I feel like the last few posts I've been ragging on traditional values. Allow me to make a clarifying statement. I am all for both traditions, and values. They are not, in and of themselves, bad things, and can be quite good. But when we take an issue of massive import, and lower it to the importance level of tradition, we do our culture, our country, and our fellow man a great disservice. That is my point.
And so I want to take some of that logic and apply it to the abortion topic. The prevailing stance on abortion on the "right hand" side of the isle seems to be that abortion is bad, unless the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, or if the mother's life is at stake. I want to explain why this position is completely illogical and indefensible.
What is the basis for opposing abortion at all? Opposition to abortion rests on two premises
1)that an unborn fetus is a person
2)that the unprovoked killing of any person, something commonly known as murder, is wrong
Opposition to abortion rises and falls on these two premises. If the unborn an unhuman, then we have no reason to protect them. If murder isn't wrong, the we have no reason to protect them.
So, is the unborn fetus a human being? Writing in a November 22, 2005 article, Robert P. George says, "the answer is to be found in the works of modern human embryology and developmental biology. In these texts, we find little or nothing in the way of scientific uncertainty: '…human development begins at fertilization…' write embryologists Keith Moore and T.V. N. Persaud in The Developing Human (7th edition, 2003), the most widely used textbook on human embryology."
Here is another article from the Georgia Southern website on the issue: http://personal.georgiasouthern.edu/~etmcmull/ABORTION.htm
It would seem clear that science gives a a resounding "yes" to the answer of whether human life begins at conception. But what do the Scriptures have to say? Science is good, but Scripture is our highest court.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
(Psalm 139:13-14 ESV)
The Psalmist here declares that it was God Himself who knit his body together in his mother's womb. Not to read into the verse, but I hear an echo of Genesis 2 when I read this.
then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
(Genesis 2:7 ESV)
Unlike the rest of creation which God simply speaks into existence (see Genesis 1), God forms man. Man is special to Him, the only part of creation which is made in His own image (Gen 1:26-28). And this image bearing begins in the womb.
Because man is made in the image of God, few things could be more aggresive in our rebellion against God than to slay someone made in His own image.
And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.
“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.
(Genesis 9:5-6 ESV)
This is the basis for the second point, that being, God hates murder. We are all familiar with the sixth commandment, "You shall not murder." (Exodus 20:13 ESV)
So assuming these two things are agreed upon, we have no argument. Abortion, the killing of an unborn human, is muder, and murder is wrong. Therefore, abortion is wrong. Pretty simple. Which is why this "I kinda don't like most abortions" point of view so royally pisses me off.
As soon as you concede that abortion might be okay in some instances, you have de facto junked your whole position. If abortion because it is murder, then how can it become okay under any circumstances? Are children concieved of incest or rape somehow sub-human? This is ludacris to assume. A child concieved under such circumstances had no more control of it's situation than you did at a similar point in life. A human life is valuable, regardless of who their parents are or were. If you decide that simply because of a child's circumstances of conception that killing them is acceptable, then you have simply opened the door to the question of "what other circumstances might make murder acceptable?" You have lost your consistent, logical, biblical footing for the opposition of abortion.
As for those cases in which the life of the mother is at stake, here are two articles.
I have only a couple of things to say on this point.
1)this is largely a hypothetical situation with very few real life cases that warrant discussion
2)even in this real life situation-should our default assumption be that the child should die and the mother should live? I realize this would be an incredibly difficult situation for any family to be put into, I just think it would serve us well to approach such things sensitively and in prayer, not bulging in saying "Mom's at risk, the baby dies." Pardon me if I think that is less caring than weighing all options possible.