Summary: Abortion is the most widely debated issue of our time. The focus of this message is to cause individuals to think through their position. (Originally preached 1/1999; updated 1/2003)

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The Abortion Controversy Exodus 20:13 and Exodus 21:22-25 (Topical)

Abortion is the number one killer in the United States: Here are some statistics from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

Murder by firearms: 17,000

Suicide: 32,000

Auto Accidents: 42,000

AIDS: 42,000

Other Accidents: 48,000

Pneumonia/Flu: 82,000

Cancer: 537,000

Heart Disease: 734,000

Abortion: 1,529,000

It is perhaps most widely debated issue in our society today.

Pro-abortionists demand that abortion is a right and a woman should have enough control over her own body to be allowed to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

“We protect the mother’s right to decide when and how many children she wants,” cry pro-abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League.

Pro-lifers demand that abortion is murder and should be punished as such.

"We protect the rights of the unborn child", argue pro-life groups such as National Right to Life and Operation Rescue. “They have a right to live.”

In a society so seemingly concerned with individual rights, that would appear to be a valid statement.

After all, we spend millions of dollars each year to protect the rights of animals.

There are even laws that protect the eggs of some animals placed on the endangered species list, but there are no laws to protect the rights of the unborn child.

Here are some more statistics about abortion in America today:

• One third (33%) of all abortions in America are done on non-white women, although nonwhites constitute only about 13% of the country’s population. Since 1973, African-American women have had almost 10 million abortions. Current population of black Americans is 31 million. Nearly 80% of Planned Parenthood’s abortion centers are located in predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

• About one million teenagers become pregnant per year. Slightly over half will choose abortion. The number of births to teens is on the rise. Some people who work with crisis pregnancies believe that is because fewer teens are choosing abortion. The number of teen pregnancies (age 15-19) is declining, ranging from 117 per 1000 in Nevada to 56 per 1000 in North Dakota. The Centers for Disease Control attribute the decline to a combination of more teens choosing abstinence and the increased use of contraception.

• California has the highest abortion rate in the country -- 40 abortions per 1000 women (all ages). Abortions are more concentrated in urban areas and less available in rural areas.

• The number of medical schools teaching abortion procedures has fallen by more than 50% since 1987. There are 580 fewer abortion clinics in 1998 than there were in 1986.

• Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider. Seventy-five of their affiliates perform surgical abortions. In 1996 Planned Parenthood performed 153,367 abortions and referred an additional 54,207 women to other abortion clinics, making Planned Parenthood responsible for approximately 16% of all abortions in America. The highest number of abortions were performed in 1990 (1.6 million reported).

• More than 40 million abortions have been performed in the 27 years since Roe vs. Wade.

A 1992 study called the Worthlin Poll showed that social or “birth control” reasons accounted for approximately 93% of all abortions.

Those so-called “hard cases” of rape, incest, health of the baby and threat to the life or health of the mother account for less than 7% of all abortions.

The poll surmised that the reasons almost all abortions are done are not the reasons for which the majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal.

The bad news is that we are still killing babies.

The good news is that we are killing less of them and the abortion rate is slowly declining.

Today’s message is more of an informative message, but it’s designed to make you think about your position.

I. Where did this controversy come from?

The right to decide whether or not to bear a child was secured in 1973 by the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe vs. Wade and its companion case, Doe vs. Bolton.

Prior to these rulings, abortion was prohibited in most of the 50 states.

Roe vs. Wade repealed all state laws prohibiting abortion.

Doe vs. Bolton extended the right to abortion to the entire nine months of pregnancy.

Exodus 20:13 says, "Thou shalt not kill."

The word "kill" in Hebrew implies intentional killing of innocent human life, or murder.

It seems only natural that a society that punishes murderers through life imprisonment, and in many cases even death, would punish abortionists in the same manner.

Yet in our society the murder of unborn babies is legal.

We have even gone so far as to change the name from murder to abortion.

This makes it more palatable, since we know that murder, the taking of innocent human life, is illegal in all fifty states.

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