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The Baby Parts Industry

A Special Report from The Covenant News


Grim Harvest


UNMC Abortionist Leroy Carhart Speaks:

The Carhart Testimony

Missionaries To The Unborn

In early December it was discovered that the University of Nebraska Medical Center was conducting experiments using brain tissue from pre-born children killed by the notorious partial birth abortionist Leroy Carhart. What follows is court testimony from July '97 where abortionist Carhart explains how he commits abortions.

Warning: Graphic descriptions

America's Back Door Market For Aborted Fetal Tissue An Asheville Tribune Investigative Documentary By David Morgan and Matthew Mittan The documentary that follows is the result of a great deal of analysis; it attempts merely to present to the reader a comprehensive understanding of exactly what is involved with fetal-tissue research. Our comprehensive report presents the facts as well as the opinions of some of those most closely involved with this issue, from all sides of the debate. We leave the moral judgments to you, our readers.

 

  • Baby Parts For Sale!

For the first time, hear an informant reveal how babies (sometimes live) are harvested from abortion clinics for resale: • An informant (in disguise), describes how she (and others at the company she worked for) gathered fetal tissue at abortion clinics for later resale to pharmaceutical companies. • Describes how she’s been presented with many live fetuses including a set of twins, gasping for air. • Describes how some woman undergoing "two-day" abortions would go into labor and deliver a live baby – and the abortionist would leave the babies without medical care to die slowly.

 

The Harvest of Abortion

WORLD Magazine

Fetal-tissue research: Making the best of a bad situation, or sliding further down the slippery slope? Congress and the Clinton administration's lifting of the fetal-tissue research ban has turned human-remains trafficking into big business.

 

Baby Body Parts For Sale:

"You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby"

By Michael Savage / NewsMax.com

Not only are babies, even at or near birth, being killed every day in America, this bastion of human rights, but their organs are also being harvested and sold on the black market. They are being dissected, sometimes while still alive, and sold piece by piece. Ears for $75 a pair; arms and legs, $150; a brain for $999, tax not included. That’s right; it’s called the "unholy harvest.” The rotten, mean-faced, clipped-haired abortionists, our present-day fascist jackboots, are selling baby parts and making millions of dollars in their factories of death.

 


Baby Parts Marketing Kit

Life Dynamics

Complete kit includes documentation booklet, video tape of interview with "Kelly" the spy who revealed the marketing inside information, 12 minute audio tape of phone conversations between Life Dynamics and the wholesalers, reprint of the Alberta Report Newsmagazine cover story on fetal body parts and press releases for you to make sure your local media outlets know what's going on with baby parts marketing!

 


Vaccines Made From Aborted Babies

Catholic Exchange

When the article, “Vaccine From Aborted Fetus Cell Lines Judged Morally Acceptable” hit several Catholic publications several months ago, the reaction of readers was one of shock, anger and utter disbelief that this country has been quietly producing vaccines for the past 20 to 30 years from aborted fetuses. More shock: that we have unknowingly vaccinated our children using this “tainted source,” a more polite way of saying we have used pharmaceutical products from murdered babies. And utterly outrageous is this: There is currently no other source available for three widely used vaccines, namely, hepatitis-A, chicken pox and rubella/MMR.

 



The Blindfolded Chess Player.

Ignoring Our Adversary

46 Million Un-Natural Decisions

I am thinking we need a little humility to be a little more effective in our mission. In business we call this opposition research. What is our competition doing? Are we paying attention? What should we be doing? In business, it is vital to survival.

The Pro-Life, Pro-Adoption Movement cannot afford to ignore the tactics and corporate personality of its most worthy adversaries.

The site is Central Park, New York City. The scene could be a movie script. In the midst of thirty chess games being conducted with absolute seriousness, a new opponent sits down with a flourish accross from the "park champion", who is already seated. The board is set. A crowd gathers. The youthful challenger pulls from his pocket a blind fold, and quickly wraps it about his head, sealing off his vision. The elderly gentlemen sitting across the table grins widely, and says "Ready?". The young, sight impaired challenger answers, "Ready." His friend assures the other onlookers that he is going to play his own game, and he does not want the distraction of watching his opponent. The game is over before it is begun. The victory is assured.

The player in this chess game, just like in life, that "sees" the board, and his opponent's tactics with clarity wins. The player that ignores his opponent often loses.

Arrogance has no place in chess, or in the battle for the life of the unborn.

I am focusing this week on a few of the lessons we can learn from our adversary. I, as well as others, have observed a few attributes of our opposition's approach to furthering their agenda that may surprise you.

In terms of effectiveness, their philosophy, and their ability to deliver it, has resulted in mothers of babies making the most unnatural of decisions to kill their unborn child, in numbers now exceeding 40 million times. Let that sink in. Even if you do not respect or pretend to understand their position or agenda, you must pay attention to the effectiveness of their result. This is an un-natural decision. Un-natural. And yet.

What are the attributes of the Adversary's temperament, operations, movement, philosophy, and tactics? The following represent a few of our observations.

They have developed thick skin. No matter how many names they are called, or how their position is vilified, they stay to their agenda. Name calling doesn't seem to distract them.

They are bold in the public arena and in living rooms. They are aware that this fight takes place in the public arena, as well as in small coffee clutches. They are fully cognizant of the need to be well represented everywhere.

They have a very simple to understand and implement Mission Statement and have a twenty five year business plan to facilitate their mission. They have embraced a broader mission than most Pro-Life supporters perceive, and in this broader mission, abortion is a means to a very sellable end, what they tell the world is women's control of reproductive rights.

They raise funds to establish their mission, and they are adroit at spending these funds with leverage. They are never embarrassed to ask for donations, fund raisers, grants, trades, gifts of merchandise, services, and outright influence. They ask, and ask, and ask, and fully expect a donation, both now and in the future. They have demonstrated an absolute conviction to use any and all means to procure money for their causes. Not shy! No reticence. They ask donors to sacrifice because they believe in their cause. Period.

They believe in geographic dispersion of their personnel and resources, but suffer no inefficiency of overlap. Their centralized coordination of mission has achieved a cooperation among even independent groups and non-affiliates dedicated to this philosophy, that is remarkable. Mission first. Local egos second. They have asked, "Where should we be? How do we get a presence there?" They then work it out. Mission first. Ego second.

They believe that getting their message to the next generation, is equally important with serving the current generation. They are proactive in distributing educational materials, philosophy, and curriculum years ahead of sexual activity. They do not complain about the void of teaching from Church and Home. They do not expect someone else to fix it. They fill the void.

They are media savvy, media efficient, and media current. There is no reluctance to set the objective to be determined, retain the experts to frame the message, and pay the dollars to deliver the message. If one outlet shuts them down, they storm the local airwaves via another methodology or refocus their funds towards another market. They retreat and live to fight another day.

They have figured out how to qualify their cause within approved and publicly funded delivery systems to underwrite their goals. Their 990 shows they received over $248M from state and federal government grants and payments. They have been content to frame their philosophy without religious precepts very carefully and very successfully, and enjoy the benefit of a neutral human rights message with government funding.

They have been, and continue to be, incredibly successful at recruiting, training, organizing, and communicating with volunteers. On any given day, they can easily mobilize via phone or e-mail more than 24,000 volunteers to tasks for that day. Pretty impressive.

They will spend necessary monies to advance their causes through lobby groups, and media centers. They do not need to call a committee meeting to retain a lawyer, hire a lobbyist, buy airtime, send a representative to a talk show, or organize a public event. If it fits their mission strategy and the opportunity exists, they do it. Now.

They do not make excuses when they lose a battle here and there. They are not above blaming the "right wing", or Christians, or Pro-Choice (whom they artfully call "anti-choice") politicians, or even resorting to scare tactics, but be assured; They immediately bounce back, use the temporary set back as a reason to raise funds and recruit volunteers, and they frequently reinforce in other areas to avoid the same type of loss again. They suffer no "blame assessment" mentality or guilt hangover. They expect to win and lose, and they move on.

They have wisely learned to let people participate in their cause, rather than adapting their cause and mission statement to fit the desires of donors or other groups seeking a different agenda. If you want to further their agenda, you are welcome. If you have your own agenda, you will not receive their time, let alone their support.

They spend money to get things done. They have no illusion that legal wars, media wars, or political wars are won without spending money, and the best people to fight such wars are hardened mercenaries, those who do their job, with excellence, for money. They do not attempt to procure professional services through volunteerism as a prime mission advancing methodology. They pay for services and retain the best.

They do not quit. They are in it for the long haul. They wake up every day with an ambitious agenda. They remind each other in conversations and communication of the necessity of their agenda. They literally look at the entire globe and ask, "how do we take our mission and message and operations everywhere?" And they take steps, that day, to facilitate these decisions.

They study the Pro-life movement in depth. A reading of the recent publication of Gloria Feldt"s (President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America) book, would surprise most Pro-Lifers. Without addressing her many claims here, it is certainly clear that we are studied. Our methods, our claims, our tactics, our public and private acts, any inconsistencies between our "talk" and our "walk" are fodder for the grist. Be assured. This Adversary is Not Wearing a Blindfold. They clearly understand the nature of conducting a conflict over ideology.

What difference does it make to know our adversary? What difference does it make to play a chess game with a blindfold? The perceptions of our children are at stake. The future of the unborn child in the womb of an expectant mother is at stake. When we don't pay attention, we lose, and they lose, and our society loses.

We miss with a lot of young kids faced with tough decisions because we are not in the marketplace, the schools, with our message. These young lives need us now! There is a story of a young girl named Jamie that we missed attached to this letter. See if you can figure out when and where we missed with Jamie.


I am Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Michael Galloway

 



Living with Blood Guilt.

There is a story in the Old Testament that mirrors the current heart conditions of a growing number of mothers and fathers that chose abortion. You are probably familiar with the great intrigue that surrounded King David, and the wife of another man, Bathsheba. It is recorded in Second Samual, Chapter 11 and 12. I have always found it amazing that God has chosen to reveal all the life attributes, including their character flaws, of people we normally revere as God's champions.

In summary, King David fell in love with another man's wife, concieved a child with her, and then tried to arrange a number of cover-ups to address the result of his actions. When nothing else worked, he used the authority that was his, his "choice" to deal with the problem by having an innocent, her husband, killed. For some period of time, he found a way to live with himself, but eventually God sent a prophet to reveal to King David the depth of his sin and the impact of that sin. In Psalm 51, we read the words from David's heart. It seems that what was happening inside of King David was different than his outward persona:

Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense.

Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me.

For I know my offense; my sin is always before me.

King David was within his legal right to make the choice he made. He was the King. However, it did not change the "heart result". He knew "his offense", and his sin" was always before me".

Women and men are emerging from the shadows to voice that something is not right in their hearts, and it is pointing back to a decision, made months, or even years ago, to abort a child. The event is in the past. The blood guilt is waiting for them every day. This letter will focus on Moms.

In the sixties, several activist groups began a very bold campaign to change perceptions about the choices people make. Word smithing experts carefully articulated phrases and sound bites to change how we view an event. A careful and artfully contrived campaign placed a "woman's right to control her body" in juxtaposition to a re-defining of a baby as "disposable tissue" in the woman's body. Part of our society embraced the movement to empower women to have rights to correct historic compensation and representation inequities, and in the process devalued the most basic and fundamental rights of the unborn. Amazingly, this movement found support in the courts.

These "spin doctors" would probably have characterized King David's motives as necessary and a legal displacing of a husband who refused to give his wife the proper attention in order that King David could give her a better life in the palace. "Spin" on personal guilt is seductive, but the act is "ever before us".

Each child aborted was the result of a decision maker, who has a heart, and a conscience, and now must deal with the result of the decision. No current spin doctors have been able to lift the heaviness of heart that "is every before me" for this growing number of women.

What has happened to the Mothers who chose abortion? We are only now really beginning to have an insight into the casualty count, and the "after effect" of choosing abortion by the women who exercised their rights. Many women, some of whom were teen-agers, were facing an unplanned pregnancy, were sold a "bill of goods" while they were under pressure, and were hurt deeply in the process. We are now aware that millions of women were deeply, profoundly, and irrevocably harmed by a decision to abort.

This is a view of the "right to choose".

Physical Manifestations:

  • Woman's health is impacted. Leading health practitioners have published findings, and given testimony before congress that Abortion:
  • Contributes to an increase in breast cancer.
  • Manifests in placenta previa, pre-term births, and Ectopic pregnancies.
  • Contributes to the odds of mal-formation in later births.
  • Contributes to the possibility of lower birth weights and later disabilities.
  • Increases the possibility of becoming infertile.
  • Statistically increases the risk of miscarry in future pregnancies.
  • Statistically increases the possibility of manifestations of other types of cancer.
  • Statistically increases the mortality rate of children born of mothers who have had abortions.

Though statistical studies are not perfect indicators, they do reflect a reality in actual experience. Thoreau was once asked if he believed that local farmers were watering down their milk on the way to the market. His response summarized stated, "while it may be impossible to know for sure, if you find a trout in the milk can, that might be evidence the can was dipped in the creek on the way to the market." Women can only ignore these statistical studies at their own peril. If a statistic states four of one hundred experience a certain impact, there are four actual human beings that manifest that health challenge or impairment.

 

Psychological Manifestations:

The psychological trauma "after effect" is reflected in a mental health malaise that is currently being played out in the lives of literally million of women. It is no longer possible for it to be ignored or silenced. Dozens of help groups are being formed and ten's of thousands of women are joining because of this painful reality and the need for therapeutic relief. Women who have chosen abortion are living with very real pain and physical manifestations of unresolved guilt and personal recrimination. It is real. It is painful. It is personally devastating.

 

The Choice to Abort Her Baby Damages the Mother.

No "Pro-Choice" group can silence this reality. Mothers are damaged when they choose to abort. How does this decision manifest in the lives of these women? Some of the reported effects are:

  • Rise in personality fragmentation.
  • Loss of intimacy.
  • Aversion to sexual expression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increase in likelihood of extramarital affairs.
  • Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Grief Response
  • A statistical increase in the tendency towards child abuse
  • A statistical increase in the proclivity to utilize alcohol and drugs.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Nervous disorders.

Inability to deal with the event, many, many years after the event. Repression does not work. There is a need for therapy to deal with the heartache. It is a necessity, not an option.

 


What do the women say who have had an abortion?

The statistical data is a reflection of the unveiled truth now being made available by the outpouring from the hearts of women who have joined the therapy groups. These Elliott Institute reports provide an insight into the "Truth" about the aftereffects of a decision to abort a child.

90% of the women say there were not given enough information about the process of abortion, and the after effect of having an abortion to make an informed decision. 80% say it is unlikely they would have aborted their child if they had not been so strongly encouraged to do so by others, including friends, family and abortion counselors. 83% say they believe, in retrospect, they would have determined to carry the child to term if they had received support from boyfriends, families, or other people that were important influences in their lives. Years ago, the tobacco industry was forced to put a warning label on a pack of cigarettes that disclosed a prospective "very real" health risk. It is time to put a warning label on Abortion. While we work to protect the life of the unborn through legal protection, we must press for a mandatory disclosure, required by law, of all the impacts associated with this decision. It is time for any person considering an abortion to be apprised of all the issues in a formalized methodology that is understandable, and applicable. It is time to recognize that abortion kills babies, and damages mothers irrevocably.

 


What happens when a mother aborts her child?

How does she verbalize the result?. "Emily hears a Whisper". Though King David's act was inexcusable, he eventually found grace and mercy to heal his heart anguish. This healing process must be our goal for moms and dads who daily are provoked by their hearts by past acts.

Thank you for your continued interest is this campaign to protect babies and heal mothers.

I am Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Michael Galloway

 


 

Emily hears a Whisper

The Price Women Pay When Their Children Die

Robin Drives Cross Town To Vent

She was pretty sure it was going to be awful. Now she was really sure. Her best friend and workmate had talked her into this. Only women who had experienced abortion could come. Now, here they were, driving all the way across town, and for what? She had been to an AA meeting once. Awful. Never went back.

Self talk: "Here we go again, Robin. Why can't you just say no, or pass or not interested? No, you had to smile, and say, "Well, it might help with some of the guilt feelings I have, now and again." As they drove in to a very upscale neighborhood, and into a very full cul de sac, she was pretty sure this was going to be a mistake. More than a dozen cars were in the process of unloading their occupants. Almost everyone looked older than Robin. This time, out loud, "Whatever. "Let's get this over with, and go get some food."

Her friend who had remained silent during her thirty minute riding rant just shrugged as she closed her door and said, "You might just like it."

"Not likely," came the response under her breath.

Everyone was ushered down the stairs to a big family room that looked out over a manicured lawn complete with swimming pool. At least they wouldn't starve. Lots of snacks and a punch bowl and a coffee maker. Good snacks. The chairs were set up in a semi-circle, three rows deep. Excellent. She eyed the last chair, on the last row, nearest to the stairs. She had her plan.

A well dressed woman who looked to be in her mid forties invited everyone to get some snacks and please sit down as her guest. The hostess did not take the chair facing the group. Another woman, introduced as Dr. Taylor sat down as everyone else took seats. Robin did not get the last chair, but she did get the back row.

In only moments, Dr. Taylor laid the ground rules for the evening. "The purpose of this meeting is for women to get acquainted with women. Everyone has one event in common. They have all experienced an abortion. You may say as much or as little as you feel comfortable saying. If you feel good about the experience of meeting with other women, you were welcome to attend any number of other small groups that meet around the city weekly to offer support."

In no particular order, some standing, some sitting, women began to speak.

"I had an abortion a month ago. I hate myself. I cry myself to sleep."

A woman in her thirties. "When I was 18 and 19 I had abortions. Two abortions. I knew it was wrong. I couldn't face my parents."

A mid twenties. "Couldn't face your parents. Mine drove me to the clinic. We didn't even discuss any options. I was in a waiting room with a number. They called my number."

Another. "My mother wouldn't hear of anything else. She was single. We had one car. Not much money. She told me, "No way I am supporting you and a child. No way." It is twenty years later, and I still resent her, and myself."

Another. "I'm thirty five. My abortion happened nineteen years ago. My parents didn't know. My boyfriend paid for it. I went to school on the bus. We left school and went to a clinic. I went back to school. I went home on the bus. There was no counseling. No truth. No options. Just death. I was sixteen with no help."

Another. "It has been twelve years ago. I can truly say I have suffered every day since. I have had nightmares, flashbacks, and am in and out of depression. No one told me anything about living with this act. I am on medication. I was wondering if anyone else found it necessary to take medication? My husband tells me to get over it, and move on. I want to move on. I just keep having these thoughts."

Another. "I never knew the details behind an abortion procedure. I remember talking to a counselor. I remember being told to be still by the doctor. I remember the stainless steel pan. I remember feeling pressure that this was the only responsible choice to make. I had never seen any pictures of babies. I regret it."

Another. "I went to the Priest. I went to confession. I know that I am supposedly forgiven. I have never been able to forgive myself. I mean, I know God is full of mercy, but I can't seem to get any sense of forgiveness or mercy. The bottom line is that I allowed a completely defenseless baby to be........." She sat down without finishing.

Another. "I used to be a sign carrying, bra burning, rally going, loud mouthed, pro-choice zealot. I believed in the right to choose what happened in my own body. Over the years I began to recognize that what we called tissue, was really a fetus, a baby, with a heart, and a brain, and a future. I am ashamed that I could not separate my passion for woman's rights from license to kill a child. I was wrong then. You could not have told me I was wrong, but I was wrong. I make myself feel a little better by trying to warn other mothers that abortion is not their best choice, even if it is a legal choice. It is true that we can deal with our pain by helping others. I would encourage everyone here to use their pain to talk to women in the decision process. You will be helped, and they will be helped."

Another. "I have been so sick, and so angry, and so full of shame, and so frustrated, and so mad at my self for so long, revulsion has become a way of life. I didn't know groups like this existed. I cannot seem to shake the depression that comes from the reality of my decision."

Nothing could have prepared Robin for what she was experiencing. She didn't volunteer to talk. In her own loud mouthed way, she was really pretty shy. She did notice that she felt safe. Maybe not safe. But certainly un-threatened. It was quiet.

Dr. Taylor asked, "Anyone else?"

No takers. Looks like it was over. Quietly, and slowly, a woman got to her feet. Robin looked at her. Her yellow sun dress fit perfectly, her shoes were cute, her blond hair was perfectly brushed, her manicured fingers displayed quality jewelry, she stood with perfect posture. She looked around the room pausing to get eye contact with each woman. She was reluctant to speak, but determined.

She introduced herself as Emily. She spoke very clearly in very quiet tones.

"For those of you that don't know me, I am a mother of two beautiful children. My daughter is two, and my son just turned five. When I was a senior in college, I had an abortion. I married right after graduation, and my husband is a good man and a good father. I wanted to ask something. I think I can ask this here."

The room was silent. As Emily continued to talk, her eyes welled up with tears, and they began to stream down her face, falling on her sun dress and intertwined hands.

"What I wanted to ask, is, do you ever hear anything? I have been hearing... I have been hearing..." She paused. "I have been hearing..... a whisper. I hear it when I put my daughter in her crib. I hear it when my son slides down the slide at the playground.

I have been hearing "Why not me?"

She looked around the room. The tears continued unabated. No sobbing. No crying. Just tear after tear.

"and I was wondering, do you ever hear any whispers?"

Do we have answers for Emily? There are now millions of mothers who are living on the other side of an abortion decision. Grief, anger, remorse, guilt, pain, depression, anxiety, self recrimination, and a number of health impairments manifesting in serious, and sometimes life threatening disease are the result of decisions made months, and sometimes years before.

There is a serious need for counseling and support for those who have made this decision and now live with the result. Any plan, born of love, that seeks to deal with the impact of Abortion must include the mothers who have experienced the abortion.

We unite with others in this nation and around the world that are seeking to bring God's protection to the unborn, and God's mercy to the moms.

Women need to know that these groups exist. They need to be aware of retreat opportunities that speak to their heart issues. Many abortions are repeat abortions. It may be circumstances, it may be guilt, it may be a perception of no other options, it may be familypressure, or pressure from a boyfriend. One fact is absolutly true: Women that have the support of other women are less inclined to abort.



FDA warns again of abortion pill risk

By Bonita Brewer

CONTRA COSTA TIMES

News of two more women who died from infection after taking the RU-486 abortion pill have fueled political debate over whether the drug should be pulled from U.S. markets.

Republican lawmakers, who are already trying to suspend government approval of RU-486, said Wednesday that increasing warnings about the drug isn't enough.

"Clearly, warning labels and letters to doctors are not protecting the life and safety of young American women from this drug," said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a health warning Tuesday on the risk of rare but serious infection following treatment with RU-486, not always accompanied by fever.

It was prompted by reports that a fourth California woman -- the first was 18-year-old Holly Patterson of Livermore, who died in September 2003 -- has died from infection after taking RU-486 and its follow-up drug, misoprostol.

The warning did not appease lawmakers who had already introduced "Holly's Law," which would suspend FDA approval of RU-486 until the federal Government Accountability Office examines the process by which the drug was approved in September 2000.

"Congress needs to act to take this deadly drug off the market and force a serious review of its safety -- something that should have been done before it was ever approved," said Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a Democrat whose congressional district includes Livermore, said Tauscher needs to know more about the most recent deaths before commenting.

Meanwhile, officials with Planned Parenthood Federation of America argued that adverse effects from RU-486 are still extremely low -- lower than carrying a pregnancy to full term.

"There is no reason for a change in medical policy and management at this time, although as with any woman who is pregnant, signs of possible infection need to be investigated," said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president of medical affairs for Planned Parenthood.

A death last year of a woman who took RU-486 prompted the FDA in November to issue its highest category of safety warnings to doctors and consumers. Now, in conjunction with the drug maker, Danco Laboratories, the FDA is adding new information.

Without conclusively saying RU-486 caused the deaths, "We want to make sure that physicians and patients using this drug are aware of the potential risk of overwhelming infection that may occur with this product," Galston said.

Previously, two U.S. deaths from infection, including Patterson's, had been reported, and one woman died from infection in Canada during a clinical trial in 2001. But Danco said this week that it learned recently of another death that occurred in late 2003 and another this year.

In all four cases, FDA-approved guidelines for drug-induced abortions were not followed, Galson said. FDA guidelines say RU-486 should be given in the first seven weeks of pregnancy and its follow-up drug, misoprostol, is to be given orally during a second office visit. But many doctors, on the basis of published studies, prescribe misoprostol in higher doses to be inserted vaginally at home.

Galson stressed it has not been determined that such "off-label" use is responsible for the deaths, and that the FDA has no authority to ban it because it doesn't regulate the practice of medicine.

He said the rate of fatal infection among women using RU-486 is similar to that for women giving birth or undergoing surgical abortion -- about one in 100,000. It is estimated about 460,000 U.S. women have used the pill.

The bacteria determined to have caused deadly infection has been identified as Clostridium sordellii in two of the U.S. cases, including Patterson's, and is under investigation in others.

The FDA warnings say the bacterial infection can lead to weakness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea but can lack some usual symptoms of infection, including fever.

Though doctors who suspect a patient has an infection are being advised to give antibiotics immediately, the FDA does not recommend all RU-486 patients be given an antibiotic as a routine precaution.

Galson said it's not clear why all four U.S. deaths were in California, adding, "It may be just a fluke."

Monty Patterson, Holly's father, said it may be due partly to California's large population, but he believes doctors elsewhere simply aren't making a connection between deadly infection and RU-486, and that other women may have died. He also contends RU-486 "predisposes women to serious infections and even death because it impairs the immune system."

Both Cullins of Planned Parenthood and Dr. Cynthia Summers of Danco said no evidence exists to support either claim.

 


 

New York Times

Under Din of Abortion Debate, an Experience Shared Quietly


Kristen Schmid for The New York Times

A woman from Mississippi underwent preparation for an abortion. She had been told that her fetus, which had serious defects, would not live. BEYOND THE SLOGANS Inside an Abortion Clinic

Abortion Trends

Kristen Schmid for The New York Times An 18-year-old college student carrying twins waits to be taken into the operating room for an abortion at Little Rock Family Planning Services in Arkansas. More than one in five pregnancies end in abortion, and it is still one of the most common surgical procedures for women in the United States, with about a million taking place each year. Though the abortion rate has been declining for years, it is still highest among black women. Far from Washington and the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., here in Little Rock on an August weekend, 26 women from as far away as Oklahoma joined the more than one million American women who will probably have abortions this year.

Their experiences, at one of only two clinics in the state, offer a ground-level view of abortion in 2005, a landscape altered by shifts in technology, law, demographics and the political climate.

Brittany, 17, brought her mother for support. Linda, 39, brought her daughter.

Alexia, who wore a cross pendant, prayed all through the two-and-a-half-hour drive from Delta State University in Mississippi. At 23, she was having her third abortion. "My religion is against it," she said, adding that she is a Baptist. "In a way I feel I'm doing wrong, but you can be forgiven. I blame myself. I feel I shouldn't have sex at all."

Venetia Grunder, 21, viewed an ultrasound image of the fetus in her womb. She was 12 weeks pregnant, though she had taken birth control pills as directed. "I feel pretty messed up," she said after seeing the image. "It's different, just knowing. My husband told me not to look. This changes my feelings, but I'm sticking by it. Damn it, $650, I'm sticking by it."

More than 25 million Americans have had abortions since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in 1973. Often kept secret, even from close friends or family members, the experience cuts across all income levels, religions, races, lifestyles, political parties and marital circumstances. Though abortion rates have been falling since 1990, to their lowest level since the mid-1970's, abortion remains one of the most common surgical procedures for women in America. More than one in five pregnancies end in abortion.

In the squat, nondescript brick building here, the lofty rhetoric that has billowed through public debate for the last 32 years gave way to the mundane realities of the armed security guard and the metal detector, the surgical table and the settling of the bill before the procedure - $525 to $1,800, cash or credit card only.

While public conversation about abortion is dominated by advocates with all-or-nothing positions - treating the fetus as a complete person, with full rights, or as a nonentity, with none - most patients at the clinic, like most Americans, found themselves on rockier ground, weighing religious, ethical, practical, sentimental and financial imperatives that were often in conflict.

Regina cried on the operating table.

Kori, 26, who was having her third abortion, asked to watch the procedure on the ultrasound monitor. "I wanted to see what it was like," she said. "It was O.K. to watch. Once you had your mind made up to do it, you just suck it up and go with it."

The solitary protester outside , Jim Dawson, 74, stood a court-mandated distance from the clinic with a video camera, taping women as they entered, and promising them hellfire if they went through with it - as he has for a decade. Mr. Dawson drives 40 miles from Vilonia, Ark., bringing cardboard signs that say "Abortion Kills," and usually departs by midmorning. On days when the clinic is closed, he pickets the Clinton presidential library. "I don't stop many of them," he said, "but a little bit goes a long way."

The Women

At the clinic, patients allowed a reporter to attend their consultations and even operations, but most spoke only if they could use just their first names. "It's not something I would talk about," said "M," a high school teacher who agreed to be identified only by her middle initial. She wore a miniskirt and T-shirt, her blond hair pulled back from her forehead. She said she had never discussed abortion with relatives or colleagues. Only two friends knew she was here.

"I'd lose my job," she said. "My family's reputation would be ruined. It makes me nervous even being in the waiting room. You don't want to know who's here, you don't want to be recognized, and you don't want to see them ever again. Because in society's eyes, you share the same dirty secret."

Even most staff members at the clinic insisted on using only their first names - "to protect my identity from the antichoice people," said Lori, a nurse practitioner. Several said they had not told family members what they did for a living, or were ostracized if they did.


P.O. Box 9686 Bakersfield, Ca. USA 93389 Phone: 1(661) 869-1000 Fax: 1(661) 869-0461 Email: catholic@catholic.org www.catholic.org

 

 


 

 

Planned Parenthood's Founder: A racist

Posted on 02/04/2001 14:11:00 PST by JMJ333

To suggest that Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist is to raise the ire of many of the present-day leaders of Planned Parenthood and other anti-life organizations. However, the facts do speak for themselves.

For example, throughout the pages of the Birth Control Review, Mrs. Sanger's journal, there are countless quotes which not only suggest that she favored eugenics, but that she provided a forum to those who wished to spread their fear of human life, when that life was conceived by someone other than a member of society's elite.

This brochure is devoted to familiarizing you with the most outrageous of the statements to which Mrs. Sanger gave credence, as well as to a few of her own. Since books have been written about her, it is not necessary for us to go into her sordid background at length, but simply to give you a taste of the hypocrisy which has led so many people into the web Planned Parenthood weaves, even today. It is a web that distorts, misrepresents and ultimately cheapens the beautiful gift of human sexuality which God gives to each and every person at conception.

Who Was Margaret Sanger?

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an adulteress, racist and bigot, a supporter of Hitler's Nazi party, and a believer in eugenics - the purification of a particular race of people by selective breeding. Her magazines and journals were filled with writings and articles by well-known eugenicists and members of Hitler's Third Reich.

Marriage

Sanger made every effort to promote philosophies which would assist the state in controlling the size of families. However, with regard to her own family, her first husband William Sanger, her children, and her subsequent divorce, she wrote in her 1931 book, My Fight for Birth Control:

"'My first marriage failed, not because of love, romance, lack of wealth, respect or any such qualities which are supposed to be lacking in broken ties, because the interest of each widened beyond that of the other". "From the deep waters into which I had been swept by the current of events it was impossible to return to the shallow pool of domesticity'"

The wife who is able to stay at home and care for her family because she wants to is characterized by Sanger as someone who is simply drowning in a "shallow pool of domesticity," an attitude con-sistently promulgated in today's society by the feminist movement and those who have relegated motherhood to the lowest level of achievement.

