“Thou shalt not kill.”
A world in various stages of isolation observed the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) at the end of May 2020 (May 28-30 and May 31). On this special harvest feast God gave the Law (the Ten Commandments) to Israel (Exodus 20), and about 1,500 years later the Spirit to Yeshua’s disciples (Acts 2). The connection is life-giving and life-changing. Through the Spirit of God man is now able to keep the commandments of the Lord, something which is impossible when the Law is only on the outside.
A loving God gave His children rules and standards to live by—for their good. One of His commandments has to do with the preciousness of life in the eyes of God. Man was made in the image of God, therefore every life has dignity and value. Life is a gift from God. We are God’s creation, and only He has the right to determine the number of our days. Commandment #6 in the KJV is: “Thou shalt not kill.” In the NKJV it reads: “You shall not murder.” The heart of God breaks when a life is snuffed out before the person can fulfill the good plan that God has for him or her.
This leads me to the topic of this month’s newsletter: abortion. I am writing after almost thirty hours of research, and in obedience to the Lord. As most of you know, each month, for over forty years I have asked the Lord what He wanted to say to His people. This is my most difficult assignment so far. Why? Because abortion is not a comforting, uplifting topic. All of us have been through trying times recently, some more than others, and we yearn for good news. I came to the conclusion that truth is more important than uplifting news. God wants us to be able to say: “I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight” (2 Kings 20:3).
The truth is that abortion is murder, and the heart of God is very grieved over this national sin. I believe that Yeshua’s Body, His Bride must, like Daniel (Dan. 9:4-5), confess the sin of our country and plead for mercy. The Hebrew word for mercy, rachem, is related to the word for womb, rechem. Motherhood and mercy are intricately related in Hebrew thought. The womb is to be a place of mercy. We have sinned, collectively, and not embraced mercy as we should, for either babies or their mothers.
Before my extensive research, I considered myself Pro-Life, but I was fairly ignorant about what abortion really is, and the effect it has on the pre-born babies, their mothers, fathers, families, and society in general. Do we perish for lack of knowledge? I think we do. (See Hosea 4:6.)
The Sanctity of Human Life
If researching abortion was emotionally exhausting and gut-wrenching for me, I can’t imagine how traumatic it must be for a woman to end the life of her child. How desperate she must be, as well as ignorant of what is really happening inside her body. I believe that most women who seek abortions are ignorant of both science and Scripture concerning babies in the womb.
Knowledge begins with God’s perspective on life in the womb. He sees the unborn child as a person made in His image, worthy of life. Let’s consider some verses of Scripture.
“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4). [Therefore all life is sacred, beginning at conception. The unborn child has a soul.]
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb… My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:13, 15-16). [God sees the child in utero as a person.]
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). [God has a specific destiny for each of us.]
“…the LORD has called Me from the womb; from the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name” (Isaiah 49:1). [God sees each unborn child as a unique individual.]
“As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything” (Ecclesiastes 11:5). [There is a Creator who causes bone marrow to form and produce red blood cells at 28 weeks.]
“For he [John the Baptist] will be great in the sight of the Lord…He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). [John was a person in the womb—albeit a tiny one.]
When Does Human Life Begin?
One of my elderly, pro-choice Jewish neighbors excitedly showed me the ultrasound of her pregnant granddaughter, pointing out the baby’s movements and the fact that she was sucking her thumb in the womb. When I said, “That’s why I am against abortion,” she commented, “Oh, well, but she is eight months pregnant.” I asked, “At what point would the baby not be human, and therefore a candidate for abortion?” No answer.
Science testifies to the miracle of human life, and gives us a window into the womb.
Conception: The embryo has 46 chromosomes, 23 from the mother and 23 from the father, the scientifically verifiable human genetic code, needing only food and time to grow into an adult human. In the TV series In the Womb (2005), National Geographic said, “The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”
18-21 days (3 weeks): The heart begins to beat.
30 days (4 weeks): The unborn child has multiplied in size 10,000 times, has a brain, and has blood flowing through his/her veins.
40 days (6 weeks): Brain waves can be recorded. (Brain waves are among the legal criteria to determine whether a person is alive or not. If there are brain waves, there is a living human.)
56 days (8 weeks): 90% of the 4,500 body parts found in adults are present. All organs are formed.
77 days (10 weeks): Tiny but totally and perfectly formed with all systems functioning. Responds to touch. Feels pain.
84 days (12 weeks): The unborn child breathes amniotic fluid, has eyelids, ears, toes, a fully formed mouth, fingernails, and fingerprints.
After 12 weeks, nothing new develops—only growth in size and maturity.
What Is Abortion?
