for the Voiceless
Towards the end of 2019 the General Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster requested a meeting with Mr Julian Smith MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, to highlight its opposition to the changes in law concerning same-sex marriage and abortion. At the same time, a press release was issued to various media outlets outlining the truth of Scripture on these matters. The Secretary of State did not reply to the Presbytery, and the press release was not carried by news media. The following article provides a Biblical view on the subject of abortion. Ed.
Psalm 94:20-21: “Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with Thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.” Our Parliament has been munching and crunching its way through deadlines as if they were a box of Quality Street’s Mint Matchmakers. 29 March 2019 was the first date set for the
UK’s divorce from the EU, which was then extended to 12 April, then further stretched to the famous “do or die” date of 31 October: the day for this withdrawal now sits at 31 January 2020. The big question is, shall our Parliament finally deliver on the expressed will of its people, or shall it trigger yet another mechanism by which to invoke another delay to, if not revoke the result of, the referendum?
Of greater concern than any Brexit deadline to us in Northern Ireland was the fact while all of these UK/ EU shenanigans were taking place, we could see the whites of the eyes of another cut-off point and could hear the clock ticking on a much more sinister countdown. One that threatens to put out eyes before they can open; to close the ears of that child whose sensory faculties are rapidly developing inside the womb of its mother; to mechanically – and monstrously – revoke that child’s right ever to live, or learn to speak, or cheer, or vote.
While for some (the kind of people who recently celebrated with air punches and cheers in New South Wales, Australia, after they overturned an 119-year-old law against abortion and replaced it with a most radically permissive regime – and those who in May 2018 when the barriers to abortion fell in the Republic of Ireland threatened “The North is next!”), 21 October 2019 could not come quickly enough. Yet, for many in Northern Ireland, this was a date to be dreaded. And there was to be not so much as a single extension to our own deadline. Despite a last gasp attempt by some politicians to reactivate Stormont for at least one day and so pass votes to stymie Parliament’s effort to drop these new laws on us, Nationalist parties shamefully refused to cooperate. As many have noted, 21 October 2019 will go down in history as our “darkest day” when both abortion and same-sex marriage became legal in Northern Ireland.
It is horrendous to think that our province has been railroaded to such a degree that from being the safest place in the British Isles for an unborn baby we will now accommodate one of the most extreme abortion regimes in the world, with little to no protections for anyone, including our health workers, but especially the most defenceless, the unborn child. One of the bright lights in this darkness is the fact that up to 1000 health workers in Northern Ireland signed a letter that was sent to the to Julian Smith MP, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, stating that they will refuse to perform abortions – a mirror-image of the majority of the Republic of Ireland’s 2,500 GPs who previously declared they were unwilling to participate in this slaughter. As one Australian MP recently depicted it, this is “the slavery debate of our time”, and laws imposed upon Northern Ireland without local consultation gives the green light to our own version of the notoriously wicked Holocaust.
Naturally, this is disputed by those in our society who perversely portray abortion as a “progressive” measure. It does not seem to register with them that the murder of the most defenceless of our society should never be couched in terms of advancement. The euphemisms employed to deliberately mask and minimise the crude, cruel dismemberment of a living child in its mother’s womb are not only threadbare but terrifying. In a calculated effort to diminish the horror, terms are pulled into play such as “a woman’s right to choose,” the deceptive, “a compassionate response to crisis pregnancy,” or the ridiculous description, “healthcare.” Since when did we take pleasure in healthcare that is locked into only one outcome – death? Abortion is neither health care nor a woman’s right: it is murder; the unjustifiable, unconscionable, sinful slaughter of the innocent. It is a completely bewildering sight to witness some political parties vigorously campaign to outlaw smacking a child, yet at the same time support the violent killing of a child in the womb.
When we permit God’s Word to be our educator, we discover that the weight of Biblical evidence indicates that the Lord considers the unborn child to be a person – therefore, that child’s life should be protected as other people’s lives are protected.
The Scriptures plainly teach:
- As a basic commandment (number 6), “Thou shalt not kill.”
- In many passages in the Bible, the child in the womb is described as a person: “The children struggled within her” (Rebekah, Genesis 25:22); Elizabeth “conceived a son in her old age” (Luke 1:36&57); “the babe leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41).
- God’s judgment always falls on those who slay the unborn (2 Kings 8:11-12; 15:16; Amos 1:13).
- God requires the same punishment for killing a child in the womb as He does for killing a man (Exodus 21:22-23). No matter how man in his wickedness excuses the vile practice of murdering an infant in the womb, God shall have the final say: “Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen” (Deuteronomy 27:25).
No matter how man in his wickedness excuses the vile practice of murdering an infant in the womb, God shall have the final say: “Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen” (Deuteronomy 27:25).
Though it pained us to note that our government refused to recognise the mobilisation of local public sentiment on this issue, or remember the previous votes of the Stormont Assembly not to relax our abortion law, or redress the ambush on our democracy launched and facilitated by the unwarranted interventions of Stella Creasy and John Bercow respectively, and recall the Stormont Assembly before 21 October so that our own elected representatives could take the necessary action both to prevent this law coming into effect and so stop this Death March before it is allowed to begin, this battle is not over. While abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland starting 22 October – putting an end to prosecutions and cases currently facing trial – a consultative period will take place until the end of March 2020 as authorities establish specific regulations around abortion access and services in Northern Ireland. It is vital that we make our voices heard during this consultation period. Only by availing of this opportunity will we continue to raise a necessary voice for the voiceless and reverse one of the most wicked impositions of our times: “Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction” (Proverbs 31:8).
Dr I Brown, Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church, Belfast.