with a routine abortion are rare, it’s important to be aware of the possible risks involved:
- Too much bleeding
- Infection of uterus (womb) and/or fallopian tubes
- Damage to womb and/or cervix
Sometimes young women are concerned about going to a clinic or office due to reports of picketers or threats of violence by people who don’t believe in abortion. Most clinics have a strong security presence and patients coming to the clinic can ask for an escort if necessary.
Where can I get an abortion?
Once your pregnancy is confirmed by a home pregnancy test and an exam by a health care provider, and you have decided that an abortion is the right choice for you, ask your health care provider for the name of a local clinic, hospital or doctor’s office where abortions are an option.
If for some reason you are uncomfortable doing this, or your provider is unable to help, go online to the Planned Parenthood website to access local services. Check on your state’s rules about consent and parental involvement or ask your local Planned Parenthood.
Three visits with a clinic or doctor may be required: the first to confirm the pregnancy and discuss options in detail; the second to perform the actual procedure, and the third for medical follow-up.
How much does an abortion cost?
The price of an abortion can vary among clinics and hospitals. It’s possible that the procedure may be covered by your health insurance.
How can I make this decision?
Many young women find it useful to talk with a trusted adult about the decision to terminate a pregnancy. For teens, this is usually a parent or other relative; sometimes a counselor, nurse or your primary care provider is the first person you talk to when you find out about the pregnancy.
Many clinics offer free counseling if you have a positive pregnancy test. The counseling that you receive should be non-judgmental and with a trained professional such as a nurse, social worker or therapist.
The goal should be to provide support (in a safe environment) so you can talk about your feelings and ultimately make your own decision without any pressure from anyone else.
It’s important to consider your:
- Moral and/or religious beliefs
- Financial situation, now and in the future
- Educational and career plans
- Your sources of emotional support and people who can help you make your decision, and be there to support you, particularly your family, partner, relatives, and friends
Does my partner in the pregnancy have any say in this decision?
Some young women choose to tell the person with whom they became pregnant that they are considering an abortion and some do not.
Some take the guy’s feelings into consideration and some choose to make the decision on their own. Sometimes the partner helps with the cost of the abortion and goes along for the appointment and other times they are not involved.
There is no right or wrong way to do this. Ultimately, it is your body and your decision.
Do my parents have any say in my decision to have an abortion?
Parents can be very helpful in your decision about what’s best for you. Some young women feel comfortable talking with one or both parents/guardian(s), others are not comfortable. Don’t assume that your parent(s) or guardian(s) won’t be understanding and supportive about this important decision!
If you are under 18 years old, some states require your parent(s) or guardian(s) to be notified (your parent/legal guardian being told that you are seeking an abortion) or to give permission for the abortion unless a court is involved. No one can force you to have an abortion. Abortion laws vary greatly from state to state. For up-to-date information about your legal rights you can go to the Planned Parenthood website and search for your state’s laws.
Will I be able to get pregnant and have children in the future if I have an abortion?
Since abortion became legal and regulated, there is very little risk involved with this procedure, so your future fertility should not be affected. Other factors such as a history of sexually transmitted infections can damage your fallopian tubes, making it difficult to become pregnant in the future.
How can I deal with people who tell me they do not believe in abortions and are angry with me for thinking about having one?
A woman’s right to choose abortion can be very complicated. It is also an emotional topic for just about everyone. Both those who support abortion rights and those who don’t believe in abortion often feel strongly about their beliefs, and some conversations may feel very uncomfortable.
You can say that they have the right to their opinion; however, you also have the right to your opinion. If the conversation feels at all uncomfortable, or awkward, you should excuse yourself and walk away. This is your decision to make and does not belong to anyone else.
The decision to end a pregnancy can be complicated; therefore it is best to talk with someone with whom you trust. You should understand ALL of your options and know the risks and benefits involved before making a decision.
abortion, emergency contraception, pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy
Abortion and Judaism
Abortion is one of the most contentious issues in American politics, and since the landmark 1973 Roe v.
Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide, the issue has been a top concern by activists on both sides in assessing both Supreme Court nominees and political candidates.
The anti-abortion cause has been embraced by many religious Christian groups, including the Catholic church.
Most American Jews strongly support legalized abortion: A 2015 Pew Research Forum survey found that 83 percent of American Jews, more than any other religious group, say abortion “should be legal in all/most cases.” However, Judaism’s position on abortion is nuanced, and both principal camps in the American debate over abortion rights can claim support from Jewish texts.
