Bible Study on the Right to Choose

By Staff
Dec 14, 2009

Bible Study Guide

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Psalm 100:3

Teacher Notes

This is a suggested Bible study for any size group. The accompanying sermon notes (“The Right to Choose?”) serve as a resource as you prepare to lead this Bible study. Answers are provided with the questions when appropriate, but do not be too quick to give the answers. Allow the participants time to talk about the questions among themselves and offer their own thoughts and reflections. Remember this is only a suggested outline. Customize to your style and the setting.

Bible Study Instruction

Before class: If possible, make copies of all the Other Sources material to hand out to class participants at the end of class.

Create Learning Readiness: Using the information in the Context section of the accompanying sermon (“The Right to Choose?”), describe the background of the passage.

Say: On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two decisions (Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton) that have resulted in the destruction of 46 million babies in this country alone. In Roe, the Court allowed unregulated abortion in the first trimester but said the state could regulate second and third trimester abortions if they could prove “compelling interest”—unless the life or health of the mother was in jeopardy. In Doe, the compelling interest clause was rendered virtually meaningless as the Court gave women the right to an abortion at any time by defining health to include “physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age.” Therefore, Doe trumps any compelling interest on the part of any state to regulate abortion.

Say: One eventual outcome of these decisions, though probably not intended by the Court, is the use of abortion as an alternative means of birth control. If a pregnancy occurs, the recourse is to have the so-called “fetal tissue” extracted or expelled from the woman’s body through surgical or chemical abortion. The use of the phrase “fetal tissue” makes it sound so innocuous. But we know that this tissue is so much more—it is a baby, a human life. The callous disregard of that truth results in approximately 3,700 abortions per day—1.3 million per year in the United States alone.

Say: Many of those abortions involve women who are married. They may seek an abortion for a number of reasons—a pregnancy would interfere with their career, a pregnancy resulting from an extra-marital affair, etc. Most, however, are sought by unmarried women who are many times pressured by the men in their lives to seek an abortion. In either case, abortion really does come down to a choice: will a woman—and her partner—make the right or wrong choice?

Say: Abortion is often couched in the phrase “a woman’s right to choose.” There are at least two choices open to any woman carrying a baby.

Say: Let’s look first at the wrong choice—abortion. The only possible exception is when the physical health or life of the mother is endangered—not her emotional health, her psychological health, or her family situation as the Doe decision allows.

Say: Choices involve consequences. There are three kinds of consequences when a woman chooses to have an abortion—physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Ask: Can you think of any possible physical consequences of having an abortion? (Write answers on the board.)

Say: Here are some others we haven’t mentioned. (Include any from this list not already given by class participants: pain, infection, excessive bleeding, ripping or perforation of the uterus, hemorrhage, cervical tearing or lacerations, endotoxic shock, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, endometritis, placenta previa, infertility, cancer, ectopic (tubal) pregnancies, and death.)

Say: These are not the kind of things reported on in the news. Yet they are real. And they happen all too infrequently. Another thing to remember is that abortion facilities are not usually located in a hospital. So when these things happen, help is sometimes not immediately available.

Ask: Without using any names, is anyone aware that one or more of these things has happened to someone you are acquainted with? Without giving too much detail so that identities are revealed, can you share what the outcome of the situation was?

Say: Now let’s think about possible emotional consequences of abortion.

Ask: Can you name some possible emotional consequences of abortion? (Post Abortion Syndrome and its associated symptoms)

Say: Again, let’s add to the list others that were not included. (Include guilt, anxiety, depression, loss, anger, suicide, drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, nightmares, and preoccupation with death.)

Say: But there is an even greater consequence than either the physical or the emotional. It is the spiritual consequence of an abortion. First, we need to understand that abortion is sin.

Ask: Why is abortion a sin? (Answer should include that abortion is the taking of a life which is murder.)

Say: Since God is the Creator of life, abortion is the taking of a life. God calls the unjust taking of a life murder. (Ask five class participants to look up and read aloud the following verses: Psalm 100:3; Job 33:4; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; and Exodus 20:12.)

Ask: What do these verses have to say about the pro-choice argument that it is just a mass of fetal tissue that is being disposed of?

Say: Sin has spiritual consequences.

Ask: What are the consequences of sin for a person who is not a believer? (Separation from God. Ask someone to read Romans 6:23 aloud.)

Ask: What are the consequences for a person who is a Christian? (Loss of fellowship with God. Ask someone to read Psalm 32:3-4.)

Say: That’s bad news. But there is some good news. God offers forgiveness to anyone who has broken His commands—for the lost through faith in Christ, for the Christian through confession of sin. (Ask three participants to read John 1:12; Romans 10:9-10; and 1 John 1:9.)

