ABORTION Sermon Illustrations

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ABORTION


Sermon Illustrations

ABORTION

A professor in a world-acclaimed medical school once posed this medical situation -- and ethical problem -- to his students: "Here's the family history: The father has syphilis. The mother has TB. They already have had four children. The first is blind. The second had died. The third is deaf. The fourth has TB. Now the mother is pregnant again, The parents come to you for advice. They are willing to have an abortion, if you decide they should. What do you say?"

The students gave various individual opinions, and then the professor asked them to break into small groups for "consultation." All of the groups came back to report that they would recommend abortion.

"Congratulations," the professor said, "You just took the life of Beethoven!"

We believe this was first reported in an Ann Landers column.


A recent poll of couples in New England revealed that, if they were able to know these things in advance, 1 percent of them would abort a child on the basis of sex, 6 percent would abort a child likely to get Alzheimer's disease, and an incredible 11 percent would abort a child predisposed to obesity.  

The Utne Reader, quoted in Signs of the Times, January, 1993, p. 6.


Some of you may remember the man who won a U.S. Supreme Court case over his right to obtain an abortion for his comatose wife. He argued at that time that an abortion could aid a possible recovery for his wife, Nancy, who was comatose as a result of a car accident in 1988. The abortion accomplished, Martin Klein now plans to divorce his wife. His comment was, "Life changes, tragedy happens. It's all very complicated." He also said "my commitment to Nancy continues to remain as strong as ever." We agree. His commitment to his wife is as strong now as it was previously. That is to say, not very. 

Credenda, Agenda, Volume 4/Number 3, p. 15.


Abortion is no more purely a medical problem just because the physician wields the curette than chemical warfare is purely a problem for pilots because they press the lever releasing the chemical. 

E. Fuller Torrey, taken from "Abortion", Dallas, TX: Christian Medical & Dental Society Journal, Summer, 1976, Vol. VII, Number 3, quoted in Sanctity of Life, C. Swindoll, p. 10.


Medical authorities determine a person to be "alive" if there is either a detectable heartbeat or brain-wave activity. With that in mind, it is eye-opening for some to realize that unborn children have detectable heartbeats at eighteen days (two and one-half weeks) after conception and detectable brain-wave activity forty days (a little over five and one-half weeks) after conception. What is so shocking is that essentially 100 percent of all abortions occur after the seventh week of pregnancy.

 Sanctity of Life, C. Swindoll, Word, 1990, p. 11-12.


Why are children aborted? The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) states: * 1% are victims of incest or rape * 1% had fetal abnormalities * 4% had a doctor who said their health would worsen if they continued the pregnancy * 50% said they didn't want to be a single parent or they had problems in current relationships * 66% stated they could not afford a child *75% said the child would interfere with their lives. 

Statistics cited in Rescue Update, June/July 1989, Southern California Operation Rescue, quoted in Sanctity of Life, C. Swindoll, Word, 1990, p. 12.


How many children are aborted? Worldwide, 55 million unborn children are killed every year. Around the world, every day 150,685 children are killed by abortion; every hour, 6278; and every minute, 105. Those are the reported cases. If you are an American citizen, no doubt your greatest interest is in your own nation, as is mine. Let me break the abortions down to a national statistic: 1,600,000 babies are aborted in these United States every year. Per day, that's 4,383; per hour, that's 183; per minute, there are 3. 

C. Swindoll, Sanctity of Life, Word, 1990, p. 13.


C. Everett Koop, M.D., formerly the Surgeon General, states that during his 35-plus years of practicing medicine, "Never once did a case come across my practice where abortion was necessary to save a mother's life." 

C. Swindoll, Sanctity of Life, Word, 1990, p. 23.


If our language has appeared to some strong and severe, or even intemperate, let the gentlemen pause for a moment and reflect on the importance and gravity of the subject...   We had to deal with human life. In a matter of less importance we could entertain no compromise. 

The American Medical Association, 1981, in a report opposing abortion. Quoted in Marvin Olasky's The Press and Abortion, 1838-1988.


Percentage of women who chose an abortion because having a baby "would; change their life (job, school)": 76. Percentage who chose an abortion because of rape or incest: 1.  

Family Planning Perspectives, 7-8/88, reported in MS., 4/89.


