“But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” - Luke 1:44
“The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.” - John 3:29
The key to the issue of abortion has always been recognizing that the preborn infant is really a human being, one that is every bit as much in the image of God as one who has already been born. The reason we don’t kill people is that they are in the image of God. Genesis 9:6 says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” Fundamental to our pro-life argument is that the infant in the womb is in the image of God, and that the image of God is not magically conferred at the moment of birth. Therefore, there is most certainly continuity in the child before and after birth.
The continuity is confirmed when studying embryology, the fact that from conception until birth and beyond, the genetic pattern is established and never changes. How much of an individual’s personality is established from conception is impossible to say, but the verses above give a hint toward continuity there as well. While still in Elizabeth’s womb, John the Baptist leaped for joy when Mary’s greeting reached his mother’s ears. As has been noted many times before, this verse alone is sufficient to establish the personhood of John before birth, since only persons can feel joy or leap for joy. Even more striking is that the joy was caused really by proximity to Jesus Christ, for Mary was carrying the newly conceived Savior in her womb even then. John leapt for joy at being near Jesus and at hearing Jesus’ mother’s voice in his ears.
Recently, however, I put together Luke 1:44 and John 3:29. In John 3, John’s disciples expressed chagrin to John that Jesus’ disciples were baptizing so many more new converts than John. In modern business terms, it seems John was losing “market share!” John replies with an amazing statement. He recognizes fully that Jesus deserves to have the disciples flocking to Him over John, and that John’s whole purpose had been to prepare the way for Jesus. In John 3:30, John said so beautifully, He must increase and I must decrease. But what catches my attention here is verse 29, cited above. There John displays his heart reaction to Jesus: full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. Note, therefore, the remarkable consistency of this person, John. From the time he heard Mary’s voice while still in his mother’s womb to the time he heard Jesus’ voice when out of it, John was the same person, with the same calling and the same joyful reaction. This is the continuity of personhood from before and after birth.
"We must also realize that the gospel can be preached and Jesus’ name proclaimed even to pre-born children, preparing them for the day when they will at last embrace the Savior!"
Therefore, we must see the preborn infant as a fully human person. We have no right to kill him or her simply because we can’t see the child or simply because the child is not yet breathing air through its nostrils. We must keep praying that the Roe v. Wade decision gets overturned by the Supreme Court. We must also realize that the gospel can be preached and Jesus’ name proclaimed even to pre-born children, preparing them for the day when they will at last embrace the Savior!