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Taking Aim on the Abortion Argument   By: Rev. Kirby

There are admittedly many difficulties in settling the question as to whether abortion should be permitted or not despite the fact that it is currently legal. However, a clear line of reasoning can be determined between the medical community and the Bible, and the law. When the question of when life begins is answered from holy Scripture and the medical community, it becomes clear that the laws of the land should be evaluated for their consistency with medical and Biblical guidelines and changed so as to protect innocent babies from being murdered by abortion.

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.  -PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON in his farewell address (1796) 1

“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.”  John Locke English, empiricist philosopher (1632 - 1704)(internet source) 2

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”  Proverbs 14:34 New International Version .3

Our actions as a nation since Roe versus Wade have been to kill over “46 million babies.” The contents of this article suggest that we take a good hard look at the facts as laid out herein. Then we need to be honest in determining if we have put our own convenience over and above the value of human life by aborting unwanted pregnancies.  (Westfall 2005) 4

The intention of this article is neither to condemn women who have had an abortion, nor to suggest violence toward those who participate in the operation of abortion clinics. The intention of this article is to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:13). This does not mean to imply warm fuzzy feelings, but rather that we face the facts for the common good. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." We all know the truth hurts. However, the God of the Bible is merciful and loving and wants to heal and restore those who suffer from the aftereffects of abortion. In addition, God can and wants to restore our damaged consciences, and bring order to the legal chaos we have been swept into.  All this He will do, if we will let him. However a prerequisite for God’s forgiveness is an admission of our own guilt.

I hope that Americans will hear the truth on this issue, so they may choose what is right and turn from wrong.  I pray that this great nation founded upon biblical principles, would return to those principles from which we have strayed so far.

Alexis de Tocqueville, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. “5

May God grant us the insight to realize how far we have fallen as a nation.  May he give us mercy for the great sins we have committed. May he give us grace so that we may once again find favor with him.  And as we change our behavior and turn from our sin, may we find peace with God and with one-another.

When it comes to the subject of abortion most people have an opinion.  Those opinions are usually based on science, legalism, theology, feelings, popular opinion or some form of ad-hominem (ie personal attack) argument and/or any combination of the afore mentioned determinants of so-called  knowledge and truth. 

The Bible tells us we have a real basic problem: everyone is a flawed human being. (Romans 3:10 NIV)  “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.’”  In addition, the Bible says (Rom 1:18 NIV)  “…men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,”

We form opinions based on our conscience and how it has been trained along with the ability to use, filter and utilize data. For better for worse, we all have the tendency to distort the facts to make them say what we want.

If one tries to boil down the conclusions of the numerous articles, books and journals on the subject of abortion pros and cons, one might think that the arguments are inconclusive. Generally, it appears that each side seems to say that the other side does not properly make its point either for or against. If this were target practice we would say we can’t hit the bull's-eye. 

There are two general flaws in coming to a unified conclusion on abortion:

1. Our epistemology- the nature of our knowledge, presuppositions, foundations and their validity.  In other words how do we determine what is true and right.

2. Our inclination toward relativism- A theory which basically holds that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.

My presuppositions are that the Bible is the only objective source of truth, and is, in fact, God’s word to us. It is as applicable for us today as it was when it was originally written. It is therefore central in determining what is correct in this debate.

To use the target practice analogy, there are actually several points which when lined up, help us hit the bull's-eye so to speak, on the abortion debate The biblical data, the medical data and the law itself give us three of the needed reference points to decide and overturn legalized abortion.

1. The Biblical Data. 

 (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)  “All Scripture is God-breathed …”

All scripture - We need to hear what the scriptures have to say since the Bible renders God's opinion flawlessly, and it does speak to issues relative to abortion.

(Psalm 139:13 NIV) “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.”

 

The development of a child in the womb was looked upon as one of the greatest mysteries.  Here the poet praises those coming into being as a marvelous work of the omniscient and omnipresent omnipotence of God.

 

“You acquired the kidneys of me, and covered me in the belly of my mother” is  the most literal translation of this passage.  “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb” is an accurate dynamic translation of this ancient idiomatic _expression.