Charles McCarry can claim a varied career. In addition to being the author of The Tears of Autumn and The Last Supper, he served as assistant to the Secretary of Labor in the Eisenhower cabinet and has done two stints in the CIA. But he almost wasn't born. Says McCarry, "My mother became pregnant with me at the age of 39. She had nearly died while giving birth to my only sibling. Her doctor, who believed the second pregnancy was a serious threat to her life, advised an abortion. The advice made sense, but my mother refused to accept it. Just before she died at age 97, I asked her why. She replied, "I wanted to see who you were going to turn out to be." 

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, quoted in Reader's Digest, February 1990 .


In Germany, they first came for the Communists and I did not speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time, there was no one left to speak up. 

Martin Niemoller.


When you're raised in the country, hunting is just a natural part of growing up. For years I enjoyed packing up my guns and some food to head off into the woods. Even more than the hunting itself, I enjoyed the way these trips always seemed to deepen my relationship with friends as we hunted during the day and talked late into the night around the campfire. When an old friend recently invited me to relive some of those days, I couldn't pass up the chance. For several weeks before the trip, I had taken the time to upgrade some of my equipment and sight in my rifle. When the day came, I was ready for the hunt. What I wasn't ready for was what my close friend, Tom, shared with me the first night out on the trail.

I always enjoyed the time I spent with Tom. He had become a leader in his church and his warm and friendly manner had also taken him many steps along the path of business success. He had a lovely wife, and while I knew they had driven over some rocky roads in their marriage, things now seemed to be stable and growing. Tom's kids, two daughters and a son, were struggling in junior high and high school with the normal problems of peer pressure and acceptance.

As we rode back into the mountains, I could tell that something big was eating away at Tom's heart. His normal effervescent style was shrouded by an overwhelming inner hurt. Normally, Tom would attack problems with the same determination that had made him a success in business. Now, I saw him wrestling with something that seemed to have knocked him to the mat for the count.

Silence has a way of speaking for itself. All day and on into the evening, Tom let his lack of words shout out his inner restlessness. Finally, around the first night's campfire, he opened up.

The scenario Tom painted was annoyingly familiar. I'd heard it many times before in many other people's lives. But the details seemed such a contract to the life that Tom and his wife lived and the beliefs they embraced. His oldest daughter had become attached to a boy at school. Shortly after they started going together, they became sexually involved. Within two months, she was pregnant. Tom's wife discovered the truth when a packet from Planned Parenthood came in the mail addressed to her daughter. When confronted with it, the girl admitted she had requested it when she went to the clinic to find out if she was pregnant.

If we totaled up the number of girls who have gotten pregnant out of wedlock during the past two hundred years of our nation's history, the total would be in the millions. Countless parents through the years have faced the devastating news. Being a member of such a large fraternity of history, however, does not soften the severity of the blow to your heart when you discover it's your daughter.

Tom shared the humiliation he experienced when he realized that all of his teaching and example had been ignored. Years of spiritual training had been thrust aside. His stomach churned as he relived the emotional agony of knowing that the little girl he and his wife loved so much had made a choice that had permanently scarred her heart.

I'm frequently confronted with these problems in my ministry and have found that dwelling on the promiscuous act only makes matters worse. I worship a God of forgiveness and solutions, and at that moment in our conversation I was anxious to turn toward hope and healing.

I asked Tom what they had decided to do. Would they keep the baby, or put it up for adoption? That's when he delivered the blow. With the fire burning low, Tom paused for a long time before answering. And even when he spoke he wouldn't look me in the eye. "We considered the alternatives, Tim. Weighed all the options." He took a deep breath. "We finally made an appointment with the abortion clinic. I took her down there myself." I dropped the stick I'd been poking the coals with and stared at Tom. Except for the wind in the trees and the snapping of our fire it was quiet for a long time. I couldn't believe this was the same man who for years had been so outspoken against abortion. He and his wife had even volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center in his city.

Heartsick, I pressed him about the decision. Tom then made a statement that captured the essence of his problem...and the problem many others have in entering into genuine rest. In a mechanical voice, he said "I know what I believe, Tim, but that's different than what I had to do. I had to make a decision that had the least amount of consequences for the people involved."

Just by the way he said it, I could tell my friend had rehearsed these lines over and over in his mind. And by the look in his eyes and the emptiness in his voice, I could tell his words sounded as hollow to him as they did to me. 

Tim Kimmel, Little House on the Freeway, pp. 67-70.



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