Silence Is Golden (as in profitable): The Abortion-Industrial Complex

Just yesterday, a North Carolina law requiring women seeking an abortion to first have an ultrasound and a medical provider describe the image to them, and to offer to let them listen to the heartbeat, was ruled unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles (nominated to the bench by President Obama). The law didn’t require the patient to look at the ultrasound or to listen to the explanation.

It reminded me of all the controversy that surrounded Galileo’s development of the telescope, which proved the Copernican theory of a helio-centric model of planets, and also revealed that Jupiter had moons. This flew in the face of some naturalist philosophers and Catholic theologians who held to the Aristotelian/Ptolemaic view of a geo-centric universe. In a letter to his contemporary Johannes Kepler, Galileo complained that some of his opponents refused even to look through his telescope and see the evidence for themselves. I suppose when the evidence refutes a position you are determined to defend, you must avert your eyes.

This is “Sanctity of Human Life Weekend” and the leadership of Congregation Shema Yisrael is unified in our desire to speak out against the evil that is abortion, and at the same time to sound the call to men and women everywhere to repent and receive the forgiveness that God is offering to everyone who will come to Him.

The abomination that is abortion

On January 22, 1973, forty-one years ago this week, seven of the nine members of the Supreme Court of the United States, by judicial fiat wiped away every state law that had previously protected human beings in the womb. They invented a “constitutional” right that had never existed before. In a bizarre twist on the right to privacy they legislated elective abortion from the bench. These seven ‘little gods’ in black robes changed the course of history for the worse. Without a vote of the people, without due legislative process, these unelected men made abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason, the law in all fifty states. Seven men legitimized what would become the killing of tens of millions of people; to date: 56,662,169.

We call it abortion, but maybe it should be called “physician-assisted homicide”. Both medical science and our own consciences tells us that the baby growing in the womb is a person, a human being created in the image of God; and that the only difference between you and that unborn baby is time. Now either I am mistaken or those judges were mistaken. We are either talking about a human being or we are not. There is no semi-human middle ground on which those who want to play it safe may stand.

I have two purposes today. The first is to demonstrate that the prenatal baby, whether in embryonic or fetal stage is our neighbor – a fellow human being, deserving from both a medical and biblical standpoint our full protection and care. In the process, I hope to dismantle some of the arguments in favor of elective abortion. My second purpose is to provide you an opportunity to do something about this moral and spiritual crisis.

Abortion as an ancient practice

One of the oldest surviving documents of the Early Church is called The Didache. It isn’t one of the books of the New Covenant, but it is almost universally held to be authentic, and has been dated by some as early as AD 60. Simply put, The Didache is an instructional handbook for new converts to the Faith. It has two major divisions; the first is a code of conduct, and the second is a list and description of some of the rituals of the Early Church. Please listen to these words from The Didache 2:1-2:

And this is the second commandment of the teaching. You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not corrupt boys, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not deal in magic, you shall do no sorcery, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born…

Ancient Rome fell into moral decay long before it fell to the Visigoths. Children were frequently put to death by abortion. Others were allowed to be born, only to be left at the city garbage dumps to die of exposure. One of the signs of the righteousness of the Early Church was that believers would frequently rescue babies left at the dump sites and raise them as their own children, and bring them up in the faith! How a society deals with its most vulnerable members is a litmus test of its morality.

But the slaughter of innocent children predates Rome. Pharaoh slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Israeli babies in his quest to keep power. Who do you think was ultimately behind it? Herod slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Israeli babies in his quest to keep power. Who do you think was ultimately behind that?

The Canaanites, Ammonites, Moabites – all sacrificed their own childen in perverse religious rites to Molech, Chemosh, Ashtoreth and Milcom – their false gods. Who do you think was ultimately behind that? I’ll tell you who: the one who was a murderer from the beginning; the one whose cruelty knows no limits, who is utterly without mercy; pitiless and ruthless.

He is the same one who in ancient times inspired the Amalekites to attack Israel from the rear, killing the elderly and the very young children – the weakest and most vulnerable of our numbers; the one who would snuff out the life of innocent and defenseless children; the one whose judgment is prepared from ancient times. And do we want to be in league with that one? I’m afraid that is exactly what we are doing when we look the other way and allow the slaughter of innocent human beings; we align ourselves with the purposes of Satan, and will we not be judged for it?