Adultery:

After a failed trial marriage at 18, she married William Sanger in 1902 and soon engaged in extramarital affairs while encouraging her husband to do the same. She pronounced the marriage bed to be "the most degenerating influence in the social order" and advocated a "voluntary association" between sexual partners.

At the beginning of her "mission" to bring birth control to America, around 1912, she saw birth control as a tool in the class struggle and was clearly on the side of the poor.

However, her involvement with well-known socialists and eugenicists of the day (Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, Will Durant, Clarence Darrow, and Ellen Key) changed her mind completely. Over a period of eight years she began to turn the birth control movement against the very people she had set out to help.

Jesus Christ:

Mrs. Sanger, who did not have faith in God, and detested all those who did, wrote:

"I never liked to look at Jesus on the Cross. I could not see any good it did to keep looking at him. We could not help him, as he had been crucified long ago."

To know Christ and to appreciate His suffering, death and resurrection for each and every one of us would obviously have been foreign to Mrs. Sanger. To her, after all, many of those created in the image and likeness of God were simply less than human.

The Pivot of Civilization:

Instead of helping the poor, she considered them slum dweller(particularly Blacks, Hispanics, and Jewish immigrants) who would soon overrun the boundaries of their slums, contaminating the better elements of society with their diseases and inferior genes.

Throughout the 200+ pages of this book Sanger called for the elimination of "human weeds," for the cessation of charity, for the segregation of "morons, misfits, and maladjusted," and for the sterilization of "genetically inferior races."[4] In this same book she argued that organized attempts to help the poor were the "surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding, and is perpetuating . . . defectives, delinquents, and dependents."[5] She called for coercive sterilization, mandatory segregation, and rehabilitative concentration camps for all inferior Blacks, Hispanics, poor Whites, and Catholics.

Sanger's brand of prejudice was based on what author John L. Keller labels "Scientific Racism," the belief that as long as people demonstrated "a good quality gene pool" they were esteemed a valuable part of society. On the other hand, if a group, including Whites, demonstrated undesirable traits, their fertility had to be curbed along with other "inferiors and undesirables."

George Grant stated in Grand Illusions: "In her book Women and the New Race she asserted that the 'most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it.'"

Minorities

On October 19, 1939, Sanger outlined a plan for stopping the growth of the Black community. She predicted that "the most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their rebellious members."[8] Her planning, which included being careful to make it appear that hand-picked Blacks are in control, is followed with success even today. Faye Wattleton's position as President of PPFA was testimony to that fact.

The Birth Control Review:

The Birth Control Review, founded by Sanger in 1917, was totally committed to the eugenics philosophy. The official editorial policy of The Review endorsed I.Q. testing, which classified Blacks, southern Europeans, and other immigrants as mentally inferior to native-born White Americans and called them a nuisance and a menace to society. In the 1920s she tried to use the results from I.Q. tests, which classified the U.S. soldier as a near moron, to back up her own findings.

Sanger truly believed these groups were a "dead weight of human waste" and "a menace to the race."

Abortion and Birth Control:

It was in the December, 1918, Birth Control Review that Margaret Sanger wrote perhaps the most ingenious comment of all: ". . . I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization. . ."

How do you sell the practice of contraception to a public that is totally opposed to it? In 1918, when she wrote the above, no religious denomination accepted the practice of contraception. Well, you sell it to the people by insisting that with better contraception there would be less abortion! It sounds very familiar, doesn't it?

Today, it is only the Roman Catholic Church that stands for the truth with regard to contraception, and among its members it is said that eighty percent practice contraception anyway. Would Mrs. Sanger be proud of her campaign if she could see the results we live with today - more than 50 strains of VD as well as the deadly AIDS virus?

And would she agree with current Planned Parenthood president Pamela Maraldo, who writes: "As Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders has so succinctly put it: 'We've taught our children in driver's education what to do in the front seat, and now we've got to teach them what to do in the back seat.'"

Today American youth are told that the "responsible" thing to do is use contraception, be realistic and formulate your own values as you go, and if your contraception fails, get an abortion.[13] Responsible? Mrs. Sanger would be proud.

Thus through Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood has molded the sexual ethics of the day: Sex is a natural thing for a teenager to desire and if a teenager feels that he is to be sexually active that is his decision; all society asks is that he not produce children.

 

 

OTHER LINKS:

http://dianedew.com/sanger.htm http://dianedew.com/black.htm http://www.eadshome.com/MargaretSanger.htm http://blackgenocide.org/planned.html http://lifedynamics.com/DeathCamps/Holocaust6.cfm This quote from http://www.plannedparenthood.org/pp2/portal/files/portal/medicalinfo/birthcontrol/bio-margaret-sanger.xml collaborates her desire to enlist black ministers to further her efforts to exterminate them: “In 1930, Sanger opened a family planning clinic in Harlem that sought to enlist support for contraceptive use and to bring the benefits of family planning to women who were denied access to their city's health and social services. Staffed by a black physician and black social worker, the clinic was endorsed by The Amsterdam News (the powerful local newspaper), the Abyssinian Baptist Church, the Urban League, and the black community's elder statesman, W.E.B. DuBois.”

http://lancasterlife.com/NurembergFiles/ http://www.ewtn.com/library/PROLIFE/PPRACISM.TXT

 

 


 

ABORTION HOLOCAUST 

The Abortion Epidemic: America’s Silent Holocaust

J. Carl Laney

[J. Carl Laney, Associate Professor of Biblical Literature, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Portland, Oregon]

Abortions last year terminated one-third of all pregnancies in America. Since the Supreme Court’s decision of 1973 (Roe vs. Wade), the annual number of abortions performed in the United States has risen from 744,600 to 1.5 million. Nontherapeutic abortion is in fact a 20th-century form of birth control. It has become the second most common surgical procedure, circumcision being the first. Abortion on demand is without question the greatest moral issue facing America today. No other contemporary moral problem in this country results in the deaths of over a million innocent, unborn children each year. Since 1973, eight million unborn babies have died in hospitals and abortion clinics throughout America.

Many Christians today are not sufficiently informed about abortion to form a scripturally based opinion on this issue. Others would like to remain neutral. They do not advocate abortion, but would not prohibit a woman from having one. In an interview on abortion, a California physician stated, “I feel I have the obligation to take care of patients. I don’t feel I should enforce my own personal views, especially since I’m not so convinced that [abortion] is ungodly or unbiblical.” Still others would identify with the “Pro-Choice” crusaders who contend that abortion is a right that women must have. They would argue that all other rights—social, economic, political—depend on the fundamental right of a woman to control her own body. Abortion is a contemporary moral problem which must be addressed scripturally. The purpose of this article is to provide sufficient biblical truth and factual data to enable the reader to formulate not only a scriptural view on the abortion issue, but also a plan of action to help end the silent holocaust.

What Is an Abortion?

Abortion is the act of bringing forth young prematurely. A spontaneous abortion is one which takes place naturally—a situation over which the mother has no control. This is usually referred to as a miscarriage. An induced abortion is one which is brought about by medical means. In the hospitals and abortion clinics in America the term is used to refer to the destruction of the unborn child in the womb or the extraction of the immature child from the womb in order to end its life. Induced abortion is a violent act that not only destroys the life of the child but also endangers the life of the mother. The methods of abortion include the following:

Suction Aspiration

This procedure is used in 80 percent of the abortions up to the twelfth week of pregnancy. The mouth of the cervix is dilated. A hollow tube with a knifelike edged tip is inserted into the womb. A suction force 28 times stronger than a vacuum cleaner literally tears the developing baby to pieces and sucks the remains into a container.

Dilation and Curettage

Dilation and curettage (commonly called D&C) is a procedure which involves dilating the cervix with a series of instruments to allow the insertion of a curette—a loop-shaped knife—into the womb. The instrument is used to scrape the placenta from the uterus and then cut the baby apart. The pieces are then drawn through the cervix. The tiny body must then be reassembled by an attending nurse to make sure no parts remain in the womb to cause infection.

Saline Injection

Saline injection, also known as “salt-poisoning,” is an abortion procedure which involves removing some of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and replacing it with a toxic, saline solution. The baby then breathes and swallows the solution. In one or two hours the unborn child dies from salt poisoning, dehydration, and hemorrhaging. The mother goes into labor about 24 hours later and delivers a dead (or dying) baby.

Hysterotomy

During the last three months of pregnancy, abortions are performed by hysterotomy, which involves opening the womb surgically and removing the baby as in a Caesarean section. However, the purpose of this procedure is to end the infant’s life. Instead of being cared for, the baby is wrapped in a blanket, set aside, and allowed to die.

Prostaglandin

This newest abortion procedure involves the use of chemicals developed by the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company. Prostaglandin hormones, injected into the womb or released in a vaginal suppository, cause the uterus to contract and deliver the child prematurely—too young to survive. A saline solution is sometimes injected first, killing the baby before birth, in order to make the procedure less distressful for the mother and medical staff.

The abortion procedures described above are not pleasant. But Christians need to know that when someone exercises “freedom of choice” with regard to abortion, these are the choices involved. It is remarkable that the law protects animals from cruel deaths. A person can kill his dog or cat, but he cannot kill it with cruelty. He would be subject to arrest if he cut off his pet’s limbs, dissolved its skin in acid, or starved it to death. Yet the law allows for these kinds of atrocities to be carried out against the most defenseless members of the human family.

Do the unborn feel pain during these abortion procedures? Yes, they do. Dr. A. W. Liley, world-renowned professor of Fetal Physiology at the National Women’s Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, has shown that the unborn child can feel pain and is sensitive to touch, light, heat, and noise as early as eleven weeks after conception. Using closed-circuit TV cameras, he has shown that if the unborn child is pricked with a needle, the infant will recoil in pain. But if a beep sounds before the prick, and this is repeated several times, the tiny baby will begin to recoil at the beep in anticipation of the pain he knows will come.

In addition to ending the life of the child, abortion endangers the life of the mother. The popular opinion that abortion is safer than childbirth is absolutely false. Published reports of deaths resulting from legal abortions range from 1.2 to 75 deaths per 100,000 abortions. In the late stages of pregnancy, abortion is far more dangerous than childbirth. Death can result from uterine infection, peritonitis, hemorrhage, perforated uterus, or later tubal pregnancy. Other complications relate to damage done to the cervix, injury to the lining of the womb, and blockage of the Fallopian tubes. These include prematurity in subsequent pregnancy, increased miscarriages, and sterility.

What Is the Legal Situation Today?

On January 22, 1973 the United States Supreme Court made a seven-to-two decision on the Roe vs. Wade case which virtually established abortion as a constitutional right. The Court granted an absolute right to abortion on demand during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, and an almost unqualified right to abortion for “health reasons” during the third trimester. Such “health reasons” as defined in the Doe vs. Bolton case include the psychological, social, and economic well-being of the mother. Harold O. J. Brown, chairman of Christian Action Council, has pointed out:

This places the United States alone among all the civilized nations of the world in permitting abortions at such a late point in pregnancy that the fetus, if born prematurely or by normal Caesarean section at that time, would live. Such late abortions are considered in most nations of the world to be infanticide.

The Supreme Court’s decision invalidated the existing regulations in all 50 states, and now state governments can do little if anything to protect human life developing within the womb. If a woman wants an abortion, even her husband—the father of the child—cannot prevent her from having one. A minor daughter must have her parent’s signature to have her appendix out, but she can have an abortion without parental knowledge or consent.

Amazingly, in dealing with the Roe vs. Wade case the Court was unwilling to decide whether or not an unborn child is fully human, yet they were willing to open the abortion floodgates. Eight million babies have been aborted since 1973 and the Supreme Court is unsure whether or not they are human beings.

It should be noted that the Supreme Court has been wrong in its decisions before. In the famous Dred Scott decision of 1857 the Court ruled that blacks were mere chattel and did not have the rights of personhood. It took a civil war and a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery and reverse the effects of the Court’s decision. If the Supreme Court was wrong before, could it be wrong again?

What Does the Word of God Say?

What does the Bible have to say about abortion? Does Scripture attribute equal value to the life of an adult and the life of an unborn child? From God’s perspective is an unborn baby a human being? These are questions that every Christian must wrestle with in formulating an opinion on the issue of abortion.

The Absence of a Prohibition against Abortion

Since Scripture has no command, “Thou shalt not have an abortion,” some Christians have concluded that an induced abortion is not morally wrong or unbiblical. In response to such thinking Cline states, “The most significant thing about abortion legislation in Biblical law is that there is none. It was so unthinkable that an Israelite woman should desire an abortion that there was no need to mention this offense in the criminal code.” Why was abortion an unthinkable act for the ancient Israelites? First, children were recognized as a gift or heritage from the Lord (Gen 33:5; Pss. 113:9 ; 127:3 ). Second, God was seen to be the One who opens the womb and allows conception (Gen 29:33; 30:22 ; 1 Sam 1:19–20). Third, childlessness was thought to be a curse, for the husband’s family name could not be carried on (Deut 25:6; Ruth 4:5). Barrenness meant the extinction of the family name (cf. Jer 11:19). Induced abortion was so abhorrent to the Israelite mind that it was not necessary to have a specific prohibition to deal with it in the Law. Sufficient was the command, “You shall not murder” (Exod 20:13).

Interestingly ancient Assyrian laws attest to the abhorrence of abortion even by the heathen nations that surrounded Israel. According to those laws a woman guilty of an abortion was condemned to be impaled on stakes. Even if she lost her life in the abortion procedure, she was still to be impaled as an expression of the community’s repudiation of such an abominable practice. What a commentary on the moral decay of the United States. While pagan Assyrians condemned abortion, enlightened, “Christian” America has condoned it.

 

 


 

 

The Misinterpretation of Exodus 21:22-25

Some Christians have concluded from Exodus 21:22–25 that the fetus is merely potential human life. They understand the passage to refer to a case of accidental miscarriage. According to this view, a mere fine is levied in the case of an accidental miscarriage, whereas the law of retaliation (lex talionis) is applied if the mother is injured or dies. It is concluded that since the punishment for accidentally killing an unborn child is less severe than the punishment for killing an adult, the unborn baby must be considered less than human. Abortion, therefore, does not constitute the termination of “human” life and is not to be viewed as unscriptural.

This approach has two major difficulties—one in the interpretation of the text and the other in the application of the text. The usual Hebrew, word for “miscarry” (lk)v*; Gen 31:38; Exod 23:26; Job 2:10; Hos 9:14) is not used in Exodus 21:22. The verb which the NASB translates “she has a miscarriage” (literally, “her children come out”) is au*y* and customarily refers in the Old Testament to live births (cf. Gen 25:26; 38:28–30 ; Job 3:11; 10:18 ; Jer 1:5; 20:18 ). On the basis of careful exegesis Jackson concludes that “Exodus 21:22 must refer to live birth.” It must also be noted that the text itself makes no distinction between harm done to the child and harm done to the mother. In verse 22 two possible situations are contemplated—an accident in which no harm comes to the mother or child and an accident in which the mother or child is injured. The accident without injury results in a mere fine, probably imposed because of the danger to which the mother and child are exposed. In the case of an accident with some injury—to the mother, her child, or both—the law of retaliation is to be applied.

With the late German commentators Keil and Delitzsch, it is better to take Exodus 21:22 as referring not to accidental miscarriage but to premature birth. The renowned Jewish scholar, Umberto Cassuto, translates the text as meaning premature birth: “But if any mischief happen, that is if the woman dies or the children die, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye….” Frame provides a helpful paraphrase of the text under consideration:

And if men fight together and hurt a pregnant woman so that her child is born prematurely, yet neither mother or child is harmed, he shall surely be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if either mother or child is harmed, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

A second difficulty with the “miscarriage” approach to Exodus 21:22–25 is the application of the passage to the abortion issue. Even if it could be successfully demonstrated that the text refers to accidental miscarriage rather than premature birth, it still could not be used to justify abortion. First, the injury is accidental, not intentional as would be the case in abortion. Second, though unintentional, the action was considered wrongdoing and punishable by law. Third, while the text may not expressly prohibit abortion, neither does it grant authority to perform abortion.

The Divine Involvement in the Formation of the Unborn

Not only is God active in the event of conception itself (cf. Gen 29:31–35; 30:17–24 ; Ruth 4:13; 1 Sam 1:19–20), but also He is personally involved in the formation and development of the human baby in the mother’s womb. God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jer 1:5). The word “formed” (rx^y*) is used of God’s special creation of Adam (Gen 2:7–8). When used in its secular sense, rx^y* occurs most frequently in the participial form meaning “potter”—one who forms and fashions a piece of clay into a useful vessel. God fashioned Jeremiah in the womb and also set him apart for his prophetic ministry before his birth. God was actively involved in the life of Jeremiah in his prenatal state.

In the third movement of Psalm 139 David joyfully acknowledges that the Lord intricately wove him together in his mother’s womb. Here David speaks of God’s relationship with him while he was growing and developing before birth. The significance of this psalm is highlighted by Allen:

The Bible never speaks of fetal life as mere chemical activity, cellular growth or vague force. Rather, the fetus in the mother’s womb is described by the psalmist in vivid pictorial language as being shaped, fashioned, molded and woven together by the personal activity of God. That is, as God formed Adam from the dust of the ground, so He is actively involved in fashioning the fetus in the womb.

Verse 13 reveals that God, the Master Craftsman, fashioned David into a living person while he was still in his mother’s womb. “Yes! You created my inmost self, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps 139:13). The unborn child is not just a piece of tissue, but is a human being with potential for human experience.

In verse 14 David reflects on the fact that he is the product of God’s creative actions. “I give public acknowledgment to you that I am awesomely wonderful; full of wonder are Your works, and my soul knows it very well” (Ps 139:14). David reflects on the fact that while he was in the womb hidden from the eyes of men, he was never hidden from God: “My bones were never hidden from you when I was being made in secret, and skillfully wrought (as) in the depths of the earth” (v. 15 ). The term “skillfully wrought” is used in the participial form in Exodus 26:36 of the one who wove or embroidered the beautifully colored fabric used to screen the doorway of the tabernacle. As this special fabric was intricately and skillfully woven, so David was exquisitely fashioned by God “in the depths of the earth”—a metaphorical reference to his mother’s womb.

David then refers to God’s watchcare over his “unformed substance” (NASB), that is, his “embryo” (<l#G)). Allen translates, “My embryo—your eyes saw! And in your Book all (my unformed parts) were written; daily they were being fashioned when as yet the whole was not (complete)” (Ps 139:16). The word “embryo” is a key term in the abortion controversy. In man it refers to the “prefetal product of conception up to the beginning of the third month of pregnancy.” David acknowledges that his embryo from the moment of conception—is under the personal watchcare of God. Concerning the significance of Psalm 139 Ryrie comments, “Even if life in the womb is not the same as it is after birth, it is human life in a certain form. And it is life which God is intimately concerned about.” Psalm 139:13–16 is a strong biblical polemic against abortion, for it clearly demonstrates God’s personal involvement in the creation, formation, and development of the human baby.

The Humanness of the Unborn according to Scripture

According to the Bible, what uniquely distinguishes man from animals is man’s creation in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26–27; 5:1 ; 9:6 ). Bearing the image of God is the essence of humanness. And though God’s image in man was marred at the Fall, it was not erased (cf. 1 Cor 11:7; James 3:9). If the Bible reveals that the unborn baby is made in the image of God, then it must be concluded that the unborn child is fully human in God’s sight. The Protestant Reformers regarded the “image of God” in man as referring to man’s immaterial nature as fashioned for rational, moral, and spiritual fellowship with God. Does Scripture reveal that the unborn child possesses these characteristics?

David traces the origin of his sin with Bathsheba to his own conception: “Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Ps 51:5). The “iniquity” and “sin” referred to here are David’s. David is relating his sinfulness to the very inception of his life—before birth. This indicates that the moral law of God was already present and operative in David in his prenatal state. Since Scripture attributes moral guilt to David as an unborn child, a strong likelihood exists that he was human before birth.

Luke 1:41, 44 also point to the humanness of the unborn child. John the Baptist is said to have “leaped” in Elizabeth’s womb “for joy” when Mary’s greeting was heard. John’s prenatal recognition of the presence of Mary, the mother of the divine Messiah, points to his spiritual and rational capacity in the unborn state. Appropriately, the term used to describe John in his prenatal state is brevfo" (“baby”), the Greek term used for a child before and after birth (cf. Luke 2:12, 16; 18:15 ; 2 Tim 3:15). Psalm 51:5 and Luke 1:41, 44 reflect the scriptural view that unborn children are spiritual, rational, moral beings. A baby, then, is “in the image of God” in the unborn state. Frame remarks, “There is nothing in Scripture that even remotely suggests that the unborn child is anything less than a human person from the moment of conception.”

One other argument which lends support to the humanness of the unborn baby is the traducian view of the origin of the soul. According to the creation theory of the origin of the soul, the soul of each human being is created by God and joined to the body at conception, birth, or sometime between. The major objection to this view is that sin must be imputed to each soul after its creation, or else God is creating a sinful being. According to the traducian (from the Latin traduco, “to transfer”) view, the soul as well as the material part of man is “transferred” by human generation. Thus the whole human race was potentially in Adam. This position is consistent with the scriptural view of the human race as a corporate unity (cf. Acts 17:26; Rom 5:12). The human race was seminally present in Adam and participated in his original sin (Rom 5:12; cf. Heb 7:9–10). The point here is that the soul is present in the unborn child. Since there is moral accountability in the prenatal state, the unborn child must be fully human.

Some feminists have suggested that a distinction between abortion and contraception is inappropriate, for the goal of both is the prevention of an unwanted birth. However, there is a considerable difference between contraception and abortion. Contraception tends to prevent the fertilization of the ovum by the sperm, neither of which alone can generate human life. Abortion, on the other hand, destroys what has already been conceived. In abortion a third party is involved—a unique individual whom God has made. Abortion is an insult to the creative work of God and a transgression against the very image of God in man.

Is Abortion Ever Justifiable?

Is abortion justifiable in the case of rape, incest, or deformity of the unborn child? While these are volatile and emotionally charged issues, they do not focus on the major problem facing America. Abortions in the United States for rape, incest, protection of the mother’s life, or voiding of a deformed fetus comprise less than 5 percent of all abortions. The rest of the abortions being done today are performed mainly for convenience—for purposes of birth control. While the real moral problem facing America is abortion “on demand,” these other difficult issues must be considered.

Rape

Surprisingly rape rarely results in pregnancy. A ten-year study in Minnesota showed that no pregnancies resulted from 3,500 cases of forcible rape. Conception can be prevented if the rape victim will seek treatment at a hospital immediately. But what if a pregnancy should occur? It is a strange sort of justice that allows an innocent child to be killed for the crime of its father. The baby would still be the mother’s own flesh and blood no matter who the father was. Aborting the baby does not end the trauma of the rape; it compounds the sin. One should consider this probing question, “If you found out today that you were the product of a rape, would you wish that your mother had aborted you?”

 

Incest

As in the case of rape, special counsel and care is essential for a pregnant victim of incest. But aborting the baby would further jeopardize the physical and emotional well-being of the victim. Abortions performed on young girls are unusually hazardous, and studies show that sterility is as high as 30 percent among women 15 to 17 years of age. As with rape, the child conceived by incest is a family member and should be cared for as such.

Protection

In the abortion controversy, most people think that “protecting the life of the mother” has to do with her physical well-being. Legally, however, the “protection of the mother” may include psychological, social, and economic considerations as well. C. Everett Koop, the present Surgeon General of the United States and a leading pediatric surgeon, has stated, “In my thirty-six years in pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life.” In the rare case where a pregnancy must be abbreviated to protect the life of the mother, the proper procedure would be to give the child extraordinary care with the hopes of bringing it to maturity.

Deformity

By examining a sample of the amniotic fluid in the womb (a process called “amniocentesis”), it is possible for a physician to determine if some deformity or defect is in the unborn child. If this test indicates that the child is deformed, should the child be aborted? When Moses questioned his own ability to speak to Pharaoh, God said, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exod 4:11). A sovereign God has the rightful authority to make some children “imperfect.” These children are special because, as with the man born blind (John 9:3), God can use these handicaps to His glory.

Christians must not minimize the gravity of rape, incest, possible deformity, or danger to the life of the mother due to pregnancy. These infrequent and rather unique situations must be handled with scriptural counsel and loving concern. But situationalism must not govern decision-making in the area of Christian ethics. God is the One who creates life in the womb, and only He has the right to take it (Deut 32:39; 1 Sam 2:6).

 

What Can Christians Do about Abortion?

Christians have a moral and ethical responsibility to do something about abortion (cf. Prov 24:11–14). Like the prophets of old, evangelical believers must cry out against social and moral injustices so prevalent today (cf. Isa 10:1–2; Jer 2:34–35; Ezek 22:3; Mic 3:9–10). Specifically, what can and should believers do about abortion?

Information

One of the biggest problems in the abortion issue is that most people do not know the facts about abortion. Thus the first thing that believers should do is become more informed on this important issue. Literature on abortion from a Christian perspective is available from the Christian Action Council (788 National Press Bldg., Washington, DC 20045). Most informed Christians will make a decision to be morally opposed to abortion.

Prayer

Concerned Christians should be praying that Congress will pass the Human Life Bill which would permit pro-life states to outlaw abortion. Many believers are praying for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution so that unborn children can receive the same protection as other Americans. Prayer can influence state and national leaders to take a pro-life stand on the abortion issue.

Support

Christians should know the positions of their political candidates regarding abortion, and should support those who share their convictions regarding the value of unborn human life. At the same time, they should not support candidates who favor abortions or institutions that provide abortion services (e.g., health plans, charity funds, hospitals).

Counsel

In counseling someone with an untimely pregnancy, one may help save the life of an unborn baby. Many pregnant mothers need counseling, housing, and help in finding adoptive parents for their babies.


Compassion

The more one learns about abortion, the more he may become angry. But he must be compassionate in dealing with those who have had abortions. Christians should hate the sin, but share Christ’s love for the sinner (cf. Rom 5:8). Many women who have abortions are the victims of exploitation. They are exploited first by men who want sex without responsibility, and then by physicians who are primarily interested in profiting from the lucrative abortion industry. Often those who have had an abortion later become the most actively involved advocates for the unborn.

  


  
== Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society Abortion And Public Policy: A Response To Some Arguments
==

Francis J. Beckwith*

Francis J. Beckwith is lecturer in philosophy at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

In a recent article Virginia Ramey Mollenkott defends the proposition that the pro-choice position on abortion is more consistent with Christian ethics than the pro-life position. I define the pro-life position in the following way: Full humanness begins at conception, and hence the unborn child has a right to life unless his life must be forfeited in order to save the life of his mother, since it is better that one human should die rather than two. I define the pro-choice position in the following way: The woman who has conceived has an absolute right to terminate her pregnancy from the moment of conception until the ninth month of pregnancy for any reason she deems fit. Although some in both camps may not entirely agree with these definitions, in terms of the popular debate we observe on the evening news the definitions seem for the most part accurate.

My strategy in this paper is to respond to the pro-choice position by using Mollenkott’s article as my point of departure, although I will deal with arguments I believe Mollenkott alludes to but does not specifically present: (1) I will briefly deal with a number of popular arguments. (2) I will critique some philosophical arguments. (3) I will deal with some theological arguments. (4) I will concern myself with an argument against the public policy of prohibiting abortion-on-demand.

I. Popular Arguments

There are a number of popular arguments that are put forth by people in the pro-choice movement and that seem to be implied, although not specifically articulated, in Mollenkott’s article. Unfortunately the popular pro-life camp has not adequately responded to these arguments but has settled for putting forth arguments of similar logical weakness. Space does not permit me to cover all the pro-choice arguments, so I have selected the ones that seem to be the most popular and that the pastor or

 

 

Teacher will most likely face when questioned by the media at pro-life rallies.

1. Are you going to take care of the child after it is born? This bit of rhetoric can be distilled into the following assertion: Unless the pro-lifer is willing to help bring up the children she does not want aborted, she has no right to prevent a woman from having an abortion. As a principle of moral action, this seems to be a rather bizarre assertion. Think of all the unusual precepts that would result: Unless I am willing to marry my neighbor’s wife, I cannot prevent her husband from beating her; unless I am willing to adopt my neighbor’s daughter, I cannot prevent her mother from abusing her; unless I am willing to hire ex-slaves for my business, I cannot say that the slaveowner should not own slaves.

By illegitimately shifting the discussion from the morality of abortion to the moral character of the pro-lifer, this argument avoids the point at issue. Although a clever move, it has nothing to do with the validity of either the pro-life or pro-choice positions. In fact the argument commits the argumentum ad hominem fallacy, which occurs when one attacks the person who is defending an argument rather than the argument that the person is defending.

2. If abortion is made illegal, then we will return to the day of coat-hanger and back-alley abortions. This emotionally charged argument has little going for it logically. It commits the fallacy of begging the question, which occurs when one assumes what one is trying to prove. For if abortion results in the death of the unborn (and no one in the pro-choice camp denies this), this argument is successful only if the arguer assumes that the unborn are not fully human. But if the unborn are fully human, this argument is tantamount to saying that because people die while killing other persons the state should make it safe for them to do so. And since it is obvious that the pro-choice advocate by using this argument does not approve of the needless death of human persons, it follows that he cannot use this argument unless he assumes that the unborn are not fully human. Therefore only by assuming that legal abortion does not result in the needless death of human persons does the pro-choicer’s argument work. Hence the abortion question hinges on the status of the unborn, not on emotional and question-begging appeals to coat hangers and back alleys.

3. Prohibiting abortion will not prevent rich women from having abortions by traveling to countries where it is legal. This argument of course assumes either one of two things if abortion-on-demand is made illegal: (1) Abortion is a moral good that poor women will be denied and to which rich women will have access, or (2) childbirth is a moral burden that rich women can avoid but poor women will have foisted upon them. In any event, the argument is asserting that if abortion is made illegal there will be an unfair distribution of either goods or burdens. But since the morality of permitting abortion is the point under question, the arguer assumes what he is trying to prove and therefore begs the question. For would we not consider it bizarre if while debating over the morality and legality of snorting cocaine someone argued that cocaine should be legalized because if it remained illegal only rich people would be able to afford it and have privileged access to it? One is putting the cart before the horse when one appeals to the possible unfairness of not having equal access to abortion prior to sufficiently defending the view that possessing the choice to have an abortion is in fact a moral good. For this is the crux of the entire debate. In other words, the question of whether it is fair that certain rich people will have privileged access to abortion if it is made illegal must be answered after we answer the question of whether abortion is in fact the killing of an innocent human person. To bypass this question by appealing to fairness is simply silly.

4. Pro-lifers are trying to force their religious beliefs on others. Unfortunately, this argument is fueled by well-meaning Christian pro-lifers who argue strictly from the Bible. Although this may be helpful in convincing those in the Christian community, it is not very convincing for those outside it. In terms of political strategy it is not a good idea to give the appearance to the opposition that the basis of the pro-life position is strictly theological. For this reason I suggest that pro-life leaders put greater emphasis on philosophical and scientific arguments when engaging in public debate. In this way, by emphasizing that there is nontheological support for their position (and there is plenty), they will be able to undercut the pro-choicer’s intellectually irresponsible claim that the pro-life movement is trying to force its “religious” views on others.