Is Judaism “pro-choice” or “pro-life”?
While Judaism takes a far less stringent approach to abortion than do many pro-life denominations of Christianity, providing explicit exceptions for threats to a mother’s life and rabbinic support for terminating a pregnancy in a host of other situations, there is nonetheless broad objection to abortion in cases without serious cause. In addition, despite the consensus that abortion is permitted in cases where continuing the pregnancy poses a threat to the life of the mother, there is disagreement over just what constitutes a threat.
Jewish law does not share the belief common among abortion opponents that life begins at conception, nor does it legally consider the fetus to be a full person deserving of protections equal those accorded to human beings. In Jewish law, a fetus attains the status of a full person only at birth.
Sources in the Talmud indicate that prior to 40 days of gestation, the fetus has an even more limited legal status, with one Talmudic authority (Yevamot 69b) asserting that prior to 40 days the fetus is “mere water.
” Elsewhere, the Talmud indicates that the ancient rabbis regarded a fetus as part of its mother throughout the pregnancy, dependent fully on her for its life — a view that echoes the position that women should be free to make decisions concerning their own bodies.At the same time, feticide is prohibited by Jewish law, though there is disagreement over the exact source of this prohibition and how serious an infraction it is. Some consider it biblical in origin a verse (Genesis 9.6) that prohibits shedding the “blood of man within man” — a phrase understood to refer to a fetus.
Moreover, Judaism teaches that the body is ultimately the property of God and is merely on loan to human beings.
Multiple prohibitions in Jewish law— including prohibitions on suicide, getting tattoos and wounding oneself— collectively serve to reject the idea that individuals enjoy an unfettered right to make choices regarding their own bodies.
As a public policy matter, many of the major American Jewish organizations have been vocal in support of broadening or protecting abortion access. Orthodox organizations, however, do not support broad legal protections for abortion.
Does Jewish law ever explicitly permit abortions?
Yes, but only under very limited circumstances. The most common situation, explicitly described in the Mishnah, is where the mother’s life is imperiled by her pregnancy.
Some consider such an abortion not merely permissible, but mandatory.
However, once the baby’s head has emerged from the mother (some authorities say the majority of its body, some say merely any limb), termination is no longer allowed, since Jewish law does not permit sacrificing one life to save another.
Short of clear threats to a mother’s life, the permissibility of abortion is controversial in Jewish texts.
There are Orthodox rabbinic sources that support abortion when a mother’s health is in danger even if her life is not at risk; when a fetus is conclusively determined to suffer from severe abnormalities; when a mother’s mental health is in danger; or when the pregnancy is the result of a forbidden sexual union. However, these rulings are not universally accepted, and many Orthodox rabbis are cautious about laying down firm standards, insisting instead that cases be judged individually.
The Conservative movement is somewhat more lenient in all these cases, explicitly understanding threats to a mother’s life as extending to psychological threats to her mental well-being.
In 1983, the Conservative movement’s rabbinical authorities permitted abortion only “if a continuation of pregnancy might cause the mother severe physical or psychological harm, or when the fetus is judged by competent medical opinion as severely defective.”
The Reform movement has historically taken a similar approach. In 1958, the movement’s rabbinate determined that abortion is permitted for sake of the mother’s mental well-being if there is “strong preponderance of medical opinion that the child will be born imperfect physically, and even mentally.” In 1985, the psychological justification was explicitly extended to cases of rape and incest, while emphasizing opposition to abortion for “trivial reasons” or “on demand.” In published responsa, the movement has rejected abortion in cases where the birth might pose hardships for other family members.
At the same time, both the Reform and Conservative rabbinates have been vocal in support of keeping abortion legal and accessible.
Is abortion discussed in ancient sources?
The Torah does not address the issue directly. The principal biblical source for Jewish law on abortion is a passage in Exodus (Exodus 21:22-23) concerning a case in which two men are fighting and injure a pregnant woman, causing her to miscarry.
The verse states that if no other harm is done, the person who caused the damage must pay compensatory damages, but if there is further harm, then he should pay with his life.
The common rabbinic interpretation is that if the only harm that comes to the woman is the loss of the fetus, it is treated as a case of property damage — not murder.