Abortion is the premature expulsion of a human fetus from the uterus, but also the death of a precious life made in the image of God. I am convinced that most women who seek an abortion have no idea how violent and cruel abortion really is. I had no idea. If the mothers knew the truth, I believe more mothers would choose life for their babies, in spite of the personal and social difficulties they would face bringing their child into the world.
There are six techniques used in abortions, depending on the stage of the unborn’s growth in the womb. The truth is not pretty.
Suction Evacuation: Used for most abortions up to 14 weeks. A powerful vacuum is used, which tears the baby’s body to pieces, which are then sucked into a jar.
Dilation and Curettage: 12 to 15 weeks. A sharp scraping instrument cuts the developing child into pieces, and it is then scraped from the uterine wall. The parts must then be reassembled to make sure that the uterus is empty, otherwise infection will set in.
Dilation and Evacuation: 13 to 24 weeks. The most common second trimester procedure. Forceps (a sopher clamp) are used to tear parts of the unborn’s body, piece by piece, but because the head is too large to be removed whole, it must be crushed.
Salt Poisoning: This method is done after 16 weeks when enough fluid has accumulated in the sac around the baby. As I studied this, I was really distressed, because it seemed to me that we are doing what the heathens, and even Israel, did in Bible times—passing their children through the fire, sacrificing babies to the god Molech (Leviticus 20:1-2; 18:21; 2 Kings 23:10). The baby breathes a solution of concentrated salt and is poisoned by it. The outer layer of skin is burned off by its corrosive effect. It takes over an hour to slowly kill a baby by this method. The mother goes into labor about one day later and delivers a dead, burned baby. (Some babies have survived this “salting out” and are born alive. Abortionists call this “the dreaded complication.”)
Prostaglandin: Chemicals cause the uterus to contract intensely, pushing out the developing baby.
Hysterotomy: Used mainly in the last three months of pregnancy. The baby is removed by C-section and allowed to die by neglect or even killed by a direct act while inside the mother. Infanticide.
Abortion in the U.S. Since 1973
Many of you, like me, are ignorant of the history of abortion in the U.S. I learned that in 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized abortion in all 50 states. This landmark decision is known as Roe v. Wade, since Norma McCorvey (aka “Jane Roe”) was the plaintiff who claimed her right to an abortion. Her victory has resulted in over 60 million abortions in our country since 1973. There are approximately 1 million abortions each year in the U.S. Many people don’t know that Ms. McCorvey, 22 years later in 1995, became a staunch pro-life supporter after seeing the graphic posters of a 10 week old fetus—to which she responded, “That’s a baby!” McCorvey stated that her involvement in Roe was “the biggest mistake of her life.”
Someone has succinctly said that in 1973, the U.S. standard on life changed from “moral” to “social,” and the sacredness of life ethic was replaced by a quality of life ethic. Abortion has been a divisive and controversial issue in our country ever since. According to a Pew Research Survey in 2019, 61% of Americans support the Roe v. Wade decision. In other words, a majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
Some facts: Abortion is an accepted form of birth control in the U.S. 97% of abortions in the U.S. are done for elective, non-medical reasons, as a matter of convenience, only 1% due to rape. 89% of abortions occur in the first 12 weeks. 50% of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended. Nearly one in four U.S. women will have an abortion in her lifetime. Almost 1/4 of women (23.7%) in the U.S. will seek an abortion by age 45 (NBCNews.com 7/5/18). Check “The Abortion Clock” online if these statistics seem unrealistic. (Check out the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute as well for more statistics.)
In 1989, the Supreme Court narrowed its 1973 decision and returned to the states more authority to regulate abortion. Hence, we have 29 states that are considered hostile toward abortion rights, 14 states supportive, and 7 somewhere in between. States such as Missouri have passed a “Heartbeat Bill,” while New York State passed the “Reproductive Health Act” on January 22, 2019, legalizing abortion until the moment of birth, and removing abortion from the Penal Code. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12). [Civil law may condone abortion, but there is a higher law.]
Truth and Lies about Abortion
According to the Bible, satan, hasatan in Hebrew, is the father of lies. In the case of abortion, the enemy has excelled in lying, using words to deceive millions. Satan has promoted what I call “semantic gymnastics” to enable people to rationalize abortion. The words cover up many lies.
Lie #1: “It’s the mother’s body, not a separate human being.” “A woman has a right to do what she wants with her own body.” This is a false premise. The DNA of a baby in the womb is always different from the DNA of the mother. There is often a different blood type. 50% of the time, the unborn is a different sex (male). An embryo can be transferred from one woman to another since the unborn is separate from its mother.
