55,875,00. Let that number sink into your mind for a moment. 55,875,000. By comparison the number of lives lost in every conflict the United States of America has been involved in, including the Civil War, is roughly 1.4 million. The Holocaust, which is considered the greatest tragedy of this century, claimed the lives of 5.8 million. 55,875,000 is 10 times that number.
55,875,000 is the number of children aborted in the 40 years since Roe vs. Wade was decided. This decision legalized abortion and sanctioned the killing of children in the womb. Sadly, 55,875,000 is not a static number. It grows by around 1.2 million people a year. This fact means that by the time I am 67 there will be over 110,000,000 killings by abortion in this country. Or to put it another way, 100 times more killings by abortion in this country than casualties of war.
I often wonder where is the outrage. If 1.2 million newborns or toddlers were killed each year, as a nation we would be doing all that was possible to change this situation. Last month we as a nation were horrified by the tragic slaying of innocent children in Newtown, CT. Since that time politicians, national organizations, and others have laid out their particular plans to solve the problem. The motto has been, “if one law can save the life of a child, then we should pass it.” The same day that 20 children were killed at Newtown, 3,000 were legally killed in clinics across our country. No one even sighed for the death of those 3000.
The reason for this reality is clear. We have believed the wisdom of the world that what is outside the womb is a child, but what is inside the womb is something different. Children outside the womb should be protected from abuse and harm. Inside the womb those same protections do not seem to apply. Outside the womb the child is its own person with rights. Inside the womb the child is treated as simply apart of the woman. A part that can be removed if she wishes, like she would her tonsils or her appendix.
This is clearly the prevalent wisdom of our day. Recent studies have shown that 7 out of 10 Americans believe that the decision rendered in Roe vs. Wade was correct and that abortion should be legal. They have decided that the wisdom of the age is true. This is why we are not outraged when we hear abortion numbers. We are not outraged because the majority of us have been convinced that what is in the womb is not a child.
As Christians we submit ourselves not to the wisdom of this age, but to the wisdom of our Lord. How does the Lord view what is in the womb? Allow me to share with you my conclusions from the study of Scripture. In Luke 1 and 2 we have the birth narrative of Jesus. A favorite Scripture for many as we learn about the extraordinary birth of our Savior.* However, other truths are taught in this section as well. One such truth is the way God views children. Luke 1:41 speaks of John the Baptist’s reaction to Jesus when it states, “the babe leaped in joy.” The babe is John the Baptist and at this point in time John the Baptist is still in the womb. Now look over a chapter in Luke 2, particular verses 12 and 16. In these two verses we again have reference to a babe (some versions have child). This particular reference is in regards to Jesus and in this reference he is already born. Notice that in both Luke 1:41 and Luke 2:12,16 the same word is used to describe a child in the womb and a child outside the womb. When we dig deeper we also recognize the same Greek word is found in each verse, namely brephos. For God there is no distinction between a child in the womb or a child outside the womb. Both of them are children.
This same truth seems to be at the heart of Exodus 21:22-25. In these verses Moses is discussing case law with regards to the implementation of God’s commandments. In this case we have two men fighting and a pregnant woman is struck resulting in the woman going into labor and the child being born. If the child’s birth results in some injury, then the person who caused the premature birth is recompensed eye for eye, tooth for tooth. What is interesting about this passage is the inclusion of the phrase, life for life. What does this imply? It implies that what was in the womb of the woman was life and therefore if that life (the baby in the womb) is taken, then the life of the offender should be taken as well. For our discussion we see that God views the child in the womb as life. The same way He views a full grown man (Exodus 21:12).
A child, in the wisdom of God, is a child whether inside the womb or outside the womb, and therefore should be protected. In the dark days of Israel we read of a time when the people worshiped the pagan god Molech. Part of the worship of Molech was the sacrificing of babies upon a fiery altar. They were thrown on the altar and burned alive. As you can imagine this angered the true God, Yahweh. He hates the shedding of innocent blood and punished Israel because of it. Today we no longer have altars where we sacrifice our children, instead we have clinics. Today we no longer have a god name Molech, but we do have one named convenience. And in the last 40 years 55,875,000 children, babies have been sacrificed to it.
Lord be merciful upon us!
*Sadly if Mary became pregnant today she might have many who advise her to abort the child because of the hardship it would cause her.