The biological case for the full humanity of the embryo/fetus

At the very instant of conception, when a female ovum is fertilized by a male sperm, virtually all genetic information is fully present (not one bit of genetic information will ever be added), and a new human being has come into existence, with his or her own unique genetic profile and blood type. Scott Klusendorf, arguably the premier pro-life apologist in theUnited States today, says this: “Scientifically, few people dispute that individual human life begins at conception. Unlike sperm and ovum, which merely contain human genetic material, the embryo possesses the active (inherent) capacity to develop itself into a fetus, infant, child and adult. It is a distinct, unified, self-integrating human organism”. Dr. Landrum Shettles, the first scientist to achieve conception in a test-tube, wrote: “Conception not only confers life, it ‘defines’ life. That is to say, at no point does the distinct organism that came into being undergo a ‘substantial change’ or change of nature. It is human and will remain so. It is an immature human, as is an infant (I would add: a toddler, an adolescent), but a human being nonetheless.” [1]

I believe it is crucial that we argue for the full humanity of the prenatal child at every stage of development. I say this because some well-meaning people have begun to make distinctions between the abortion of, say, a one week-old embryo and a second trimester fetus. That argument is premised on the infliction of pain, which most human beings find morally objectionable. I sympathize with that position, because I used to argue that way. As long as no physical suffering was inflicted, it didn’t seem so wrong to me. But do you know why this is a bad way to argue? First, you are not addressing the core issue: the full humanity of the embryo. Secondly, if abortion is only immoral on the basis of pain inflicted, then sooner or later it will be permissible to put anyone to death, as long as we anesthetize them first.


If abortion is only immoral on the basis of pain inflicted, then sooner or later it will be permissible to put anyone to death, so long as we anesthetize them first.


While it is true that the embryo or fetus differs from newborns in terms of size, location and development, these differences don’t justify abortion. An embryo may be very small, but since when do rights depend on our size? Men are generally larger than women; should we argue for fewer rights for women? Shaquille O’Neal is over a foot taller than me, and weighs more than me and Rabbi Loren combined. Should he have more rights than me?

Those who argue on the basis of development are also wrong. A three year-old girl is less developed than an adolescent, but no reasonable person would argue that the three year-old is less human, would they?

What about those who argue on the basis of location? Some argue that it isn’t a human being until the baby is outside the womb. Again I quote Scott Klusendorf: “Where you are has no bearing on who you are. When you rolled over in bed last night you changed location. Did you stop being you? What about when you moved from the den to the kitchen? When people say that birth makes the unborn human, my question is simply this: How does a simple change of location – from inside the womb to outside the womb – change the essential nature of the unborn? Why should anyone accept the fact that a journey of seven inches down the birth canal changes a non-human tissue mass into a valuable human we ought to protect?”[2]

The biblical case for the full humanity of the embryo/fetus

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before even one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16)

Did you notice that the psalmist didn’t say “…when I was mechanically assembled,” or “…when I was slapped together haphazardly”? He declared that we were woven together by God in the hidden places – in our mothers’ wombs. Have you ever seen a graphic representation of DNA or electron microscopy showing DNA strands? It looks like they are woven together!

What else does Scripture say about human life? Perhaps the most crucial passage in the Scriptures concerning the full humanity of the unborn child is found in Exodus 21:22-25.

“If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

Some pro-abortion advocates have argued on the basis of the presumed death of the baby (“miscarriage” – which is a poor translation) that only a financial penalty was levied, whereas if the woman died then the death penalty would be invoked. But the correct understanding is that if two men are fighting, and the wife of one of them is struck and goes into premature labor and gives birth there, if both she and the baby are fine, then there is to be only a monetary compensation (because a baby born prematurely needs a lot more care and that involves financial hardship). If, however, either she or the baby is injured then the penalty is eye for eye, foot for foot, all the way up to life for life. The point is that the baby is accorded the same legal status as the woman.

Sadly, many people have been deceived into thinking that if you can’t see the baby, it isn’t a baby. It’s described instead as a “product of conception,” which is laughable. What else would a woman conceive, a duck-billed platypus ?

But logic appears to be in short supply these days. Despite that fact that we now have the ability to see a baby growing in his or her mother’s womb (via ultrasound technology and intrauterine photography), some people still insist that it isn’t a human being. When is that life a human life? How is this for extreme: Not very long ago Sen. Barbara Boxer went on record as saying she doesn’t consider a baby a human being until the parents take it home!

The wickedness and avarice of abortion “doctors”

Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person. (Deuteronomy 27:25)

Can this be applied to a doctor who performs abortions? Let’s consider the context and see. In Deuteronomy 27 we find the nation of Israel at the threshold of Eretz Canaan. Before entering the Land, however, God commanded that once we crossed the Jordan, we were to gather at the mountains Gerizim and Ebal. Six tribes were to stand on each mountain, facing each other; those on Gerizim to represent the blessings of obedience, and those on Ebal to represent the curses of disobedience. At that time the Levites were to pronounce specific curses, twelve in all; ranging from idolatry to incest to perverting the judicial process to real estate fraud to bestiality. The eleventh curse reads as follows:

Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.

Anyone who agrees to murder an innocent person in exchange for a sum of money (i.e., a “hit-man”) is cursed. The three key words are “bribe,” “innocent” and “person”. “Bribe” means the person is being paid for their nefarious services. Now, in order for this not to be applicable to an abortionist, you would have to prove one of two things: either that the unborn baby is guilty of a specific crime (and in order to prove guilt in a capital case you would have to produce two or three witnesses – how do you get witnesses into a woman’s uterus?), or else you would have to prove that the unborn baby is not a person. But as we said, some people do argue that.