 

In the ancient mind the soft tissues of the internal organs were the center of a persons being out of which one’s deep, tender emotions would flow.  The psalmist says here in a very real sense that God possesses, ie owns, the developing unborn child and knows them deeply and personally while in the mother’s womb.

 

The verb for the word translated “created” in the original language indicates completed action. The idea here is that the sperm and the ovum joined together constitute a completed process, ie the creation of a human being. When the sets of chromosomes come together the result is a complete human being.  Obviously that being will continue to grow and mature both in the womb and out of the womb.6

 

The same passage in the Septuagint (LXX), which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament text, uses this verb tense (the aorist) which emphasizes the kind of action which is completed action. You created - completed action. 7

 

When we combine the completed action as indicated with actions that inherently imply a process, we have the idea of a complete human being at conception which undergoes development during gestation.

 

(Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)  "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."

The phrase “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” indicates three things God does in our lives. 

1. We were planned in eternity prior to our birth, therefore, God knows us personally, and has a plan for us to fulfill.  All of these things he does personally, hence the personhood of the baby in the womb. 8

The following passage establishes equal status of both baby in the womb and mothers who carry them. This is demonstrated by God exacting the same penalties for either the death of the child or the mother in the event a pregnant woman is hit while men are fighting.

(Exodus 21:22-25 NIV)  "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Exodus 21:22 - gives clear indication that personal injury is taken seriously by God.  If a pregnant woman gives birth prematurely and there's no serious permanent injury, ie death was not involved, a fine is levied against the offender.

Verse 24 takes the penalty up to the next level.  If serious injury occurs, ie death, the penalty is to take life for life.  The biblical law is clear.  If the mother dies then the offender dies.  If the mother's baby dies, then the offender dies. If both mother and baby die, the offender dies.

The only honest conclusion that you can reach from observing this passage is that Gods treats a baby within the womb equally to that of the mother, clearly out of the womb, ie, as a person.

God highly values human life and detests the taking of human life as a part of religious rituals.

(Deuteronomy 18:9-12 NIV) “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.  Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,…Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.”

Verse 10 indicates that God detests child sacrifice firstly, because these people were worshiping a false god. Secondly, it is a heinous waste of human life.  In Exodus Chapter 20 God gives the Ten Commandments where we read "You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13 NIV).

 

God detested the worshiping false gods, hence the commandment you are to have “no other gods before me”  (Exodos 20:3) and considers child sacrifice murder, and it is therefore logical to conclude he considers abortion murder as well!

 

2. The Medical / Scientific Data.

 

We have probably all heard the argument that medical and scientific data don't prove whether or not the developing fetus is human. Although some scientists and medical professionals may disagree, there are several credible witnesses whose learned opinion state life does start at conception.   

 

We find the following In The Human Life Bill , S. 158, Report Together with Additional and Minority Views to the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, made by its Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, 97th Congress, 1st Session (1981), 11; quoted in Beckwith, 43. 9

 

Geneticist Jerome Lejeune, indicates that it is plainly evident that the fetus is human in the development process.

 

“To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. . . . The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence. “10

 

Also in the afore mentioned Human Life Bill , S. 158, we read

As Dr. Micheline Matthew-Roth, a principal research associate at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Medicine, puts it, "It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception, when egg and sperm join to form the zygote, and this developing human always is a member of our species in all stages of its life."11

 

Also in The Human Life Bill , S. 158 Dr. Hymie Gordon, professor of medical genetics and a physician at Mayo Clinic, summarized the scientific communities disposition on this matter saying, "I think we can now also say that the question of the beginning of life — when life begins — is no longer a question for theological or philosophical dispute. It is an established scientific fact.”12

 

Dr. Francis Beckwith clearly annihilates the argument when he wrote,

"From a strictly scientific point of view, there is no doubt that the development of an individual human life begins at conception. Consequently, it is vital that the reader understand that she did not come from a zygote, she once was a zygote; she did not come from an embryo, she once was an embryo; she did not come from a fetus, she once was a fetus; she did not come from an adolescent, she once was an adolescent."13

 

If killing a human life outside of the womb is against the law and has appropriate penalties attached to it as a result, then it is wrong to kill human life in the womb.