Ask: So if abortion is not a right choice except in cases where the physical health or life of the mother is endangered, what is the alternative? Is there another choice?

Say: There are actually two right alternatives to abortion. The first right choice is abstinence. For those who have never married, those who find themselves single again, or those who are separated, that means total abstinence—not being involved in any sexual relationship. Why? Abstinence does three things: prevents pregnancy, prevents sexually transmitted disease, and preserves for marriage.

Ask: What are some sexually transmitted diseases that you’ve heard about? [Write answers on the board. Be sure the list includes Chlamydia, Genital herpes, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Syphilis, and Trichomonas.]

Say: That list includes some very nasty, painful diseases. Let’s think about one last thing. There are a lot of people today who are engaging in oral sex and saying it’s not sex since it isn’t intercourse. It’s true that oral sex avoids pregnancy. But it does not avoid these sexually transmitted diseases.

Say: God’s design for us is that we preserve ourselves for marriage. (Ask three participants to read Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:5-6, and 1 Thess. 4:3.)

Say: Sex is the completion of the marriage union between a man and a woman. When we follow God’s perfect plan, we save ourselves from worries of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases that often accompany sexual activity outside of marriage.

Say: If a woman did not make the choice to remain abstinent and finds herself pregnant, the second right choice is adoption. Parents who find themselves unable or unwilling to provide suitable care for their child should place him or her into an adoptive home which can provide for their care. There are countless infertile couples who long to adopt children and love them as their own.

Ask: What did we discover was the wrong choice? (Abortion) What did we discover was the right choice? (Abstinence) Who can make the choice to practice abstinence? (Both males and females)

Say: People do have a choice to make—either to engage in sexual activity or not. If they do become sexually active, pregnancy may be a real possibility. At that point, they still have a choice to make, either right or wrong. The wrong choice, as we’ve seen, is abortion. The right choice is to carry that child to term and raise him or her in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Or, if circumstances will not permit the parents to provide proper care, then place the child for adoption to a loving couple who can provide the love and nurture the child needs. The right choice also involves asking God’s forgiveness for sinning against Him and attempting to restore any damaged relationships with parents or others who have been hurt by one’s actions.

Say: I want to give you some material as you leave that I hope you will take home and look over carefully. If you’re interested in further study, there are some Web sites listed where you will find additional information. (Hand out Other Sources material.)

What Can One Person Do?

  1. Become a volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center.
  2. Call or write your local, state, and federal legislators, asking them to support pro-life legislation regarding abortion.
  3. If possible, seek to adopt a child through the nearest Baptist Children’s Home or other Christ-oriented adoption agency.
  4. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, stating the pro-life message clearly and positively.
  5. Register to vote. Then vote for pro-life candidates who will take a stand for life.
  6. Ask your pastor to preach a pro-life message on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. If he feels unqualified to do so, encourage him to invite some qualified person to speak on that Sunday.

Other Helpful Scriptures

Bible verses about Sanctity of Human Life:
Genesis 2:7; Job 10:8-12; Job 31:15; Psalm 22:9-10; Psalm 127:3; Psalm 139:13-16a; Jeremiah 1:4-5

Word Studies (WS)

WS1 —made—“a primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application (as follows) :- accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy, × certainly, have the charge of, commit, deal (with), deck, + displease, do, (ready) dress (-ed), (put in) execute (-ion), exercise, fashion, + feast, [fight] ing man, + finish, fit, fly, follow, fulfil, furnish, gather, get, go about, govern, grant, great, + hinder, hold ([a feast]), × indeed, + be industrious, + journey, keep, labour, maintain, make, be meet, observe, be occupied, offer, + officer, pare, bring (come) to pass, perform, practise, prepare, procure, provide, put, requite, × sacrifice, serve, set, shew, × sin, spend, × surely, take, × throughly, trim, × very, + vex, be [warr] ior, work (-man), yield, use” [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance (Austin, TX: WORDSearch 7 Electronic version, WORDSearch Corp., 2004)].

WS2 — made—“A verb meaning to do, to make, to accomplish, to complete. This frequently used Hebrew verb conveys the central notion of performing an activity with a distinct purpose, a moral obligation, or a goal in view (cf. Gen. 11:6). Particularly, it was used in conjunction with God’s commands (Deut. 16:12). It described the process of construction (Gen. 13:4; Job 9:9; Prov. 8:26); engaging in warfare (Josh. 11:18); the yielding of grain (Hos. 8:7); observing a religious ceremony (Ex. 31:16; Num. 9:4); and the completion of something (Ezra 10:3; Isa. 46:10)” [The Complete Word Study Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDSearch 7 Electronic version, WORDSearch Corp., 2004)].

