Some Thoughts on Abortion

Human_fetus_1_monthWilliam J. Stewart

Some folks watch the Super Bowl for the game, others tune in for the commercials. Doritos has a history of clever and entertaining Super Bowl ads, and their spot for Super Bowl 50 did not disappoint (see the ad here). That said, not everyone liked it. Folks at NARAL (National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) spent the evening commending or condemning ads, and tweeted the following:NARALDoritos

How sad, how completely unhuman to be angered by someone “humanizing” unborn babies. What is a fetus if it is not human? Merriam-Webster.com defines fetus as “an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind; specifically : a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth.”1 To do anything but humanize a human fetus is to live in delusion. Upon conception, all the genetics that make the child a distinct person are present. What do the genetics say about the fetus? It is 100% human. The fetus is not a growth like a cyst or a tumor inside the mother’s body – it is a distinct life, with it’s own distinct DNA. Consider some facts about the unborn child 2:

  • At week 6, the baby has a heartbeat and brainwaves that can be recorded;
  • At week 8, the child’s fingers and toes have developed;
  • At week 10, all the internal organs are completely formed and fully functioning;
  • At week 13, the baby is able to swallow and suck (ie. thumb in the mouth), and has a distinct fingerprint;
  • At week 17, the child has finger nails, toe nails, eyebrows and eyelashes;
  • At week 23, the baby will startle and jump at loud noises;
  • At week 26, the unborn child can distinguish between voices.

Medical advances have revealed these and many more astounding facts about the development of a child in the womb. Those who maintain that a fetus is not a human are ignorant. They have not, and perhaps will not, consider the evidence showing that a fetus, though wholly dependent upon the mother, is a distinct person.

Science has simply confirmed what was already known by those who know and respect the Creator of life itself. Tertullian, a second century Christian apologist penned:

To prohibit the birth of a child is only a faster way to murder; it makes little difference whether one destroys a life already born or prevents it from coming to birth. It is a human being, who is to be a human being, for the whole fruit is already present in the seed.3

In a society where abortion was legal and accepted, Tertullian and other writers affirmed the sanctity of life. Abortion advocates, whether those of antiquity or our contemporaries dehumanize the unborn child. In the pro-choice perspective, abortion is not the murder of an innocent life, but simply the termination of a fetus or pregnancy. Speaking with softer and deceptive terms doesn’t change what is taking place. A spineless preacher might caution people about the place which is not pleasant to speak about. His attempt to minimize the condemnation of hell does not lesson the truth about hell. Hell is hell, and abortion is abortion.

According to the World Health Organization, there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions worldwide each year.4 That is about 125,000 children being killed each day before they have an opportunity to take a single breath. That is about 5,210 babies killed every hour of every day; almost 100 children killed every minute!

Think with me for a moment. Do you suppose the international community would turn a blind eye if someone simply wiped Kenya (pop. 38 million) off the map? What if a year later, Argentina (pop. 40 million) was snuffed out? And then the next year Tanzania (43 million) is destroyed? Ukraine (45 million)? Spain (46 million)? Columbia (48 million)? South Korea (48 million)? South Africa (50 million)?5 You get the picture. People would be outraged and condemn these annual genocides, and demand that the perpetrators be held accountable. And yet every year the killing of 40-50 million unborn children is tolerated, even celebrated by some, as a woman’s right to choose.

Though the Bible does not specifically address the issue of abortion, it certainly does supply information which necessarily infers that God is opposed to the killing of an unborn child. Psalm 139:13-16 and Jeremiah 1:5 reveal that God knows us from before our birth, even before our conception. We are not just a clump of tissue in a woman’s body, but a person known and created by God. Exodus 21:22-25 shows that God values the life of an unborn child, equating it to the life of a grown man.

The United States Congress enacted the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 2004, otherwise known as the “Laci and Conner’s Law.” It recognizes a child in the womb as “a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development,”6 and thus a legal victim if they are injured or killed in a list of over 60 federal offenses. In addition to the federal law, at least 38 states have fetal homicide laws, and at least 23 of those apply to the earliest stages of pregnancy.7 Just recently, a member of Canadian Parliament has introduced a private member’s bill described as “Cassie and Molly’s Law” (Bill C-225)8 that would recognize violent crimes that cause the injury or death of an unborn child. As good as it is to have such laws in place or being brought before law makers, it does make one wonder. What is the difference between the unborn child killed by a violent criminal act and the unborn child killed by a conspiracy between the mother and a doctor? The determining factor is whether the child is wanted or not. Two children, both 3 months along in the womb; both are killed, the murderer of one is prosecuted for his crime, the murderers of the other are protected by laws that allow unwanted children to be murdered. If we applied the spirit of these same laws to the rest of society, it would be legal to murder someone, so long as it could be demonstrated that the person was unwanted. I imagine most would be appalled at the very suggestion. Oh, that folks would find it equally appalling to kill any human, wanted or not, in the womb or out.

Sources:

1 merriam-webster.com/dictionary//fetus
2 babycentter.com/fetal-development-week-by-week
3 Tertullian, Apology 9 (via Tertullian.org)
4 who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/induced_abortion_2012.pdf
5 simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population
6 gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-108HRPT420/html/CRPT-108hrpt420-pt1.htm
7 ncsl.org/research/health/fetal-homocide-state-laws.aspx
8 parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=8116176&Col=1

[image : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_fetus_1_month.JPG ]

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