The pro-life movement could then argue from the fact that just because a philosophically plausible position may also be found in religious literature, such as the Bible, that in itself does not make such a position exclusively religious. For if it did, then we would have to dispense with laws forbidding murder, robbery, and so forth, simply because such actions are prohibited by the God of the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures. Furthermore public policies, such as civil-rights legislation, elimination of nuclear testing, and increase of welfare, which are supported by many clergymen who find these policies in agreement with and supported by their doctrinal beliefs, would have to be abolished simply because they are believed by some to have religious support. Hence the pro-life position is a legitimate public-policy option and does not violate the separation of Church and state.

II. Philosophical Arguments

More sophisticated pro-choicers have fine-tuned their position by presenting more detailed philosophical arguments. For instance, Mollenkott begins her article by pointing out the perils of being a woman in today’s society. She cites the fact that even if a sexually active married woman uses the most effective contraceptives available, failure could occur and she could still get pregnant. She then asks: “How is a married woman able to plan schooling or commit herself to a career or vocation as long as her life is continually open to the disruption of unplanned pregnancies?” She concludes: “Unless, of course, she can fall back on an abortion when all else fails” (p. 269). I think it is reasonable to outline Mollenkott’s argument (A) in the following way: (1a) A woman’s schooling and career are of maximal importance. (2a) An unwanted pregnancy would prevent (1a). (3a) The only way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy after conception is to have an abortion. (4a) Therefore abortion is justified.

(1a) can be called into question. It does not seem obvious to me that anyone’s schooling and career, whether it be a man’s or a woman’s, are of maximal importance. For example, if a mother (or a father, for that matter) murders her five-year-old son because he interferes with her ability to advance in her occupation, we would consider such an act morally reprehensible. I am not saying that the termination of a pregnancy—that is, the killing of the unborn—is morally equivalent to murdering a child. Rather, I am merely pointing out that (la) is not obviously true. Therefore since (1a) is incorrect (A) is not a sound argument.

In order to strengthen her argument Mollenkott could rewrite (A) in the following way (B): (lb) A woman’s schooling and career are important relative to other moral goods (i.e. some moral goods are of greater and lesser value). (2b) A child is of greater value than a woman’s schooling and career. (3b) An unborn human is not of greater value than a woman’s schooling and career. (4b) An unwanted pregnancy can disrupt a woman’s schooling and career. (5b) Therefore abortion is justified.

The pro-life advocate does not agree with (3b), for she believes that the unborn human is just as much a part of the human family as a child. Of course Mollenkott disputes this point (p. 291), to which we will return below. The point I am trying to make, however, is that (B) stands or falls on Mollenkott’s ability to show the plausibility of (3b), which really is based on the assumed proposition (3b1): The unborn human is not a person. Hence the argument from a woman’s schooling and career is superfluous without (3b1) being plausible.

This brings us to Mollenkott’s defense of (3b1), her arguments against the personhood of the unborn.

Kay Coles James of the National Right to Life Committee claimed that fetal personhood is a biological fact rather than a theological perception. But in all truthfulness, the most that biology can claim is that the fetus is genetically human, in the same way that a severed human hand or foot or other body part is human. The issue of personhood is one that must be addressed through religious reasoning. Hence, the Lutheran Church in America makes “a qualitative distinction” between the claims of the fetus and “the rights of a responsible person made in God’s image who is in living relationships with God and other human beings.” Except in the most materialistic of philosophies, human personhood has a great deal to do with feelings, awareness, and interactive experience. There are actually two arguments in the above quotation. The first goes something like this (C): (1c) Unborn humans are genetically human. (2c) Severed limbs and body parts are genetically human. (3c) Therefore genetic humanness cannot be a criterion of personhood.

The problem with this argument is that it shows a gross misunderstanding of the pro-life position and probably commits the informal fallacy of equivocation. (1) When a pro-life advocate argues for the unborn’s personhood from its genetic code, he is not arguing that anything at all with a human genetic code is a person. Nobody defends such an absurdity. Rather, he is arguing that the unborn human is a living human organism in a certain stage of development. And we know this organism to be such an entity because it has, among other characteristics, a human genetic code. In other words, possessing a human genetic code is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for human personhood. (2) It seems that the phrase “genetically human” has a different meaning in (1c) than in (2c). In (1c) a fetus in utero is genetically human in the sense that it is a living and developing organism that is part of the human family. On the other hand, a severed limb is obviously a dead part of a former or current living and developing organism and is only genetically human insofar as it possesses the identical genetic code of its owner. No severed limb ever developed into a basketball star, a pianist, or a philosopher, but every basketball star, pianist and philosopher was at one stage in her development an unborn human with a unique human genetic code. Therefore because (C) equivocates on the phrase “genetic code” it is logically fallacious.

Let us now turn to Mollenkott’s second argument, which I believe is the cornerstone of her position. A more detailed presentation of a similar argument is presented by philosopher Mary Anne Warren. I believe that the following outline of Mollenkott’s argument, however, adequately represents Warren’s position also (D): (1d) A person can be defined as a living being with feelings, awareness, and interactive experience (I assume she means some sort of consciousness). (2d) A fetus does not possess the characteristics of a person in (1d). (3d) Therefore a fetus does not possess personhood.

This seems to be the pro-abortionist’s strongest argument. Nevertheless I believe that it has several flaws. (1d) can be questioned on both philosophical and theological grounds. Concerning the former, several points can be made.

(1) It does not seem to follow from the assumption that an unborn human is not a person that abortion is always morally justified. Jane English has pointed out that “non-persons do get some consideration in our moral code, though of course they do not have the same rights as persons have (and in general they do not have moral responsibilities), and though their interests may be overridden by the interests of persons.

JETS 32/4 (December 1989) 508

Still, we cannot just treat them in any way at all.” English goes on to write that we consider it morally wrong to torture beings that are non-persons, such as dogs or birds, although we do not say that these beings have the same rights as persons. And though she considers it problematic as to how we are to decide what one may or may not do to nonpersons, she nevertheless draws the conclusion that “if our moral rules allowed people to treat some person-like non-persons in ways we do not want people to be treated, this would undermine the system of sympathies and attitudes that makes the ethical system work.” Based on this reasoning, English makes the important observation that “a fetus one week before birth is so much like a newborn baby in our psychological space that we cannot allow any cavalier treatment of the former while expecting full sympathy and nurturative support for the latter.” She agrees that “an early horror story from New York about nurses who were expected to alternate between caring for six-week premature infants and disposing of viable 24-week aborted fetuses is just that—a horror story. These beings are so much alike that no one can be asked to draw a distinction and treat them so very differently.”

(2) One can question Mollenkott as to why one must accept a functional definition of personhood to exclude the unborn. It is not obvious that functional definitions always succeed. For example, when Larry Bird is kissing his wife does he cease to be a basketball player because he is not functioning as one? Of course not. He does not become a basketball player when he functions as a basketball player. Rather, he functions as a basketball player because he is a basketball player. Similarly when a person is asleep, unconscious or comatose he is not functioning as a person as defined in (1d), but nevertheless no reasonable person would say that this individual is not a person while in this state. Therefore since a person functions as a person because she is a person and is not a person because she functions as a person, defining personhood in terms of function seems inadequate.

Of course the pro-abortionist may want to argue that the analogy between sleeping/unconscious/comatose persons and the unborn breaks down because the former possess the capacity to function as persons while the latter only possess the potential to function as persons. Although the pro-abortionist makes an important point, he nevertheless begs the question as to the personhood of the unborn—that is, he assumes that a functional definition is correct, which is the very issue under question. For the pro-lifer could simply respond by pointing out that precisely because the unborn human has the capacity to have the capacity to function as a person, she should be regarded as an actual person at a particular stage of development whose life is significant and worth protecting. In other words, the very essence of humanness that the unborn

JETS 32/4 (December 1989) 509

now possesses is the reason why in the near future this individual can fully function as a person (of course as the fetus matures its functional capacity increases).

In order to give a positive philosophical ground to the above notion, the following is offered. In a recent critique of James Rachels’ position on euthanasia, philosopher J.P. Moreland discusses Rachels’ distinction between biographical and biological life. This distinction roughly corresponds to Mollenkott’s distinction between person and human being. According to Moreland, Rachels argues that “the mere fact that something has biological life … whether human or non-human, is relatively unimportant.” It is biographical life that is important. Quoting Rachels, Moreland writes that one’s biographical life is “‘the sum of one’s aspirations, decisions, activities, projects, and human relationships.’” For Mollenkott a person can be defined as a living being with feelings, awareness and interactive experience. Hence it seems reasonable to assert that Mollenkott would agree with Rachels that a person is a living being who possesses biographical life, and the unborn are therefore not persons.

In response to Rachels, Moreland argues that “his understanding of biographical life, far from rendering biological life morally insignificant, presupposes the importance of biological life.” That is to say, an unborn human being develops into a functioning person precisely because of what it essentially is. Employing the Aristotelian/Thomistic notion of secondary substance (natural kind, essence), Moreland points out that “it is because an entity has an essence and falls within a natural kind that it can possess a unity of dispositions, capacities, parts and properties at a given time and can maintain identity through change.” Moreover “it is the natural kind that determines what kinds of activities are appropriate and natural for that entity.” Moreland goes on to write:

Further, an organism qua essentially characterized particulars has second-order capacities to have first-order capacities that may or may not obtain (through some sort of lack). These second-order capacities are grounded in the nature of the organism. For example, a child may not have the first-order capacity to speak English due to a lack of education. But because the child has humanness it has the capacity to develop the capacity to speak English. The very idea of a defect presupposes these second-order capacities. Now the natural kind “human being” or “human person” (I do not distinguish between these) is not to be understood as a mere biological concept. It is a metaphysical concept that grounds both biological functions and moral intuitions … In sum, if we ask why biographical life is both possible and morally important, the answer will be that such a life is grounded in the kind of entity, a human person in this case, that typically can have that life.

JETS 32/4 (December 1989) 510

Along the same lines, A. Chadwick Ray has made the observation that the view of human person as a natural kind rather than as an emergent property of a human organism is more consistent with our general moral intuitions. For “the recognition of the rights of the young is less dependent on their actual, current capacities than on their species and potential.” For example, no one doubts that day-old human children have fewer actual capacities than day-old calves. Human infants, in terms of environmental awareness, mobility, and so forth are rather unimpressive in comparison to the calves, especially if one calculates their ages from conception. But this comparison does not persuade us in believing that the calves have greater intrinsic worth and an inherent right to life. For if human infants were sold to butchers (let us suppose for the high market value of their body parts) in the same way that farmers sell calves to humane butchers, we would find such a practice deeply disturbing. Yet if intrinsic worth is really contingent upon current capacities, we should have no problem with the selling of human infants to butchers. But Ray points out why we do find such a practice morally repugnant: “The wrongness would consist not merely in ignoring the interest that society might have in the children, but in violating the children’s own rights. Yet if those rights are grounded in current capacities alone, the calves should enjoy at least the same moral status as the children, and probably higher status.” What follows is that “the difference in status is plausibly explained … only with reference to the children’s humanity, their natural kind.”

Therefore since the functions of personhood (first-order capacities) are grounded in the essential nature of humanness (second-order capacities), it follows that the unborn are human persons of great worth and should be treated with the utmost in human dignity. No doubt much more can be said about the problem of what constitutes personhood, but what is important in this immediate discussion is that we have seen that a functional definition of personhood is riddled with serious problems and that the pro-life advocate has been given no compelling reason to dispense with his belief that the unborn are human persons. In fact there are plausible arguments for the human personhood of the unborn (e.g. arguments by Moreland and Ray).

Since Mollenkott is arguing that her position is consistent with Christian theism, (1d) can also be questioned on theological grounds. Although Mollenkott writes that the Bible does not speak about abortion, her claim is simply untrue if one recognizes that the Bible’s statements on some other matters can be used to draw an inference consistent with a pro-life position. For instance the Bible teaches that individuals such as Jeremiah,

JETS 32/4 (December 1989) 511

David, Jesus and John the Baptist were referred to as persons prior to their births. Appealing to the fact that God could be speaking in terms of his foreknowledge, as some pro-choice advocates may, is both textually unwarranted and question-begging. Mollenkott makes the rather stupendous claim that “nowhere does the Bible prohibit abortion” (p. 291). In one sense she is correct: Just as the Bible does not forbid murdering people with submachine guns, the Bible does not forbid abortion. But since one can infer that murdering persons with submachine guns is wrong from the fact that the Bible forbids murdering in general, one can also infer that the Bible teaches that abortion is not justified from the fact that the Bible treats certain unborn beings as persons and forbids the murdering of persons in general. If one accepts Mollenkott’s hermeneuti-cal principle that whatever the Bible does not specifically mention it does not forbid, one would be in the horrible position of sanctioning everything from slavery to nuclear warfare to computer vandalism.

III. Theological Arguments

Mollenkott repeats an argument she had presented at a national gathering of scholars. She basically argues that because God created us as free moral agents, to use public policy to make abortion illegal would be to rob the pregnant woman of the opportunity to be a responsible moral agent. Mollenkott’s argument can be put in the following form (E): (le) God created human persons as free moral agents. (2e) Any public policy that limits free moral agency is against God’s will. (3e) Public policy forbidding abortion would limit the free moral agency of the pregnant woman. (4e) Therefore forbidding abortion is against God’s will.

The problem with this argument lies with (2e). It does not seem obvious that “any public policy that limits free moral agency is against God’s will.” For example, laws against drunk driving, murdering, smoking crack, robbery, and child molesting are all intended to limit free moral agency, yet it seems counter-intuitive—not to mention un-Biblical—to assert that God does not approve of these laws. And the reason why such laws are instituted is because the acts they are intended to limit often obstruct the free agency of other human persons (e.g. a person killed by a drunk driver is prevented from exercising his free agency). Hence it would seem consistent with Biblical faith to say that God probably approves of a public policy that seeks to maintain a just and orderly society by limiting some free moral agency (e.g. drunk driving, murdering, etc.), which in the long run increases free moral agency for a greater number (e.g. less people will be killed by drunk drivers and murderers, and hence there will be a greater number who will be able to act as free moral agents). In fact Mollenkott herself advocates public policy that limits the moral free agency of those who do not believe it is their moral obligation to use their tax dollars to help the poor pay for abortions. She believes that “if Christians truly care about justice for women” we will “work to assure the availability of legal, medically safe abortion services for those who need them—including the public funding without which the impoverished women cannot exert their creative responsibility” (p. 293).

From our analysis of (E) it seems clear that only if the act of abortion does not limit the free agency of another would a law forbidding abortions unjustly limit free moral agency. In our analysis of argument (D), however, we saw that there are good reasons to think of the unborn as human persons. Hence a public policy forbidding abortions would not be against the will of God as Mollenkott defines it.

Mollenkott puts forth a second theological argument, which was originally presented by an assistant district attorney at the national gathering of scholars I mentioned earlier. It is popular among Biblical scholars. Mollenkott’s argument can be put in the following outline (F): (1f) In Exodus 21 a person who murders a pregnant woman is given the death penalty. (2f) In Exodus 21 a person who murders an unborn human is only fined for the crime. (3f) Therefore Exodus 21 teaches both that the pregnant woman is of greater value than the unborn human she carries and that the unborn human does not have the status of a person. (4f) Therefore abortion is justified.

This argument can be criticized on three counts. (1) Assuming that Mollenkott’s interpretation of Exodus 21 is correct, does it logically follow that abortion-on-demand is morally justified? After all, the passage is saying that the unborn are worth something. In stark contrast, contemporary abortionists seem to be saying that the unborn are worth only the value that their mothers place on them. Hence Exodus 21 does not seem to support the subjectively grounded value of the unborn assumed by the pro-choice movement. Furthermore even if Mollenkott is correct Exodus 21 is not teaching that the pregnant woman can willfully kill the human contents of her womb. It is merely teaching that there is a lesser penalty for killing an unborn human than there is for killing her mother. To move from this truth to the conclusion that abortion-on-demand is justified is a non sequitur. So I do not see how saying that the unborn are not worth as much as the born justifies contemporary abortion-on-demand.

(2) One can also raise the more general hermeneutical question, as John Warwick Montgomery has pointed out, “as to whether a statement of penalty in the legislation God gave to ancient Israel ought to establish the context of interpretation for the total biblical attitude to the value of the unborn child (including not only specific and non-phenomenological Old Testament assertions such as Ps. 51:5, but the general New Testament valuation of the brephos, as illustrated especially in Luke 1:41, 44).” Montgomery goes on to ask: “Should a passage such as Exod. 21 properly outweigh the analogy of the Incarnation itself, in which God became man at the moment when ‘conception by the Holy Ghost’ occurred—not at a later time as the universally condemned and heretical adoptionists alleged?” The point is that if Mollenkott is indeed correct in her interpretation of Exodus 21 she still has to deal with the grander context of Scripture itself, which does seem in other texts to treat the unborn as persons (see n. 15).

(3) Although she casually dispenses with interpretations of Exodus 21 that do not agree with her own, I believe that one can show at most that (2f) is false—or at least that there is no scholarly consensus as to whether it is true. Let us first take a look at Exod 21:22-25 (RSV):

When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

The ambiguity of this passage is sufficient to neatly divide commentators into two camps. One camp, in which Mollenkott belongs, holds that the passage is teaching that the woman and the unborn child are of different value. According to this group the passage is saying that if a fetus is accidentally killed there is only a fine, but if the pregnant woman is accidentally killed it is a much more serious offense. Therefore the death of the fetus is not considered the same as the death of a person. Some translations interpret the verse in this way (JB):

If, when men come to blows, they hurt a woman who is pregnant and she suffers a miscarriage, though she does not die of it, the man responsible must pay the compensation demanded of him by the woman’s master; he shall hand it over, after arbitration. But should she die, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, strike for strike.


This interpretation, however, has been called into question by many critics. They argue that the JB translation and others like it (e.g. TEV) are a mistranslation and that the passage is really saying (in the Hebrew) that the mother and the unborn are to receive equal judicial treatment—that is, the mother and the unborn are both covered by the lex talionis (law of retribution). One such critic is Umberto Cassuto, who offers the following interpretation:

The statute commences, And when men strive together, etc., in order to give an example of accidental injury to a pregnant woman, and… the law presents the case realistically. Details follow: and they hurt unintentionally a woman with child—the sense is, that one of the combatants, whichever of them it be (for this reason the verb translated “and they hurt” is in the plural) is responsible—and her children come forth (i.e., there is a miscarriage) on account of the hurt she suffers (irrespective of the nature of the fetus, be it male or female, one or two; hence here, too, there is a generic plural as in the case of the verb “they hurt”), but no mischief happens—that is, the woman and the children do not die—the one who hurt her shall surely be punished by a fine, according as the woman’s husband shall lay—impose—the special circumstances of the accident; and he who caused the hurt shall pay the amount of the fine to the woman’s husband with judges, in accordance with the decision of the court that will confirm the husband’s claim and compel the offender to pay compensation, for it is impossible to leave the determination of the amount of the fine to the husband, and, on the other hand, it is not within the husband’s power to compel the assailant to pay if he refuses. But if any mischief happen, that is, if the woman dies or the children die, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, etc.: you, O judge (or you, O Israel, through the judge who represents you) shall adopt the principle of “life for life,” etc.

Gleason Archer points out that a major reason why Cassuto’s rendering is an appropriate interpretation is because the portion of the Hebrew translated in the NASB as “so that she has a miscarriage” (we†ya„s»áu‚ye†le‚ha„) does not necessarily entail the death of the unborn but can also mean the expulsion of a premature infant from his mother’s womb regardless of whether his expulsion results in death. Hence Exodus 21 is saying that if the incident in question results in only a premature birth, the perpetrator should be fined. If, however, “harm follows” (that is, if either the mother or the child is injured or killed), the same should be inflicted upon the perpetrator.

In summary, since the interpretation of Exod 21:22-25 is at best divided, and since the Bible’s larger context teaches that the unborn are persons (see n. 15), it is not a good idea to have one’s case for abortion hinge on such a dubious passage.

Mollenkott’s third theological argument attempts to show that the pregnant woman has no moral obligation to carry her fetus to term. Unlike the other arguments we have analyzed, it seems that the soundness of this one does not depend on whether the unborn are persons. Mollenkott argues that childbirth is an act that is not morally obligatory on the part of the mother, since it is statistically more dangerous than abortion. This is a theological argument because she attempts to ground her argument in Scripture by arguing that Jesus asserted that risking one’s life constituted exceptional love, not obligatory love (see John 15:13). Hence one is not obligated to carry the fetus to term since childbirth would be an act of exceptional love and is therefore not morally obligatory. Mollenkott’s argument can be put in the following way (G): (lg) Among moral acts one is not morally obligated to perform are those that can endanger one’s life (e.g. the man who dove into the Potomac in the middle of winter to save the survivors of a plane crash). (2g) Childbirth is more life-threatening than having an abortion. (3g) Therefore childbirth is an act one is not morally obligated to perform. (4g) Therefore abortion is justified.

The problem with (G) lies in the inference from (2g) to (3g). (1) Assuming that childbirth is on the average more life-threatening than abortion, it does not follow that abortion is justified in every case. For example, it is probably on the average less life-threatening to stay at home than to leave home and buy groceries (e.g. one can be killed in a car crash, purchase and take tainted Tylenol, or be murdered by a mugger). Yet it seems foolish, not to mention counter-intuitive, to always act in every instance on the basis of that average. This is a form of the informal fallacy of division, which occurs when someone erroneously argues that what is true of a whole must also be true of its parts. One would commit this fallacy if one argued that because Beverly Hills is a wealthy city everyone who lives in Beverly Hills is wealthy. In order to avoid this fallacy, Mollenkott could change (G) in the following way (H): (1h) Among moral acts one is not morally obligated to perform are those that can endanger one’s life. (2h) A particular instance of childbirth, X, is more life-threatening to the pregnant woman than having an abortion. (3h) Therefore X is an act one is not morally obligated to perform. (4h) Therefore not-X via abortion is justified.

Although it avoids the fallacy (G) commits, (H) does not support Mollenkott’s position on abortion. In fact it is perfectly consistent with the pro-life assertion that abortion is justified if it is employed in order to save the life of the mother. Therefore whether abortion is statistically safer than childbirth is irrelevant to whether abortion is justified in particular cases where sound medical diagnosis indicates that childbirth will pose no threat to the mother’s life.

(2) One can also challenge the inference from (2g) to (3g) by pointing out that just because an act X is “more dangerous” relative to another act Y does not mean that one is not morally obligated to perform X. For example, it would be statistically “more dangerous” for me to dive into a swimming pool to save my wife from drowning than it would be for me to abstain from acting. Yet this does not mean that I am not morally obligated to save my wife’s life. Sometimes my moral obligation is such that it outweighs the relative danger I avoid by not acting. One could then argue that although childbirth may be “more dangerous” than abortion, the special moral obligation one has to one’s offspring far outweighs the relative danger one avoids by not acting on that moral obligation.

(3) One can challenge (2g) on empirical grounds. David C. Reardon points out that claims that abortion is safer than childbirth are based on dubious statistical studies, simply because “accurate statistics are scarce because the reporting of complications is almost entirely at the option of abortion providers. In other words, abortionists are in the privileged position of being able to hide any information which might damage their reputation or trade.” And since “federal court rulings have sheltered the practice of abortion in a ‘zone of privacy’,” therefore “any laws which attempt to require that deaths and complications resulting from abortion are recorded, much less reported, are unconstitutional.” This means that the “only information available on abortion complications is the result of data which is voluntarily reported.” From these and other factors Reardon concludes that

complication records from outpatient clinics are virtually inaccessible, or non-existent, even though these clinics provide the vast majority of all abortions. Even in Britain where reporting requirements are much better than the United States, medical experts believe that less than 10 percent of abortion complications are actually reported to government health agencies.

Reardon’s study indicates that it may be more true to say that the opposite of (2g) is the case—namely, that abortion is more dangerous than childbirth. His work deals with the physical risks and psychological impact of abortion in addition to the impact of abortion on later children.

He concludes that the harm caused by abortion to the woman and her children is grossly understated by pro-choice advocates.

In conclusion, although I am sure that there are other ways to attack (G) I believe that this analysis is sufficient to show that it is not a compelling theological argument for the pro-choice position.

IV. Argument Against A Public Policy Forbidding Abortion

The final argument we will analyze is Mollenkott’s argument that it is not wise to make a public policy decision in one direction when there is wide diversity of opinion within society. This argument can be outlined in the following form (I): (1i) There can never be a just law requiring uniformity of behavior on any issue X on which there is widespread disagreement. (2i) There is widespread disagreement on the issue of forbidding abortion-on-demand. (3i) Therefore any law that forbids people to have abortions is unjust.

The only way to successfully attack this argument is to show that (1i) is false. There are several reasons to believe this is the case. (1) If (1i) is true, then the United States Supreme Court’s abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, is an unjust decision. The court ruled that the states that make up the United States, whose statutes prior to the ruling widely disagreed on the abortion issue, must behave uniformly in accordance with the Court’s decision. (2) If (1i) is true, then the abolition of slavery was unjust because there was a widespread disagreement of opinion among Americans in the nineteenth century. Yet nobody would say that slavery should have remained as an institution. (3) If (1i) is true, then much of civil rights legislation, about which there was much disagreement, would be unjust. (4) If (1i) is true, Mollenkott’s own public policy proposal is unjust. She believes that the state should use the tax dollars of the American people to fund the abortions of poor women (p. 293). There are large numbers of Americans, however, some of whom are pro-choice, who do not want their tax dollars used in this way. (5) If (1i) is true, then laws forbidding pro-life advocates from preventing their unborn neighbors from being aborted would be unjust (one cannot say that there is not widespread disagreement concerning this issue). But these are the very laws Mollenkott defends. Hence her argument is self-refuting.

Maybe Mollenkott is making the more subtle point that because there is widespread disagreement on the abortion issue enforcement of any laws prohibiting abortion would be difficult. Pro-life advocates do not deny that this may initially be the case. They believe, however, that the changing of the law itself will help create a climate of opinion in which people’s attitudes concerning abortion will become more sympathetic toward the pro-life position, just as public opinion became more sympathetic toward the pro-choice position after abortion was legalized. For the function of law is not always to reflect the attitudes and behavior of society. Sometimes laws “are also a mechanism by which people are encouraged to do what they know is right, even when it is difficult to do so.” Reardon points out that “studies in the psychology of morality reveal that the law is truly the teacher. One of the most significant conclusions of these studies shows that existing laws and customs are the most important criteria for deciding what is right or wrong for most adults in a given culture.” Citing legal philosopher John Finnis, Bernard Nathanson writes that “sometimes the law is ahead of public morality. Laws against dueling and racial bias preceded popular support for these attitudes.”

There is no doubt that the problem of enforcing laws prohibiting abortion is extremely important and complex, but a detailed analysis of this problem falls outside the scope of this paper. In my analysis of (I) my intention was merely to show that (1i) is false, which I believe is necessary prior to discussing the public policy question. I believe that I have been successful.


Bibliotheca Sacra Abortion: Logical and Theological Considerations


Keith Moore

Pastor, Grace Church

Randleman, North Carolina

In an issue that is dividing the heart and soul of America, two words that could change the outcome are seldom used. Those words are “unborn baby.” In place of those words, other phrases are used, including “potential life,” “product of conception,” and “mass of protoplasm.” Precise language is crucial, especially when life is at stake.

In the abortion debate, the phrase “unborn baby” must be used to avoid personal and national tragedy. Is “unborn baby” an accurate description? Is it based on solid scientific and biological evidence?

L. B. Arey, in his classic work, Development Anatomy: A Textbook and Laboratory Manual of Embryology, offers this observation:

By the time a baby is eighteen to twenty-five days old, long before the mother is sure that she is pregnant, the heart is already beating. At forty-five days after conception, you can pick up electroencephalographic waves from the baby’s developing brain. At eight weeks, there is a brain. By the ninth and tenth weeks, the thyroid and the adrenal glands are functioning. The baby can squint, swallow, move his tongue and the sex hormones are already present. By twelve weeks the fingerprints on the hands have already formed and except for size, will never change. At thirteen weeks, he has fingernails, he sucks his thumb, and he can recoil from pain.

Arey then adds,

In the fourth month the growing baby is eight to ten inches long. In the fifth month there is a time of lengthening and strengthening of the developing infant. Skin, hair, and nails grow. Sweat glands arise. Oil glands excrete. This is the month in which the movements of the infant are felt by his mother. In the sixth month the developing baby responds to light and to sound. He can sleep and awake. He gets hiccups and can hear the beat of his mother’s heart. Survival outside the womb is now possible. In the seventh month the nervous system becomes much more complex, the infant is sixteen inches long and weighs about three pounds. In the eighth and ninth months there is a time of fattening and of continued growth.

Arey’s book was published in 1965 and in the last 25 years, advances have been made in the survival rate of younger “preemies.”

Keith L. Moore, professor of anatomy at the University of Toronto, states, “Human development is a continuous process that begins when an ovum from a female is fertilized by a sperm from a male.”

In 1981 the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held hearings on the issue of when life begins. Pro-abortionists, though invited to do so, failed to produce even one expert witness who would specifically testify that life begins at any point other than conception or implantation. Typical of the majority of those who testified was Jerome LeJuene, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris. He asked, “When does life begin?” He answered,

I will try to give the most precise answer to that question actually available to science…. Life has a very long history, but each individual has a very neat beginning, the moment of its conception…. To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being, conception to old age, is not a metaphysical contention; it is plain experimental evidence.

MacIntyre calls today’s culture an emotive society. Emotivism is the belief that all moral judgments are nothing but expressions of preference, attitude, or feeling. When one affirms that abortion kills an unborn baby, the reply is, “That is your point of view. This is a private matter of conscience and in a pluralistic society people must be free to follow their consciences.” Meehan suggests that perhaps many of those who argue this point “do not know that an eight-week-old fetus has a fully human form.” At the subcommittee hearing, Hymie Gordon, chairman of the Department of Medical Genetics at the Mayo Clinic, stated, “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

Also the psychological aspect of the unborn is often ignored. Obstetricians have heard complaints from pregnant patients about their unborn babies reacting noticeably to music. Albert Liley, “the father of fetology,” and his research team “found that from the twenty-fifth week on, a fetus will literally jump in rhythm to the beat of an orchestra drum.”

Observations from science demand the phrase “unborn baby.” C. Everett Koop, former U. S. Surgeon General, reasons as follows:

I do not know anyone among my medical confreres, no matter how pro-abortion he might be, who would kill a newborn baby the minute he was born…. My question…is this: “Would you kill this infant a minute before he was born, or a minute before that, or a minute before that…. At what minute can one consider life to be worthless and the next minute consider that same life to be precious? So much for logic.

If science demands the phrase “unborn baby,” why is it not used? The answer is that many people begin with an incorrect premise and then build logical-sounding arguments, which fail to convince.

“If abortion is made illegal, we will return to the day of coat-hanger and back-alley abortions.” This argument commits the fallacy of begging the question. It assumes what it must try to prove. If abortion results in the death of the unborn, this argument is successful only if the arguer assumes that the unborn are not fully human. But if the unborn are fully human, this argument is saying that because people die while killing other persons, the state should make it safe for them to do so. A pro-choice advocate would not approve of the needless death of human persons; therefore he should not use this argument unless he assumes that the unborn are not fully human.

