Billy Graham on the Sanctity of Life

This week marks the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision. This controversial decision has been contested and argued by those on both sides since it was handed down – and the moral implications of abortion long before 1973.

Billy Graham addressed his thoughts on the topic and the Biblical truth about the sanctity of life in his book Storm Warning. His words are still true today.


Few issues have polarized our society as much as the debate over abortion. It is not my purpose to get involved in the complex legal and political issues that swirl around this difficult question. There admittedly are isolated cases where abortion is the lesser of two evils, such as when the mother’s life is clearly at risk. However, for many people today abortion has become little more than another means of birth control, practiced for mere personal convenience with no regard for the fate of the infant growing in the womb – and from the Bible’s standpoint, that self-centered approach is wrong. All too often the right to life of the unborn child has been tragically lost in a tidal wave of cries for the “right” to choose.

The Bible makes it clear that God seed the unborn infant not as a piece of superfluous biological tissue, but as a person created by Him for life. The psalmist said, “For you created me in my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb… My frame is 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 one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13, 15-16). God expressed a similar truth to the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5) When Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, visited her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist, we are told that Elizabeth declared to Mary, “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in the my womb leaped for joy” (Luke 1:44). This is a clear indication that that infant was a person, not just a piece of tissue.

From these and other passages I cannot escape the conclusion that the unborn child is worthy of our concern and protection just as much as a newborn infant or an adult. The unfettered practice of abortion on demand is yet another grim sign of the thundering hoof beats of the rider on the pale horse in our time.

…Almost without exception, the media have staunchly defended a woman’s “right” to abortion. One of the few meaningful expressions of disapproval I have found in any newspaper is this prophetic cry against this specter of immorality and suffering raised after the Roe v. Wade decision by an editorial writer in the Orlando, Florida, Sentinel:

The devaluation of morality induce by abortion could, and in all likelihood will, have far-reaching effects. Among them are the promotion of promiscuity, depersonalization of the concept of life and activating the destruct button on the family unit as we know it… and what of the woman herself? Abortion by whim could have grave future consequences to her. There is enough unavoidable pain in living without infecting on oneself, in a period of extremity, the haunting memory of a child that might have been.

This really comes to the heart of the matter. Easy morals and promiscuity lead inevitably to disappointment, despair, and death. Even history declares the tragic legacy of promiscuous societies – from Carthage and Rome to Renaissance France. And the Bible declares repeatedly that wrath of God on those who persist in such sin.

…millions of men and women all over the world have turned away from God and indulged in hedonism and the idolatry of self. In their search for absolute freedom from moral restraint or personal responsibility, many believe they can pay for their sins with cash. When pregnancy is the problem, or when the love and nurture of a child is not in their plans, they simply pay a specialist to cut out the problem, even when the problem is a human life. This libertine mentality of playing now and avoiding the consequences has blinded many young mothers; only later do they discover that they must deal with the physical and emotional scars forever.

I have heard some people say, “Well, I’m against abortion, but with the population crisis and all the unwanted childbirth in the world, especially among the poor, abortion is probably for the best.” Let me be quick to say that this kind of reasoning is false and dangerous. The way to solve the population crisis is first to tell men and women that God loves them and has a personalized plan already designed for each one of them. They need to understand that human life is a sacred gift from God. Lead them to a new life in Christ through repentance and a change of heart. Then teach them about self-control and moral responsibility, as God has defined it, and help them with food and shelter if they need it. We can demonstrate God’s love, but we must never think that we can solve one moral crisis by condoning another; especially the crime of murder, for unrestrained abortion is nothing less than that.

In this issue alone we can see all the evidence of the four horsemen: the first horseman who deceives, the second who brings violence and strife, the third who brings pestilence, and the fourth who brings death. All life is sacred, created in the image of God; yet the horsemen have no greater intent than to destroy God’s creation.

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One comment

  1. S. G. Comeaux says:

    I love reading and studying the Bible, although I have much to learn. God bless Reverend Graham, his team and all that they do to keep the world informed and aware of God’s teaching’s.
    I look forward to receiving emails and information regarding the teachings of God.
    Thank yo,u,

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