Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Abortion: Not Just a Modern Evil

By Matthew Zuk

Ultrasound Picture of an Unborn Baby

While the morality of abortion may be hotly debated in secular society, Christians should not be divided on this issue. We can and must stand firm on God’s Word, which tells us that life begins at conception and abortion is therefore a sin. This article will detail not only the stance of God’s Word on the subject it will also explain that abortion is not a recent practice; it has been going on for thousands of years.

Abortion and its Tragic History

Most people believe that abortion is a modern custom because in ancient times abortion looked different than it does today. For some reason, killing an infant after it is born is viewed differently than killing the infant while he/she is still in the womb. In reality there is no difference and both accomplish the same goal: the murder of an unwanted child.

In the ancient world there were many cases where cultures murdered children after they were born because they were deformed, unwanted, or an inconvenient gender.

Spartans for instance would kill any deformed or handicapped children by leaving them in the wilderness to die from starvation or be killed by animals. A deformed child would not benefit society; they would only be a burden.[1] Romans also performed this heinous crime; in fact the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, were supposedly abandoned by their mother and were raised instead by wolves (while this story is most likely fiction, it does show that the practice was accepted).[2]

There were also cases where the ancient people would kill babies while they were still in the womb. While they did not typically use surgical techniques as people do today due to the danger surgery carried with it at that time, they would usually force a miscarriage. This was done in a variety of ways and some were quite dangerous. Cultures that practiced this type of abortion included the Egyptians, Assyrians, Chinese, Greeks, and more.[3]

Similar Excuses

An article pertaining to this atrocity was recently released on LiveScience. It states that according to ancient Roman texts, infanticide (the killing of babies, the same as abortion) was an accepted practice to control the size of the family or simply because the babies were unwanted. I would like to draw attention to a certain quote taken from this article:[4]

“As horrifying as the killing of newborns seems to modern people, in ancient Rome, babies weren’t considered fully human upon birth. Instead, they gained humanity over time, first with their naming a few days after birth, and later when they cut teeth and could eat solid food.”[5] – Simon Mays, skeletal biologist for English Heritage (emphasis added). Read the full article here.

Now I ask the question, does this sound at all familiar? The Ancient Romans used the same excuse that people use today to justify their actions! The only difference is that now, since people have the capability to kill a baby earlier than birth, they just push back the definition of humanity: a child doesn’t become human until a certain time in the womb. However this is just an excuse.

Science has proven that a baby is a human being at the moment of conception. As soon as fertilization takes place the baby has all the information needed to make up a human life.[6] The baby still needs to be in his/her mother’s womb for a time so that it can be nurtured, but that doesn’t make it any less human. Even a one-year-old baby isn’t self-sufficient and yet the world would be in an uproar if people began to murder young infants.

Yet when abortions take place many people don’t even blink or give it a second thought. People who would condemn Ancient Rome or Sparta for their cruelty (rightly so), fail to see that there is no difference between the Roman and Spartan practices and what society does today. In fact it is even worse today! Many people get abortions for the smallest issues: they don’t have time, they don’t think they can care for it, they don’t want to complicate life, and many other flippant reasons. Many place more value on the life and comfort of the mother and her rights while ignoring the rights of the individual growing in her womb. There are even cases where I have heard that people acknowledged that babies are human upon conception, but still maintained it is the right of the mother to kill that child. That is called murder; no one has the right to murder a child just because they are a supposed “inconvenience”. This is how people are treating human life created in God’s image!

What does God’s Word say?

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 136:13-16)

God has knit, and is knitting, each human being in the womb, from conception to birth. He creates each individual as unique and yet cast in His own image! Yet people are ignoring that fact and casting aside the value of human life. One source that lends strength to this practice is the theory of evolution and its “survival of the fittest” mentality.

Just think, the Spartans lived out “survival of the fittest”; any deformed babies have no right to life because they either can’t survive or cannot benefit society. That is natural selection. If you hold to evolution, you believe that humans are just animals that happen to be more intelligent than other animals. It completely undermines the value of human life - that’s why evolution is so dangerous! It has contributed to a lack of respect for human life. By projecting evolution out to its logical conclusion, abortion is okay because human life is nothing special.

Sobering Statistics

Our culture has condoned mass murder in the form of abortion. According to over 56 million babies in the U.S. have been murdered since Roe v. Wade in 1973. Since 1980 more than 1.3 billion babies have been murdered worldwide… 1.3 billion… those are staggering numbers!

During World War II approximately 60 million people worldwide were killed.[7] About 6 million Jews were killed in the holocaust by Nazi Germany.[8] I don’t take those numbers lightly; in fact I don’t use the term holocaust to describe anything else, because the holocaust was so horrific. What was done in Nazi Germany is considered to be among the worst of all war crimes ever committed. The majority of the world rose up against them; today the entire world would rise up against anyone who attempted to do what was done in World War II. And yet, as horrific as the holocaust was, it is relatively minor compared to what has been going on for the past 40 years (6 million Jews murdered compared to 1.3 billion children). And yet the world stands silent, and permits murder on a scale greater than any other time that we know of in history. I pray that people will come to their senses on the issue of abortion. As Christians we must do all we can to stand firm on the Word of God when it comes to this issue.


As I am sure you can see by reading this article, this subject makes me passionate and angry about the tragedy and sin taking place. However, I would like to be sure to say that it is the sin I hate, not the sinner. For anyone reading this who has had an abortion, there is hope! We grieve for your child and we grieve for you. I encourage you to turn to God and run into His arms. God is able to forgive all things, nothing barred. God can forgive the liar, He can forgive the adulterer, He can forgive the homosexual, and He can forgive the murderer. Jesus Christ died on the cross for all of those things! He took on our sin and He paid the penalty. What we have done in rebellion to God is worthy of death and eternal punishment and separation from God. Our penalty is severe, and yet Christ paid it! All we must do is repent and trust in Christ! We have to accept God’s most gracious gift and turn from our former ways. So for those who have had an abortion, seek forgiveness from God! It is only by His grace and His gift that you can be saved! Thanks be to God for His amazing power and love!

For more on the Gospel and salvation please visit:

[1] Andrews, Evan. "8 Reasons It Wasn't Easy Being Spartan." 8 Reasons It Wasn't Easy Being Spartan - HISTORY Lists. (accessed April 23, 2014).
[2] Pappas, Stephanie. "Ancient Roman Infanticide Didn't Spare Either Sex, DNA Suggests ." Ancient Roman Infanticide Didn't Spare Either Sex, DNA Suggests | LiveScience. (accessed April 23, 2014).
[3] Fox, Pat. "Abortion in the Ancient and Premodern World." Abortion in the Ancient and Premodern World. (accessed April 24, 2014).
[4] (Pappas, Stephanie).
[5] Ibid.
[6] Mitchell, Tommy . "Chapter 29: When Does Life Begin?." Chapter 29: When Does Life Begin? - Answers in Genesis. (accessed April 24, 2014).
[7] "World War 2 Casualty Statistics." World War 2 Statistics. (accessed April 23, 2014).
[8] "Statistics of the Holocaust." The History Place - Holocaust Timeline: Statistics of the Holocaust. (accessed April 23, 2014).

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