The later rabbinic sources address the issue more directly, beginning with the Mishnah referenced above. Elsewhere, the Mishnah says that if a pregnant woman is sentenced to death, the execution can go forward provided she has not yet gone into labor, a further indication that Jewish law does not accord the fetus full human rights prior to birth.
What about contraception?
The strictest Jewish approach to contraception holds that any interference with pregnancy constitutes a violation of the commandment in Genesis to be fruitful and multiply.
However, there are various circumstances in which some types of birth control would be allowed by Orthodox authorities, among them threats to a woman’s emotional well-being if she were to bear children.
There is also generally more leniency to limit family size once a man has fathered at least one child of both genders. In all cases, Orthodox couples are urged to consult with a rabbi about family planning issues.The Conservative movement permits contraception provided there is “a compelling physical or emotional well-being justification.” It allows contraception for general family planning purposes, but rejects it for financial reasons or as a matter of convenience and strongly encourages Jewish couples not to delay parenthood.
Jewish law also has clear preferences about particular methods of contraception. Vasectomy is traditionally prohibited because it’s a form of sterilization, a position affirmed by the Reform movement in 1984.
Condoms are traditionally not allowed because they result in the wasting of male seed. Since the obligation to reproduce traditionally is understood to apply only to men, methods employed by women are generally less objectionable.
Hormonal contraception (“the pill”) and intrauterine devices (IUDs) are typically considered the most preferable methods, according to both Orthodox and Conservative rabbis.
Here, too, couples concerned about complying with traditional rulings are urged to consult with a rabbi, as circumstances may dictate which methods are acceptable in particular cases.
As a public policy matter, major Jewish organizations have long been in favor of broader access to reproductive health services, including contraception. Hadassah, the Anti-Defamation League and the Conservative and Reform movements have all been vocal on the issue, including filing amicus briefs in relevant court cases.
All four groups expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling that corporations are exempt from providing contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act if their owners object to such coverage on religious grounds. The Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America, in contrast, praised the ruling.
Are Jewish groups politically active on the issue of abortion?
Yes. The Reform movement has long been vocal on the issue of legal abortion and reproductive rights. In 1967, before Roe v.
Wade made abortion legal nationwide, the movement’s rabbinic association urged the “broad liberalization of abortion laws,” and explicitly mentioned cases of a mother’s endangered mental health and pregnancies resulting from sexual crimes.
The movement has reaffirmed that position multiple times over the years, while its Washington advocacy arm has been active in countering efforts to restrict abortion access.The Conservative movement’s rabbis have also adopted numerous resolutions urging abortion access, most recently in 2012 when it called on its members to support access to the “entire spectrum of reproductive healthcare” and oppose legislation conferring legal rights on fetuses.
Various non-religious Jewish groups have also been active in support of abortion access, including the National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Women International, Hadassah and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. The American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League have both joined amicus briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of abortion access.
Orthodox organizations, in contrast, do not support broad legal protections for abortion. The Orthodox Union has routinely dissented from Jewish Council on Public Affairs statements supporting abortion access.
The ultra-Orthodox Agudath Israel of America has also spoken out against a permissive approach to abortion, but the group has also opposed restrictive measures that don’t allow for religious exceptions.
In 2016, the organization objected to two Ohio bills restricting abortion access that did not provide exceptions for cases where a mother’s life is threatened.
Are there any Jewish organizations focused exclusively on the issue of abortion?
Yes, a Sewickley, Pennsylvania-based group called the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation, has sent people to pro-life demonstrations and offers a free “post-abortion healing program” for Jews who regret having had abortions. It also encourages people to recite the Mourner’s Kaddish for loved ones “lost through abortion,” and refers women who are pregnant to adoption agencies.
Is abortion legal in Israel?
Yes. All Israeli women seeking to terminate a pregnancy (and have it paid for through state health insurance) must appear before a three-person committee, but in practice nearly all requests are granted.
There are no laws limiting when an abortion can be performed, and a woman whose request is denied by the committee can still seek an abortion at a private clinic. Estimates are that about half the abortions performed in Israel are done in private clinics.
As of 2014, abortions were paid for entirely by the state for women aged 20 to 33, and subsidized abortions were granted for those outside that age range.Pronounced: MISH-nuh, Origin: Hebrew, code of Jewish law compiled in the first centuries of the Common Era. Together with the Gemara, it makes up the Talmud.
Pronounced: hah-lah-KHAH or huh-LUKH-uh, Origin: Hebrew, Jewish law.