Lie #2: “It’s just a wad of cells, a product of conception, a blob of tissue, a non-person. It’s not a ‘baby.'” The use of these phrases and words such as fetus, embryo, and zygote makes abortion much more acceptable.
Lie #3: “It’s a quick fix with no lasting consequences.” Not true! Abortion entails the risks of infection, perforation of the uterus, injury to the cervix, chronic abdominal pain, and much more. Perhaps even more devastating is the emotional toll: The majority of women who have abortions feel guilt (93%), depression (88%), anger (81%), sorrow (92%), grief (85%), bitterness (75%), despair (74%), and shame (91%) (Poll by Elliot Institute). Abortion definitely hurts women.
Lie #4: Abortion is “Pro-Choice.” The word “choice” has been distorted. It is estimated that 64% of women who have had abortions felt pressure to do so—by family, friends, husbands, abortion clinics, society, or circumstances—or their own ignorance of other options. Abortion clinics do not show women pictures of their unborn in the womb. If they did, many more women might choose life. (If you don’t see it, it’s not “real.”) The word “choice” has become synonymous with social justice and fairness, instead of the defense of human rights—the right of a baby.
Lie #5: “Abortion is a fundamental human right.” No. Life is a fundamental human right.
Lie #6: “The fetus does not feel pain.” False. When doctors perform life-saving operations on babies in the womb, they use anesthesia to stop the pain! Unborn babies may be pain sensitive as early as eight weeks—definitely by 13 1/2 weeks.
Truth: Childbirth is the termination of a pregnancy. Abortion is the termination of a child.
Babies As Non-Persons
The comparison might seem harsh, but when the Supreme Court ruled that babies in the womb are “non-persons,” the action seems to parallel what Hitler did in labeling Jews as “non-persons.” Who should have the right to live? Are some lives devoid of value? Those with birth defects? The handicapped? The sick and dying?
It seems to me that our Jewish people, of all people, should be Pro-Life, since a basic tenet of Judaism is that each human being is of supreme importance; each human life has infinite value. A well-known saying in Judaism from the Mishnah is: “Whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved the entire world” (Sanhedrin 4:5). One who murders an innocent person has committed the ultimate crime. Nevertheless, many Jewish people (excluding the Orthodox) are pro-abortion. It is estimated that more than 85% are pro-choice. Why? The unborn child in the womb is not seen as a human being. It is a non-person. Therefore, abortion does not end a human life.
Even though the Talmud (writings of the rabbis) rules that a child is not an independent person with its own soul until the head emerges from the womb, there are pro-life rabbis who take a stand against abortion. One pro-life Orthodox rabbi, when asked why most Jews are pro abortion, said that either they are concerned that the government might legislate religion and morality, or they are concerned about being aligned with the Christian right. There is also a prevailing opinion among Jewish people that whatever liberals advocate is good for them. Thank God for the godly pro-life rabbis such as Rabbi David Novak who commented, “Because of our recent experience of being the prime victims of a worldview that excluded many lives from the sanctity of human personhood and thus rationalizing their murder, we Jews should realize that our strictness on the question of abortion is for the sake of greater, not less, inclusiveness in the human community.”
Planned Parenthood, the world’s leading advocate of abortion on demand and our nation’s largest abortion provider, was founded by Margaret Sanger, a pro-eugenic, pro-abortion advocate. The organization was founded to maintain a so-called “fit” nation (eliminating the “unfit” for the betterment of society). An unholy root.
Planned Parenthood today is not about “parenthood.” It is about big business, and receives $600 million from the U.S. government (our tax money) per year. Its annual budget is $1.2 billion. Their baby organ harvesting business brings in tens of millions of dollars per year to the organization. Late term abortions are especially profitable. Planned Parenthood boasted of 345,672 abortions in 2019.
While our nation has been asked to respect social distancing and avoid elective surgery during COVID-19, Planned Parenthood has increased its numbers of abortions. Pro-abortion attorneys have been demanding that the FDA expand the use of abortion pills. When I called our local Pro-Life organization, they told me that they are seeing more women than ever before. Women are afraid.
What Can We Do?
We can love and have compassion on mothers and their babies—born and pre-born. We can show mercy. We can repent. We can pray especially for abortionists and directors of clinics. (Some have become believers and staunch pro-life activists.) We can support our state and local pro-life organizations. We can write to our representatives in Congress. We can support pro-life legislation. We can participate in peaceful protests at abortion clinics. We can promote alternatives to abortion, including adoption and care for those who are pregnant out of wedlock. We can agree with Yeshua who said, “Let the little children come to Me…” (Luke 18:16). If we share the truth of abortion, we may save babies’ lives. While more than 1,000,000 babies are killed by abortion each year, 2,000,000 couples are waiting to adopt (americanadoptions.com).