“Prohibiting abortion will not prevent rich women from having abortions by traveling to countries where it is legal.” This argument moves the focus from the point under question, the morality of abortion, to the unfairness of not having equal access. Should one therefore argue that cocaine should be legalized because the rich have more means for obtaining it than the poor? Obviously this is bizarre reasoning. "Pro-lifers are trying to force their religious beliefs on others.” That a philosophically legitimate position may also be found in religious literature, such as the Bible, does not make such a position exclusively religious. If it did nations should dispense with laws forbidding murder and robbery because such actions are prohibited by the God of the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures. Public policies, such as civil-rights legislation and increase of welfare, would have to be abolished because they are believed by some to have religious support. Therefore the pro-life position is a fair and reasonable public-policy option and does not violate the separation of church and state.

“A person must be defined as a living being with feelings, awareness, and interactive experience. A fetus does not possess these characteristics. Therefore a fetus does not possess personhood.” This seems to be the pro-abortionists’ strongest argument. Yet it has at least two flaws.

First, the pro-choice assumption that an unborn human is not a person does not mean that abortion is morally justified. It is considered morally wrong to torture nonhuman beings such as dogs. If one accepts the premise that an unborn baby is a nonperson, one must still ask why this living nonperson gets no consideration in society.

Second, must one accept a functional definition of personhood? When a basketball player, for example, is kissing his wife, does he cease to be a basketball player because he is not functioning as one? Does a woman lose her personhood when she is asleep, unconscious, or comatose? Defining personhood in terms of function (feelings, awareness, experience) is inadequate.

No wonder Meehan said, “The abortion issue, more than most, illustrates the occasional tendency of the left to become so enthusiastic over what is called a ‘reform’ that it forgets to think the issue through.” The antiabortion position has been given no convincing reason to doubt the premise that the unborn are human persons.


 
A Critical Appraisal of Theological Arguments for Abortion Rights

Francis J. Beckwith

Lecturer of Philosophy

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada

Many people in the pro-life movement are Christians. They rightly assume that the Bible condemns abortion. However, because this biblical assumption has not been, for the most part, defended with great rigor, and those who defend it tend to ignore objections to their exegesis, some people, who claim to be within the Christian tradition, are making an unchallenged defense of abortion rights by appealing to the Scriptures. They argue either that the Bible does not specifically condemn abortion or that the Bible actually supports the pro-choice position. The purpose of this article is to respond to those who employ these arguments.

Pro-Choice Argument That the Bible Does Not Specifically Forbid Abortion

Some people, such as Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, claim that “nowhere does the Bible prohibit abortion.” This claim is simply untrue if one recognizes that the Bible’s statements on some other matters can be used to draw an inference that is consistent with the pro-life position. For instance it is clearly taught in the Bible that murder—the unjustified killing of a human being—is wrong (Exod 20:13). And it follows logically from this that if the Bible teaches that the unborn are fully human, then it would be morally wrong to kill the unborn. So the real question is whether the Bible teaches that the unborn are fully human, not whether the Bible mentions or directly prohibits abortion. The following passages show that the Bible clearly teaches the full humanity of the unborn, though it is not an exhaustive list.

Personal Language Applied to the Conceptus

A number of passages in the Bible apply personal language to the unborn from conception. Genesis 4:1 reads, “Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain.” Commenting on this passage, Davis has observed that “the writer’s interest in Cain extends back beyond his birth, to his conception. That is when his personal history begins. The individual conceived and the individual born are one and the same, namely, Cain.” What follows from this is that Cain’s “conception, birth, and postnatal life form a natural continuum, with the God of the covenant involved at every stage.”

Job said, “Let the day perish on which I was to be born, and the night which said, ‘A boy [rb#g*] is conceived’“ (Job 3:3). This passage connects the individual born with the individual conceived. “Job traces his personal history back beyond his birth to the night of conception. The process of conception is described by the biblical writer in personal terms. There is no abstract language of the ‘product of conception,’ but the concrete language of humanity.” It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word rb#G# is translated as “boy” and specifically applied to the unborn, although it is usually used to describe postnatal humans and is usually translated “male,” “man,” or “husband” (see Pss. 34:8 ; 52:7 ; 94:12 ; Prov 6:34).

Another passage, Psalm 51:5, states, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” This verse too indicates that one’s existence begins with conception.

The Unborn are Called “Children”

The Bible refers to the unborn in the same way it refers to infants and young children. In Luke 1:41, 44 the word “baby” (brevfo") is applied to the unborn: “And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit…. ‘For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.’“ Compare this with Luke 2:12, 16 where the infant Jesus is called a “baby” (brevfo"): “‘And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.’ …And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.”

The Unborn Are Known by God in a Personal Way

A number of biblical passages are clear on this point.

“For thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them” (Ps 139:13–16).

“Listen to Me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called Me from the womb; from the body of My mother He named Me” (Isa 49:1).

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5).

“Then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman, and said to her, ‘Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but shall conceive and give birth to a son.’…Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, ‘A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome…. But he said to me, “Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death”’“ (Judg 13:3, 6–7, italics added).

Some authors, including Robert Wennberg, have questioned the use of many of these passages to establish the full humanity of the unborn. Though he makes valid points concerning some passages, which should provoke pro-lifers to clarify their exegesis, Wennberg tries to rob the right-to-lifer’s biblical case of its strength by a hermeneutical sleight-of-hand. First, concerning those passages that use personal language to describe the unborn, Wennberg writes that “such references designate individuals not only before birth but before conception…and so they are not really to the point.” One problem with this criticism is that it is not applicable to all such passages, for some do speak of personal existence beginning at conception (e.g., Gen 4:1 and Job 3:3).

Another problem is that these passages do not claim that the persons in question existed before their conception, but rather, that God knew them or had plans for them before conception. This is certainly possible for an eternal God, who knows all things simultaneously (Job 28:24; Ps 147:5; Isa 41:21–24; 46:10 ) and is not bound by time or space (Ps 90:2; Isa 40:28; 43:12b–13 ; 57:15a ), since He is the Creator of time and space (Acts 17:25; Col 1:16–17; Heb 11:3; Rev 4:11). That is, it is possible for him to know every person before he or she is conceived. Such foreknowledge prior to conception cannot be cited to explain away conception as the beginning of personal existence. Nor can God’s foreknowledge rightly be used to explain away personal existence being attributed to prenatal life when certain passages specifically state that a certain individual either has personally existed from conception (e.g., Gen 4:1) or has personally existed before birth (e.g., Jer 1:5; Ps 139:13–16; Luke 1:41–44). Moreover, the word “conception,” or “to conceive,” implies a genesis or a beginning, such as when one says, “This is the finest idea he ever conceived.” Hence when the Bible speaks of God knowing a person before his conception, it is making an epistemological claim (a knowledge claim), not an ontological claim (a being claim). In light of these clarifications, the burden of proof is on Wennberg to show why the more simple and natural interpretation of the above passages should be given up.

Wennberg puts forth a second argument.

Extending our examination, it would be a mistake to argue that since it was David who was being formed [or “brought forth” in NASB] in his mother’s womb (Ps 51:5) it must therefore have been David the person who was in his mother’s womb. That would be to confuse “formation/creation” of a thing with the “completion/existence” of that thing. The fact is that an entity can be on the way to becoming a particular thing without it being that thing. It is quite natural for us to refer to what is in the process of becoming (the zygote or fetus in a Semite woman’s womb) in terms of what it will eventually become (a King David), but we are not then speaking with technical accuracy. If a butterfly is being formed in a cocoon, it does not follow that there is a butterfly there (rather than a caterpillar or something betwixt or between).

In essence, Wennberg is arguing that one cannot cite passages such as Psalm 51:5 to show that the unborn are fully human, since such passages are only saying that the person in question is “being formed,” not that the human being in the womb has become that person. There are several problems with this argument. First, even if Wennberg’s interpretation of passages such as Psalm 51:5 were correct, he would still have to deal with other passages, such as some of the ones already cited, which clearly state that individual personal existence begins at conception (e.g., Gen 4:1).

Second, Wennberg commits the hermeneutical fallacy that James Sire calls “world-view confusion.” This fallacy “occurs whenever a reader of Scripture fails to interpret the Bible within the intellectual and broadly cultural framework of the Bible itself and uses instead a foreign frame of reference.” Wennberg’s distinction between person and human being is an invention of some contemporary philosophers who argue that a human being becomes a person at some stage in his or her development. Since it is doubtful that the authors of the Psalms were cognizant of such a distinction, Wennberg is reading back into David’s assertion a foreign world view.

Third, the passage does say that “in sin my mother conceived me.” This clearly indicates that David’s personal existence can be traced back to conception, since he asserts that he was conceived. And if this is the case, then it seems natural to interpret the first half of Psalm 51:5 (“I was brought forth” or “I was being formed”) as describing the subsequent physical development of David in the womb, which continues after birth into infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Wennberg is correct in saying that “if a butterfly is being formed in a cocoon, it does not follow that there is a butterfly there (rather than a caterpillar or something betwixt or between).” But the insect that is becoming the butterfly is still the same insect that was once a caterpillar and will be a butterfly. In the same way the being at conception is the same person who will become the infant, the child, the adolescent, the adult. It is clear that passages such as Psalm 51:5 describe a person who is in the process of becoming, not a thing that is in the process of becoming a person.

Concerning the Bible and abortion, the following can be concluded: Just as the Bible does not forbid murdering people with submachine guns, the Bible does not forbid abortion. But since one can infer that murdering persons with submachine guns is wrong from the fact that the Bible forbids murdering in general, one can also infer that the Bible teaches that abortion is not justified from the fact that the Bible refers to unborn human beings as persons and forbids the murdering of persons in general. If one were to accept the principle that whatever the Bible does not specifically forbid is permissible, one would be in the horrible position of sanctioning everything from slavery to nuclear warfare to computer vandalism. Hence the question is not whether the Bible specifically forbids abortion, but whether the unborn are treated as persons. If they are, then we can infer that abortion is morally wrong.

Pro-Choice Argument from God’s Granting of Free Moral Agency

Mollenkott argues that because God created mankind as free moral agents, to use public policy to make abortion illegal would be to rob the pregnant woman of the opportunity to be a responsible moral agent. Mollenkott’s argument can be stated as follows:

1. God created humans as free moral agents.

2. Any public policy that limits free moral agency is against God’s will.

3. Public policy forbidding abortion would limit the free moral agency of the pregnant woman.

4. Therefore forbidding abortion is against God’s will.

The problem with this argument lies with the second premise. It does not seem obvious that “any public policy that limits free moral agency is against God’s will.” For example laws against drunk driving, murdering, smoking crack, robbery, and child-molesting are all intended to limit free moral agency, yet it seems counter-intuitive, not to mention unbiblical, to assert that God does not approve of these laws. And such laws are instituted because the acts they are intended to limit often obstruct the free agency of other persons (e.g., a person killed by a drunk driver is prevented from exercising his free agency). Hence it would seem consistent with biblical faith to say that God probably approves of a public policy that seeks to maintain a just and orderly society by limiting some free moral agency (e.g., drunk driving, murdering, etc.), which in the long run increases free moral agency for a greater number (less people will be killed by drunk drivers and murderers, and hence there will be a greater number who will be able to act as free moral agents).

In fact Mollenkott herself advocates a public policy that limits the free moral agency of those who do not believe it is their moral obligation to use their tax dollars to help the poor pay for abortions. She believes that “if Christians truly care about justice for women,” they will “work to assure the availability of legal, medically safe abortion services for those who need them—including the public funding without which the impoverished women cannot exert their creative responsibility.”

It seems clear that Mollenkott must assume that the unborn are not fully human in order for her argument from free agency to work. Thus she begs the question. For only if the act of abortion does not limit the free agency of another (i.e., no one else is harmed besides the actor) would a law forbidding abortions unjustly limit free moral agency. Hence if the unborn are fully human, a public policy forbidding abortions would not be against the will of God, as Mollenkott defines it.

Pro-Choice Argument from Exodus 21:22-25

This is a theological argument popular among some biblical scholars. It can be put in the following outline:

1.In Exodus 21:22–25 a person who accidentally kills a pregnant woman is given the death penalty.

2.In Exodus 21:22–25, a person who accidentally kills an unborn human is only fined for the crime.

3.Therefore Exodus 21:22–25 teaches both that the pregnant woman is of greater value than the unborn human she carries and that the unborn human does not have the status of a person.

4.Therefore abortion is justified.

This argument can be criticized on three counts. First, assuming that the pro-choicer’s interpretation of Exodus 21:22–25 is correct, does it logically follow that abortion-on-demand is morally justified? After all, the passage is saying that the unborn are worth something. In stark contrast, contemporary pro-choicers seem to be saying that the unborn are worth only the value that their mothers place on them. Therefore this Exodus passage does not seem to support the subjectively grounded value of the unborn assumed by the pro-choice movement.

Furthermore even if the pro-choicer’s interpretation of this passage is correct, the passage in question is not teaching that the pregnant woman can willfully kill the human contents of her womb. It is merely teaching that there is a lesser penalty for accidentally killing an unborn human than there is for accidentally killing her mother. To move from this truth to the conclusion that abortion-on-demand is justified is a non sequitur. So saying that the unborn are not worth as much as the born does not justify the contemporary practice of abortion-on-demand.

Second, one can also raise the more general hermeneutical question, as Montgomery has pointed out,

as to whether a statement of penalty in the legislation God gave to ancient Israel ought to establish the context of interpretation for the total biblical attitude to the value of the unborn child (including not only specific and non-phenomenological Old Testament assertions such as Ps 51:5, but the general New Testament valuation of the [brephos], as illustrated especially in Luke 1:41, 44).

Montgomery then asks, “Should a passage such as Exod 21 properly outweigh the analogy of the Incarnation itself, in which God became man at the moment when ‘conception by the Holy Ghost’ occurred—not at a later time as the universally condemned and heretical adoptionists alleged?” Montgomery’s point is that if pro-choicers were correct in their interpretation of Exodus 21, they still would have to deal with the grander context of Scripture itself, which does seem in other texts to treat the unborn as persons.

Third, it can be shown that premise two of this argument is false or at least that there is no scholarly consensus that it is true. In the Revised Standard Version, Exodus 21:22–25 reads as follows: “When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

The ambiguity of this passage is sufficient to divide commentators into two camps. One camp holds that the passage teaches that the woman and the unborn have different values. According to this group, the passage is saying that if the unborn is accidentally killed, there is only a fine, but if the pregnant woman is accidentally killed, it is a much more serious offense. Therefore the death of the unborn is not considered the same as the death of a person. Some translations, such as the Jerusalem Bible, interpret the verse {sic} in this way: “If, when men come to blows, they hurt a woman who is pregnant and she suffers a miscarriage, though she does not die of it, the man responsible must pay the compensation demanded of him by the woman’s master; he shall hand it over, after arbitration. But should she die, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, strike for strike.”

This interpretation, however, has been called into question by many critics. They argue that the Jerusalem Bible translation and others like it (e.g., TEV) are a mistranslation and that the passage is saying (in the Hebrew) that the mother and the unborn are to receive equal judicial treatment, that is, the mother and the unborn are both covered by the lex talionis (the law of retribution). Cassuto offers this interpretation:

The statute commences, And when men strive together, etc., in order to give an example of accidental injury to a pregnant woman, and…the law presents the case realistically. Details follow: and they hurt unintentionally a woman with child—the sense is, that one of the combatants, whichever of them it be (for this reason the verb translated “and they hurt” is in the plural) is responsible—and her children come forth (i.e., there is a miscarriage) on account of the hurt she suffers (irrespective of the nature of the fetus, be it male or female, one or two; hence here, too, there is a generic plural as in the case of the verb “they hurt”), but no mischief happens—that is, the woman and the children do not die—the one who hurt her shall surely be punished. According as the woman’s husband shall lay—impose—upon him, having regard to the extent of the injuries and the special circumstances of the accident; and he who caused the hurt shall pay the amount of the fine to the woman’s husband with judges, in accordance with the decision of the court that will confirm the husband’s claim and compel the offender to pay compensation, for it is impossible to leave the determination of the amount of the fine to the husband, and, on the other hand, it is not with the husband’s power to compel the assailant to pay if he refuses. But if any mischief happen, that is, if the woman dies or the children die, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, etc.: you, O judge (or you, O Israel, through the judge who represents you) shall adopt the principle of “life forlife,” etc.

Archer points out that a major reason Cassuto’s rendering is an appropriate interpretation is that the portion of the Hebrew translated in the New American Standard Bible as “so that she has a miscarriage” does not necessarily entail the death of the unborn, but can also mean the expulsion of a premature infant from his mother’s womb regardless of whether his expulsion results in death. Hence Exodus 21:22–25 is saying that if the incident in question results in only a premature birth, the perpetrator should be fined. However, if “harm follows” (i.e., if either the mother or the child is injured or killed), the same should be inflicted on the perpetrator.

In summary, since the interpretation of Exodus 21:22–25 is at best divided, and since the Bible’s larger context teaches that the unborn are persons (as argued earlier), it seems rather foolish for the pro-choice advocate to put all his ideological eggs into one dubious biblical basket.

Pro-Choice Argument from Numbers 5:11-31

This passage is quoted in a tract published by Episcopalians for Religious Freedom, “A Pro-Choice Bible Study.” It is from the New English Bible translation.

When a married woman…is unfaithful to her husband, and has sexual intercourse with another man…and the crime is undetected… but when…a fit of jealousy comes over a husband which causes him to suspect his wife…the husband shall bring his wife to the priest…. He [the priest] shall take clean water in an earthenware vessel, and shall take dust from the floor of the Tabernacle and add it to the water. He shall set the woman before the Lord, uncover her head…shall…put the woman on oath and to say to her, “…may the Lord make an example of you…by bringing upon you miscarriage and untimely birth [abortion]; and this water that brings out the truth shall enter your body, bringing upon you miscarriage and untimely birth.” The woman shall respond, “Amen, Amen.”…After this he shall make the woman drink the water. If she has been unfaithful to her husband [and] when the priest makes her drink the water that brings out the truth…she will suffer a miscarriage or untimely birth…. But if the woman has not let herself become defiled and is pure…she will bear her child [italics added].

The author of “A Pro-Choice Bible Study” claims that this passage proves that “a planned abortion is in the Bible as part of God’s law given to Moses.” He interprets the passage to mean that the request for abortion “comes from a husband, and his wife must agree to drink a potion prepared by a Hebrew priest. If the woman has been unfaithful, God initiates an abortion. This passage illustrates the direct intention of both potential parents plus a holy man to cause a miscarriage, an abortion.”

There are several problems with this interpretation. First, even if the passage were saying that abortion is justified in circumstances of infidelity, the passage is also saying that it is the Lord who brings on her “miscarriage and untimely birth,” not the priest, the husband, or the wife. Therefore the passage supports not abortion on demand by a human being, but only abortion by God for adultery.

Second, nothing in the passage is saying that the unborn human is not fully human. If execution by God makes one nonhuman, then the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah and others killed by God were not human.

Third, it is peculiar that someone defending women’s rights would cite a passage in which a husband who suspects his wife of having committed adultery is granted the right to take her to a priest who administers a drug and then prays that God cause an abortion if the pregnancy was the result of adultery. This is certainly not pro-choice. One can hardly imagine that this approach to female infidelity will be welcomed with opened arms by contemporary feminists.

Fourth, there is good reason to suppose that the translation from which this passage is quoted (the New English Bible) is not accurate. The Jerusalem Bible translates “miscarriage and untimely birth” as “making your thigh shrivel and your body swell.” The New American Standard Bible says, “making your thigh waste away and your abdomen swell.” Other translations are similar: “make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell” (KJV); “make thy thigh to fall away, and thy body to swell” (ASB); “May he cause your genital organs to shrink and your stomach to swell up” (TEV); “he causes your thigh to waste away and your abdomen to swell” (NIV). An alternative reading in the NIV states: “causes you to have a miscarrying womb and barrenness.”

All these translations seem to be saying that if the wife had committed adultery, her sexual organs will become useless, thus resulting in a miscarrying womb and barrenness. But if she did not commit adultery, she “will be able to have children” (Num 5:28b, NIV). This seems to be the most natural interpretation of this passage, since Numbers 5:11–31 is a test for a woman’s adultery if her husband is unsure of her fidelity, not a test for a pregnancy, which may or may not result from adultery. Since a vast majority of adulterous unions do not result in pregnancy, a test for adultery that procured an abortion would not be a very good test. For what good would such an adultery test be if the wife had committed adultery and yet did not become pregnant? Thus it makes sense to reject the New English Bible translation.

Pro-Choice Argument from “Breath”

Some people argue that since Adam became a living soul when God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen 2:7), birth is the time at which a child becomes a living being, since it is at this time that it begins to “breathe.” There are at least two problems with this argument. First, it is simply false to say that the unborn from conception do not breathe in a true biological sense. As Davis points out, “While breathing in the usual sense does not begin until birth, the process of respiration in the more technical biological sense of the transfer of oxygen from the environment of the living organism occurs from the time of conception.” Thus it is “the mode but not the fact of this oxygen transfer which changes at birth.” Therefore the “breath of life” exists from the moment of conception.

Second, there is no analogy between the creation of the first man, Adam, which was a unique historical event, and the ordinary birth of a child. As Brown points out, “If God took inanimate matter and made a man from it, as Genesis 2:7 seems to be saying, then obviously what He created was not a human being until it was given life. But the fetus is not ‘inanimate matter.’ It is already alive. And it is already human.” Therefore “to apply Genesis 2:7 to human beings who were carried for nine months in a mother’s womb before birth is clearly ridiculous. This argument is seldom used by people who take Scripture seriously.”

Miscellaneous Pro-Choice Arguments

Since the following passages and arguments are weak biblical defenses of the pro-choice position, the critiques of them will be brief. Almost all of them come from “A Pro-Choice Bible Study.”

Argument from Psalm 51:5

David wrote, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” Strangely enough, as already noted, this passage is also used to defend the pro-life position. In any event, the pro-choicer argues that since David could not have been an actual sinner because he had yet to actually sin, David was only a potential sinner. This is because he was only a potential person.

There are several problems with this argument. First, it does not address the fact that Psalm 51:5 does clearly state that it was David who came into existence at conception. Second, even if this passage were claiming that the unborn are potential sinners, this would still imply that the unborn are actual human persons, since only actual persons can be potential sinners, just as only actual persons can be potential violinists, philosophers, basketball players, or deli managers. And third, the passage is not saying that David, as a zygote, performed a sin, but rather, that he was conceived a sinner by virtue of being Adam’s descendant. That is to say, Adam’s sin nature is passed on to all who share his human nature. But this supports the pro-life position, for, as Geisler points out, “the very fact that humans are declared sinners from conception reveals that they are human, that is, part of the fallen human race. It is only by virtue of being part of the Adamic human race that we are conceived in sin (see Rom 5:12).”

 

Argument from Psalm 139:13,16

The passage reads, “For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb…. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance.” The pro-choice advocate argues that since this passage says that the unborn is still being “weaved” and is “unformed,” it is therefore not fully human.

There are at least two problems with this interpretation. First, “‘unformed’ (v. 16 ) does not mean unhuman any more than deformed does.” Far from casting aspersion on the unborn’s full humanness, Psalm 139 eloquently describes God’s creative activity in prenatal human development, thus implying the full humanness of the unborn from the moment of conception. For in human development, “unformed” is a relational term which implies a lack a person may have in relation to a more advanced state of his development. That is to say, a pre-embryo is “unformed” in relation to an embryo, an embryo is “unformed” in relation to a fetus, a fetus is “unformed” in relation to an infant, an infant is “unformed” in relation to an adolescent, and an adolescent is “unformed” in relation to an adult. So it does not follow that since one is “unformed,” one is therefore not fully human.

Second, it is poor hermeneutics to quote this passage in isolation from other statements about the unborn found in both the Book of Psalms (e.g., Ps 51:5) and the rest of the Bible, which speak of personal human existence beginning from conception (e.g., Gen 4:1), or refer to the unborn by personal pronouns (e.g., Jer 1:5), or apply terms to the unborn which are used of postnatal children (e.g., Luke 1:41, 44; cf. 2:12, 16 ).

Argument from Psalm 139:16

The second part of Psalm 139:16 is sometimes used to deny the unborn’s full humanness: “And in thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Pro-choice advocates argue that this passage is saying that while in the womb David’s life had not yet begun (“When as yet there was not one of them”). The problem, however, with this interpretation is that the text does not say that the days of David’s life excluded his prenatal existence. The passage is simply saying that all of David’s days were ordained and written in “Thy book.” And since God has known everything from all eternity, it follows that God knew of David’s days “when as yet there was not one of them.” These words must refer to the time before his conception, since Psalm 51:5 states that David’s beginning can be traced back to his conception and Psalm 139 gives a detailed account of God’s personal interaction with the development of the prenatal David.

Argument from Job 10:18-19

This passage reads: “Why then hast Thou brought me out of the womb? Would that I had died and no eye had seen me! I should have been as though I had not been, carried from womb to tomb.” The author of the tract “A Pro-Choice Bible Study” interprets this passage to mean that “Job did not consider the prenatal period as an existence.” This interpretation is totally unjustified for two important reasons. First, the passage is saying just the opposite: one does exist prenatally. Job said that if he had not been born it would be “as though” he “had not been.” He was not saying that if he had not been born he would never have existed, only that it would be as though he had never existed. People speak this way all the time. For example a disenchanted husband may say that his wife treats him as though they were not married, but he is still married to her. In the same way, when Job claimed that if he had been stillborn it would be as though he had never existed, he still existed. One cannot use “as though” unless one “is.”

Second, as already noted, Job 3:3 affirms the personhood of the conceptus: “Let the day perish on which I was to be born, and the night which said, ‘A boy is conceived.’“ Therefore Job 3:3 and 10:18–19 support the pro-life position.

Argument from Ecclesiastes 11:5

This verse reads: “Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman [or, ‘how the spirit comes to the bones of a woman with child,’ RSV], so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.” The author of “A Pro-Choice Bible Study” claims that “the writer of Ecclesiastes admonishes the Bible reader not to speculate about how or when the spirit of the child arrives. It could be presumptuous to claim that life begins at conception, which the Bible refuses to do.”

There are several problems with the pro-choice interpretation of this verse . First, it is way off the mark. The verse is not speaking against Bible students speculating about when the spirit of a child arrives. The verse makes no mention of when. Instead it says that one does not know how the “bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman.” It does not follow from one’s ignorance of the mechanism by which the soul or spirit is given by God that he does not know when this occurs. That a person may not know how his mind works (and it is still a mystery to the scientific community) does not mean he cannot know when his mind is working. Though one does not know how God brings human persons into existence, one does know when personhood begins, since so many other biblical passages clearly indicate that full humanness begins at conception.

Second, even if the pro-choice interpretation of Ecclesiastes 11:5 were correct, the verse does not support abortion on demand. For certainly abortion could still be a serious moral wrong even if the unborn entity were not fully human during the entire nine months of pregnancy. Furthermore the pro-choicer is admitting that the verse is teaching that the spirit of the child arrives sometime before birth (after all, the woman is said to be “with child,” RSV). Hence the pro-choice view of this verse does not support the pro-choicer’s own position.

Third, if this verse were really claiming that one does not know when the unborn becomes fully human, then it would be just as presumptuous to deny that life begins at conception (i.e., the pro-choice position) as it would be to affirm that life begins at conception. Therefore even with a so-called “pro-choice” interpretation, this verse could still be used as a pro-life proof text: Since one does not know when life begins, one should not kill the unborn entity, for it is a real possibility that if one performs an abortion one is committing a homicide. It is legal negligence to perform an act in which one does not know whether one is harming another (e.g., demolishing a building without checking to see if anyone is inside).

Argument from 1 Corinthians 15:46

This verse reads: “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.” Pro-choicers who use this verse argue that the physical reality of the unborn precedes its spiritual endowment. In this view, before a certain point of time in gestation, the unborn does not possess a spirit and hence it is not a person. The problem with this interpretation is that the verse has nothing even remotely to do with embryology or human development. The context is clearly referring to human salvation. As the verses before and after verse 46 reveal, Paul was contrasting the first Adam with the second Adam, Jesus: “So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Cor 15:45–49).


Argument from the Fact that God Calls Believers by Name

Since the Bible teaches that “God calls us by name (Isa 43:1, 7; Rev 3:5; Luke 10:20),” and “a child is ready to be named at birth because the sex is only then normally known (Gen 29:31–35; Eccles. 6:4 ),” pro-choice advocates conclude that one is not fully human until birth.

This argument is factually and logically absurd. First, none of the verses cited establishes the pro-choice position. Second, it does not follow from not being named that one is not fully human. For it would still be wrong for a parent to murder her one-year-old even if she had not given the child a name. Third, it does not follow that because something is named it is human. Some parents have named their miscarried children. Will the pro-choicers who deny the full humanity of such beings now concede that they were human? If a person were to name his pet hamster Margaret Sanger, would that make the hamster human? Fourth, since it is now known that gender is genetically determined from conception, and that it is possible in principle to know the gender of one’s unborn child a few days after conception, is it now wrong to abort the offspring of parents who name them long before their birth? Fifth, though it is true that God “calls us by name,” it does not follow that one who is not named by another human, such as a parent, does not have a name known only to God. For if this were the case, then unnamed newborns, infants, and adults would not be human. Sixth, Isaiah 49:1 states that God has indeed called people by name from the womb even before they were named by their parents: “Listen to Me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called Me from the womb; from the body of My mother He named Me.”

Argument from the Fact that every Person lives under God’s Care from the Time of Birth

This argument states that since both the psalmist and the Prophet Isaiah taught (Pss. 22:9–10 ; 58:3 ; 71:6 ; Isa 49:5) that “every person lives under God’s care from the time of birth, instead of conception,” full humanness does not begin until birth.

This is a strange argument. None of the passages cited supports the pro-choice position on abortion. In fact they all lend support to the pro-life position. Psalm 22:10 says that “from my mother’s womb you have been my God” (JB). Psalm 58:3 merely asserts that “wicked men…have been in error since birth” (JB). This hardly proves that these “men” had no prenatal existence. One can certainly use the word “since” in reference to a thing’s attribute, such as “being in error,” when the thing in question existed before acquiring that attribute. For example, if a person says he has weighed 180 pounds since 1988, it implies that he existed at another weight before 1988.

Psalm 71:6a (“I have relied on you since I was born,” JB) can be understood along the same lines as Psalm 58:3. Psalm 71:5 says, “Yahweh, I have trusted you since my youth” (JB), and the second part of verse 6 states, “You have been my portion from my mother’s womb” (JB). If the psalmist is claiming in the first part of verse 6 that there was no prenatal existence, then in verse 5 he is claiming that there is no preadolescent existence. But the second part of verse 6 is affirming prenatal existence. Therefore verse 6 supports not the pro-choice position, but the pro-life view.

Isaiah 49:5a reads, “And now Yahweh has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him” (JB). Since being “formed in the womb” is consistent with, and lends support to, personhood beginning from conception, it is incredible that this passage is cited in defense of the pro-choice position.

Argument that Life Begins When Blood Comes Into Existence

Since certain biblical passages teach that “life is in the blood (Gen 9:4; Lev 17:11, 14; Deut 12:23),” and since “embryologists have determined that blood cells do not develop until 20 days after fertilization,” therefore, pro-choice advocates argue “life” does not arrive “until three weeks after conception.”

Aside from the fact that these passages do not support abortion on demand for the entire nine months of pregnancy, there is a fundamental problem with the use of these verses to establish the pro-choicer’s conclusion. Not one refers to unborn humans; they all refer to mammals at a stage in their development when blood is a necessary condition for their mortal existence. The pre-20-day-old embryo, however, is a mammal and in particular is a living human being who does not need blood as a necessary condition for his existence. It does not follow from the fact that blood is a necessary condition for the existence of post-20-day-old humans that pre-20-day-old humans are not fully human.