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Prayer Makes Abortion Visible | Human Life International
Auxiliary Bishop Andreas Laun with Iris and Joannes Bucher of HLI Affiliate Lebenszentrum Salzburg
Human Life International (HLI) Affiliate, Lebenszentrum Salzburg (LZ), just held its 200th prayer vigil in Salzburg, Austria.
This monthly vigil marks one of the so-called “Vigil 2000” prayer vigils that have been held to date in cities across Austria. 4,000 total have been held across Europe over the last 15 years.
To mark the anniversary and just before officially retiring at age 75 His Excellency, Auxiliary Bishop Dr. Andreas Laun of Salzburg, joined LZ.
In his homily, Bishop Laun asked, “How is it possible European politicians argue for human rights and praise themselves, but have no words on behalf of unborn children?” But as Pope Saint John Paul II said in Evangelium Vitae (EV), here “we can rely on the help of God.”
Prayer make abortion visible. The abortion industry does the opposite, hiding what they do under insidious phrases , “It’s just a blob of tissue.” By witnessing to life at an abortion facility, those praying testify on the child’s behalf. In drawing attention to the ugly truth that abortion is, they unmask the fraud as killing to all.
LZ Director and therapist Joannes Bucher: “We desire to pray for pregnant mothers in need and the protection of our unborn sisters and brothers.
According to Pope Saint John Paul II, this struggle over the value of human life is the decisive battle of our time. Behind the abortion mentality is the old struggle between God and the devil.
Therefore it must be fought with spiritual weapons. Wojtyla, the Holy Father, also identified the ultimate enemy in this battle as “the forces of evil.”
Powerful Words of Pope Saint John Paul II
There is certainly an enormous disparity between the powerful resources available to the forces promoting the “culture of death” and the means at the disposal of those working for a “culture of life and love”. But we know that we can rely on the help of God, for whom nothing is impossible (cf. Mt 19:26)….
may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer. Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11).As he taught his disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29). Let us therefore discover anew the humility and the courage to pray and fast so that power from on high will break down the walls of lies and deceit: the walls which conceal from the sight of so many of our brothers and sisters the evil of practices and laws which are hostile to life.
May this same power turn their hearts to resolutions and goals inspired by the civilization of life and love” (EV 100). –Pope Saint John Paul II
What is an LZ Prayer Vigil?
Simply, it is an event where demonstrators actively pray for life. The prayer vigil often starts with mass, then the Blessed Sacrament is exposed on the altar.
HLI Europe goes into battle using the prayer model created by American priest, Monsignor Philip Reilly, of “Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.” 70% of the mission is prayer and 30% is action.
Some stay in church and continue Adoration, while other faithful go outside to take part in a procession and rosary – worshipping God and asking Him to end abortion. The vigil ends in the church with the Eucharistic blessing.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament led by Archbishop Andreas Laun
The faithful understand their ministry as participation in Jesus’ commitment to life. In front of the abortion hospitals, they stand long in prayer, almost as Mary and John stood under the cross on Golgotha. “Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me” (St. Matthew, 25:40).
Prayers save lives. Bucher: “We do not demonstrate, we pray. We do not judge, there is no violence. We are there to suffer with God Himself and trust Him to stop the evil. The peaceful vigil is entirely in a spirit of atonement and vicarious prayer. To date, seven Austrian abortion mills have closed just during this prayer period. God Himself will lead us to victory.”
HLI’s Regional Director of Europe, Joannes Bucher, contributed to this report.
An Abortionist’s Prayer—Asking the God of Life to Favor Death
Author Steve Golden evaluates a public prayer of an abortionist in which she asked that God would expand abortion.
On Wednesday, August 28, Iowa Democrats gathered at the state capitol for a rally, and they opened the rally in prayer. What were they praying for? That God would expand abortion rights.
Midge Slater, a liberal activist, offered the prayer. She thanked God for abortion rights and asked for the protection of doctors who perform abortions:
We give thanks, O Lord, for the doctors, both current and future, who provide quality abortion care, and pray that they may be kept safe.
We pray for the 45 million American women who have had safe, legal abortions. May they stand tall and refuse shame.
We pray for elected officials, that they may always support a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions.1In her prayer, Slater referred to abortion as the “blessing of choice.” While prayers for the expansion of abortion rights may be shocking to those of us who believe that all human life, including that of unborn babies, is precious to God, Slater’s words mimic the requests of Planned Parenthood’s “40 Days of Prayer” in 2012.2
The common issue running through Slater’s statements is a complete misunderstanding of what biblical justice and mercy look .