WS3 —made—“The verb ‘āśâ has the basic connotation of ‘do’ or ‘make.’ It is used in numerous crystallized expressions, always with the same basic idea . . . When used in the sense of ‘make,’ the emphasis is on the fashioning of the object (Genesis 8:6; Genesis 33:17; Exodus 25:10-11, 13, 17, etc.)” [Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, (Austin, TX: WORDSearch 7 Electronic version, WORDSearch Corp., 2004)].

Commentary Citations (CC)

CC1—“Know ye that the Lord he is God —Acknowledge in every possible way, both in public and private, that Jehovah, the uncreated self-existent, and eternal Being, is Elohim, the God who is in covenant with man, to instruct, redeem, love, and make him finally happy.

“It is he that hath made us —He is our Creator and has consequently the only right in and over us” [Adam Clarke’s Commentary, (Austin, TX: WORDSearch 7 Electronic version, WORDSearch Corp., 2004)].

CC2 —“God is our Creator; we did not create ourselves. Many people live as though they are the creator and center of their own little world. This mind-set leads to a greedy possessiveness and, if everything should be taken away, a loss of hope itself. But when we realize that God created us and gives us all we have, we will want to give to others as God gave to us (2Corinthians 9:8). Then, if all is lost, we still have God and all he gives us” [Life Application Bible Notes, (Austin, TX: WORDSearch 7 Electronic version, WORDSearch Corp., 2004)].

CC3 —“Shall not the creature reverence its maker? Some men live as if they made themselves; they call themselves ‘self-made men,’ and they adore their supposed creators; but Christians recognize the origin of their being and their well-being, and take no honour to themselves either for being, or for being what they are” [C. H. Spurgeon, Exposition of the Psalms, Book 2B (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), 234].

CC4 —“He made all without the help or concurrence of any other. There was none that assisted him, or did in the least co-operate with him in the work of creation . . . Those that assist and concur with another in the making of a thing may claim a share in it; but here lies no such claim in this case, where the Lord alone did all, alone made it all. All is his only” [From “Roger of Wendover’s (—1237) Flowers of History,” in C. H. Spurgeon, Exposition of the Psalms, Book 2B (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), 236].

Other Sources (OS)

OS1 —“Despite the use of local anesthesia, a full 97 percent of women having abortions reported experiencing pain during the procedure, which more than a third described as ‘intense,’ ‘severe’ or ‘very severe.’ Compared to other pains, researchers have rated the pain from abortion as more painful than a bone fracture, about the same as cancer pain, though not as painful as an amputation.

“Studies also reveal that younger women tend to find abortion more painful than do older adults, and that patients typically found abortion more painful than their doctors or counselors expected. The use of more powerful general anesthetics can reduce the pain, but significantly increases the risk of cervical injury or uterine perforation.”

“Is Abortion Safe? Physical Complications,” (National Right to Life) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

For other sources of information on pain during an abortion see “Physical Health Risks of Abortion,” (info near bottom). Also see “Abortion: Medical Info,” [Both accessed September 23, 2005]

OS2 —“Approximately 10 percent of women undergoing elective abortion will suffer immediate complications, of which approximately one-fifth (2 percent) are considered life threatening. The nine most common major complications which can occur at the time of an abortion are: infection, excessive bleeding, embolism, ripping or perforation of the uterus, anesthesia complications, convulsions, hemorrhage, cervical injury, and endotoxic shock. The most common ‘minor’ complications include: infection, bleeding, fever, second degree burns, chronic abdominal pain, vomiting, gastrointestinal disturbances, and Rh sensitization.”

“Physical Health Risks of Abortion,” [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS3 —“Provided the woman isn’t part of the 8 percent–23 percent for whom the chemical method fails (meaning a surgical abortion is required), the woman using the RU486/PG combination simply faces a whole new set of risks and dangers, ranging from hemorrhage to heart failure.

“Women bleed nearly four times more from a RU486/PG abortion as they would from a standard first trimester suction curettage abortion. At least one out of every fifty women who took it in trials bled so badly they required some form of surgical intervention. One woman in a hundred participating in the U.S. trials ended up in the hospital.”

Randall K. O’Bannon, “RU486: One Year After U.S. Approval,” (National Right to Life) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS4 —“Perforation of the uterus is not always evident during uterine aspiration abortion. Treatment and management of perforation can involve observation alone, laparotomy (surgical incision through the abdominal wall), and hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) . . . Frederick J. Taussig, M.D., in his classic work on abortion, said: ‘Perforation is one of those misadventures that probably occur very much more frequently than the printed records would indicate. Most of the cases are never reported because after all, it is usually the operator’s fault, and not a pleasant thing to write about. You can hardly find a busy gynecologist who will not, when questioned, tell you of at least one such disagreeable experience.’”