 

Conclusion

This article has critically analyzed the major biblical and theological arguments for abortion rights, concluding that none of them is logically compelling. In fact it seems that the Bible points toward the opposite conclusion: almost all abortions are acts of unjustified homicide. But one should not conclude from this that Christian pro-lifers do not have good secular arguments they may use in order to persuade those who do not share their faith. In fact this writer has presented such arguments in detail elsewhere. It should not be forgotten that a long and rich tradition in Christian church history, extending back to the early church fathers, has been against the practice of abortion. This fact solidifies the pro-life interpretation of Scripture defended in this article. That is to say, since the early church fathers were so close to the writing of the New Testament, it is reasonable to say that there is a presumption in favor of their interpretation of Scripture and their application of what they believed are its ethical teachings. The church fathers could have been wrong, but the burden of proof is on those who would bring this accusation against them.

 

 


 

 

Last night in Southern California, PBS broadcast a program called "The Last Abortion Clinic." This is a letter I wrote in response. Louis


Hello,

I was very disappointed in your show last night, "The Last Abortion Clinic." It was basically unfair toward the Pro-Life point of view.

For one thing, Partial-Birth Abortion was never mentioned until the very end. If this is not an ezample of unregulated access to abortion, I do not know what else it could be. A child is brought out of the womb, feet first, then her or his brains are removed as the head is still inside the mother. This is to avoid breaking laws against infanticide. Why did you want to give the impression that there is some kind of control in the third trimester?

Secondly, you allowed the Pro-Choice people to say that sanitary regulations were targeting abortion clinics with no explanation from the Pro-Life side. Were you aware that veterinary clinics are cleaner than abortion clinics? They need regulation like any other medical facility!

Then there is the question of the "doctors" who perform abortions being required to serve in the nearby hospitals in order for them to be able to admit women who need emergency treatment steming from a botched abortion. The answer is that those "doctors" are not qualified as real doctors, and they cannot serve in those hospitals! Whom are you trying to fool here? Many abortionists are medical students who failed medical school or worse! You should check on these so-called doctors.

You stated that Pro-Life people have changed their strategy in their struggle to save lives from bombing abortion mills to legal lobbying, and other more acceptable means. What slander! The fanatics always ruin the good that peaceful life-loving people do and make all of them look bad. The environmentalists have struck teror more often and caused more economic damage than the bombers and snipers ever did in their mis-guided pursuit of what they think is right.

Since we are talking about the past, let me bring up another point: When Chief Justice Blackman was writing "Roe vs. Wade," he believed that abortion was four times safer than childbirth. here in America today, no woman ever dies in childbirth. Thank God for the medical developments that save the lives of women giving birth now! So if a woman was in fear and thought that abortion was an option for saving her life, she no longer has reasdon to fear. This is good news, not abortion.

One of the abortion providers said that the Pregnancy Advisory Clinics who counsel women to let their babies live do not provide enough support. She said something like "a few toys and clothes are not enough to raise a child after birth." Then you cut to a shot of the counselors praying with the pregnant mother, as if to denigrate the power of prayer. One of the pro-Life women who was poor once, but gave birth to her child, said that God saw her through the hard times. have you ever tried prayer? You should.

As for the woman you showed who said that God told her to have an abortion, would the same God Who said: "Thou shalt not kill" tell a woman to have an abortion? I doubt it.

Louis A. Shapiro

Sec'y, CA Dems-for Life

http://www.DemocratsForLife.org

Abortion: The Black Woman's Voice

Abortion Incidence Among Blacks Minority women constitute only about 26% of the female population (age 15-44) in the United States, but they underwent approximatly 36% of the abortions. (Morbidity and mortality Weekly Report, U.S. Censuc Bureau, December 18, 1992, Centers for Disease Control).

This incidence of abortion has resulted in a tremendous loss of life. It has been estimated that since 1973 Black women have had about 10 million abortions. Michael Novak had calculated "Since the number of current living Blacks (in the U.S.) is 31 million, the missing 10 million represents an enourmous loss for, without abortion, America's black community would now number 41 milion persons. It would be 35 percent larger than it is currently. Abortion has swept through the Black community cutting down every fourth member. (Flight of Life's Priorities, Cal Thomas, Washington Times, April 1, 1993, p. G1, G4).

Abortion has also affected black women through its connection with breast cancer. A highly significant Howard University study showed that African American women over age 50 were 4.7 times more likely to get breast cancer if they had had any abortions to women who had not had any abortions. (Breast Cancer Risk Factors in African American Women: The Howard University Tumor Registry Experience, Laing AE, Demenais FM, Williams R, Kissling G, Chen VW, Bonney GE, 1993, J Natl. Med. Assoc., 85: 931-939).

Women Speak Out Erma Clardy Craver, Social Worker and Civil Rights Leader: "Several years ago, when 17,000 aborted babies were found in a dumpster outside a pathology laboratory in Los Angeles, California, some 12-15,000 were observed to be black. Wake up America, and relive Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream! The way of abortion is the way back into bondage!" Beverly Clark, former Houston city councilwoman and congressional candidate: "People think Planned Parenthood is a counceling-based business. The bulk of their business is from doing abortions. And parents are always shocked when they find out these people are going into schools and teaching our children about birth control. They tie in "helping the poor" with the issue of abortion. They tell us the world is overpopulated. That is brainwashing so they can continue to have clients for their industry. If we stopped abortion, we would hurt somebody's pocketbook."

Noreen Z. Johnson, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.: "Wee see today a common thread of degeneration in our society with the erosion of absolutes set forth by these two noble instruments - the Hippocratic Oath and the Constitution of the United States. The legalization of abortion has opened a Pandora's box of abuse of fetal tissue in research, and has allowed genetic engineering to lurk as a monster at our doorsteps."

Akua Furlow, Executive Director for the Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN): "Planned parenthood started bnack in 1960 by Margaret Sanger. If people would just study the documentation they would find that Planned Parenthood was rooted in racism and founded by a white supremist. She believe there were disgenic groups of people who needed to be exterminated. Most of Planned Parenthood's clinics are in minority communities. The language has changed, but the original intent is still the same - to limit the births of minority people, poor people, and people that are handicapped."

Sharon Weston, Member of the Louisiana State legislature: "When we look at African Americans from a historical standpoint, you do not find abortion as an integral part of our history. The whole abortion issue can minimize the impact that African Americans can have as future leaders. In our history, we have been the major caregivers for our own, whether it is for our young children or our very old, and regardless of our status in life. They (NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, etc.) call this a "poor person's" issue and a "civil rights" issue because they need us and they are trying to give us information that will "help" us. In reality, it is something that will "hurt" us.

Dolores Grier, Psychologist and President of American Black Women Against Abortion: "Since 1973, 78 percent of abortion centers have been located in Black and minority communities. Upper middle class white females are not reproducing and they are trying to keep other groups from reproducing so they can remain in the majority. It is my belief that in pruning the minority population, they're keeping themselves as the majority. NOW and NARAL want only the preferred (white), the privileged (wealthy) and the perfect (no Downs syndrome or handicapped children). They are just trying to play God.


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 Source for locating a Center in your time of need!

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The Baby Parts Industry

A Special Report from The Covenant News


Grim Harvest


UNMC Abortionist Leroy Carhart Speaks:

The Carhart Testimony

Missionaries To The Unborn

In early December it was discovered that the University of Nebraska Medical Center was conducting experiments using brain tissue from pre-born children killed by the notorious partial birth abortionist Leroy Carhart. What follows is court testimony from July '97 where abortionist Carhart explains how he commits abortions.

Warning: Graphic descriptions

America's Back Door Market For Aborted Fetal Tissue An Asheville Tribune Investigative Documentary By David Morgan and Matthew Mittan The documentary that follows is the result of a great deal of analysis; it attempts merely to present to the reader a comprehensive understanding of exactly what is involved with fetal-tissue research. Our comprehensive report presents the facts as well as the opinions of some of those most closely involved with this issue, from all sides of the debate. We leave the moral judgments to you, our readers.

 

  • Baby Parts For Sale!

For the first time, hear an informant reveal how babies (sometimes live) are harvested from abortion clinics for resale: • An informant (in disguise), describes how she (and others at the company she worked for) gathered fetal tissue at abortion clinics for later resale to pharmaceutical companies. • Describes how she’s been presented with many live fetuses including a set of twins, gasping for air. • Describes how some woman undergoing "two-day" abortions would go into labor and deliver a live baby – and the abortionist would leave the babies without medical care to die slowly.

 

The Harvest of Abortion

WORLD Magazine

Fetal-tissue research: Making the best of a bad situation, or sliding further down the slippery slope? Congress and the Clinton administration's lifting of the fetal-tissue research ban has turned human-remains trafficking into big business.

 

Baby Body Parts For Sale:

"You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby"

By Michael Savage / NewsMax.com

Not only are babies, even at or near birth, being killed every day in America, this bastion of human rights, but their organs are also being harvested and sold on the black market. They are being dissected, sometimes while still alive, and sold piece by piece. Ears for $75 a pair; arms and legs, $150; a brain for $999, tax not included. That’s right; it’s called the "unholy harvest.” The rotten, mean-faced, clipped-haired abortionists, our present-day fascist jackboots, are selling baby parts and making millions of dollars in their factories of death.

 


Baby Parts Marketing Kit

Life Dynamics

Complete kit includes documentation booklet, video tape of interview with "Kelly" the spy who revealed the marketing inside information, 12 minute audio tape of phone conversations between Life Dynamics and the wholesalers, reprint of the Alberta Report Newsmagazine cover story on fetal body parts and press releases for you to make sure your local media outlets know what's going on with baby parts marketing!

 


Vaccines Made From Aborted Babies

Catholic Exchange

When the article, “Vaccine From Aborted Fetus Cell Lines Judged Morally Acceptable” hit several Catholic publications several months ago, the reaction of readers was one of shock, anger and utter disbelief that this country has been quietly producing vaccines for the past 20 to 30 years from aborted fetuses. More shock: that we have unknowingly vaccinated our children using this “tainted source,” a more polite way of saying we have used pharmaceutical products from murdered babies. And utterly outrageous is this: There is currently no other source available for three widely used vaccines, namely, hepatitis-A, chicken pox and rubella/MMR.

 



The Blindfolded Chess Player.

Ignoring Our Adversary

46 Million Un-Natural Decisions

I am thinking we need a little humility to be a little more effective in our mission. In business we call this opposition research. What is our competition doing? Are we paying attention? What should we be doing? In business, it is vital to survival.

The Pro-Life, Pro-Adoption Movement cannot afford to ignore the tactics and corporate personality of its most worthy adversaries.

The site is Central Park, New York City. The scene could be a movie script. In the midst of thirty chess games being conducted with absolute seriousness, a new opponent sits down with a flourish accross from the "park champion", who is already seated. The board is set. A crowd gathers. The youthful challenger pulls from his pocket a blind fold, and quickly wraps it about his head, sealing off his vision. The elderly gentlemen sitting across the table grins widely, and says "Ready?". The young, sight impaired challenger answers, "Ready." His friend assures the other onlookers that he is going to play his own game, and he does not want the distraction of watching his opponent. The game is over before it is begun. The victory is assured.

The player in this chess game, just like in life, that "sees" the board, and his opponent's tactics with clarity wins. The player that ignores his opponent often loses.

Arrogance has no place in chess, or in the battle for the life of the unborn.

I am focusing this week on a few of the lessons we can learn from our adversary. I, as well as others, have observed a few attributes of our opposition's approach to furthering their agenda that may surprise you.

In terms of effectiveness, their philosophy, and their ability to deliver it, has resulted in mothers of babies making the most unnatural of decisions to kill their unborn child, in numbers now exceeding 40 million times. Let that sink in. Even if you do not respect or pretend to understand their position or agenda, you must pay attention to the effectiveness of their result. This is an un-natural decision. Un-natural. And yet.

What are the attributes of the Adversary's temperament, operations, movement, philosophy, and tactics? The following represent a few of our observations.

They have developed thick skin. No matter how many names they are called, or how their position is vilified, they stay to their agenda. Name calling doesn't seem to distract them.

They are bold in the public arena and in living rooms. They are aware that this fight takes place in the public arena, as well as in small coffee clutches. They are fully cognizant of the need to be well represented everywhere.

They have a very simple to understand and implement Mission Statement and have a twenty five year business plan to facilitate their mission. They have embraced a broader mission than most Pro-Life supporters perceive, and in this broader mission, abortion is a means to a very sellable end, what they tell the world is women's control of reproductive rights.

They raise funds to establish their mission, and they are adroit at spending these funds with leverage. They are never embarrassed to ask for donations, fund raisers, grants, trades, gifts of merchandise, services, and outright influence. They ask, and ask, and ask, and fully expect a donation, both now and in the future. They have demonstrated an absolute conviction to use any and all means to procure money for their causes. Not shy! No reticence. They ask donors to sacrifice because they believe in their cause. Period.

They believe in geographic dispersion of their personnel and resources, but suffer no inefficiency of overlap. Their centralized coordination of mission has achieved a cooperation among even independent groups and non-affiliates dedicated to this philosophy, that is remarkable. Mission first. Local egos second. They have asked, "Where should we be? How do we get a presence there?" They then work it out. Mission first. Ego second.

They believe that getting their message to the next generation, is equally important with serving the current generation. They are proactive in distributing educational materials, philosophy, and curriculum years ahead of sexual activity. They do not complain about the void of teaching from Church and Home. They do not expect someone else to fix it. They fill the void.

They are media savvy, media efficient, and media current. There is no reluctance to set the objective to be determined, retain the experts to frame the message, and pay the dollars to deliver the message. If one outlet shuts them down, they storm the local airwaves via another methodology or refocus their funds towards another market. They retreat and live to fight another day.

They have figured out how to qualify their cause within approved and publicly funded delivery systems to underwrite their goals. Their 990 shows they received over $248M from state and federal government grants and payments. They have been content to frame their philosophy without religious precepts very carefully and very successfully, and enjoy the benefit of a neutral human rights message with government funding.

They have been, and continue to be, incredibly successful at recruiting, training, organizing, and communicating with volunteers. On any given day, they can easily mobilize via phone or e-mail more than 24,000 volunteers to tasks for that day. Pretty impressive.

They will spend necessary monies to advance their causes through lobby groups, and media centers. They do not need to call a committee meeting to retain a lawyer, hire a lobbyist, buy airtime, send a representative to a talk show, or organize a public event. If it fits their mission strategy and the opportunity exists, they do it. Now.

They do not make excuses when they lose a battle here and there. They are not above blaming the "right wing", or Christians, or Pro-Choice (whom they artfully call "anti-choice") politicians, or even resorting to scare tactics, but be assured; They immediately bounce back, use the temporary set back as a reason to raise funds and recruit volunteers, and they frequently reinforce in other areas to avoid the same type of loss again. They suffer no "blame assessment" mentality or guilt hangover. They expect to win and lose, and they move on.

They have wisely learned to let people participate in their cause, rather than adapting their cause and mission statement to fit the desires of donors or other groups seeking a different agenda. If you want to further their agenda, you are welcome. If you have your own agenda, you will not receive their time, let alone their support.

They spend money to get things done. They have no illusion that legal wars, media wars, or political wars are won without spending money, and the best people to fight such wars are hardened mercenaries, those who do their job, with excellence, for money. They do not attempt to procure professional services through volunteerism as a prime mission advancing methodology. They pay for services and retain the best.

They do not quit. They are in it for the long haul. They wake up every day with an ambitious agenda. They remind each other in conversations and communication of the necessity of their agenda. They literally look at the entire globe and ask, "how do we take our mission and message and operations everywhere?" And they take steps, that day, to facilitate these decisions.

They study the Pro-life movement in depth. A reading of the recent publication of Gloria Feldt"s (President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America) book, would surprise most Pro-Lifers. Without addressing her many claims here, it is certainly clear that we are studied. Our methods, our claims, our tactics, our public and private acts, any inconsistencies between our "talk" and our "walk" are fodder for the grist. Be assured. This Adversary is Not Wearing a Blindfold. They clearly understand the nature of conducting a conflict over ideology.

What difference does it make to know our adversary? What difference does it make to play a chess game with a blindfold? The perceptions of our children are at stake. The future of the unborn child in the womb of an expectant mother is at stake. When we don't pay attention, we lose, and they lose, and our society loses.

We miss with a lot of young kids faced with tough decisions because we are not in the marketplace, the schools, with our message. These young lives need us now! There is a story of a young girl named Jamie that we missed attached to this letter. See if you can figure out when and where we missed with Jamie.


I am Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Michael Galloway

 



Living with Blood Guilt.

There is a story in the Old Testament that mirrors the current heart conditions of a growing number of mothers and fathers that chose abortion. You are probably familiar with the great intrigue that surrounded King David, and the wife of another man, Bathsheba. It is recorded in Second Samual, Chapter 11 and 12. I have always found it amazing that God has chosen to reveal all the life attributes, including their character flaws, of people we normally revere as God's champions.

In summary, King David fell in love with another man's wife, concieved a child with her, and then tried to arrange a number of cover-ups to address the result of his actions. When nothing else worked, he used the authority that was his, his "choice" to deal with the problem by having an innocent, her husband, killed. For some period of time, he found a way to live with himself, but eventually God sent a prophet to reveal to King David the depth of his sin and the impact of that sin. In Psalm 51, we read the words from David's heart. It seems that what was happening inside of King David was different than his outward persona:

Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense.

Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me.

For I know my offense; my sin is always before me.

King David was within his legal right to make the choice he made. He was the King. However, it did not change the "heart result". He knew "his offense", and his sin" was always before me".

Women and men are emerging from the shadows to voice that something is not right in their hearts, and it is pointing back to a decision, made months, or even years ago, to abort a child. The event is in the past. The blood guilt is waiting for them every day. This letter will focus on Moms.

In the sixties, several activist groups began a very bold campaign to change perceptions about the choices people make. Word smithing experts carefully articulated phrases and sound bites to change how we view an event. A careful and artfully contrived campaign placed a "woman's right to control her body" in juxtaposition to a re-defining of a baby as "disposable tissue" in the woman's body. Part of our society embraced the movement to empower women to have rights to correct historic compensation and representation inequities, and in the process devalued the most basic and fundamental rights of the unborn. Amazingly, this movement found support in the courts.

These "spin doctors" would probably have characterized King David's motives as necessary and a legal displacing of a husband who refused to give his wife the proper attention in order that King David could give her a better life in the palace. "Spin" on personal guilt is seductive, but the act is "ever before us".

Each child aborted was the result of a decision maker, who has a heart, and a conscience, and now must deal with the result of the decision. No current spin doctors have been able to lift the heaviness of heart that "is every before me" for this growing number of women.

What has happened to the Mothers who chose abortion? We are only now really beginning to have an insight into the casualty count, and the "after effect" of choosing abortion by the women who exercised their rights. Many women, some of whom were teen-agers, were facing an unplanned pregnancy, were sold a "bill of goods" while they were under pressure, and were hurt deeply in the process. We are now aware that millions of women were deeply, profoundly, and irrevocably harmed by a decision to abort.

This is a view of the "right to choose".

Physical Manifestations:

  • Woman's health is impacted. Leading health practitioners have published findings, and given testimony before congress that Abortion:
  • Contributes to an increase in breast cancer.
  • Manifests in placenta previa, pre-term births, and Ectopic pregnancies.
  • Contributes to the odds of mal-formation in later births.
  • Contributes to the possibility of lower birth weights and later disabilities.
  • Increases the possibility of becoming infertile.
  • Statistically increases the risk of miscarry in future pregnancies.
  • Statistically increases the possibility of manifestations of other types of cancer.
  • Statistically increases the mortality rate of children born of mothers who have had abortions.

Though statistical studies are not perfect indicators, they do reflect a reality in actual experience. Thoreau was once asked if he believed that local farmers were watering down their milk on the way to the market. His response summarized stated, "while it may be impossible to know for sure, if you find a trout in the milk can, that might be evidence the can was dipped in the creek on the way to the market." Women can only ignore these statistical studies at their own peril. If a statistic states four of one hundred experience a certain impact, there are four actual human beings that manifest that health challenge or impairment.

 

Psychological Manifestations:

The psychological trauma "after effect" is reflected in a mental health malaise that is currently being played out in the lives of literally million of women. It is no longer possible for it to be ignored or silenced. Dozens of help groups are being formed and ten's of thousands of women are joining because of this painful reality and the need for therapeutic relief. Women who have chosen abortion are living with very real pain and physical manifestations of unresolved guilt and personal recrimination. It is real. It is painful. It is personally devastating.

 

The Choice to Abort Her Baby Damages the Mother.

No "Pro-Choice" group can silence this reality. Mothers are damaged when they choose to abort. How does this decision manifest in the lives of these women? Some of the reported effects are:

  • Rise in personality fragmentation.
  • Loss of intimacy.
  • Aversion to sexual expression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increase in likelihood of extramarital affairs.
  • Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Grief Response
  • A statistical increase in the tendency towards child abuse
  • A statistical increase in the proclivity to utilize alcohol and drugs.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Nervous disorders.

Inability to deal with the event, many, many years after the event. Repression does not work. There is a need for therapy to deal with the heartache. It is a necessity, not an option.

 


What do the women say who have had an abortion?

The statistical data is a reflection of the unveiled truth now being made available by the outpouring from the hearts of women who have joined the therapy groups. These Elliott Institute reports provide an insight into the "Truth" about the aftereffects of a decision to abort a child.

90% of the women say there were not given enough information about the process of abortion, and the after effect of having an abortion to make an informed decision. 80% say it is unlikely they would have aborted their child if they had not been so strongly encouraged to do so by others, including friends, family and abortion counselors. 83% say they believe, in retrospect, they would have determined to carry the child to term if they had received support from boyfriends, families, or other people that were important influences in their lives. Years ago, the tobacco industry was forced to put a warning label on a pack of cigarettes that disclosed a prospective "very real" health risk. It is time to put a warning label on Abortion. While we work to protect the life of the unborn through legal protection, we must press for a mandatory disclosure, required by law, of all the impacts associated with this decision. It is time for any person considering an abortion to be apprised of all the issues in a formalized methodology that is understandable, and applicable. It is time to recognize that abortion kills babies, and damages mothers irrevocably.

 


What happens when a mother aborts her child?

How does she verbalize the result?. "Emily hears a Whisper". Though King David's act was inexcusable, he eventually found grace and mercy to heal his heart anguish. This healing process must be our goal for moms and dads who daily are provoked by their hearts by past acts.

Thank you for your continued interest is this campaign to protect babies and heal mothers.

I am Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Michael Galloway

 


 

Emily hears a Whisper

The Price Women Pay When Their Children Die

Robin Drives Cross Town To Vent

She was pretty sure it was going to be awful. Now she was really sure. Her best friend and workmate had talked her into this. Only women who had experienced abortion could come. Now, here they were, driving all the way across town, and for what? She had been to an AA meeting once. Awful. Never went back.

Self talk: "Here we go again, Robin. Why can't you just say no, or pass or not interested? No, you had to smile, and say, "Well, it might help with some of the guilt feelings I have, now and again." As they drove in to a very upscale neighborhood, and into a very full cul de sac, she was pretty sure this was going to be a mistake. More than a dozen cars were in the process of unloading their occupants. Almost everyone looked older than Robin. This time, out loud, "Whatever. "Let's get this over with, and go get some food."

Her friend who had remained silent during her thirty minute riding rant just shrugged as she closed her door and said, "You might just like it."

"Not likely," came the response under her breath.

Everyone was ushered down the stairs to a big family room that looked out over a manicured lawn complete with swimming pool. At least they wouldn't starve. Lots of snacks and a punch bowl and a coffee maker. Good snacks. The chairs were set up in a semi-circle, three rows deep. Excellent. She eyed the last chair, on the last row, nearest to the stairs. She had her plan.

A well dressed woman who looked to be in her mid forties invited everyone to get some snacks and please sit down as her guest. The hostess did not take the chair facing the group. Another woman, introduced as Dr. Taylor sat down as everyone else took seats. Robin did not get the last chair, but she did get the back row.

In only moments, Dr. Taylor laid the ground rules for the evening. "The purpose of this meeting is for women to get acquainted with women. Everyone has one event in common. They have all experienced an abortion. You may say as much or as little as you feel comfortable saying. If you feel good about the experience of meeting with other women, you were welcome to attend any number of other small groups that meet around the city weekly to offer support."

In no particular order, some standing, some sitting, women began to speak.

"I had an abortion a month ago. I hate myself. I cry myself to sleep."

A woman in her thirties. "When I was 18 and 19 I had abortions. Two abortions. I knew it was wrong. I couldn't face my parents."

A mid twenties. "Couldn't face your parents. Mine drove me to the clinic. We didn't even discuss any options. I was in a waiting room with a number. They called my number."

Another. "My mother wouldn't hear of anything else. She was single. We had one car. Not much money. She told me, "No way I am supporting you and a child. No way." It is twenty years later, and I still resent her, and myself."

Another. "I'm thirty five. My abortion happened nineteen years ago. My parents didn't know. My boyfriend paid for it. I went to school on the bus. We left school and went to a clinic. I went back to school. I went home on the bus. There was no counseling. No truth. No options. Just death. I was sixteen with no help."

Another. "It has been twelve years ago. I can truly say I have suffered every day since. I have had nightmares, flashbacks, and am in and out of depression. No one told me anything about living with this act. I am on medication. I was wondering if anyone else found it necessary to take medication? My husband tells me to get over it, and move on. I want to move on. I just keep having these thoughts."

Another. "I never knew the details behind an abortion procedure. I remember talking to a counselor. I remember being told to be still by the doctor. I remember the stainless steel pan. I remember feeling pressure that this was the only responsible choice to make. I had never seen any pictures of babies. I regret it."

Another. "I went to the Priest. I went to confession. I know that I am supposedly forgiven. I have never been able to forgive myself. I mean, I know God is full of mercy, but I can't seem to get any sense of forgiveness or mercy. The bottom line is that I allowed a completely defenseless baby to be........." She sat down without finishing.

Another. "I used to be a sign carrying, bra burning, rally going, loud mouthed, pro-choice zealot. I believed in the right to choose what happened in my own body. Over the years I began to recognize that what we called tissue, was really a fetus, a baby, with a heart, and a brain, and a future. I am ashamed that I could not separate my passion for woman's rights from license to kill a child. I was wrong then. You could not have told me I was wrong, but I was wrong. I make myself feel a little better by trying to warn other mothers that abortion is not their best choice, even if it is a legal choice. It is true that we can deal with our pain by helping others. I would encourage everyone here to use their pain to talk to women in the decision process. You will be helped, and they will be helped."

Another. "I have been so sick, and so angry, and so full of shame, and so frustrated, and so mad at my self for so long, revulsion has become a way of life. I didn't know groups like this existed. I cannot seem to shake the depression that comes from the reality of my decision."

Nothing could have prepared Robin for what she was experiencing. She didn't volunteer to talk. In her own loud mouthed way, she was really pretty shy. She did notice that she felt safe. Maybe not safe. But certainly un-threatened. It was quiet.

Dr. Taylor asked, "Anyone else?"

No takers. Looks like it was over. Quietly, and slowly, a woman got to her feet. Robin looked at her. Her yellow sun dress fit perfectly, her shoes were cute, her blond hair was perfectly brushed, her manicured fingers displayed quality jewelry, she stood with perfect posture. She looked around the room pausing to get eye contact with each woman. She was reluctant to speak, but determined.

She introduced herself as Emily. She spoke very clearly in very quiet tones.

"For those of you that don't know me, I am a mother of two beautiful children. My daughter is two, and my son just turned five. When I was a senior in college, I had an abortion. I married right after graduation, and my husband is a good man and a good father. I wanted to ask something. I think I can ask this here."

The room was silent. As Emily continued to talk, her eyes welled up with tears, and they began to stream down her face, falling on her sun dress and intertwined hands.

"What I wanted to ask, is, do you ever hear anything? I have been hearing... I have been hearing..." She paused. "I have been hearing..... a whisper. I hear it when I put my daughter in her crib. I hear it when my son slides down the slide at the playground.

I have been hearing "Why not me?"

She looked around the room. The tears continued unabated. No sobbing. No crying. Just tear after tear.

"and I was wondering, do you ever hear any whispers?"

Do we have answers for Emily? There are now millions of mothers who are living on the other side of an abortion decision. Grief, anger, remorse, guilt, pain, depression, anxiety, self recrimination, and a number of health impairments manifesting in serious, and sometimes life threatening disease are the result of decisions made months, and sometimes years before.

There is a serious need for counseling and support for those who have made this decision and now live with the result. Any plan, born of love, that seeks to deal with the impact of Abortion must include the mothers who have experienced the abortion.

We unite with others in this nation and around the world that are seeking to bring God's protection to the unborn, and God's mercy to the moms.

Women need to know that these groups exist. They need to be aware of retreat opportunities that speak to their heart issues. Many abortions are repeat abortions. It may be circumstances, it may be guilt, it may be a perception of no other options, it may be familypressure, or pressure from a boyfriend. One fact is absolutly true: Women that have the support of other women are less inclined to abort.



FDA warns again of abortion pill risk

By Bonita Brewer

CONTRA COSTA TIMES

News of two more women who died from infection after taking the RU-486 abortion pill have fueled political debate over whether the drug should be pulled from U.S. markets.

Republican lawmakers, who are already trying to suspend government approval of RU-486, said Wednesday that increasing warnings about the drug isn't enough.

"Clearly, warning labels and letters to doctors are not protecting the life and safety of young American women from this drug," said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a health warning Tuesday on the risk of rare but serious infection following treatment with RU-486, not always accompanied by fever.

It was prompted by reports that a fourth California woman -- the first was 18-year-old Holly Patterson of Livermore, who died in September 2003 -- has died from infection after taking RU-486 and its follow-up drug, misoprostol.

The warning did not appease lawmakers who had already introduced "Holly's Law," which would suspend FDA approval of RU-486 until the federal Government Accountability Office examines the process by which the drug was approved in September 2000.

"Congress needs to act to take this deadly drug off the market and force a serious review of its safety -- something that should have been done before it was ever approved," said Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a Democrat whose congressional district includes Livermore, said Tauscher needs to know more about the most recent deaths before commenting.

Meanwhile, officials with Planned Parenthood Federation of America argued that adverse effects from RU-486 are still extremely low -- lower than carrying a pregnancy to full term.

"There is no reason for a change in medical policy and management at this time, although as with any woman who is pregnant, signs of possible infection need to be investigated," said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president of medical affairs for Planned Parenthood.

A death last year of a woman who took RU-486 prompted the FDA in November to issue its highest category of safety warnings to doctors and consumers. Now, in conjunction with the drug maker, Danco Laboratories, the FDA is adding new information.

Without conclusively saying RU-486 caused the deaths, "We want to make sure that physicians and patients using this drug are aware of the potential risk of overwhelming infection that may occur with this product," Galston said.

Previously, two U.S. deaths from infection, including Patterson's, had been reported, and one woman died from infection in Canada during a clinical trial in 2001. But Danco said this week that it learned recently of another death that occurred in late 2003 and another this year.

In all four cases, FDA-approved guidelines for drug-induced abortions were not followed, Galson said. FDA guidelines say RU-486 should be given in the first seven weeks of pregnancy and its follow-up drug, misoprostol, is to be given orally during a second office visit. But many doctors, on the basis of published studies, prescribe misoprostol in higher doses to be inserted vaginally at home.

