What is the Truth?
In this lesson I want to ask the question, do the arguments for the current pro-choice stance on abortion hold up scientifically, morally, spiritually and logically? All lot is at stake here. Currently you can get an abortion in the state of Oregon at any time during the pregnancy and for any reason. Added to this, as of December 31, 2018, there have been some 41.9 million abortions performed in the course of the year, Worldometers revealed. By contrast, 8.2 million people died from cancer in 2018, 5 million from smoking, and 1.7 million died of HIV/AIDS.
This is Not a Human Being/Fetal Tissue is not a Person
The trouble with this argument is that it is not true in the light of science. For example, if we found a human fertilized egg or a human embryo on Mars all would acknowledge that we had discovered the presence of not just life, but human life.
At 18 days after conception the heart is forming and the eyes start to develop. By 21 days the heart is not only beating but pumping blood throughout the body. By 30 days (one month) she has multiplied in size ten thousand times, she has brain and blood flowing through her veins. At forty days brain waves can be recorded. By 42 days the skeleton is formed and the brain is controlling the movement of muscles and organs. The unborn reflexively responds to stimulus, and may already be capable of feeling pain. This is before the earliest abortions take place. In fact, after the first trimester (3 months) nothing new develops or begins functioning. The child only grows and matures. Even a baby only 24 weeks old (6 months), weighing little more than a pound, can sometimes be saved at a major medical center, and yet, it is argued that babies the exact same age, the only difference being place of residency (still in the womb) are not human.
The reality of the matter is that the idea that the unborn child is just a mass of tissue without any consciousness and that it feels no pain is a science-free position.
The Bible states that how the baby forms in the womb was a great mystery to mankind 1000 years before Jesus (Ecclesiastes 11:5), and yet it never made the mistake of arguing that life in the womb was not human life, or that the unborn child is just a mass of cells. David made it very clear that while he was being formed in the womb, that he was a distinct person for whom God was watching over (Psalm 139:13-16).
This Unborn Child Cannot Survive on Its Own/Viability
The argument is that what is in the womb does not deserve the protections of the Constitution, seeing that such life might lack self-consciousness, rationality and especially autonomy, or the ability to survive on its own. Yet the argument is self-defeating. If such an argument allows the aborting of the unborn, then it must equally allow the killing of small children. Because, if left alone, if left to themselves, small children would not survive on their own, for infants require constant care, supervision, feeding and cleaning. Such an argument would equally allow the killing of any human being who is presently dependent upon another human being for the necessities of life, including the mentally and physically handicapped and the aged. To be consistent this argument needs to concede that if you are dependent upon another person for such things as food, then you are not made in the image of God and you do not deserve to live.
- In sharp contrast, the Bible often exhorts us to care for the vulnerable (Deut. 14:29; James 1:26-27). In fact, the Bible describes the wicked as being those who slay the vulnerable (Psalm 94:2-8).
- The point of view that being dependent upon others means that you do not deserve to live, or that you should be eliminated because you are consuming valuable resources is not an enlightened view, rather it is a barbaric point of view.
It is the Responsible Thing to Do
This is the argument that abortion is actually a good and noble thing, the right thing to do in many circumstances (Isaiah 5:20). That the child under consideration will probably be born into poverty, could end up depressed, and I think I might be a bad parent, so abortion is right in this situation to spare the child from a horrible life. Yet many people who have been born into poverty or difficult circumstances have done great things (like Jesus).
- If you have a baby and then realize that you are not being a good parent, are you then allowed to kill the child?
- The solution to being a bad parent is not killing the child. How about something far more productive, such as educating yourself, getting help with parenting skills, move yourself into a better environment or allow someone to adopt the child?
I really think that the above argument has very little to do with what is better for the child. Often, the argument is far more about the woman who does not want the child inferring with a career or their “freedom”. As a society we have mistakenly devalued mothering and have made the argument that having a career is far more important than parenting or training the next generation. That things are more important than people, and real freedom itself is tied into work and not into mothering.
Rape and Incest
The argument is that if abortions are allowed for cases of rape and incest then abortions must be allowed for all other cases. Rape and incest are terrible things and deserve severe consequences. We can have an intelligent discussion about pregnancies that result from rape or incest if we are both willing to acknowledge that other abortions are wrong. Equally remember, that one evil crime which is committed against a human being does not allow us to do evil to another third party. It is illogical and completely contrary to any sense of justice that the baby (an innocent third party) should pay for the crime of the father (Ezekiel 18:20). If we execute anyone, let’s execute the rapist. Can we agree on that? For what would indeed be the first step in arguing in good faith.
It is My Body, My Choice
But we are not talking about your body; that does not concern us. When it comes to abortion, we are not talking about your heart, lungs, kidneys, etc… What you do with those things is your business. Yet the unborn child is not your body. It is another body within your body. Every cell of the mother's tonsils, appendix, heart, and lungs shares the same genetic code. The unborn child also has a genetic code, distinctly different from his mother's. Every cell in his body is uniquely his, each different than every cell in his mother's. Often his blood-type is also different, and half the time even his gender is different.
The Violinist in a Coma Argument
Some are trying to justify abortion with the following argument. Suppose you wake up and find yourself connected by IV to a famous violinist in a coma. The music lovers of the world have decided that only you and you alone can save them. Would it be morally acceptable to disconnect (pull the plug) between yourself and the violinist, who may or may never come out of the coma? Yet there are a number of things wrong with paralleling such a situation with the practice of abortion.
- The unborn child is not in a coma, not even close. In less than nine months they will be born. The issue is not “if”, but “when”. Long before birth, they are conscious and very aware, including recognizing the voice of their parents.
- The unborn child is not some stranger, that is your child that you produced by a voluntary act. You did not accidently find yourself connected to them, you made the connection.
- Abortion is not “pulling the plug”. Rather, an accurate parallel would be more like, “would it be morally okay to take an ax to their head?” Abortion is a violent act, it is not a mere disconnect. It involves dismemberment. What is currently done to an innocent child would be considered a crime against humanity if we applied it, even to the worst criminals among us.
- The Bible then reminds us that even our own bodies do not completely belong to us, for we did not create ourselves (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
Too Many People on the Earth?
I find that God is never concerned or worried about that. Additional people, means additional creativity, and additional brilliance.
Abortion Lowers the Crime Rate?
Do you really want to adopt a re-crime version of humanity? We get to abort you because of the likelihood of someone coming from your background, race, socio-economic condition, neighborhood, etc… that you will probably be more inclined to be a bad person? So we kill you for potential future crimes you might commit? You are condemned based on statistics that apply to your group? You are judged guilty for what you might have done? Thankfully, God does not judge us by such an unreasonable standard (2 Corinthians 5:10). What really struck me while doing this study was that those who advocate for abortion in all and every circumstance are actually playing God. Many of them resent when the Bible is brought into this discussion, yet in making absolute statements about the future of the child, they are actually as if they are omniscient and have the moral right to decide who lives, who dies, who has value, and who does not.
Mark Dunagan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017