“Abortion: Possible Adverse Health Consequences of Legally Induced Abortions,” (American Life League) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

For other sources of information on uterine perforation or laceration during an abortion see “Physical Health Risks of Abortion,” (info near bottom). Also see “Abortion: Medical Info,” [Both accessed September 23, 2005]

OS5 —“The amount of blood loss (as reported to public health authorities) varies from 50 milliliters to 500 milliliters. Apparently, the Joint Program for the Study of Abortion at the CDC has not established a standard constituting hemorrhage.”

“Abortion: Possible Adverse Health Consequences of Legally Induced Abortions,” (American Life League) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS6 —“Cervical damage is another leading cause of long term complications following abortion. According to one hospital study, 12.5 percent of first trimester abortions required stitching for cervical lacerations. Another study found that lacerations occurred in 22 percent of aborted women. And women under the age of 17 have been found to face twice the normal risk of suffering cervical damage.

“Whether microscopic or macroscopic in nature, the cervical damage which results during abortion frequently results in a permanent weakening of the cervix. This weakening may result in an ‘incompetent cervix’, a serious medical condition in any pregnancy that often results in miscarriage or premature birth. According to one study, symptoms related to cervical incompetence were found among 75 percent of women who undergo forced dilation for abortion.

“To put this risk in context, cervical damage from previously induced abortions significantly increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and complications of labor during later pregnancies by 300 to 500 percent! The reproductive risks of abortion are especially acute for women who abort their first pregnancy. A major study of first pregnancy abortions found that almost half, or 48 percent, of women experienced abortion-related complications in later pregnancies. Women in this group experienced 2.3 miscarriages for every one live birth. And another researcher found that among teenagers who aborted their first pregnancies, 66 percent subsequently experienced miscarriages or premature birth of their second pregnancy.”

Mary Cunningham Agee, “Building a Culture of Life,” (The Nurturing Network) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

For other sources of information on cervical tearing or lacerations during an abortion see “Abortion: Medical Info,” Also see “Abortion Is Not As Safe As We Have Been Told,” [Both accessed September 23, 2005]

OS7 —“PID is a potentially life threatening disease which can lead to an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy and reduced fertility. Of patients who have a Chlamydia infection at the time of the abortion, 23 percent will develop PID within 4 weeks. Studies have found that 20 to 27 percent of patients seeking abortion have a Chlamydia infection. Approximately 5 percent of patients who are not infected by Chlamydia develop PID within 4 weeks after a first trimester abortion. It is therefore reasonable to expect that abortion providers should screen for and treat such infections prior to an abortion.”

“Physical Health Risks of Abortion,” (Westside Pregnancy Resource Center) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS8 —“ Endometritis is a post-abortion risk for all women, but especially for teenagers, who are 2.5 times more likely than women 20-29 to acquire endometritis following abortion.”

“Abortion: Medical Info,” (Community Pregnancy Centers) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS9 —“Abortion increases the risk of placenta previa in later pregnancies (a life threatening condition for both the mother and her wanted pregnancy) by seven to fifteen fold. Abnormal development of the placenta due to uterine damage increases the risk of fetal malformation, perinatal death, and excessive bleeding during labor.”

“Abortion: Medical Info,” (Community Pregnancy Centers) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS10 —“Determining the rate of secondary infertility due to induced abortion is complicated by the fact that many women may be deliberately avoiding subsequent pregnancy. However, evidence in several studies shows a connection between induced abortion and subsequent infertility: In Poland, Midar found 6.9 percent infertility in women who had had induced abortions; Segleneitse reported up to 16 percent in Latvia; and Trichopoulos reported 45 percent in Greece.

“In the Greek study, each of the 83 women who underwent an illegal dilatation and curettage abortion were matched by two control subjects. The relative risk of secondary infertility among women with at least one induced abortion and no spontaneous abortion was 3.4 times greater than it was among women with no induced or spontaneous abortions.”

“Abortion: Possible Adverse Health Consequences of Legally Induced Abortions,” (American Life League) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS11 —“There is strong evidence that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. A study of more than 1,800 women appearing in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1994 found that overall, women having abortions increased their risk of getting breast cancer before age 45 by 50 percent. For women under 18 with no previous pregnancies, having an abortion after the 8th week increased the risk of breast cancer 800 percent. Women with a family history of breast cancer fared even worse. All 12 women participating in the study who had abortions before 18 and had a family history of breast cancer themselves got cancer before age 45.