Galson stressed it has not been determined that such "off-label" use is responsible for the deaths, and that the FDA has no authority to ban it because it doesn't regulate the practice of medicine.

He said the rate of fatal infection among women using RU-486 is similar to that for women giving birth or undergoing surgical abortion -- about one in 100,000. It is estimated about 460,000 U.S. women have used the pill.

The bacteria determined to have caused deadly infection has been identified as Clostridium sordellii in two of the U.S. cases, including Patterson's, and is under investigation in others.

The FDA warnings say the bacterial infection can lead to weakness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea but can lack some usual symptoms of infection, including fever.

Though doctors who suspect a patient has an infection are being advised to give antibiotics immediately, the FDA does not recommend all RU-486 patients be given an antibiotic as a routine precaution.

Galson said it's not clear why all four U.S. deaths were in California, adding, "It may be just a fluke."

Monty Patterson, Holly's father, said it may be due partly to California's large population, but he believes doctors elsewhere simply aren't making a connection between deadly infection and RU-486, and that other women may have died. He also contends RU-486 "predisposes women to serious infections and even death because it impairs the immune system."

Both Cullins of Planned Parenthood and Dr. Cynthia Summers of Danco said no evidence exists to support either claim.

 


 

New York Times

Under Din of Abortion Debate, an Experience Shared Quietly


Kristen Schmid for The New York Times

A woman from Mississippi underwent preparation for an abortion. She had been told that her fetus, which had serious defects, would not live. BEYOND THE SLOGANS Inside an Abortion Clinic

Abortion Trends

Kristen Schmid for The New York Times An 18-year-old college student carrying twins waits to be taken into the operating room for an abortion at Little Rock Family Planning Services in Arkansas. More than one in five pregnancies end in abortion, and it is still one of the most common surgical procedures for women in the United States, with about a million taking place each year. Though the abortion rate has been declining for years, it is still highest among black women. Far from Washington and the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., here in Little Rock on an August weekend, 26 women from as far away as Oklahoma joined the more than one million American women who will probably have abortions this year.

Their experiences, at one of only two clinics in the state, offer a ground-level view of abortion in 2005, a landscape altered by shifts in technology, law, demographics and the political climate.

Brittany, 17, brought her mother for support. Linda, 39, brought her daughter.

Alexia, who wore a cross pendant, prayed all through the two-and-a-half-hour drive from Delta State University in Mississippi. At 23, she was having her third abortion. "My religion is against it," she said, adding that she is a Baptist. "In a way I feel I'm doing wrong, but you can be forgiven. I blame myself. I feel I shouldn't have sex at all."

Venetia Grunder, 21, viewed an ultrasound image of the fetus in her womb. She was 12 weeks pregnant, though she had taken birth control pills as directed. "I feel pretty messed up," she said after seeing the image. "It's different, just knowing. My husband told me not to look. This changes my feelings, but I'm sticking by it. Damn it, $650, I'm sticking by it."

More than 25 million Americans have had abortions since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in 1973. Often kept secret, even from close friends or family members, the experience cuts across all income levels, religions, races, lifestyles, political parties and marital circumstances. Though abortion rates have been falling since 1990, to their lowest level since the mid-1970's, abortion remains one of the most common surgical procedures for women in America. More than one in five pregnancies end in abortion.

In the squat, nondescript brick building here, the lofty rhetoric that has billowed through public debate for the last 32 years gave way to the mundane realities of the armed security guard and the metal detector, the surgical table and the settling of the bill before the procedure - $525 to $1,800, cash or credit card only.

While public conversation about abortion is dominated by advocates with all-or-nothing positions - treating the fetus as a complete person, with full rights, or as a nonentity, with none - most patients at the clinic, like most Americans, found themselves on rockier ground, weighing religious, ethical, practical, sentimental and financial imperatives that were often in conflict.

Regina cried on the operating table.

Kori, 26, who was having her third abortion, asked to watch the procedure on the ultrasound monitor. "I wanted to see what it was like," she said. "It was O.K. to watch. Once you had your mind made up to do it, you just suck it up and go with it."

The solitary protester outside , Jim Dawson, 74, stood a court-mandated distance from the clinic with a video camera, taping women as they entered, and promising them hellfire if they went through with it - as he has for a decade. Mr. Dawson drives 40 miles from Vilonia, Ark., bringing cardboard signs that say "Abortion Kills," and usually departs by midmorning. On days when the clinic is closed, he pickets the Clinton presidential library. "I don't stop many of them," he said, "but a little bit goes a long way."

The Women

At the clinic, patients allowed a reporter to attend their consultations and even operations, but most spoke only if they could use just their first names. "It's not something I would talk about," said "M," a high school teacher who agreed to be identified only by her middle initial. She wore a miniskirt and T-shirt, her blond hair pulled back from her forehead. She said she had never discussed abortion with relatives or colleagues. Only two friends knew she was here.

"I'd lose my job," she said. "My family's reputation would be ruined. It makes me nervous even being in the waiting room. You don't want to know who's here, you don't want to be recognized, and you don't want to see them ever again. Because in society's eyes, you share the same dirty secret."

Even most staff members at the clinic insisted on using only their first names - "to protect my identity from the antichoice people," said Lori, a nurse practitioner. Several said they had not told family members what they did for a living, or were ostracized if they did.


P.O. Box 9686 Bakersfield, Ca. USA 93389 Phone: 1(661) 869-1000 Fax: 1(661) 869-0461 Email: catholic@catholic.org www.catholic.org

 

 


 

 

Planned Parenthood's Founder: A racist

Posted on 02/04/2001 14:11:00 PST by JMJ333

To suggest that Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist is to raise the ire of many of the present-day leaders of Planned Parenthood and other anti-life organizations. However, the facts do speak for themselves.

For example, throughout the pages of the Birth Control Review, Mrs. Sanger's journal, there are countless quotes which not only suggest that she favored eugenics, but that she provided a forum to those who wished to spread their fear of human life, when that life was conceived by someone other than a member of society's elite.

This brochure is devoted to familiarizing you with the most outrageous of the statements to which Mrs. Sanger gave credence, as well as to a few of her own. Since books have been written about her, it is not necessary for us to go into her sordid background at length, but simply to give you a taste of the hypocrisy which has led so many people into the web Planned Parenthood weaves, even today. It is a web that distorts, misrepresents and ultimately cheapens the beautiful gift of human sexuality which God gives to each and every person at conception.

Who Was Margaret Sanger?

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an adulteress, racist and bigot, a supporter of Hitler's Nazi party, and a believer in eugenics - the purification of a particular race of people by selective breeding. Her magazines and journals were filled with writings and articles by well-known eugenicists and members of Hitler's Third Reich.

Marriage

Sanger made every effort to promote philosophies which would assist the state in controlling the size of families. However, with regard to her own family, her first husband William Sanger, her children, and her subsequent divorce, she wrote in her 1931 book, My Fight for Birth Control:

"'My first marriage failed, not because of love, romance, lack of wealth, respect or any such qualities which are supposed to be lacking in broken ties, because the interest of each widened beyond that of the other". "From the deep waters into which I had been swept by the current of events it was impossible to return to the shallow pool of domesticity'"

The wife who is able to stay at home and care for her family because she wants to is characterized by Sanger as someone who is simply drowning in a "shallow pool of domesticity," an attitude con-sistently promulgated in today's society by the feminist movement and those who have relegated motherhood to the lowest level of achievement.

Adultery:

After a failed trial marriage at 18, she married William Sanger in 1902 and soon engaged in extramarital affairs while encouraging her husband to do the same. She pronounced the marriage bed to be "the most degenerating influence in the social order" and advocated a "voluntary association" between sexual partners.

At the beginning of her "mission" to bring birth control to America, around 1912, she saw birth control as a tool in the class struggle and was clearly on the side of the poor.

However, her involvement with well-known socialists and eugenicists of the day (Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, Will Durant, Clarence Darrow, and Ellen Key) changed her mind completely. Over a period of eight years she began to turn the birth control movement against the very people she had set out to help.

Jesus Christ:

Mrs. Sanger, who did not have faith in God, and detested all those who did, wrote:

"I never liked to look at Jesus on the Cross. I could not see any good it did to keep looking at him. We could not help him, as he had been crucified long ago."

To know Christ and to appreciate His suffering, death and resurrection for each and every one of us would obviously have been foreign to Mrs. Sanger. To her, after all, many of those created in the image and likeness of God were simply less than human.

The Pivot of Civilization:

Instead of helping the poor, she considered them slum dweller(particularly Blacks, Hispanics, and Jewish immigrants) who would soon overrun the boundaries of their slums, contaminating the better elements of society with their diseases and inferior genes.

Throughout the 200+ pages of this book Sanger called for the elimination of "human weeds," for the cessation of charity, for the segregation of "morons, misfits, and maladjusted," and for the sterilization of "genetically inferior races."[4] In this same book she argued that organized attempts to help the poor were the "surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding, and is perpetuating . . . defectives, delinquents, and dependents."[5] She called for coercive sterilization, mandatory segregation, and rehabilitative concentration camps for all inferior Blacks, Hispanics, poor Whites, and Catholics.

Sanger's brand of prejudice was based on what author John L. Keller labels "Scientific Racism," the belief that as long as people demonstrated "a good quality gene pool" they were esteemed a valuable part of society. On the other hand, if a group, including Whites, demonstrated undesirable traits, their fertility had to be curbed along with other "inferiors and undesirables."

George Grant stated in Grand Illusions: "In her book Women and the New Race she asserted that the 'most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it.'"

Minorities

On October 19, 1939, Sanger outlined a plan for stopping the growth of the Black community. She predicted that "the most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their rebellious members."[8] Her planning, which included being careful to make it appear that hand-picked Blacks are in control, is followed with success even today. Faye Wattleton's position as President of PPFA was testimony to that fact.

The Birth Control Review:

The Birth Control Review, founded by Sanger in 1917, was totally committed to the eugenics philosophy. The official editorial policy of The Review endorsed I.Q. testing, which classified Blacks, southern Europeans, and other immigrants as mentally inferior to native-born White Americans and called them a nuisance and a menace to society. In the 1920s she tried to use the results from I.Q. tests, which classified the U.S. soldier as a near moron, to back up her own findings.

Sanger truly believed these groups were a "dead weight of human waste" and "a menace to the race."

Abortion and Birth Control:

It was in the December, 1918, Birth Control Review that Margaret Sanger wrote perhaps the most ingenious comment of all: ". . . I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization. . ."

How do you sell the practice of contraception to a public that is totally opposed to it? In 1918, when she wrote the above, no religious denomination accepted the practice of contraception. Well, you sell it to the people by insisting that with better contraception there would be less abortion! It sounds very familiar, doesn't it?

Today, it is only the Roman Catholic Church that stands for the truth with regard to contraception, and among its members it is said that eighty percent practice contraception anyway. Would Mrs. Sanger be proud of her campaign if she could see the results we live with today - more than 50 strains of VD as well as the deadly AIDS virus?

And would she agree with current Planned Parenthood president Pamela Maraldo, who writes: "As Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders has so succinctly put it: 'We've taught our children in driver's education what to do in the front seat, and now we've got to teach them what to do in the back seat.'"

Today American youth are told that the "responsible" thing to do is use contraception, be realistic and formulate your own values as you go, and if your contraception fails, get an abortion.[13] Responsible? Mrs. Sanger would be proud.

Thus through Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood has molded the sexual ethics of the day: Sex is a natural thing for a teenager to desire and if a teenager feels that he is to be sexually active that is his decision; all society asks is that he not produce children.

 

 

OTHER LINKS:

http://dianedew.com/sanger.htm http://dianedew.com/black.htm http://www.eadshome.com/MargaretSanger.htm http://blackgenocide.org/planned.html http://lifedynamics.com/DeathCamps/Holocaust6.cfm This quote from http://www.plannedparenthood.org/pp2/portal/files/portal/medicalinfo/birthcontrol/bio-margaret-sanger.xml collaborates her desire to enlist black ministers to further her efforts to exterminate them: “In 1930, Sanger opened a family planning clinic in Harlem that sought to enlist support for contraceptive use and to bring the benefits of family planning to women who were denied access to their city's health and social services. Staffed by a black physician and black social worker, the clinic was endorsed by The Amsterdam News (the powerful local newspaper), the Abyssinian Baptist Church, the Urban League, and the black community's elder statesman, W.E.B. DuBois.”

http://lancasterlife.com/NurembergFiles/ http://www.ewtn.com/library/PROLIFE/PPRACISM.TXT

 

 


 

ABORTION HOLOCAUST 

The Abortion Epidemic: America’s Silent Holocaust

J. Carl Laney

[J. Carl Laney, Associate Professor of Biblical Literature, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Portland, Oregon]

Abortions last year terminated one-third of all pregnancies in America. Since the Supreme Court’s decision of 1973 (Roe vs. Wade), the annual number of abortions performed in the United States has risen from 744,600 to 1.5 million. Nontherapeutic abortion is in fact a 20th-century form of birth control. It has become the second most common surgical procedure, circumcision being the first. Abortion on demand is without question the greatest moral issue facing America today. No other contemporary moral problem in this country results in the deaths of over a million innocent, unborn children each year. Since 1973, eight million unborn babies have died in hospitals and abortion clinics throughout America.

Many Christians today are not sufficiently informed about abortion to form a scripturally based opinion on this issue. Others would like to remain neutral. They do not advocate abortion, but would not prohibit a woman from having one. In an interview on abortion, a California physician stated, “I feel I have the obligation to take care of patients. I don’t feel I should enforce my own personal views, especially since I’m not so convinced that [abortion] is ungodly or unbiblical.” Still others would identify with the “Pro-Choice” crusaders who contend that abortion is a right that women must have. They would argue that all other rights—social, economic, political—depend on the fundamental right of a woman to control her own body. Abortion is a contemporary moral problem which must be addressed scripturally. The purpose of this article is to provide sufficient biblical truth and factual data to enable the reader to formulate not only a scriptural view on the abortion issue, but also a plan of action to help end the silent holocaust.

What Is an Abortion?

Abortion is the act of bringing forth young prematurely. A spontaneous abortion is one which takes place naturally—a situation over which the mother has no control. This is usually referred to as a miscarriage. An induced abortion is one which is brought about by medical means. In the hospitals and abortion clinics in America the term is used to refer to the destruction of the unborn child in the womb or the extraction of the immature child from the womb in order to end its life. Induced abortion is a violent act that not only destroys the life of the child but also endangers the life of the mother. The methods of abortion include the following:

Suction Aspiration

This procedure is used in 80 percent of the abortions up to the twelfth week of pregnancy. The mouth of the cervix is dilated. A hollow tube with a knifelike edged tip is inserted into the womb. A suction force 28 times stronger than a vacuum cleaner literally tears the developing baby to pieces and sucks the remains into a container.

Dilation and Curettage

Dilation and curettage (commonly called D&C) is a procedure which involves dilating the cervix with a series of instruments to allow the insertion of a curette—a loop-shaped knife—into the womb. The instrument is used to scrape the placenta from the uterus and then cut the baby apart. The pieces are then drawn through the cervix. The tiny body must then be reassembled by an attending nurse to make sure no parts remain in the womb to cause infection.

Saline Injection

Saline injection, also known as “salt-poisoning,” is an abortion procedure which involves removing some of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and replacing it with a toxic, saline solution. The baby then breathes and swallows the solution. In one or two hours the unborn child dies from salt poisoning, dehydration, and hemorrhaging. The mother goes into labor about 24 hours later and delivers a dead (or dying) baby.

Hysterotomy

During the last three months of pregnancy, abortions are performed by hysterotomy, which involves opening the womb surgically and removing the baby as in a Caesarean section. However, the purpose of this procedure is to end the infant’s life. Instead of being cared for, the baby is wrapped in a blanket, set aside, and allowed to die.

Prostaglandin

This newest abortion procedure involves the use of chemicals developed by the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company. Prostaglandin hormones, injected into the womb or released in a vaginal suppository, cause the uterus to contract and deliver the child prematurely—too young to survive. A saline solution is sometimes injected first, killing the baby before birth, in order to make the procedure less distressful for the mother and medical staff.

The abortion procedures described above are not pleasant. But Christians need to know that when someone exercises “freedom of choice” with regard to abortion, these are the choices involved. It is remarkable that the law protects animals from cruel deaths. A person can kill his dog or cat, but he cannot kill it with cruelty. He would be subject to arrest if he cut off his pet’s limbs, dissolved its skin in acid, or starved it to death. Yet the law allows for these kinds of atrocities to be carried out against the most defenseless members of the human family.

Do the unborn feel pain during these abortion procedures? Yes, they do. Dr. A. W. Liley, world-renowned professor of Fetal Physiology at the National Women’s Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, has shown that the unborn child can feel pain and is sensitive to touch, light, heat, and noise as early as eleven weeks after conception. Using closed-circuit TV cameras, he has shown that if the unborn child is pricked with a needle, the infant will recoil in pain. But if a beep sounds before the prick, and this is repeated several times, the tiny baby will begin to recoil at the beep in anticipation of the pain he knows will come.

In addition to ending the life of the child, abortion endangers the life of the mother. The popular opinion that abortion is safer than childbirth is absolutely false. Published reports of deaths resulting from legal abortions range from 1.2 to 75 deaths per 100,000 abortions. In the late stages of pregnancy, abortion is far more dangerous than childbirth. Death can result from uterine infection, peritonitis, hemorrhage, perforated uterus, or later tubal pregnancy. Other complications relate to damage done to the cervix, injury to the lining of the womb, and blockage of the Fallopian tubes. These include prematurity in subsequent pregnancy, increased miscarriages, and sterility.

What Is the Legal Situation Today?

On January 22, 1973 the United States Supreme Court made a seven-to-two decision on the Roe vs. Wade case which virtually established abortion as a constitutional right. The Court granted an absolute right to abortion on demand during the first two trimesters of pregnancy, and an almost unqualified right to abortion for “health reasons” during the third trimester. Such “health reasons” as defined in the Doe vs. Bolton case include the psychological, social, and economic well-being of the mother. Harold O. J. Brown, chairman of Christian Action Council, has pointed out:

This places the United States alone among all the civilized nations of the world in permitting abortions at such a late point in pregnancy that the fetus, if born prematurely or by normal Caesarean section at that time, would live. Such late abortions are considered in most nations of the world to be infanticide.

The Supreme Court’s decision invalidated the existing regulations in all 50 states, and now state governments can do little if anything to protect human life developing within the womb. If a woman wants an abortion, even her husband—the father of the child—cannot prevent her from having one. A minor daughter must have her parent’s signature to have her appendix out, but she can have an abortion without parental knowledge or consent.

Amazingly, in dealing with the Roe vs. Wade case the Court was unwilling to decide whether or not an unborn child is fully human, yet they were willing to open the abortion floodgates. Eight million babies have been aborted since 1973 and the Supreme Court is unsure whether or not they are human beings.

It should be noted that the Supreme Court has been wrong in its decisions before. In the famous Dred Scott decision of 1857 the Court ruled that blacks were mere chattel and did not have the rights of personhood. It took a civil war and a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery and reverse the effects of the Court’s decision. If the Supreme Court was wrong before, could it be wrong again?

What Does the Word of God Say?

What does the Bible have to say about abortion? Does Scripture attribute equal value to the life of an adult and the life of an unborn child? From God’s perspective is an unborn baby a human being? These are questions that every Christian must wrestle with in formulating an opinion on the issue of abortion.

The Absence of a Prohibition against Abortion

Since Scripture has no command, “Thou shalt not have an abortion,” some Christians have concluded that an induced abortion is not morally wrong or unbiblical. In response to such thinking Cline states, “The most significant thing about abortion legislation in Biblical law is that there is none. It was so unthinkable that an Israelite woman should desire an abortion that there was no need to mention this offense in the criminal code.” Why was abortion an unthinkable act for the ancient Israelites? First, children were recognized as a gift or heritage from the Lord (Gen 33:5; Pss. 113:9 ; 127:3 ). Second, God was seen to be the One who opens the womb and allows conception (Gen 29:33; 30:22 ; 1 Sam 1:19–20). Third, childlessness was thought to be a curse, for the husband’s family name could not be carried on (Deut 25:6; Ruth 4:5). Barrenness meant the extinction of the family name (cf. Jer 11:19). Induced abortion was so abhorrent to the Israelite mind that it was not necessary to have a specific prohibition to deal with it in the Law. Sufficient was the command, “You shall not murder” (Exod 20:13).

Interestingly ancient Assyrian laws attest to the abhorrence of abortion even by the heathen nations that surrounded Israel. According to those laws a woman guilty of an abortion was condemned to be impaled on stakes. Even if she lost her life in the abortion procedure, she was still to be impaled as an expression of the community’s repudiation of such an abominable practice. What a commentary on the moral decay of the United States. While pagan Assyrians condemned abortion, enlightened, “Christian” America has condoned it.

 

 


 

 

The Misinterpretation of Exodus 21:22-25

Some Christians have concluded from Exodus 21:22–25 that the fetus is merely potential human life. They understand the passage to refer to a case of accidental miscarriage. According to this view, a mere fine is levied in the case of an accidental miscarriage, whereas the law of retaliation (lex talionis) is applied if the mother is injured or dies. It is concluded that since the punishment for accidentally killing an unborn child is less severe than the punishment for killing an adult, the unborn baby must be considered less than human. Abortion, therefore, does not constitute the termination of “human” life and is not to be viewed as unscriptural.

This approach has two major difficulties—one in the interpretation of the text and the other in the application of the text. The usual Hebrew, word for “miscarry” (lk)v*; Gen 31:38; Exod 23:26; Job 2:10; Hos 9:14) is not used in Exodus 21:22. The verb which the NASB translates “she has a miscarriage” (literally, “her children come out”) is au*y* and customarily refers in the Old Testament to live births (cf. Gen 25:26; 38:28–30 ; Job 3:11; 10:18 ; Jer 1:5; 20:18 ). On the basis of careful exegesis Jackson concludes that “Exodus 21:22 must refer to live birth.” It must also be noted that the text itself makes no distinction between harm done to the child and harm done to the mother. In verse 22 two possible situations are contemplated—an accident in which no harm comes to the mother or child and an accident in which the mother or child is injured. The accident without injury results in a mere fine, probably imposed because of the danger to which the mother and child are exposed. In the case of an accident with some injury—to the mother, her child, or both—the law of retaliation is to be applied.

With the late German commentators Keil and Delitzsch, it is better to take Exodus 21:22 as referring not to accidental miscarriage but to premature birth. The renowned Jewish scholar, Umberto Cassuto, translates the text as meaning premature birth: “But if any mischief happen, that is if the woman dies or the children die, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye….” Frame provides a helpful paraphrase of the text under consideration:

And if men fight together and hurt a pregnant woman so that her child is born prematurely, yet neither mother or child is harmed, he shall surely be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if either mother or child is harmed, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

A second difficulty with the “miscarriage” approach to Exodus 21:22–25 is the application of the passage to the abortion issue. Even if it could be successfully demonstrated that the text refers to accidental miscarriage rather than premature birth, it still could not be used to justify abortion. First, the injury is accidental, not intentional as would be the case in abortion. Second, though unintentional, the action was considered wrongdoing and punishable by law. Third, while the text may not expressly prohibit abortion, neither does it grant authority to perform abortion.

The Divine Involvement in the Formation of the Unborn

Not only is God active in the event of conception itself (cf. Gen 29:31–35; 30:17–24 ; Ruth 4:13; 1 Sam 1:19–20), but also He is personally involved in the formation and development of the human baby in the mother’s womb. God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jer 1:5). The word “formed” (rx^y*) is used of God’s special creation of Adam (Gen 2:7–8). When used in its secular sense, rx^y* occurs most frequently in the participial form meaning “potter”—one who forms and fashions a piece of clay into a useful vessel. God fashioned Jeremiah in the womb and also set him apart for his prophetic ministry before his birth. God was actively involved in the life of Jeremiah in his prenatal state.

In the third movement of Psalm 139 David joyfully acknowledges that the Lord intricately wove him together in his mother’s womb. Here David speaks of God’s relationship with him while he was growing and developing before birth. The significance of this psalm is highlighted by Allen:

The Bible never speaks of fetal life as mere chemical activity, cellular growth or vague force. Rather, the fetus in the mother’s womb is described by the psalmist in vivid pictorial language as being shaped, fashioned, molded and woven together by the personal activity of God. That is, as God formed Adam from the dust of the ground, so He is actively involved in fashioning the fetus in the womb.

Verse 13 reveals that God, the Master Craftsman, fashioned David into a living person while he was still in his mother’s womb. “Yes! You created my inmost self, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps 139:13). The unborn child is not just a piece of tissue, but is a human being with potential for human experience.

In verse 14 David reflects on the fact that he is the product of God’s creative actions. “I give public acknowledgment to you that I am awesomely wonderful; full of wonder are Your works, and my soul knows it very well” (Ps 139:14). David reflects on the fact that while he was in the womb hidden from the eyes of men, he was never hidden from God: “My bones were never hidden from you when I was being made in secret, and skillfully wrought (as) in the depths of the earth” (v. 15 ). The term “skillfully wrought” is used in the participial form in Exodus 26:36 of the one who wove or embroidered the beautifully colored fabric used to screen the doorway of the tabernacle. As this special fabric was intricately and skillfully woven, so David was exquisitely fashioned by God “in the depths of the earth”—a metaphorical reference to his mother’s womb.

David then refers to God’s watchcare over his “unformed substance” (NASB), that is, his “embryo” (<l#G)). Allen translates, “My embryo—your eyes saw! And in your Book all (my unformed parts) were written; daily they were being fashioned when as yet the whole was not (complete)” (Ps 139:16). The word “embryo” is a key term in the abortion controversy. In man it refers to the “prefetal product of conception up to the beginning of the third month of pregnancy.” David acknowledges that his embryo from the moment of conception—is under the personal watchcare of God. Concerning the significance of Psalm 139 Ryrie comments, “Even if life in the womb is not the same as it is after birth, it is human life in a certain form. And it is life which God is intimately concerned about.” Psalm 139:13–16 is a strong biblical polemic against abortion, for it clearly demonstrates God’s personal involvement in the creation, formation, and development of the human baby.

The Humanness of the Unborn according to Scripture

According to the Bible, what uniquely distinguishes man from animals is man’s creation in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26–27; 5:1 ; 9:6 ). Bearing the image of God is the essence of humanness. And though God’s image in man was marred at the Fall, it was not erased (cf. 1 Cor 11:7; James 3:9). If the Bible reveals that the unborn baby is made in the image of God, then it must be concluded that the unborn child is fully human in God’s sight. The Protestant Reformers regarded the “image of God” in man as referring to man’s immaterial nature as fashioned for rational, moral, and spiritual fellowship with God. Does Scripture reveal that the unborn child possesses these characteristics?

David traces the origin of his sin with Bathsheba to his own conception: “Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Ps 51:5). The “iniquity” and “sin” referred to here are David’s. David is relating his sinfulness to the very inception of his life—before birth. This indicates that the moral law of God was already present and operative in David in his prenatal state. Since Scripture attributes moral guilt to David as an unborn child, a strong likelihood exists that he was human before birth.

Luke 1:41, 44 also point to the humanness of the unborn child. John the Baptist is said to have “leaped” in Elizabeth’s womb “for joy” when Mary’s greeting was heard. John’s prenatal recognition of the presence of Mary, the mother of the divine Messiah, points to his spiritual and rational capacity in the unborn state. Appropriately, the term used to describe John in his prenatal state is brevfo" (“baby”), the Greek term used for a child before and after birth (cf. Luke 2:12, 16; 18:15 ; 2 Tim 3:15). Psalm 51:5 and Luke 1:41, 44 reflect the scriptural view that unborn children are spiritual, rational, moral beings. A baby, then, is “in the image of God” in the unborn state. Frame remarks, “There is nothing in Scripture that even remotely suggests that the unborn child is anything less than a human person from the moment of conception.”

One other argument which lends support to the humanness of the unborn baby is the traducian view of the origin of the soul. According to the creation theory of the origin of the soul, the soul of each human being is created by God and joined to the body at conception, birth, or sometime between. The major objection to this view is that sin must be imputed to each soul after its creation, or else God is creating a sinful being. According to the traducian (from the Latin traduco, “to transfer”) view, the soul as well as the material part of man is “transferred” by human generation. Thus the whole human race was potentially in Adam. This position is consistent with the scriptural view of the human race as a corporate unity (cf. Acts 17:26; Rom 5:12). The human race was seminally present in Adam and participated in his original sin (Rom 5:12; cf. Heb 7:9–10). The point here is that the soul is present in the unborn child. Since there is moral accountability in the prenatal state, the unborn child must be fully human.

Some feminists have suggested that a distinction between abortion and contraception is inappropriate, for the goal of both is the prevention of an unwanted birth. However, there is a considerable difference between contraception and abortion. Contraception tends to prevent the fertilization of the ovum by the sperm, neither of which alone can generate human life. Abortion, on the other hand, destroys what has already been conceived. In abortion a third party is involved—a unique individual whom God has made. Abortion is an insult to the creative work of God and a transgression against the very image of God in man.

Is Abortion Ever Justifiable?

Is abortion justifiable in the case of rape, incest, or deformity of the unborn child? While these are volatile and emotionally charged issues, they do not focus on the major problem facing America. Abortions in the United States for rape, incest, protection of the mother’s life, or voiding of a deformed fetus comprise less than 5 percent of all abortions. The rest of the abortions being done today are performed mainly for convenience—for purposes of birth control. While the real moral problem facing America is abortion “on demand,” these other difficult issues must be considered.

Rape

Surprisingly rape rarely results in pregnancy. A ten-year study in Minnesota showed that no pregnancies resulted from 3,500 cases of forcible rape. Conception can be prevented if the rape victim will seek treatment at a hospital immediately. But what if a pregnancy should occur? It is a strange sort of justice that allows an innocent child to be killed for the crime of its father. The baby would still be the mother’s own flesh and blood no matter who the father was. Aborting the baby does not end the trauma of the rape; it compounds the sin. One should consider this probing question, “If you found out today that you were the product of a rape, would you wish that your mother had aborted you?”

 

Incest

As in the case of rape, special counsel and care is essential for a pregnant victim of incest. But aborting the baby would further jeopardize the physical and emotional well-being of the victim. Abortions performed on young girls are unusually hazardous, and studies show that sterility is as high as 30 percent among women 15 to 17 years of age. As with rape, the child conceived by incest is a family member and should be cared for as such.

Protection

In the abortion controversy, most people think that “protecting the life of the mother” has to do with her physical well-being. Legally, however, the “protection of the mother” may include psychological, social, and economic considerations as well. C. Everett Koop, the present Surgeon General of the United States and a leading pediatric surgeon, has stated, “In my thirty-six years in pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life.” In the rare case where a pregnancy must be abbreviated to protect the life of the mother, the proper procedure would be to give the child extraordinary care with the hopes of bringing it to maturity.

Deformity

By examining a sample of the amniotic fluid in the womb (a process called “amniocentesis”), it is possible for a physician to determine if some deformity or defect is in the unborn child. If this test indicates that the child is deformed, should the child be aborted? When Moses questioned his own ability to speak to Pharaoh, God said, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exod 4:11). A sovereign God has the rightful authority to make some children “imperfect.” These children are special because, as with the man born blind (John 9:3), God can use these handicaps to His glory.

