The Serpent’s Whisper

By Carrie Gordon Earll
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I know how tempting abortion can be when faced with an unexpected pregnancy.

That was my situation in 1981, when I was a single, pregnant college student. Abortion was legal and it seemed like the logical response to my dilemma; so I had an abortion.

From God’s perspective, human life is of inestimable worth, because it represents His image. Abortion is not just a “social issue,” it’s a violation of His design for the sacred human lives it kills, wounds and scars.

For many women who experience an undesired pregnancy, the concept of human life as “sacred” rings hollow, offering little tangible support for those considering their choices in an abortion-friendly culture. The value of that tiny life growing in her womb loses distinction amidst her own needs, fears and uncertainty. God’s universal message declaring His likeness in humanity is crowded out by other voices around her: family, boyfriend or husband, job or school. If she listens closely to these voices, she may recognize an ageless and familiar utterance articulated in the quietness of a whisper.

A biblical account of this “woman whisperer” is found in Genesis when another woman’s ear was tickled by a message contrary to God’s.

Her name was Eve, and her encounter with a wily serpent — and subsequent choice to disregard God’s instruction — altered the course of all human history.

The opening verses in Genesis chapter 3 recounts the story:

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ ”

You can almost hear the serpent whispering in an enticing tone: “Did God really say…?” The whisper challenged what Eve knew to be true, as is often the case with pregnant women considering abortion. As women, we know intuitively it’s not natural for us to kill our children. The very act of abortion disconnects us from our instinct to protect — not destroy — our young. If we listen to our intuition and the truth that’s written on our hearts, we know abortion is not our first choice. Circumstances may appear to make it our only choice; however, to abort our children disregards who we are as women and mothers. Abortion is contrary to what we know to be true.

Like Eve before us, we consider the serpent’s whisper and the unthinkable embracing of abortion it promotes. The serpent offered Eve half-truths, paving the way to her justifying her disobedience to God. Once she realized the heartbreak that resulted from her choice, Eve confessed what she failed to see at the time of her decision: “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Me, too, Eve. He deceived me, too.

The bitter fruit of abortion leaves more than an unpleasant aftertaste for those who eat it. Complications with future pregnancies, substance abuse and deep emotional regret represent only a few of the unintended consequences awaiting us when we are deceived by the serpent’s whisper. Women whose ears are open to this murmuring soft voice need tangible support to counter its appeal — support that is available through a network of pro-life pregnancy resource and medical centers across the nation.

Women have a choice. The voice of truth will always silence the lies, if only we will listen.

Copyright © 2011, 2013 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Carrie Gordon Earll

Carrie Gordon Earll is the vice president of government and public policy at Focus on the Family, where she leads a staff that provides expertise on a range of social policy topics affecting life issues, marriage and religious liberties. She also serves as the senior policy analyst for bioethics, researching and writing on a range of topics including abortion, end-of-life …

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