The selfish desires of human beings and the ideals of the feminist agenda are lifted above scriptural mandates.
At its heart, Slater’s prayer reveals a lack of value or concern for the lives of the unborn and a regard for death that is completely contradictory with the biblical perspective.
Warped Ideas of What Is “Good”
Slater references two verses of Scripture, both of which she grossly misapplies in her petition.
She first alludes to Micah 6:8, where the prophet says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” She also references Genesis 1:31, where Moses summarizes, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”
In her misuse of these passages, Slater shows her ignorance of what God’s Word has to say about what is “good”:
We pray today because we see that all is not good. There are some who would shun justice, despise mercy, and lay aside humility . . . [and] perpetuate an ongoing blockade of women’s right to safe reproductive health care.
Of course, what she really means here is that there are many people—primarily Christians—who seek an end to the practice of abortion. Egregiously, Slater attempts to turn Scripture on its head in support of the murder of unborn babies. Her statement implies that those who seek to block abortion have shunned biblical justice and mercy.
Slater rips God’s use of the description “good” from its context when she says that “all is not good.” She later prays that God would “protect the goodness that we are capable of” and that young women would “know the power of making their own good decisions.” All of these are in reference to choosing abortion—death—over life.
Death was not part of God’s original creation and was not called “good.” It came about because of Adam’s sin, and it is the “last enemy” that will one day be defeated (1 Corinthians 15:26). Slater has committed a grave error in her treatment of Scripture and in her petition that the God of life would expand death’s influence in society.
Abortion Is Not a Necessity
Sadly, Slater does not stop at exchanging life for death in her prayer. As she continues, she lifts up abortion as a necessity in life:
Today, we pray for women in developing nations, that they may know the power of self-determination. May they have access to employment, education, birth control, and abortion.
In developing countries, there is a definite need for employment and education. In a society, literacy and an income are very important to have access to; abortions are not. Furthermore, the clear implication here is that children hold back the development and self-determination of women.God’s Word, however, states clearly that children are a blessing from God: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3). Surely, then, allowing children to be born and to live is preferable to the God who forms us in our mothers’ wombs (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13–16).
Those in the pro-abortion camp, however, center their attention on the mother with little regard for the unborn baby’s well-being. As Slater says, “We pray for women for whom pregnancy is not good news, that they know they have choices.” In fact, not only does Slater say women have choices, but that the choice to abort is a “blessing.”
But humanity was created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–28), and that includes unborn babies.
The Bible presents no line concerning when a human becomes a person made in the image of God; babies are in the image of God from the moment of fertilization.
Therefore, the choice to abort an unborn baby is not a “blessing.” No, abortion is a marring of the image of God in a human being. It is the embrace of death rather than life.
The influence of feminist ideology in the thinking of pro-abortionists is apparent in Slater’s prayer. Many feminists from around the 1960s onward argue that women are viewed by men as “Other” in society, as a group to be feared and dominated.
Another common feminist claim is that women’s voices have been stifled by men, citing examples that include even the supposed masculine roots of words such as “history.
” Slater, for example, prays that women will “claim their herstories” and even refers to God as “she.”3
Slater very closely associates access to abortion with the dignity of women: “We pray for compassionate religious voices to speak out for the dignity and autonomy of women. . . . We pray for an end to hateful language that diminishes the dignity of women.” In the context of abortion rights, Slater must be referring to people who speak out against the murder of unborn children.Indeed, Slater continues to exhibit her feminist tendencies when she says, “We pray for women who have been made afraid of their own power by paternalistic religion. May they learn to reject fear and live bravely. . . . Today, we pray that all women will know that they are created in the image of God—good and holy, moral and wise.”
God gives us dignity by creating us in His image, and no amount of wordplay, laws, or arbitrary definitions of “person” will change that.
This begs the question: Would Slater (or any feminist) say the same about men and unborn children? Are they also created in the image of God, “good and holy, moral and wise”? If she were to say this, her argument is already defeated, as that would put unborn children on an equivalent plane as their mothers.
While Slater has a point—women, just men, unborn babies, and every other human being, are created in the image of God—she is wrong on one count. Adam and Eve were created good and holy, but because of Adam’s sin, man is now fallen and sinful (Genesis 3). Apart from Christ, humans are the exact opposite of “good and holy, moral and wise.”