Christians must not minimize the gravity of rape, incest, possible deformity, or danger to the life of the mother due to pregnancy. These infrequent and rather unique situations must be handled with scriptural counsel and loving concern. But situationalism must not govern decision-making in the area of Christian ethics. God is the One who creates life in the womb, and only He has the right to take it (Deut 32:39; 1 Sam 2:6).

 

What Can Christians Do about Abortion?

Christians have a moral and ethical responsibility to do something about abortion (cf. Prov 24:11–14). Like the prophets of old, evangelical believers must cry out against social and moral injustices so prevalent today (cf. Isa 10:1–2; Jer 2:34–35; Ezek 22:3; Mic 3:9–10). Specifically, what can and should believers do about abortion?

Information

One of the biggest problems in the abortion issue is that most people do not know the facts about abortion. Thus the first thing that believers should do is become more informed on this important issue. Literature on abortion from a Christian perspective is available from the Christian Action Council (788 National Press Bldg., Washington, DC 20045). Most informed Christians will make a decision to be morally opposed to abortion.

Prayer

Concerned Christians should be praying that Congress will pass the Human Life Bill which would permit pro-life states to outlaw abortion. Many believers are praying for a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution so that unborn children can receive the same protection as other Americans. Prayer can influence state and national leaders to take a pro-life stand on the abortion issue.

Support

Christians should know the positions of their political candidates regarding abortion, and should support those who share their convictions regarding the value of unborn human life. At the same time, they should not support candidates who favor abortions or institutions that provide abortion services (e.g., health plans, charity funds, hospitals).

Counsel

In counseling someone with an untimely pregnancy, one may help save the life of an unborn baby. Many pregnant mothers need counseling, housing, and help in finding adoptive parents for their babies.


Compassion

The more one learns about abortion, the more he may become angry. But he must be compassionate in dealing with those who have had abortions. Christians should hate the sin, but share Christ’s love for the sinner (cf. Rom 5:8). Many women who have abortions are the victims of exploitation. They are exploited first by men who want sex without responsibility, and then by physicians who are primarily interested in profiting from the lucrative abortion industry. Often those who have had an abortion later become the most actively involved advocates for the unborn.

  


  
== Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society Abortion And Public Policy: A Response To Some Arguments
==

Francis J. Beckwith*

Francis J. Beckwith is lecturer in philosophy at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

In a recent article Virginia Ramey Mollenkott defends the proposition that the pro-choice position on abortion is more consistent with Christian ethics than the pro-life position. I define the pro-life position in the following way: Full humanness begins at conception, and hence the unborn child has a right to life unless his life must be forfeited in order to save the life of his mother, since it is better that one human should die rather than two. I define the pro-choice position in the following way: The woman who has conceived has an absolute right to terminate her pregnancy from the moment of conception until the ninth month of pregnancy for any reason she deems fit. Although some in both camps may not entirely agree with these definitions, in terms of the popular debate we observe on the evening news the definitions seem for the most part accurate.

My strategy in this paper is to respond to the pro-choice position by using Mollenkott’s article as my point of departure, although I will deal with arguments I believe Mollenkott alludes to but does not specifically present: (1) I will briefly deal with a number of popular arguments. (2) I will critique some philosophical arguments. (3) I will deal with some theological arguments. (4) I will concern myself with an argument against the public policy of prohibiting abortion-on-demand.

I. Popular Arguments

There are a number of popular arguments that are put forth by people in the pro-choice movement and that seem to be implied, although not specifically articulated, in Mollenkott’s article. Unfortunately the popular pro-life camp has not adequately responded to these arguments but has settled for putting forth arguments of similar logical weakness. Space does not permit me to cover all the pro-choice arguments, so I have selected the ones that seem to be the most popular and that the pastor or

 

 

Teacher will most likely face when questioned by the media at pro-life rallies.

1. Are you going to take care of the child after it is born? This bit of rhetoric can be distilled into the following assertion: Unless the pro-lifer is willing to help bring up the children she does not want aborted, she has no right to prevent a woman from having an abortion. As a principle of moral action, this seems to be a rather bizarre assertion. Think of all the unusual precepts that would result: Unless I am willing to marry my neighbor’s wife, I cannot prevent her husband from beating her; unless I am willing to adopt my neighbor’s daughter, I cannot prevent her mother from abusing her; unless I am willing to hire ex-slaves for my business, I cannot say that the slaveowner should not own slaves.

By illegitimately shifting the discussion from the morality of abortion to the moral character of the pro-lifer, this argument avoids the point at issue. Although a clever move, it has nothing to do with the validity of either the pro-life or pro-choice positions. In fact the argument commits the argumentum ad hominem fallacy, which occurs when one attacks the person who is defending an argument rather than the argument that the person is defending.

2. If abortion is made illegal, then we will return to the day of coat-hanger and back-alley abortions. This emotionally charged argument has little going for it logically. It commits the fallacy of begging the question, which occurs when one assumes what one is trying to prove. For if abortion results in the death of the unborn (and no one in the pro-choice camp denies this), this argument is successful only if the arguer assumes that the unborn are not fully human. But if the unborn are fully human, this argument is tantamount to saying that because people die while killing other persons the state should make it safe for them to do so. And since it is obvious that the pro-choice advocate by using this argument does not approve of the needless death of human persons, it follows that he cannot use this argument unless he assumes that the unborn are not fully human. Therefore only by assuming that legal abortion does not result in the needless death of human persons does the pro-choicer’s argument work. Hence the abortion question hinges on the status of the unborn, not on emotional and question-begging appeals to coat hangers and back alleys.

3. Prohibiting abortion will not prevent rich women from having abortions by traveling to countries where it is legal. This argument of course assumes either one of two things if abortion-on-demand is made illegal: (1) Abortion is a moral good that poor women will be denied and to which rich women will have access, or (2) childbirth is a moral burden that rich women can avoid but poor women will have foisted upon them. In any event, the argument is asserting that if abortion is made illegal there will be an unfair distribution of either goods or burdens. But since the morality of permitting abortion is the point under question, the arguer assumes what he is trying to prove and therefore begs the question. For would we not consider it bizarre if while debating over the morality and legality of snorting cocaine someone argued that cocaine should be legalized because if it remained illegal only rich people would be able to afford it and have privileged access to it? One is putting the cart before the horse when one appeals to the possible unfairness of not having equal access to abortion prior to sufficiently defending the view that possessing the choice to have an abortion is in fact a moral good. For this is the crux of the entire debate. In other words, the question of whether it is fair that certain rich people will have privileged access to abortion if it is made illegal must be answered after we answer the question of whether abortion is in fact the killing of an innocent human person. To bypass this question by appealing to fairness is simply silly.

4. Pro-lifers are trying to force their religious beliefs on others. Unfortunately, this argument is fueled by well-meaning Christian pro-lifers who argue strictly from the Bible. Although this may be helpful in convincing those in the Christian community, it is not very convincing for those outside it. In terms of political strategy it is not a good idea to give the appearance to the opposition that the basis of the pro-life position is strictly theological. For this reason I suggest that pro-life leaders put greater emphasis on philosophical and scientific arguments when engaging in public debate. In this way, by emphasizing that there is nontheological support for their position (and there is plenty), they will be able to undercut the pro-choicer’s intellectually irresponsible claim that the pro-life movement is trying to force its “religious” views on others.

The pro-life movement could then argue from the fact that just because a philosophically plausible position may also be found in religious literature, such as the Bible, that in itself does not make such a position exclusively religious. For if it did, then we would have to dispense with laws forbidding murder, robbery, and so forth, simply because such actions are prohibited by the God of the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures. Furthermore public policies, such as civil-rights legislation, elimination of nuclear testing, and increase of welfare, which are supported by many clergymen who find these policies in agreement with and supported by their doctrinal beliefs, would have to be abolished simply because they are believed by some to have religious support. Hence the pro-life position is a legitimate public-policy option and does not violate the separation of Church and state.

II. Philosophical Arguments

More sophisticated pro-choicers have fine-tuned their position by presenting more detailed philosophical arguments. For instance, Mollenkott begins her article by pointing out the perils of being a woman in today’s society. She cites the fact that even if a sexually active married woman uses the most effective contraceptives available, failure could occur and she could still get pregnant. She then asks: “How is a married woman able to plan schooling or commit herself to a career or vocation as long as her life is continually open to the disruption of unplanned pregnancies?” She concludes: “Unless, of course, she can fall back on an abortion when all else fails” (p. 269). I think it is reasonable to outline Mollenkott’s argument (A) in the following way: (1a) A woman’s schooling and career are of maximal importance. (2a) An unwanted pregnancy would prevent (1a). (3a) The only way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy after conception is to have an abortion. (4a) Therefore abortion is justified.

(1a) can be called into question. It does not seem obvious to me that anyone’s schooling and career, whether it be a man’s or a woman’s, are of maximal importance. For example, if a mother (or a father, for that matter) murders her five-year-old son because he interferes with her ability to advance in her occupation, we would consider such an act morally reprehensible. I am not saying that the termination of a pregnancy—that is, the killing of the unborn—is morally equivalent to murdering a child. Rather, I am merely pointing out that (la) is not obviously true. Therefore since (1a) is incorrect (A) is not a sound argument.

In order to strengthen her argument Mollenkott could rewrite (A) in the following way (B): (lb) A woman’s schooling and career are important relative to other moral goods (i.e. some moral goods are of greater and lesser value). (2b) A child is of greater value than a woman’s schooling and career. (3b) An unborn human is not of greater value than a woman’s schooling and career. (4b) An unwanted pregnancy can disrupt a woman’s schooling and career. (5b) Therefore abortion is justified.

The pro-life advocate does not agree with (3b), for she believes that the unborn human is just as much a part of the human family as a child. Of course Mollenkott disputes this point (p. 291), to which we will return below. The point I am trying to make, however, is that (B) stands or falls on Mollenkott’s ability to show the plausibility of (3b), which really is based on the assumed proposition (3b1): The unborn human is not a person. Hence the argument from a woman’s schooling and career is superfluous without (3b1) being plausible.

This brings us to Mollenkott’s defense of (3b1), her arguments against the personhood of the unborn.

Kay Coles James of the National Right to Life Committee claimed that fetal personhood is a biological fact rather than a theological perception. But in all truthfulness, the most that biology can claim is that the fetus is genetically human, in the same way that a severed human hand or foot or other body part is human. The issue of personhood is one that must be addressed through religious reasoning. Hence, the Lutheran Church in America makes “a qualitative distinction” between the claims of the fetus and “the rights of a responsible person made in God’s image who is in living relationships with God and other human beings.” Except in the most materialistic of philosophies, human personhood has a great deal to do with feelings, awareness, and interactive experience. There are actually two arguments in the above quotation. The first goes something like this (C): (1c) Unborn humans are genetically human. (2c) Severed limbs and body parts are genetically human. (3c) Therefore genetic humanness cannot be a criterion of personhood.

The problem with this argument is that it shows a gross misunderstanding of the pro-life position and probably commits the informal fallacy of equivocation. (1) When a pro-life advocate argues for the unborn’s personhood from its genetic code, he is not arguing that anything at all with a human genetic code is a person. Nobody defends such an absurdity. Rather, he is arguing that the unborn human is a living human organism in a certain stage of development. And we know this organism to be such an entity because it has, among other characteristics, a human genetic code. In other words, possessing a human genetic code is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for human personhood. (2) It seems that the phrase “genetically human” has a different meaning in (1c) than in (2c). In (1c) a fetus in utero is genetically human in the sense that it is a living and developing organism that is part of the human family. On the other hand, a severed limb is obviously a dead part of a former or current living and developing organism and is only genetically human insofar as it possesses the identical genetic code of its owner. No severed limb ever developed into a basketball star, a pianist, or a philosopher, but every basketball star, pianist and philosopher was at one stage in her development an unborn human with a unique human genetic code. Therefore because (C) equivocates on the phrase “genetic code” it is logically fallacious.

Let us now turn to Mollenkott’s second argument, which I believe is the cornerstone of her position. A more detailed presentation of a similar argument is presented by philosopher Mary Anne Warren. I believe that the following outline of Mollenkott’s argument, however, adequately represents Warren’s position also (D): (1d) A person can be defined as a living being with feelings, awareness, and interactive experience (I assume she means some sort of consciousness). (2d) A fetus does not possess the characteristics of a person in (1d). (3d) Therefore a fetus does not possess personhood.

This seems to be the pro-abortionist’s strongest argument. Nevertheless I believe that it has several flaws. (1d) can be questioned on both philosophical and theological grounds. Concerning the former, several points can be made.

(1) It does not seem to follow from the assumption that an unborn human is not a person that abortion is always morally justified. Jane English has pointed out that “non-persons do get some consideration in our moral code, though of course they do not have the same rights as persons have (and in general they do not have moral responsibilities), and though their interests may be overridden by the interests of persons.

JETS 32/4 (December 1989) 508

Still, we cannot just treat them in any way at all.” English goes on to write that we consider it morally wrong to torture beings that are non-persons, such as dogs or birds, although we do not say that these beings have the same rights as persons. And though she considers it problematic as to how we are to decide what one may or may not do to nonpersons, she nevertheless draws the conclusion that “if our moral rules allowed people to treat some person-like non-persons in ways we do not want people to be treated, this would undermine the system of sympathies and attitudes that makes the ethical system work.” Based on this reasoning, English makes the important observation that “a fetus one week before birth is so much like a newborn baby in our psychological space that we cannot allow any cavalier treatment of the former while expecting full sympathy and nurturative support for the latter.” She agrees that “an early horror story from New York about nurses who were expected to alternate between caring for six-week premature infants and disposing of viable 24-week aborted fetuses is just that—a horror story. These beings are so much alike that no one can be asked to draw a distinction and treat them so very differently.”

(2) One can question Mollenkott as to why one must accept a functional definition of personhood to exclude the unborn. It is not obvious that functional definitions always succeed. For example, when Larry Bird is kissing his wife does he cease to be a basketball player because he is not functioning as one? Of course not. He does not become a basketball player when he functions as a basketball player. Rather, he functions as a basketball player because he is a basketball player. Similarly when a person is asleep, unconscious or comatose he is not functioning as a person as defined in (1d), but nevertheless no reasonable person would say that this individual is not a person while in this state. Therefore since a person functions as a person because she is a person and is not a person because she functions as a person, defining personhood in terms of function seems inadequate.

Of course the pro-abortionist may want to argue that the analogy between sleeping/unconscious/comatose persons and the unborn breaks down because the former possess the capacity to function as persons while the latter only possess the potential to function as persons. Although the pro-abortionist makes an important point, he nevertheless begs the question as to the personhood of the unborn—that is, he assumes that a functional definition is correct, which is the very issue under question. For the pro-lifer could simply respond by pointing out that precisely because the unborn human has the capacity to have the capacity to function as a person, she should be regarded as an actual person at a particular stage of development whose life is significant and worth protecting. In other words, the very essence of humanness that the unborn

JETS 32/4 (December 1989) 509

now possesses is the reason why in the near future this individual can fully function as a person (of course as the fetus matures its functional capacity increases).

In order to give a positive philosophical ground to the above notion, the following is offered. In a recent critique of James Rachels’ position on euthanasia, philosopher J.P. Moreland discusses Rachels’ distinction between biographical and biological life. This distinction roughly corresponds to Mollenkott’s distinction between person and human being. According to Moreland, Rachels argues that “the mere fact that something has biological life … whether human or non-human, is relatively unimportant.” It is biographical life that is important. Quoting Rachels, Moreland writes that one’s biographical life is “‘the sum of one’s aspirations, decisions, activities, projects, and human relationships.’” For Mollenkott a person can be defined as a living being with feelings, awareness and interactive experience. Hence it seems reasonable to assert that Mollenkott would agree with Rachels that a person is a living being who possesses biographical life, and the unborn are therefore not persons.

In response to Rachels, Moreland argues that “his understanding of biographical life, far from rendering biological life morally insignificant, presupposes the importance of biological life.” That is to say, an unborn human being develops into a functioning person precisely because of what it essentially is. Employing the Aristotelian/Thomistic notion of secondary substance (natural kind, essence), Moreland points out that “it is because an entity has an essence and falls within a natural kind that it can possess a unity of dispositions, capacities, parts and properties at a given time and can maintain identity through change.” Moreover “it is the natural kind that determines what kinds of activities are appropriate and natural for that entity.” Moreland goes on to write:

Further, an organism qua essentially characterized particulars has second-order capacities to have first-order capacities that may or may not obtain (through some sort of lack). These second-order capacities are grounded in the nature of the organism. For example, a child may not have the first-order capacity to speak English due to a lack of education. But because the child has humanness it has the capacity to develop the capacity to speak English. The very idea of a defect presupposes these second-order capacities. Now the natural kind “human being” or “human person” (I do not distinguish between these) is not to be understood as a mere biological concept. It is a metaphysical concept that grounds both biological functions and moral intuitions … In sum, if we ask why biographical life is both possible and morally important, the answer will be that such a life is grounded in the kind of entity, a human person in this case, that typically can have that life.

JETS 32/4 (December 1989) 510

Along the same lines, A. Chadwick Ray has made the observation that the view of human person as a natural kind rather than as an emergent property of a human organism is more consistent with our general moral intuitions. For “the recognition of the rights of the young is less dependent on their actual, current capacities than on their species and potential.” For example, no one doubts that day-old human children have fewer actual capacities than day-old calves. Human infants, in terms of environmental awareness, mobility, and so forth are rather unimpressive in comparison to the calves, especially if one calculates their ages from conception. But this comparison does not persuade us in believing that the calves have greater intrinsic worth and an inherent right to life. For if human infants were sold to butchers (let us suppose for the high market value of their body parts) in the same way that farmers sell calves to humane butchers, we would find such a practice deeply disturbing. Yet if intrinsic worth is really contingent upon current capacities, we should have no problem with the selling of human infants to butchers. But Ray points out why we do find such a practice morally repugnant: “The wrongness would consist not merely in ignoring the interest that society might have in the children, but in violating the children’s own rights. Yet if those rights are grounded in current capacities alone, the calves should enjoy at least the same moral status as the children, and probably higher status.” What follows is that “the difference in status is plausibly explained … only with reference to the children’s humanity, their natural kind.”

Therefore since the functions of personhood (first-order capacities) are grounded in the essential nature of humanness (second-order capacities), it follows that the unborn are human persons of great worth and should be treated with the utmost in human dignity. No doubt much more can be said about the problem of what constitutes personhood, but what is important in this immediate discussion is that we have seen that a functional definition of personhood is riddled with serious problems and that the pro-life advocate has been given no compelling reason to dispense with his belief that the unborn are human persons. In fact there are plausible arguments for the human personhood of the unborn (e.g. arguments by Moreland and Ray).

Since Mollenkott is arguing that her position is consistent with Christian theism, (1d) can also be questioned on theological grounds. Although Mollenkott writes that the Bible does not speak about abortion, her claim is simply untrue if one recognizes that the Bible’s statements on some other matters can be used to draw an inference consistent with a pro-life position. For instance the Bible teaches that individuals such as Jeremiah,

JETS 32/4 (December 1989) 511

David, Jesus and John the Baptist were referred to as persons prior to their births. Appealing to the fact that God could be speaking in terms of his foreknowledge, as some pro-choice advocates may, is both textually unwarranted and question-begging. Mollenkott makes the rather stupendous claim that “nowhere does the Bible prohibit abortion” (p. 291). In one sense she is correct: Just as the Bible does not forbid murdering people with submachine guns, the Bible does not forbid abortion. But since one can infer that murdering persons with submachine guns is wrong from the fact that the Bible forbids murdering in general, one can also infer that the Bible teaches that abortion is not justified from the fact that the Bible treats certain unborn beings as persons and forbids the murdering of persons in general. If one accepts Mollenkott’s hermeneuti-cal principle that whatever the Bible does not specifically mention it does not forbid, one would be in the horrible position of sanctioning everything from slavery to nuclear warfare to computer vandalism.

III. Theological Arguments

Mollenkott repeats an argument she had presented at a national gathering of scholars. She basically argues that because God created us as free moral agents, to use public policy to make abortion illegal would be to rob the pregnant woman of the opportunity to be a responsible moral agent. Mollenkott’s argument can be put in the following form (E): (le) God created human persons as free moral agents. (2e) Any public policy that limits free moral agency is against God’s will. (3e) Public policy forbidding abortion would limit the free moral agency of the pregnant woman. (4e) Therefore forbidding abortion is against God’s will.

The problem with this argument lies with (2e). It does not seem obvious that “any public policy that limits free moral agency is against God’s will.” For example, laws against drunk driving, murdering, smoking crack, robbery, and child molesting are all intended to limit free moral agency, yet it seems counter-intuitive—not to mention un-Biblical—to assert that God does not approve of these laws. And the reason why such laws are instituted is because the acts they are intended to limit often obstruct the free agency of other human persons (e.g. a person killed by a drunk driver is prevented from exercising his free agency). Hence it would seem consistent with Biblical faith to say that God probably approves of a public policy that seeks to maintain a just and orderly society by limiting some free moral agency (e.g. drunk driving, murdering, etc.), which in the long run increases free moral agency for a greater number (e.g. less people will be killed by drunk drivers and murderers, and hence there will be a greater number who will be able to act as free moral agents). In fact Mollenkott herself advocates public policy that limits the moral free agency of those who do not believe it is their moral obligation to use their tax dollars to help the poor pay for abortions. She believes that “if Christians truly care about justice for women” we will “work to assure the availability of legal, medically safe abortion services for those who need them—including the public funding without which the impoverished women cannot exert their creative responsibility” (p. 293).

From our analysis of (E) it seems clear that only if the act of abortion does not limit the free agency of another would a law forbidding abortions unjustly limit free moral agency. In our analysis of argument (D), however, we saw that there are good reasons to think of the unborn as human persons. Hence a public policy forbidding abortions would not be against the will of God as Mollenkott defines it.

Mollenkott puts forth a second theological argument, which was originally presented by an assistant district attorney at the national gathering of scholars I mentioned earlier. It is popular among Biblical scholars. Mollenkott’s argument can be put in the following outline (F): (1f) In Exodus 21 a person who murders a pregnant woman is given the death penalty. (2f) In Exodus 21 a person who murders an unborn human is only fined for the crime. (3f) Therefore Exodus 21 teaches both that the pregnant woman is of greater value than the unborn human she carries and that the unborn human does not have the status of a person. (4f) Therefore abortion is justified.

This argument can be criticized on three counts. (1) Assuming that Mollenkott’s interpretation of Exodus 21 is correct, does it logically follow that abortion-on-demand is morally justified? After all, the passage is saying that the unborn are worth something. In stark contrast, contemporary abortionists seem to be saying that the unborn are worth only the value that their mothers place on them. Hence Exodus 21 does not seem to support the subjectively grounded value of the unborn assumed by the pro-choice movement. Furthermore even if Mollenkott is correct Exodus 21 is not teaching that the pregnant woman can willfully kill the human contents of her womb. It is merely teaching that there is a lesser penalty for killing an unborn human than there is for killing her mother. To move from this truth to the conclusion that abortion-on-demand is justified is a non sequitur. So I do not see how saying that the unborn are not worth as much as the born justifies contemporary abortion-on-demand.

(2) One can also raise the more general hermeneutical question, as John Warwick Montgomery has pointed out, “as to whether a statement of penalty in the legislation God gave to ancient Israel ought to establish the context of interpretation for the total biblical attitude to the value of the unborn child (including not only specific and non-phenomenological Old Testament assertions such as Ps. 51:5, but the general New Testament valuation of the brephos, as illustrated especially in Luke 1:41, 44).” Montgomery goes on to ask: “Should a passage such as Exod. 21 properly outweigh the analogy of the Incarnation itself, in which God became man at the moment when ‘conception by the Holy Ghost’ occurred—not at a later time as the universally condemned and heretical adoptionists alleged?” The point is that if Mollenkott is indeed correct in her interpretation of Exodus 21 she still has to deal with the grander context of Scripture itself, which does seem in other texts to treat the unborn as persons (see n. 15).

(3) Although she casually dispenses with interpretations of Exodus 21 that do not agree with her own, I believe that one can show at most that (2f) is false—or at least that there is no scholarly consensus as to whether it is true. Let us first take a look at Exod 21:22-25 (RSV):

When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

The ambiguity of this passage is sufficient to neatly divide commentators into two camps. One camp, in which Mollenkott belongs, holds that the passage is teaching that the woman and the unborn child are of different value. According to this group the passage is saying that if a fetus is accidentally killed there is only a fine, but if the pregnant woman is accidentally killed it is a much more serious offense. Therefore the death of the fetus is not considered the same as the death of a person. Some translations interpret the verse in this way (JB):

If, when men come to blows, they hurt a woman who is pregnant and she suffers a miscarriage, though she does not die of it, the man responsible must pay the compensation demanded of him by the woman’s master; he shall hand it over, after arbitration. But should she die, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, strike for strike.


This interpretation, however, has been called into question by many critics. They argue that the JB translation and others like it (e.g. TEV) are a mistranslation and that the passage is really saying (in the Hebrew) that the mother and the unborn are to receive equal judicial treatment—that is, the mother and the unborn are both covered by the lex talionis (law of retribution). One such critic is Umberto Cassuto, who offers the following interpretation:

The statute commences, And when men strive together, etc., in order to give an example of accidental injury to a pregnant woman, and… the law presents the case realistically. Details follow: and they hurt unintentionally a woman with child—the sense is, that one of the combatants, whichever of them it be (for this reason the verb translated “and they hurt” is in the plural) is responsible—and her children come forth (i.e., there is a miscarriage) on account of the hurt she suffers (irrespective of the nature of the fetus, be it male or female, one or two; hence here, too, there is a generic plural as in the case of the verb “they hurt”), but no mischief happens—that is, the woman and the children do not die—the one who hurt her shall surely be punished by a fine, according as the woman’s husband shall lay—impose—the special circumstances of the accident; and he who caused the hurt shall pay the amount of the fine to the woman’s husband with judges, in accordance with the decision of the court that will confirm the husband’s claim and compel the offender to pay compensation, for it is impossible to leave the determination of the amount of the fine to the husband, and, on the other hand, it is not within the husband’s power to compel the assailant to pay if he refuses. But if any mischief happen, that is, if the woman dies or the children die, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, etc.: you, O judge (or you, O Israel, through the judge who represents you) shall adopt the principle of “life for life,” etc.

Gleason Archer points out that a major reason why Cassuto’s rendering is an appropriate interpretation is because the portion of the Hebrew translated in the NASB as “so that she has a miscarriage” (we†ya„s»áu‚ye†le‚ha„) does not necessarily entail the death of the unborn but can also mean the expulsion of a premature infant from his mother’s womb regardless of whether his expulsion results in death. Hence Exodus 21 is saying that if the incident in question results in only a premature birth, the perpetrator should be fined. If, however, “harm follows” (that is, if either the mother or the child is injured or killed), the same should be inflicted upon the perpetrator.

In summary, since the interpretation of Exod 21:22-25 is at best divided, and since the Bible’s larger context teaches that the unborn are persons (see n. 15), it is not a good idea to have one’s case for abortion hinge on such a dubious passage.

Mollenkott’s third theological argument attempts to show that the pregnant woman has no moral obligation to carry her fetus to term. Unlike the other arguments we have analyzed, it seems that the soundness of this one does not depend on whether the unborn are persons. Mollenkott argues that childbirth is an act that is not morally obligatory on the part of the mother, since it is statistically more dangerous than abortion. This is a theological argument because she attempts to ground her argument in Scripture by arguing that Jesus asserted that risking one’s life constituted exceptional love, not obligatory love (see John 15:13). Hence one is not obligated to carry the fetus to term since childbirth would be an act of exceptional love and is therefore not morally obligatory. Mollenkott’s argument can be put in the following way (G): (lg) Among moral acts one is not morally obligated to perform are those that can endanger one’s life (e.g. the man who dove into the Potomac in the middle of winter to save the survivors of a plane crash). (2g) Childbirth is more life-threatening than having an abortion. (3g) Therefore childbirth is an act one is not morally obligated to perform. (4g) Therefore abortion is justified.

The problem with (G) lies in the inference from (2g) to (3g). (1) Assuming that childbirth is on the average more life-threatening than abortion, it does not follow that abortion is justified in every case. For example, it is probably on the average less life-threatening to stay at home than to leave home and buy groceries (e.g. one can be killed in a car crash, purchase and take tainted Tylenol, or be murdered by a mugger). Yet it seems foolish, not to mention counter-intuitive, to always act in every instance on the basis of that average. This is a form of the informal fallacy of division, which occurs when someone erroneously argues that what is true of a whole must also be true of its parts. One would commit this fallacy if one argued that because Beverly Hills is a wealthy city everyone who lives in Beverly Hills is wealthy. In order to avoid this fallacy, Mollenkott could change (G) in the following way (H): (1h) Among moral acts one is not morally obligated to perform are those that can endanger one’s life. (2h) A particular instance of childbirth, X, is more life-threatening to the pregnant woman than having an abortion. (3h) Therefore X is an act one is not morally obligated to perform. (4h) Therefore not-X via abortion is justified.

Although it avoids the fallacy (G) commits, (H) does not support Mollenkott’s position on abortion. In fact it is perfectly consistent with the pro-life assertion that abortion is justified if it is employed in order to save the life of the mother. Therefore whether abortion is statistically safer than childbirth is irrelevant to whether abortion is justified in particular cases where sound medical diagnosis indicates that childbirth will pose no threat to the mother’s life.

(2) One can also challenge the inference from (2g) to (3g) by pointing out that just because an act X is “more dangerous” relative to another act Y does not mean that one is not morally obligated to perform X. For example, it would be statistically “more dangerous” for me to dive into a swimming pool to save my wife from drowning than it would be for me to abstain from acting. Yet this does not mean that I am not morally obligated to save my wife’s life. Sometimes my moral obligation is such that it outweighs the relative danger I avoid by not acting. One could then argue that although childbirth may be “more dangerous” than abortion, the special moral obligation one has to one’s offspring far outweighs the relative danger one avoids by not acting on that moral obligation.

(3) One can challenge (2g) on empirical grounds. David C. Reardon points out that claims that abortion is safer than childbirth are based on dubious statistical studies, simply because “accurate statistics are scarce because the reporting of complications is almost entirely at the option of abortion providers. In other words, abortionists are in the privileged position of being able to hide any information which might damage their reputation or trade.” And since “federal court rulings have sheltered the practice of abortion in a ‘zone of privacy’,” therefore “any laws which attempt to require that deaths and complications resulting from abortion are recorded, much less reported, are unconstitutional.” This means that the “only information available on abortion complications is the result of data which is voluntarily reported.” From these and other factors Reardon concludes that

complication records from outpatient clinics are virtually inaccessible, or non-existent, even though these clinics provide the vast majority of all abortions. Even in Britain where reporting requirements are much better than the United States, medical experts believe that less than 10 percent of abortion complications are actually reported to government health agencies.

Reardon’s study indicates that it may be more true to say that the opposite of (2g) is the case—namely, that abortion is more dangerous than childbirth. His work deals with the physical risks and psychological impact of abortion in addition to the impact of abortion on later children.

He concludes that the harm caused by abortion to the woman and her children is grossly understated by pro-choice advocates.

In conclusion, although I am sure that there are other ways to attack (G) I believe that this analysis is sufficient to show that it is not a compelling theological argument for the pro-choice position.

IV. Argument Against A Public Policy Forbidding Abortion

The final argument we will analyze is Mollenkott’s argument that it is not wise to make a public policy decision in one direction when there is wide diversity of opinion within society. This argument can be outlined in the following form (I): (1i) There can never be a just law requiring uniformity of behavior on any issue X on which there is widespread disagreement. (2i) There is widespread disagreement on the issue of forbidding abortion-on-demand. (3i) Therefore any law that forbids people to have abortions is unjust.