We can proclaim the greatest remedy for America’s holocaust: the Good News of Yeshua HaMashiach. As one local pastor said in a Sanctity of Human Life Sunday message: “Innocent blood has desecrated the land and profaned the name of the Lord, but there is a greater blood shed at Mount Calvary that can transform the heart of a mother so she will choose life for her child, and can cleanse the guilty—forgive, heal, and restore those involved in abortion. What America needs to hear is God’s truth about abortion wrapped in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Everything we do says something. Everything we say does something.
God Forgives Abortion
What about women who have had an abortion? A few years ago I received an email from one of our Jewish Jewels partners in the United Kingdom, following our December 2015 newsletter in which I addressed the abortion issue. In responding to a personal note from me, she said: “It was most heartwarming and uplifting to know that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that through the blood shed by His dear son Yeshua that even the terrible sin of abortion is forgiven. For years I was not sure, but you have assured me of His infinite love towards me, in that every sin is forgiven. I feel so free in knowing that.”
Another Jewish Jewels partner wrote to me: “I had a couple of abortions when I was young, and it took me years of therapy (and a divorce) to know that God could forgive me! I married the person that talked me into it, as in the early 60s I had nowhere to go, and would get fired from my job. I called a Catholic priest, and he could find no place for me. I dragged this anger and hatred into my marriage, and would love for women to know that there are too many options, etc. today than abortions.”
Praise God. Abortion is not the “unpardonable sin.” It is sin, but a sin that God will forgive when a woman repents and asks for His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). God is a loving, merciful God. His Son Yeshua (Jesus) paid the price for every sin we have ever committed when He died on the cross. His blood is powerful to cleanse, heal, and restore. Yeshua said, “I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). That includes you, if you have ever had an abortion. You can become a new creation in Him (2 Cor. 5:17).
Forgive yourself, with your Savior’s help, and forgive others who had a part in the abortion. God’s grace and love will be with you each step of the way on your journey from grief to healing, from darkness to light. Finally, the Bible says that there is a time to mourn (Ecc. 3:4). God wants you to grieve the loss of your aborted child as part of your healing process. This is both good and necessary. Give God your pain. Your baby is with Him, surrounded by love. There is hope and a future for you. Nothing is impossible with God!
Together, let us repent and ask God to help us “deliver those who are being taken away to death…” (Proverbs 24:11).
I leave you with a touching, true story from Israel. L’chaim: to life!
Yoav, a young IDF soldier, was manning an isolated guard post in Hevron in the middle of the night when he was shot by an Arab sniper. With no one to help him, and unable to radio for help, it appeared that he would bleed to death before he could be found. Another soldier, however, did hear something. Not sure, he went to investigate, and spotted Yoav lying on the ground, bleeding profusely.
The soldier immediately began to administer first aid, and arranged for Yoav to be transported to a medical facility. He applied manual pressure until the ambulance could arrive. Eventually, Yoav was treated at a proper medical facility. The doctors told his parents that had it not been for the immediate actions of the other soldier, their son Yoav would definitely not have survived. It was indeed a miracle that the other soldier heard what no one else heard. The parents looked for the soldier to thank him. But he had already left the hospital.
During Yoav’s recovery period, his family called the Army to find out the name of the soldier who had saved Yoav’s life. No one knew. Finally, Yoav’s parents put up a sign in the grocery store they own in Kiryat Malachi. They described the miracle that had occurred, and asked for information on the identity of Yoav’s savior. “Israel is a small country,” they thought. “Someone might know who the soldier is.”
It took a year. A woman entered the store one day and saw the sign. She was positive that her son Doron had mentioned such an account. She took out her cell phone and called Doron on the spot. Sure enough, he remembered the incident quite well, as it was he who had saved Yoav’s life.
Soon all the families gathered together for a joyful, tearful celebration—but one of the mothers knew that there was an extra reason to celebrate. Doron’s mother told Yoav’s mother, “There is a specific reason why I came to your store today. You don’t remember me, but 20 years ago, I was standing in your store feeling lost and forlorn. You and your husband noticed how sad I looked and asked me what was the matter. I explained that I was pregnant and overwhelmed. There were so many unbearable difficulties, financially, socially, and emotionally. I had decided that the only way out was to have an abortion.”
“You both stopped everything, and calmly and lovingly sat with me. You listened to me, and offered much encouragement and support. Because of you, everything began to look different and I chose to keep my baby. I no longer live around here, but I happened to be passing through. I figured it would be nice to visit your store to thank you once again for all that you did for me. The name of that precious baby was Doron. My beloved Doron, who would not have been born were it not for you, grew up to save your son Yoav’s life.”