Does the lack of access to abortions affect a woman’s dignity? In short, no, it does not. An abortion does, however, remove an unborn baby’s dignity. Man or woman, all human beings are equal in the sight of God (Genesis 1:27).
We can conclude that women are equal in dignity to men. To say that a woman is without dignity if she cannot choose death for her unborn baby is to say that there is a source of human dignity outside of the Creator of the universe.
The implication is that women (and men) can find dignity within themselves and their actions.
But it is God who gives us dignity by creating us in His image, and no amount of wordplay, laws, or arbitrary definitions of “person” will change that.
The Biblical Response
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to stand up for what Scripture teaches is morally right and to graciously speak the truth with wisdom:
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:5–6)
We at Answers in Genesis pray sincerely that God awakens the heart of Midge Slater and others who profess Christ but who promote death as “good” and a “blessing.” This is serious error and demonstrates a lack of understanding or conscious disregard for what Scripture tells us about our God of life.The Lord God gives us life and does not provide us with the “choice” to abort the life of an unborn child. I urge you to stand boldly against abortion—against the practice of death—and for life.
The 8th Planned Parenthood Video + A Prayer at the Protest, and Counsel for Healing from an Abortion
C. S. Lewis once wrote in the preface to the Screwtape Letters,
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result.
But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.
He could have been writing about Planned Parenthood and StemExpress.
Today (August 25, 2015), The Center for Medical Progress released its eighth video using undercover footage exposing the reality of what goes on behind these closed clinical doors.
LOS ANGELES, Aug.
25-The eighth video in the ongoing controversy over Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted fetal body parts shows the CEO of StemExpress, LLC, a major buyer of fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood, admitting the company gets “a lot” of intact fetuses, suggesting “another 50 livers a week” would not be enough, and agreeing abortion clinics should profit from the sale:http://www.centerformedicalprogress.o…
StemExpress is a for-profit biotech supply company that has been partnered with Planned Parenthood clinics across the country to purchase human fetal parts since its founding in 2010. StemExpress’ Medical Director, Dr. Ronald Berman, is an abortion doctor for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.
In the video, actors posing as another human biologics company meet with StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer, plus Vice President of Corporate Development and Legal Affairs Kevin Cooksy, and Procurement Manager Megan Barr. StemExpress and the actors are discussing a potential partnership to supply extra fetal body parts to each other.
“So many physicians are , ‘Oh I can totally procure tissue,’ and they can’t,” expresses Dyer, seeming to indicate that abortion doctors must do the procedure in a special way to obtain useable fetal parts. Federal law requires that no alteration in the timing or method of abortion be done for the purposes of fetal tissue collection (42 U.S.C. 289g-1).
“What about intact specimens?” asks one of the actors. “Oh yeah, I mean if you have intact cases, which we’ve done a lot, we sometimes ship those back to our lab in its entirety,” replies Dyer. “Case” is the clinical term for an abortion procedure. An “intact case” refers to an intact abortion with a whole fetus.
“The entire case?” asks an actor. “Yeah, yeah,” says Dyer. “The procurement for us, I mean it can go really sideways, depending on the facility, and then our samples are destroyed,” she explains past botched fetal dissections, “so we started bringing them back even to manage it from a procurement expert standpoint.
Feticidal chemicals digoxin cannot be used to kill the fetus in a tissue procurement case, so a fetus delivered intact for organ harvesting is ly to be a born-alive infant.
“What would make your lab happy?” asks one of the actors. “Another 50 livers a week,” says Dyer. “We’re working with almost triple digit number clinics,” Dyer explains, “and we still need more.” She later notes, “Planned Parenthood has volume, because they are a volume institution.”
Dyer also agrees that payments to abortion clinics for fetal body parts should be financially beneficial to them. “Do you feel there are clinics out there that have been burned, that feel they’re doing all this work for research and it hasn’t been profitable for them?” she asks.
“I haven’t seen that.” StemExpress publishes a flyer for Planned Parenthood clinics that promises “Financial Profits” and “fiscal rewards” for clinics that supply aborted fetal tissue. It is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Mar Monte Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dorothy Furgerson: http://www.
The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). The Sacramento Business Journal reported in June that StemExpress has an annual revenue of $4.5 million.
The video is the eighth released by The Center for Medical Progress in its investigative journalism study of Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts.