 

3. Legal Data. ie Differing opinions and reasonable doubt.  .

This writer is not an attorney but makes the assumption the reader can both read reason. If Roe versus Wade is in fact unconstitutional, and the humanity of the developing fetus in the mother's womb can be established on the basis of unconstitutionality and reasonable doubt,  abortion for any other reason than saving the life of the mother should cease. 

“In Roe v. Wade ,1973, Jane Roe (whose real name is Norma McCorvey) claimed to have become pregnant as a result of rape... Her case was just what Dallas attorney Sarah Weddington was looking for: a chance to test the one-hundred-year-old Texas law outlawing abortion. With McCorvey's affidavit, Weddington filed a class-action suit and won, but not in time to obtain an abortion for her client, who gave birth to a daughter and placed her for adoption. Step by step, McCorvey's case made its way to the Supreme Court, where Weddington felt certain the activist Warren Court would rule in her favor.”

 

“On January 22,1973, the Court did just that, combining two sepa­rate decisions, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Without precedent of any sort or any foundations in law or custom, justice Harry Blackmun persuaded a 7-2 majority of his peers to join him in reasserting a right, found nowhere in the Constitution, that had been established”  14

 

While reading the argument that is laid out by Justice Blackmund, it is quite clear that he has a brilliant legal mind and argues very capably.  However are his arguments consistent with the Constitution or an example of mental gymnastics?  Does he add to, take away from, or uphold the Constitution?

 

Judge Robert Bork has this to say:

 

Two characteristics of those decisions are apparent. First, nothing in the written Constitution supports any one of them. They are entirely Court-made constitutional law and, for that reason, illegit­imate exercises of power. Second, all three decisions [including liberal rulings on homosexuality and pornography] press our culture in a single direction, toward the fads of radical individualism and radical egalitarianism dominant in our intellectual class. 15

 

Rehnquist descents Roe versus Wade.

 

The decision overstepped the scope of what the court was supposed to do .

Rehnquist says “In deciding such a hypothetical lawsuit, the Court departs from the longstanding admonition that it should never "formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied.” 16

Relative to the fourth Amendment and Roe, Rehnquist says :

“I have difficulty in concluding, as the Court does, that the right of "privacy" is involved in this case. Texas, by the statute here challenged, bars the performance of a medical abortion by a licensed physician on a plaintiff such as Roe. A transaction resulting in an operation such as this is not "private" in the ordinary usage of that word. Nor is the "privacy" that the Court finds here even a distant relative of the freedom from searches and seizures protected by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which the Court has referred to as embodying a right to privacy.”  17

Rehnquist emphaticaly  expresses concern regarding the confusion surrounding  how the law is used in the transposition the equal protection clause and the due process clause of the 14th amendment.  

The Court eschews the history of the Fourteenth Amendment in its reliance on the "compelling state interest" test. See Weber v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 406 U.S. 164, 179 (1972) (dissenting opinion). But the Court adds a new wrinkle to this test by transposing it from the legal considerations associated with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to this case arising under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Unless I misapprehend the consequences of this transplanting of the "compelling state interest test," the Court's opinion will accomplish the seemingly impossible feat of leaving this area of the law more confused than it found it. [p174]             18,19

In short, while the Roe v Wade was passed by a majority vote by the Supreme Court, that doesn’t mean the majority, was actually right or moral in their decision. In addition other similar uses of the Law in court decisions have created a huge, confusing legal quagmire with which we have the grapple.

 

 

 

Reasonable Doubt

Generally speaking reasonable doubt has been defined as the average juror from the general populace would place reasonable doubt somewhere  50% and 90% certainty.  20

The reasonable doubt definition leaves much room for flexibility.  Its intended purpose is to ensure the innocent are not wrongly convicted.

