No matter the results of Korman’s ruling on Plan B, the morning-after pill, we must teach theological truths to guide proper decision making. When it come to procreation, we must teach that children are a blessing from the Lord and that life begins from the moment of conception. Additionally, we should fear God more than any opinion of man, and recognize that the Gospel offers grace to cover any sin when making a multitude of other practical decisions. Let’s begin by reviewing the timeline:
- December 2011: Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, overruled the Food and Drug Administration, which blocked the sale of the morning-after pill to young girls without a prescription because of the lack of data to prove it was safe.
- April 5, 2013: Judge Edward R. Korman ruled that the morning-after pill, Plan B One-Step, be made available over the counter to all ages.
- May 1, 2013: U.S. defends age limits and claims the judge did not have the authority to overrule the FDA. The FDA agreed to allow girls as young as 15 to buy the drug over the counter without a prescription.
- May 10, 2013: Judge Korman refuses to drop his order allowing the morning-after pill for all ages but postponed the enforcement of his order until Monday, May 13. He called the appeal attempt politically motivated.
Today, May 13th, we might find out the final verdict. Here are two items to keep in mind as this case develops.
- Girls who cannot receive an aspirin without permission from their parents in public schools will now be able to buy the morning-after drug without either parental consent or prescription.
- The judicial system and government will side step parental involvement to make this possible, and yet then claim in other discussions that the lack of parental involvement—and of fathers especially—has created problems in our country.
We need to teach our young people two central truths about procreation and two theological truths to guide them through these ethical discussions. Whether discussing certain forms of birth control that create a hostile womb, the morning-after pill, or abortion, we must contend the following truths:
1. LIFE BEGINS AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION.
If life begins at the moment of conception, then any drug or procedure that creates a hostile environment or ends life is wrong. Below are some Bible verses demonstrating God’s involvement in forming life before birth.
Psalm 139: 14-16, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Job 10:8-12, “Your hands fashioned and made me, and now you have destroyed me altogether. 9 Remember that you have made me like clay; and will you return me to the dust? 10 Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese? 11 You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. 12 You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.”
Job 31:15, “Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?”
Isaiah 44:2, “Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you:”
Isaiah 44:24, “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: ‘I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,’”
Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
2. CHILDREN ARE A BLESSING FROM THE LORD.
We live in a culture of death that generally does not consider life a blessing from the Lord, but instead a burden on society. Whether a child adds burden to one’s lifestyle, finances, or future plans, the Bible contends children are a blessing from the Lord. Our general attitude toward children should agree with the Bible. Does this mean that we should all have as many children as possible or never use any means of family planning? Not necessarily, we must use wisdom, but we must also search our own hearts to determine the motives for our actions. In the following verses, we see Scripture indicating that God values children.
Psalm 127: 3-5, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
Psalm 113:9, “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!”
Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 30:1, “When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!”
1 Samuel 1:27-28, “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. 28 Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord. And he worshiped the Lord there.”
Proverbs 17:6, “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.”
Mark 10:14, “But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
We must defend and consistently repeat the central truths that life begins at the moment of conception and that children are a blessing from the Lord. There also are two key theological truths that should guide our considerations whether before or after an unwanted pregnancy.
1. WE SHOULD FEAR GOD MORE THAN ANY OPINION OF MAN.
2. WE MUST CREATE A CULTURE OF GOSPEL GRACE AND NOT MORALISTIC LEGALISM.
I fear that many young girls who make mistakes and engage in premarital sex will use the morning-after pill or something else to end an unwanted pregnancy because they know the judgmental nature of the church. But two wrongs do not make a right. Instead we should teach them to fear God more than any opinion of man and this may lead to purity and perseverance even amidst trials. When mistakes are made, however, the church should come alongside, extending grace to help the hurting rather than just judgmental looks.
When the Gospel drives everything we do, we see all of us need grace every day. We all have deceitfully wicked hearts and preaching a moralistic set of rules will never save but will only add a burden that mankind cannot bear. We should teach about theological realities such as adoption, redemption, forgiveness, and grace. We should become protectors of widows and orphans and fathers to the fatherless.
We need to proclaim loudly the biblical message that children are a blessing from the Lord, that life begins at the moment of conception, that we must fear God more than any opinion of man, and that the Gospel brings grace if one repents and believes. No matter any judge’s verdict, we must defend life now, not wait until the morning after.