“StemExpress is the ‘weakest link’ that unravels Planned Parenthood’s baby parts chain-they readily admit the profit-motive that Planned Parenthood and their proxies have in supplying aborted baby parts,” notes David Daleiden, Project Lead for CMP.
“Congress and law enforcement should immediately seize all fetal tissue files from StemExpress and all communications and contracts with Planned Parenthood. The evidence that Planned Parenthood profits from the sale of aborted baby parts is now overwhelming, and not one more dime of taxpayer money should go to their corrupt and fraudulent criminal enterprise.”Since July 14, 2015, The Center for Medical Progress has posted the following undercover videos of Planned Parenthood’s handing of the body parts of its victims:
- Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts (July 14, 2015) [full footage | complete transcript]
- Second Planned Parenthood Senior Executive Haggles Over Baby Parts Prices, Changes Abortion Methods (July 21, 2015) [full footage | complete transcript]
- Human Capital, Episode 1: Planned Parenthood’s Black Market in Baby Parts (July 28, 2015) [full footage | complete transcript]
- Planned Parenthood VP Says Fetuses May Come Out Intact, Agrees Payments Specific to the Specimen (July 30, 2015) [full footage | complete transcript]
- Intact Fetuses “Just a Matter of Line Items” for Planned Parenthood TX Mega-Center (August 4, 2015) [full footage | complete transcript]
- Human Capital, Episode 2: Inside the Planned Parenthood Supply Site (August 12, 2015)
- Human Capital, Episode 3: Planned Parenthood’s Custom Abortions for Superior Product (August 19, 2015)
1. Protesting Planned Parenthood
John Piper’s recent engagement on this issue is worth noting and emulating.
First, read his piece, “Planned Parenthood: Invitation, Explanation, Indignation,” narrating why he has publicly protested against abortion in the past (including a night in jail for non-violent civil disobedience) and why the time is right to protest again.
He was inviting readers to the Protest Planned Parenthood demonstrations across the country on Saturday, August 22.
Over 65,000 peaceful protesters showed up this weekend at 320 Planned Parenthood clinics across the US, making it the single largest coordinated day of planned protest against abortion.
Second, listen to Piper’s five-minute prayer at the protest (transcript here):
Finally, read his Saturday evening reflections about the protest that morning, where he offered seven short observations under the following heading:
- Christian and ecumenical
- Relatively sober
- Freedom on public property
- Legislators and pro-life leaders
- Planned Parenthood responds
- First timers
I have traced and summarized the development of Piper’s preaching and activism in the essay “‘Abortion is About God: Piper’s Passionate, Prophetic Pro-Life Preaching,” in For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper, ed. Sam Storms and Justin Taylor (Wheaton, IL: Crossway), 328-50. The link will take you to the essay available for free (courtesy of Crossway).
2. Healing from an Abortion
I’m aware that it’s possible that some are seeing the energy and momentum and passion and anger against Planned Parenthood and are not seeing much public effort right now to those in bondage to guilt over their complicity in the act of abortion.
David Powlison (executive director of CCEF) talks through how to heal from guilt and shame after an abortion:
You can read online the Personal Liturgy of Confession. Powlison begins:
When I counsel with people who struggle with deep feelings of shame, guilt, and regret, I sometimes suggest that they design a personalized liturgy. In what follows, I walk through the example of a woman who has had an abortion, and all that led up to that choice, and all that follows in someone whose conscience is alive. . . .Designing your own liturgy of confession will help you to think through exactly what you need to bring to God, and what you need from God. It will give you serious words to express your sorrow, regret, guilt and pain over your abortion. It will lead you by the hand to God’s mercy and to his washing away of your sin and guilt.
The parts of this liturgy in italics are taken and adapted from the General Confession of Sin inThe Book of Common Prayer. Even when your thoughts and feelings are chaotic, these words can serve as your guide. They are a channel for honesty.
Instead of wallowing in misery and failure, these words help you to plan how you will walk in the direction of honesty, mercy, gratitude, and freedom.
I suggest that you pray out loud. It helps you to remember that you are talking with someone who is listening. You aren’t just thinking things inside your head. Use this prayer to express the gravity of what happened.
Use it to remind yourself out loud that God’s mercies are deeper than what you did or failed to do. Read through this prayer and meditation first. Then go back through it, writing out your own words to personalize it.
Express your honest story to God in response to hearing what he says to you.
You can print and read the whole thing here.