Presumption of innocence is  “the legal system's assumption that a criminal defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The burden of proof rests on the prosecutor “.21

There appears to be enough evidence that has been revealed in the sources cited to make a case for reasonable doubt in favor of declaring that a baby in the mother's womb is in fact a human being, and as such, human beings have a right to life. To end that life prematurely through abortion is therefore legalized murder. Therefore, babies in the womb should enjoy the protection afforded to people outside the womb by the Constitution.                                                              

In conclusion: There are three salient points that indicate Roe v Wade and the abortion issue should be reconsidered.   Firstly, the basis of the biblical evidence that God recognizes babies in the womb to be human. Secondly, the scientific and medical evidence that indicate human life begins at conception.  Thirdly, the legal indicators, which call into doubt the constitutionality of Roe vs. Wade demonstrated by the manifest mental gymnastics needed to make the case for Roe  by stretching the meaning of the Constitution, as well as the dissenting opinion of the Supreme Court  justices. Furthermore, it would be logical to conclude that there is a case for reasonable doubt based on the medical and scientific evidence which indicates that human life does start at conception. Therefore abortion is murder and the practice should cease.

The American people need to say the five most difficult words to utter: “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”

Bibliography

 

1. Pat Robertson - Courting Disaster  2004 Integrity Publishers Nashville, Tennessee

 

2. John Locke (internehttp://www.quotationspage.com/search.php3?Search=&startsearch=Search&Author=John+Locke&C=mgm&C=motivate&C=classic&C=coles&C=poorc&C=lindslyt source)

 

3 . Holy Bible New International Version copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan publishing house.

 

4.  Michael Westfall  ABORTION:   “AMERICA’S HOLOCAUST”   2005 http://michaelwestfall.tripod.com/id34.html

5.http://www.quotationspage.com/search.php3?homesearch=Alexis+de+Tocqueville&startsearch=Search

6 J. Weingreen , A  Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew second edition Oxford at the Clarendon press.  1959.

7. Rahlf’s Septuaginta LXX (LXT) 1935 by the Wurttembergische Biblelanstalt Greman Bible Society.

8  C. H .Spurgeon, The Treasury of David Volume 3 –Hendrickson publishers Peabody, Massachusetts

 

9. Randy Alcorn, The Human Life Bill, Hearings on S. 158 Scientists Attest To Life Beginning At Conception 

 

10. Randy Alcorn, The Human Life Bill, Hearings on S. 158 Scientists Attest To Life Beginning At Conception 

 

11. Randy Alcorn, The Human Life Bill, Hearings on S. 158 Scientists Attest To Life Beginning At Conception 

 

12. Randy Alcorn, The Human Life Bill, Hearings on S. 158 Scientists Attest To Life Beginning At Conception 

 

13. Randy Alcorn, The Human Life Bill, Hearings on S. 158 Scientists Attest To Life Beginning At Conception 

 

14 Pat Robertson - Courting Disaste 2004 Integrity Publishers Nashville, Tennessee pg 143

                       

15 Pat Robertson - Courting Disaster  2004 Integrity Publishers Nashville, Tennessee pg 142

 

18 http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0410_0113_ZD.html

 

19. http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0410_0113_ZD.html                   

 

20. http://www.decisionquest.com/litigation_library.php?NewsID=38)

 

21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presumption_of_innocence

 

 

Additional Resources

 

Francis J. Beckwith ANSWERING THE ARGUMENTS FOR ABORTION RIGHTS

(Part One):The Appeal to Pity  http://www.equip.org/free/DA020.htm

 

 

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartesia -  Deutsche Bibelstiftung

 

Gesenius  Hebrew Grammar Clarendon press Oxford

 

PRACTICAL APOLOGETICS Annihilating Abortion Arguments by Hank Hanegraaff http://www.equip.org/free/DA375.htm

 

Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. 2002. Commentary on the Old Testament. Hendrickson: Peabody, MA

 

Pat Robertson -The Ten Offenses  2004 Integrity Publishers Nashville, Tennessee

 

http://womenshistory.about.com/library/etext/gov/bl_roe_l.htm#1#1encyclopedia.com/term/presumption_of_innocence

michaelwestfall.tripod.com

 


 


 

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