A century and a half ago slave owners argued that black people were less than human in order to justify enslaving them. Seventy years ago the Nazis, hoping to create a master race and citing the claims of eugenics, argued that Jews were less than human in order to justify exterminating them. Those who today argue that the unborn babies are not human beings are employing the same rationalization.

No one comes out of an abortion mill a “winner”. But for the abortionist, silence is “golden” when you consider that, at an average fee of $400 per abortion, and at an average of 10-20 abortions per day (conservatively), he or she nets, after expenses, between $1.5 to $3 million dollars annually.

Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.

Can you think of a more apt description of what abortion is? The abortionist is accepting money to murder an innocent person. Please don’t deceive yourselves into thinking that they got into this industry because they care about teenage girls who otherwise would have to become mothers before they’re ready. This is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it has made millionaires out of those who, once upon a time, swore the Hippocratic oath, which begins: First, do no harm.

You might wonder how they can live with themselves. How can someone who does this kind of thing sleep at night? How can anyone justify this? The answer is disturbing. As a matter of fact, may I digress for a moment and tell you what slave owners and Nazis and abortionists have in common? In each case, the only way they could justify the horrible things they perpetrated on their fellow human beings was to tell themselves (and their critics) that their victims were not, after all, entirely human.

Those of conscience in the 17th and 18th centuries didn’t buy the lie of the slave traders; Those of conscience in the 1930’s and 40’s didn’t buy the lie of Naziism or National Socialism. And those of conscience today aren’t buying the lie of the Abortion Industry. That life is human, and it is precious, and deserves our protection.

If you want to be equipped to powerfully answer the arguments of abortion advocates, let me recommend a fantastic article, written by Scott Klusendorf, entitled “Five Bad Ways to Argue about Abortion”. Copies can be ordered at

Conclusion: A call to action on the part of God’s people

Hear the words of Isaiah the prophet: Seek justice, reprove the ruthless; Defend the orphan, plead for the widow (Isaiah 1:17)

And consider the words of the psalmist: Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. (Psalm 41:1)

This goes along with the teaching of Yeshua, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) Those who are willing to be inconvenienced and even risk their own safety for the sake of the defenseless and weak, will receive the very same regard from God.

Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 82:4)

This theme reverberates throughout the Scriptures. There have always been those in society who are weak and vulnerable, and there have always been ruthless opportunists lying in wait to profit from it. We are not to stand idly by and let it happen. The psalmist charges us with their defense and rescue. Remember, too, these words were written to the people of God. I don’t expect the heathen to take up the cause of the weak and defenseless, but you and I are most definitely expected to.

Toward the end of WWII, after Germany was delivered from the clutches of the Nazis, and the scope of the horror and atrocities committed against the Jews became apparent and were broadcast across the world, many German people said they hadn’t known it was happening. Never mind the systematic extermination of the Jewish people had already been in process for years; the smoke ascending from the Nazi ovens in the various camps seen for miles in every direction. Never mind the train boxcars filled with crying human beings crossing through the German countryside. And, of course, there was a lot of talk. Yet many Germans pled ignorance. As though anticipating such excuse-making, the author of Proverbs declared:

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? And will He not repay each person according to what he has done? (Proverbs 24:11-12)

I am convinced that we will be held accountable if we remain silent in the face of the systematic slaughter of millions of the most defenseless “neighbors” of ours, the unborn. They are most certainly our “neighbors”. They are the most vulnerable members of the human family, and they are unable to speak in their own defense.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and afflicted” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Some of the change that ultimately brought about the abolition of slavery was achieved from pulpits and street corner preaching – appeals to people’s consciences. For others it took a war. Even afterwards, some change had to be wrought through the legal system. That’s the difficult thing, you see: some people learn through conscience, while others have to have morality legislated in order not to do the wrong thing.

Understand, then, that the present evil we are confronting needs to be fought on several levels. We need to appeal to the conscience of men and women that human life is created in the image of God and is sacred. That’s what we’re doing here this morning, and that is what is being done by the all too few faithful who are counseling young women on the sidewalks outside the abortion mills, pleading with them to choose life for their babies. We need to volunteer our time and energy at local crisis pregnancy centers.

We also need to use the marvelous legal system this country was endowed with, which has been perverted by those with a hideous agenda. Our voices of moral protest need to be heard by those who claim to represent us in government.

Before we conclude, let me say something very important here. In any gathering of this size, there are likely to be some who have had an abortion, or who condoned an abortion or participated in some way. Please hear this: there is forgiveness; there is forgiveness because of the sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua; there is forgiveness and cleansing and healing when we openly confess our sins to Him. Guilt is a God-given thing; it can serve to bring us to repentance, so that we may live. There’s so much more that could be said, but let me conclude this morning with these words from the Torah as our calling:

Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue,

In order that you may live,

And possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you!

(Deuteronomy 16:20)

[1] From Five Bad Ways to Argue about Abortion Ó 2000 Scott Klusendorf,
[2] ibid.