“Is Abortion Safe? Physical Complications,” (National Right to Life) [Accessed September 23, 2005] Also see “Medical Journal: Political Correctness Prevents Women From Learning About Abortion Risks; Politics Trumps Science in Abortion-Breast Cancer Link,” [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS12 —“Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized ovum implants outside the womb, such as in the abdominal cavity, ovary or fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies can be life threatening.

“In a study which matched control and case subjects for age, parity (number of offspring) and socioeconomic status, it was concluded that induced abortion created a predisposition to ectopic pregnancy in subsequent pregnancies. This study of Greek women revealed 45 percent of all ectopic pregnancies followed induced abortion.

“There is the additional consideration of how deaths are reported which result from an abortion and subsequent rupture of a pregnancy misdiagnosed as uterine, but which in fact was ectopic.

“The CDC has noted, ‘between 1972 and 1977 . . . six women died from ectopic pregnancies after undergoing a legally-induced abortion procedure. Because deaths from ectopic pregnancies are not considered abortion-related . . . they have not been tabulated.’

“By 1978 the CDC had identified 10 deaths caused by ruptured ectopic pregnancy in women aged 18 to 31 after undergoing legal abortion. Yet none of these deaths were classified as being caused by abortion, even though they were discovered by CDC’s abortion surveillance program.”

“Abortion: Possible Adverse Health Consequences of Legally Induced Abortions,” (American Life League) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS13 —“Death of the mother is the most serious of all complications. Over 200 women have died from legal abortions since 1973. The risk of death increases according to the duration of pregnancy and the complexity of the abortion technique employed.”

“Is Abortion Safe? Physical Complications,” (National Right to Life) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS14 —“Clinical research provides a growing body of scientific evidence that having an abortion can cause psychological harm to some women. ‘Women who report negative after-effects from abortion know exactly what their problem is,’ observed psychologist Wanda Franz, Ph.D., in a March 1989 congressional hearing on the impact of abortion. ‘They report horrible nightmares of children calling them from trash cans, of body parts, and blood,’ Franz told the Congressional panel. ‘When they are reminded of the abortion,’ Franz testified, ‘the women re-experienced it with terrible psychological pain . . . They feel worthless and victimized because they failed at the most natural of human activities—the role of being a mother.’

“The emergence of chemical abortion methods poses a new possibly more devastating psychological threat. Unlike surgical abortions, in which women rarely see the cut up body parts, women having chemical abortions often do see the complete tiny bodies of their unborn children and are even able to distinguish the child’s developing hands, eyes, etc. So traumatic is this for some women that both patients and researchers involved in these studies have recommended that women unprepared for the experience of seeing their aborted children not take the drugs. Long-term psychological implications of this experience have not been studied.

“Researchers on the after-effects of abortion have identified a pattern of psychological problems known as Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS). Women suffering PAS may experience drug and alcohol abuse, personal relationship disorders, sexual dysfunction, repeated abortions, communications difficulties, damaged self-esteem, and even attempt suicide. Post-Abortion Syndrome appears to be a type of pattern of denial which may last for five to ten years before emotional difficulties surface.”

“Is Abortion Safe? Psychological Consequences,” (National Right to Life) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

For other sources of information on the emotional complications of abortion, see “Abortion: Psychological Complications of Abortion,” (American Life League) [Accessed September 23, 2005]; “Post Abortion Trauma,” (Life Resource Network) [Accessed September 23, 2005]; and “Abortion’s Physical and Emotional Risks,” (Concerned Women for America), January 18, 2003 [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS15 —“The United States is experiencing a major epidemic of sexually transmitted Disease (STD). Over 60 million Americans are currently infected with an STD and 15 million new cases of sexually transmitted infection occur each year. One quarter of these new STD infections occur in people between 15 and 19, and two-thirds occur in those under the age of 25.”

STDs: The Facts,” (Medical Institute for Sexual Health) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

OS16 —“There is widespread confusion about whether oral sex is sex. In one study, one third of college students believed that oral sex was abstinent behavior. However, if sexual activity is defined as bodily contact meant to give or derive sexual gratification, then it is clear that oral sex is sex . . . Another misconception about oral sex is that it’s ‘safe.’ This is a dangerous myth. Although pregnancy is not an issue with oral sex, a wide variety of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) can be spread through oral sex. Some of them are painful. Some of them are untreatable. And some of them can be deadly.”

“Oral Sex and STDs,” (Medical Institute for Sexual Health) [Accessed September 23, 2005]

Further Learning

Learn more about: Life, Abortion,

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