The only way to successfully attack this argument is to show that (1i) is false. There are several reasons to believe this is the case. (1) If (1i) is true, then the United States Supreme Court’s abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, is an unjust decision. The court ruled that the states that make up the United States, whose statutes prior to the ruling widely disagreed on the abortion issue, must behave uniformly in accordance with the Court’s decision. (2) If (1i) is true, then the abolition of slavery was unjust because there was a widespread disagreement of opinion among Americans in the nineteenth century. Yet nobody would say that slavery should have remained as an institution. (3) If (1i) is true, then much of civil rights legislation, about which there was much disagreement, would be unjust. (4) If (1i) is true, Mollenkott’s own public policy proposal is unjust. She believes that the state should use the tax dollars of the American people to fund the abortions of poor women (p. 293). There are large numbers of Americans, however, some of whom are pro-choice, who do not want their tax dollars used in this way. (5) If (1i) is true, then laws forbidding pro-life advocates from preventing their unborn neighbors from being aborted would be unjust (one cannot say that there is not widespread disagreement concerning this issue). But these are the very laws Mollenkott defends. Hence her argument is self-refuting.

Maybe Mollenkott is making the more subtle point that because there is widespread disagreement on the abortion issue enforcement of any laws prohibiting abortion would be difficult. Pro-life advocates do not deny that this may initially be the case. They believe, however, that the changing of the law itself will help create a climate of opinion in which people’s attitudes concerning abortion will become more sympathetic toward the pro-life position, just as public opinion became more sympathetic toward the pro-choice position after abortion was legalized. For the function of law is not always to reflect the attitudes and behavior of society. Sometimes laws “are also a mechanism by which people are encouraged to do what they know is right, even when it is difficult to do so.” Reardon points out that “studies in the psychology of morality reveal that the law is truly the teacher. One of the most significant conclusions of these studies shows that existing laws and customs are the most important criteria for deciding what is right or wrong for most adults in a given culture.” Citing legal philosopher John Finnis, Bernard Nathanson writes that “sometimes the law is ahead of public morality. Laws against dueling and racial bias preceded popular support for these attitudes.”

There is no doubt that the problem of enforcing laws prohibiting abortion is extremely important and complex, but a detailed analysis of this problem falls outside the scope of this paper. In my analysis of (I) my intention was merely to show that (1i) is false, which I believe is necessary prior to discussing the public policy question. I believe that I have been successful.


Bibliotheca Sacra Abortion: Logical and Theological Considerations


Keith Moore

Pastor, Grace Church

Randleman, North Carolina

In an issue that is dividing the heart and soul of America, two words that could change the outcome are seldom used. Those words are “unborn baby.” In place of those words, other phrases are used, including “potential life,” “product of conception,” and “mass of protoplasm.” Precise language is crucial, especially when life is at stake.

In the abortion debate, the phrase “unborn baby” must be used to avoid personal and national tragedy. Is “unborn baby” an accurate description? Is it based on solid scientific and biological evidence?

L. B. Arey, in his classic work, Development Anatomy: A Textbook and Laboratory Manual of Embryology, offers this observation:

By the time a baby is eighteen to twenty-five days old, long before the mother is sure that she is pregnant, the heart is already beating. At forty-five days after conception, you can pick up electroencephalographic waves from the baby’s developing brain. At eight weeks, there is a brain. By the ninth and tenth weeks, the thyroid and the adrenal glands are functioning. The baby can squint, swallow, move his tongue and the sex hormones are already present. By twelve weeks the fingerprints on the hands have already formed and except for size, will never change. At thirteen weeks, he has fingernails, he sucks his thumb, and he can recoil from pain.

Arey then adds,

In the fourth month the growing baby is eight to ten inches long. In the fifth month there is a time of lengthening and strengthening of the developing infant. Skin, hair, and nails grow. Sweat glands arise. Oil glands excrete. This is the month in which the movements of the infant are felt by his mother. In the sixth month the developing baby responds to light and to sound. He can sleep and awake. He gets hiccups and can hear the beat of his mother’s heart. Survival outside the womb is now possible. In the seventh month the nervous system becomes much more complex, the infant is sixteen inches long and weighs about three pounds. In the eighth and ninth months there is a time of fattening and of continued growth.

Arey’s book was published in 1965 and in the last 25 years, advances have been made in the survival rate of younger “preemies.”

Keith L. Moore, professor of anatomy at the University of Toronto, states, “Human development is a continuous process that begins when an ovum from a female is fertilized by a sperm from a male.”

In 1981 the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held hearings on the issue of when life begins. Pro-abortionists, though invited to do so, failed to produce even one expert witness who would specifically testify that life begins at any point other than conception or implantation. Typical of the majority of those who testified was Jerome LeJuene, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris. He asked, “When does life begin?” He answered,

I will try to give the most precise answer to that question actually available to science…. Life has a very long history, but each individual has a very neat beginning, the moment of its conception…. To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being, conception to old age, is not a metaphysical contention; it is plain experimental evidence.

MacIntyre calls today’s culture an emotive society. Emotivism is the belief that all moral judgments are nothing but expressions of preference, attitude, or feeling. When one affirms that abortion kills an unborn baby, the reply is, “That is your point of view. This is a private matter of conscience and in a pluralistic society people must be free to follow their consciences.” Meehan suggests that perhaps many of those who argue this point “do not know that an eight-week-old fetus has a fully human form.” At the subcommittee hearing, Hymie Gordon, chairman of the Department of Medical Genetics at the Mayo Clinic, stated, “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

Also the psychological aspect of the unborn is often ignored. Obstetricians have heard complaints from pregnant patients about their unborn babies reacting noticeably to music. Albert Liley, “the father of fetology,” and his research team “found that from the twenty-fifth week on, a fetus will literally jump in rhythm to the beat of an orchestra drum.”

Observations from science demand the phrase “unborn baby.” C. Everett Koop, former U. S. Surgeon General, reasons as follows:

I do not know anyone among my medical confreres, no matter how pro-abortion he might be, who would kill a newborn baby the minute he was born…. My question…is this: “Would you kill this infant a minute before he was born, or a minute before that, or a minute before that…. At what minute can one consider life to be worthless and the next minute consider that same life to be precious? So much for logic.

If science demands the phrase “unborn baby,” why is it not used? The answer is that many people begin with an incorrect premise and then build logical-sounding arguments, which fail to convince.

“If abortion is made illegal, we will return to the day of coat-hanger and back-alley abortions.” This argument commits the fallacy of begging the question. It assumes what it must try to prove. If abortion results in the death of the unborn, this argument is successful only if the arguer assumes that the unborn are not fully human. But if the unborn are fully human, this argument is saying that because people die while killing other persons, the state should make it safe for them to do so. A pro-choice advocate would not approve of the needless death of human persons; therefore he should not use this argument unless he assumes that the unborn are not fully human.

“Prohibiting abortion will not prevent rich women from having abortions by traveling to countries where it is legal.” This argument moves the focus from the point under question, the morality of abortion, to the unfairness of not having equal access. Should one therefore argue that cocaine should be legalized because the rich have more means for obtaining it than the poor? Obviously this is bizarre reasoning. "Pro-lifers are trying to force their religious beliefs on others.” That a philosophically legitimate position may also be found in religious literature, such as the Bible, does not make such a position exclusively religious. If it did nations should dispense with laws forbidding murder and robbery because such actions are prohibited by the God of the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures. Public policies, such as civil-rights legislation and increase of welfare, would have to be abolished because they are believed by some to have religious support. Therefore the pro-life position is a fair and reasonable public-policy option and does not violate the separation of church and state.

“A person must be defined as a living being with feelings, awareness, and interactive experience. A fetus does not possess these characteristics. Therefore a fetus does not possess personhood.” This seems to be the pro-abortionists’ strongest argument. Yet it has at least two flaws.

First, the pro-choice assumption that an unborn human is not a person does not mean that abortion is morally justified. It is considered morally wrong to torture nonhuman beings such as dogs. If one accepts the premise that an unborn baby is a nonperson, one must still ask why this living nonperson gets no consideration in society.

Second, must one accept a functional definition of personhood? When a basketball player, for example, is kissing his wife, does he cease to be a basketball player because he is not functioning as one? Does a woman lose her personhood when she is asleep, unconscious, or comatose? Defining personhood in terms of function (feelings, awareness, experience) is inadequate.

No wonder Meehan said, “The abortion issue, more than most, illustrates the occasional tendency of the left to become so enthusiastic over what is called a ‘reform’ that it forgets to think the issue through.” The antiabortion position has been given no convincing reason to doubt the premise that the unborn are human persons.


 
A Critical Appraisal of Theological Arguments for Abortion Rights

Francis J. Beckwith

Lecturer of Philosophy

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada

Many people in the pro-life movement are Christians. They rightly assume that the Bible condemns abortion. However, because this biblical assumption has not been, for the most part, defended with great rigor, and those who defend it tend to ignore objections to their exegesis, some people, who claim to be within the Christian tradition, are making an unchallenged defense of abortion rights by appealing to the Scriptures. They argue either that the Bible does not specifically condemn abortion or that the Bible actually supports the pro-choice position. The purpose of this article is to respond to those who employ these arguments.

Pro-Choice Argument That the Bible Does Not Specifically Forbid Abortion

Some people, such as Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, claim that “nowhere does the Bible prohibit abortion.” This claim is simply untrue if one recognizes that the Bible’s statements on some other matters can be used to draw an inference that is consistent with the pro-life position. For instance it is clearly taught in the Bible that murder—the unjustified killing of a human being—is wrong (Exod 20:13). And it follows logically from this that if the Bible teaches that the unborn are fully human, then it would be morally wrong to kill the unborn. So the real question is whether the Bible teaches that the unborn are fully human, not whether the Bible mentions or directly prohibits abortion. The following passages show that the Bible clearly teaches the full humanity of the unborn, though it is not an exhaustive list.

Personal Language Applied to the Conceptus

A number of passages in the Bible apply personal language to the unborn from conception. Genesis 4:1 reads, “Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain.” Commenting on this passage, Davis has observed that “the writer’s interest in Cain extends back beyond his birth, to his conception. That is when his personal history begins. The individual conceived and the individual born are one and the same, namely, Cain.” What follows from this is that Cain’s “conception, birth, and postnatal life form a natural continuum, with the God of the covenant involved at every stage.”

Job said, “Let the day perish on which I was to be born, and the night which said, ‘A boy [rb#g*] is conceived’“ (Job 3:3). This passage connects the individual born with the individual conceived. “Job traces his personal history back beyond his birth to the night of conception. The process of conception is described by the biblical writer in personal terms. There is no abstract language of the ‘product of conception,’ but the concrete language of humanity.” It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word rb#G# is translated as “boy” and specifically applied to the unborn, although it is usually used to describe postnatal humans and is usually translated “male,” “man,” or “husband” (see Pss. 34:8 ; 52:7 ; 94:12 ; Prov 6:34).

Another passage, Psalm 51:5, states, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” This verse too indicates that one’s existence begins with conception.

The Unborn are Called “Children”

The Bible refers to the unborn in the same way it refers to infants and young children. In Luke 1:41, 44 the word “baby” (brevfo") is applied to the unborn: “And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit…. ‘For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.’“ Compare this with Luke 2:12, 16 where the infant Jesus is called a “baby” (brevfo"): “‘And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.’ …And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.”

The Unborn Are Known by God in a Personal Way

A number of biblical passages are clear on this point.

“For thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them” (Ps 139:13–16).

“Listen to Me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called Me from the womb; from the body of My mother He named Me” (Isa 49:1).

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5).

“Then the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman, and said to her, ‘Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but shall conceive and give birth to a son.’…Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, ‘A man of God came to me and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome…. But he said to me, “Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and now you shall not drink wine or strong drink nor eat any unclean thing, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death”’“ (Judg 13:3, 6–7, italics added).

Some authors, including Robert Wennberg, have questioned the use of many of these passages to establish the full humanity of the unborn. Though he makes valid points concerning some passages, which should provoke pro-lifers to clarify their exegesis, Wennberg tries to rob the right-to-lifer’s biblical case of its strength by a hermeneutical sleight-of-hand. First, concerning those passages that use personal language to describe the unborn, Wennberg writes that “such references designate individuals not only before birth but before conception…and so they are not really to the point.” One problem with this criticism is that it is not applicable to all such passages, for some do speak of personal existence beginning at conception (e.g., Gen 4:1 and Job 3:3).

Another problem is that these passages do not claim that the persons in question existed before their conception, but rather, that God knew them or had plans for them before conception. This is certainly possible for an eternal God, who knows all things simultaneously (Job 28:24; Ps 147:5; Isa 41:21–24; 46:10 ) and is not bound by time or space (Ps 90:2; Isa 40:28; 43:12b–13 ; 57:15a ), since He is the Creator of time and space (Acts 17:25; Col 1:16–17; Heb 11:3; Rev 4:11). That is, it is possible for him to know every person before he or she is conceived. Such foreknowledge prior to conception cannot be cited to explain away conception as the beginning of personal existence. Nor can God’s foreknowledge rightly be used to explain away personal existence being attributed to prenatal life when certain passages specifically state that a certain individual either has personally existed from conception (e.g., Gen 4:1) or has personally existed before birth (e.g., Jer 1:5; Ps 139:13–16; Luke 1:41–44). Moreover, the word “conception,” or “to conceive,” implies a genesis or a beginning, such as when one says, “This is the finest idea he ever conceived.” Hence when the Bible speaks of God knowing a person before his conception, it is making an epistemological claim (a knowledge claim), not an ontological claim (a being claim). In light of these clarifications, the burden of proof is on Wennberg to show why the more simple and natural interpretation of the above passages should be given up.

Wennberg puts forth a second argument.

Extending our examination, it would be a mistake to argue that since it was David who was being formed [or “brought forth” in NASB] in his mother’s womb (Ps 51:5) it must therefore have been David the person who was in his mother’s womb. That would be to confuse “formation/creation” of a thing with the “completion/existence” of that thing. The fact is that an entity can be on the way to becoming a particular thing without it being that thing. It is quite natural for us to refer to what is in the process of becoming (the zygote or fetus in a Semite woman’s womb) in terms of what it will eventually become (a King David), but we are not then speaking with technical accuracy. If a butterfly is being formed in a cocoon, it does not follow that there is a butterfly there (rather than a caterpillar or something betwixt or between).

In essence, Wennberg is arguing that one cannot cite passages such as Psalm 51:5 to show that the unborn are fully human, since such passages are only saying that the person in question is “being formed,” not that the human being in the womb has become that person. There are several problems with this argument. First, even if Wennberg’s interpretation of passages such as Psalm 51:5 were correct, he would still have to deal with other passages, such as some of the ones already cited, which clearly state that individual personal existence begins at conception (e.g., Gen 4:1).

Second, Wennberg commits the hermeneutical fallacy that James Sire calls “world-view confusion.” This fallacy “occurs whenever a reader of Scripture fails to interpret the Bible within the intellectual and broadly cultural framework of the Bible itself and uses instead a foreign frame of reference.” Wennberg’s distinction between person and human being is an invention of some contemporary philosophers who argue that a human being becomes a person at some stage in his or her development. Since it is doubtful that the authors of the Psalms were cognizant of such a distinction, Wennberg is reading back into David’s assertion a foreign world view.

Third, the passage does say that “in sin my mother conceived me.” This clearly indicates that David’s personal existence can be traced back to conception, since he asserts that he was conceived. And if this is the case, then it seems natural to interpret the first half of Psalm 51:5 (“I was brought forth” or “I was being formed”) as describing the subsequent physical development of David in the womb, which continues after birth into infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Wennberg is correct in saying that “if a butterfly is being formed in a cocoon, it does not follow that there is a butterfly there (rather than a caterpillar or something betwixt or between).” But the insect that is becoming the butterfly is still the same insect that was once a caterpillar and will be a butterfly. In the same way the being at conception is the same person who will become the infant, the child, the adolescent, the adult. It is clear that passages such as Psalm 51:5 describe a person who is in the process of becoming, not a thing that is in the process of becoming a person.

Concerning the Bible and abortion, the following can be concluded: Just as the Bible does not forbid murdering people with submachine guns, the Bible does not forbid abortion. But since one can infer that murdering persons with submachine guns is wrong from the fact that the Bible forbids murdering in general, one can also infer that the Bible teaches that abortion is not justified from the fact that the Bible refers to unborn human beings as persons and forbids the murdering of persons in general. If one were to accept the principle that whatever the Bible does not specifically forbid is permissible, one would be in the horrible position of sanctioning everything from slavery to nuclear warfare to computer vandalism. Hence the question is not whether the Bible specifically forbids abortion, but whether the unborn are treated as persons. If they are, then we can infer that abortion is morally wrong.

Pro-Choice Argument from God’s Granting of Free Moral Agency

Mollenkott argues that because God created mankind as free moral agents, to use public policy to make abortion illegal would be to rob the pregnant woman of the opportunity to be a responsible moral agent. Mollenkott’s argument can be stated as follows:

1. God created humans as free moral agents.

2. Any public policy that limits free moral agency is against God’s will.

3. Public policy forbidding abortion would limit the free moral agency of the pregnant woman.

4. Therefore forbidding abortion is against God’s will.

The problem with this argument lies with the second premise. It does not seem obvious that “any public policy that limits free moral agency is against God’s will.” For example laws against drunk driving, murdering, smoking crack, robbery, and child-molesting are all intended to limit free moral agency, yet it seems counter-intuitive, not to mention unbiblical, to assert that God does not approve of these laws. And such laws are instituted because the acts they are intended to limit often obstruct the free agency of other persons (e.g., a person killed by a drunk driver is prevented from exercising his free agency). Hence it would seem consistent with biblical faith to say that God probably approves of a public policy that seeks to maintain a just and orderly society by limiting some free moral agency (e.g., drunk driving, murdering, etc.), which in the long run increases free moral agency for a greater number (less people will be killed by drunk drivers and murderers, and hence there will be a greater number who will be able to act as free moral agents).

In fact Mollenkott herself advocates a public policy that limits the free moral agency of those who do not believe it is their moral obligation to use their tax dollars to help the poor pay for abortions. She believes that “if Christians truly care about justice for women,” they will “work to assure the availability of legal, medically safe abortion services for those who need them—including the public funding without which the impoverished women cannot exert their creative responsibility.”

It seems clear that Mollenkott must assume that the unborn are not fully human in order for her argument from free agency to work. Thus she begs the question. For only if the act of abortion does not limit the free agency of another (i.e., no one else is harmed besides the actor) would a law forbidding abortions unjustly limit free moral agency. Hence if the unborn are fully human, a public policy forbidding abortions would not be against the will of God, as Mollenkott defines it.

Pro-Choice Argument from Exodus 21:22-25

This is a theological argument popular among some biblical scholars. It can be put in the following outline:

1.In Exodus 21:22–25 a person who accidentally kills a pregnant woman is given the death penalty.

2.In Exodus 21:22–25, a person who accidentally kills an unborn human is only fined for the crime.

3.Therefore Exodus 21:22–25 teaches both that the pregnant woman is of greater value than the unborn human she carries and that the unborn human does not have the status of a person.

4.Therefore abortion is justified.

This argument can be criticized on three counts. First, assuming that the pro-choicer’s interpretation of Exodus 21:22–25 is correct, does it logically follow that abortion-on-demand is morally justified? After all, the passage is saying that the unborn are worth something. In stark contrast, contemporary pro-choicers seem to be saying that the unborn are worth only the value that their mothers place on them. Therefore this Exodus passage does not seem to support the subjectively grounded value of the unborn assumed by the pro-choice movement.

Furthermore even if the pro-choicer’s interpretation of this passage is correct, the passage in question is not teaching that the pregnant woman can willfully kill the human contents of her womb. It is merely teaching that there is a lesser penalty for accidentally killing an unborn human than there is for accidentally killing her mother. To move from this truth to the conclusion that abortion-on-demand is justified is a non sequitur. So saying that the unborn are not worth as much as the born does not justify the contemporary practice of abortion-on-demand.

Second, one can also raise the more general hermeneutical question, as Montgomery has pointed out,

as to whether a statement of penalty in the legislation God gave to ancient Israel ought to establish the context of interpretation for the total biblical attitude to the value of the unborn child (including not only specific and non-phenomenological Old Testament assertions such as Ps 51:5, but the general New Testament valuation of the [brephos], as illustrated especially in Luke 1:41, 44).

Montgomery then asks, “Should a passage such as Exod 21 properly outweigh the analogy of the Incarnation itself, in which God became man at the moment when ‘conception by the Holy Ghost’ occurred—not at a later time as the universally condemned and heretical adoptionists alleged?” Montgomery’s point is that if pro-choicers were correct in their interpretation of Exodus 21, they still would have to deal with the grander context of Scripture itself, which does seem in other texts to treat the unborn as persons.

Third, it can be shown that premise two of this argument is false or at least that there is no scholarly consensus that it is true. In the Revised Standard Version, Exodus 21:22–25 reads as follows: “When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

The ambiguity of this passage is sufficient to divide commentators into two camps. One camp holds that the passage teaches that the woman and the unborn have different values. According to this group, the passage is saying that if the unborn is accidentally killed, there is only a fine, but if the pregnant woman is accidentally killed, it is a much more serious offense. Therefore the death of the unborn is not considered the same as the death of a person. Some translations, such as the Jerusalem Bible, interpret the verse {sic} in this way: “If, when men come to blows, they hurt a woman who is pregnant and she suffers a miscarriage, though she does not die of it, the man responsible must pay the compensation demanded of him by the woman’s master; he shall hand it over, after arbitration. But should she die, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, strike for strike.”

This interpretation, however, has been called into question by many critics. They argue that the Jerusalem Bible translation and others like it (e.g., TEV) are a mistranslation and that the passage is saying (in the Hebrew) that the mother and the unborn are to receive equal judicial treatment, that is, the mother and the unborn are both covered by the lex talionis (the law of retribution). Cassuto offers this interpretation:

The statute commences, And when men strive together, etc., in order to give an example of accidental injury to a pregnant woman, and…the law presents the case realistically. Details follow: and they hurt unintentionally a woman with child—the sense is, that one of the combatants, whichever of them it be (for this reason the verb translated “and they hurt” is in the plural) is responsible—and her children come forth (i.e., there is a miscarriage) on account of the hurt she suffers (irrespective of the nature of the fetus, be it male or female, one or two; hence here, too, there is a generic plural as in the case of the verb “they hurt”), but no mischief happens—that is, the woman and the children do not die—the one who hurt her shall surely be punished. According as the woman’s husband shall lay—impose—upon him, having regard to the extent of the injuries and the special circumstances of the accident; and he who caused the hurt shall pay the amount of the fine to the woman’s husband with judges, in accordance with the decision of the court that will confirm the husband’s claim and compel the offender to pay compensation, for it is impossible to leave the determination of the amount of the fine to the husband, and, on the other hand, it is not with the husband’s power to compel the assailant to pay if he refuses. But if any mischief happen, that is, if the woman dies or the children die, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, etc.: you, O judge (or you, O Israel, through the judge who represents you) shall adopt the principle of “life forlife,” etc.

Archer points out that a major reason Cassuto’s rendering is an appropriate interpretation is that the portion of the Hebrew translated in the New American Standard Bible as “so that she has a miscarriage” does not necessarily entail the death of the unborn, but can also mean the expulsion of a premature infant from his mother’s womb regardless of whether his expulsion results in death. Hence Exodus 21:22–25 is saying that if the incident in question results in only a premature birth, the perpetrator should be fined. However, if “harm follows” (i.e., if either the mother or the child is injured or killed), the same should be inflicted on the perpetrator.

In summary, since the interpretation of Exodus 21:22–25 is at best divided, and since the Bible’s larger context teaches that the unborn are persons (as argued earlier), it seems rather foolish for the pro-choice advocate to put all his ideological eggs into one dubious biblical basket.

Pro-Choice Argument from Numbers 5:11-31

This passage is quoted in a tract published by Episcopalians for Religious Freedom, “A Pro-Choice Bible Study.” It is from the New English Bible translation.

When a married woman…is unfaithful to her husband, and has sexual intercourse with another man…and the crime is undetected… but when…a fit of jealousy comes over a husband which causes him to suspect his wife…the husband shall bring his wife to the priest…. He [the priest] shall take clean water in an earthenware vessel, and shall take dust from the floor of the Tabernacle and add it to the water. He shall set the woman before the Lord, uncover her head…shall…put the woman on oath and to say to her, “…may the Lord make an example of you…by bringing upon you miscarriage and untimely birth [abortion]; and this water that brings out the truth shall enter your body, bringing upon you miscarriage and untimely birth.” The woman shall respond, “Amen, Amen.”…After this he shall make the woman drink the water. If she has been unfaithful to her husband [and] when the priest makes her drink the water that brings out the truth…she will suffer a miscarriage or untimely birth…. But if the woman has not let herself become defiled and is pure…she will bear her child [italics added].

The author of “A Pro-Choice Bible Study” claims that this passage proves that “a planned abortion is in the Bible as part of God’s law given to Moses.” He interprets the passage to mean that the request for abortion “comes from a husband, and his wife must agree to drink a potion prepared by a Hebrew priest. If the woman has been unfaithful, God initiates an abortion. This passage illustrates the direct intention of both potential parents plus a holy man to cause a miscarriage, an abortion.”

There are several problems with this interpretation. First, even if the passage were saying that abortion is justified in circumstances of infidelity, the passage is also saying that it is the Lord who brings on her “miscarriage and untimely birth,” not the priest, the husband, or the wife. Therefore the passage supports not abortion on demand by a human being, but only abortion by God for adultery.

Second, nothing in the passage is saying that the unborn human is not fully human. If execution by God makes one nonhuman, then the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah and others killed by God were not human.

Third, it is peculiar that someone defending women’s rights would cite a passage in which a husband who suspects his wife of having committed adultery is granted the right to take her to a priest who administers a drug and then prays that God cause an abortion if the pregnancy was the result of adultery. This is certainly not pro-choice. One can hardly imagine that this approach to female infidelity will be welcomed with opened arms by contemporary feminists.

Fourth, there is good reason to suppose that the translation from which this passage is quoted (the New English Bible) is not accurate. The Jerusalem Bible translates “miscarriage and untimely birth” as “making your thigh shrivel and your body swell.” The New American Standard Bible says, “making your thigh waste away and your abdomen swell.” Other translations are similar: “make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell” (KJV); “make thy thigh to fall away, and thy body to swell” (ASB); “May he cause your genital organs to shrink and your stomach to swell up” (TEV); “he causes your thigh to waste away and your abdomen to swell” (NIV). An alternative reading in the NIV states: “causes you to have a miscarrying womb and barrenness.”

All these translations seem to be saying that if the wife had committed adultery, her sexual organs will become useless, thus resulting in a miscarrying womb and barrenness. But if she did not commit adultery, she “will be able to have children” (Num 5:28b, NIV). This seems to be the most natural interpretation of this passage, since Numbers 5:11–31 is a test for a woman’s adultery if her husband is unsure of her fidelity, not a test for a pregnancy, which may or may not result from adultery. Since a vast majority of adulterous unions do not result in pregnancy, a test for adultery that procured an abortion would not be a very good test. For what good would such an adultery test be if the wife had committed adultery and yet did not become pregnant? Thus it makes sense to reject the New English Bible translation.

Pro-Choice Argument from “Breath”

Some people argue that since Adam became a living soul when God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen 2:7), birth is the time at which a child becomes a living being, since it is at this time that it begins to “breathe.” There are at least two problems with this argument. First, it is simply false to say that the unborn from conception do not breathe in a true biological sense. As Davis points out, “While breathing in the usual sense does not begin until birth, the process of respiration in the more technical biological sense of the transfer of oxygen from the environment of the living organism occurs from the time of conception.” Thus it is “the mode but not the fact of this oxygen transfer which changes at birth.” Therefore the “breath of life” exists from the moment of conception.

Second, there is no analogy between the creation of the first man, Adam, which was a unique historical event, and the ordinary birth of a child. As Brown points out, “If God took inanimate matter and made a man from it, as Genesis 2:7 seems to be saying, then obviously what He created was not a human being until it was given life. But the fetus is not ‘inanimate matter.’ It is already alive. And it is already human.” Therefore “to apply Genesis 2:7 to human beings who were carried for nine months in a mother’s womb before birth is clearly ridiculous. This argument is seldom used by people who take Scripture seriously.”

Miscellaneous Pro-Choice Arguments

Since the following passages and arguments are weak biblical defenses of the pro-choice position, the critiques of them will be brief. Almost all of them come from “A Pro-Choice Bible Study.”

Argument from Psalm 51:5

David wrote, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” Strangely enough, as already noted, this passage is also used to defend the pro-life position. In any event, the pro-choicer argues that since David could not have been an actual sinner because he had yet to actually sin, David was only a potential sinner. This is because he was only a potential person.

There are several problems with this argument. First, it does not address the fact that Psalm 51:5 does clearly state that it was David who came into existence at conception. Second, even if this passage were claiming that the unborn are potential sinners, this would still imply that the unborn are actual human persons, since only actual persons can be potential sinners, just as only actual persons can be potential violinists, philosophers, basketball players, or deli managers. And third, the passage is not saying that David, as a zygote, performed a sin, but rather, that he was conceived a sinner by virtue of being Adam’s descendant. That is to say, Adam’s sin nature is passed on to all who share his human nature. But this supports the pro-life position, for, as Geisler points out, “the very fact that humans are declared sinners from conception reveals that they are human, that is, part of the fallen human race. It is only by virtue of being part of the Adamic human race that we are conceived in sin (see Rom 5:12).”

 

Argument from Psalm 139:13,16

The passage reads, “For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb…. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance.” The pro-choice advocate argues that since this passage says that the unborn is still being “weaved” and is “unformed,” it is therefore not fully human.

There are at least two problems with this interpretation. First, “‘unformed’ (v. 16 ) does not mean unhuman any more than deformed does.” Far from casting aspersion on the unborn’s full humanness, Psalm 139 eloquently describes God’s creative activity in prenatal human development, thus implying the full humanness of the unborn from the moment of conception. For in human development, “unformed” is a relational term which implies a lack a person may have in relation to a more advanced state of his development. That is to say, a pre-embryo is “unformed” in relation to an embryo, an embryo is “unformed” in relation to a fetus, a fetus is “unformed” in relation to an infant, an infant is “unformed” in relation to an adolescent, and an adolescent is “unformed” in relation to an adult. So it does not follow that since one is “unformed,” one is therefore not fully human.

Second, it is poor hermeneutics to quote this passage in isolation from other statements about the unborn found in both the Book of Psalms (e.g., Ps 51:5) and the rest of the Bible, which speak of personal human existence beginning from conception (e.g., Gen 4:1), or refer to the unborn by personal pronouns (e.g., Jer 1:5), or apply terms to the unborn which are used of postnatal children (e.g., Luke 1:41, 44; cf. 2:12, 16 ).

Argument from Psalm 139:16

The second part of Psalm 139:16 is sometimes used to deny the unborn’s full humanness: “And in thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Pro-choice advocates argue that this passage is saying that while in the womb David’s life had not yet begun (“When as yet there was not one of them”). The problem, however, with this interpretation is that the text does not say that the days of David’s life excluded his prenatal existence. The passage is simply saying that all of David’s days were ordained and written in “Thy book.” And since God has known everything from all eternity, it follows that God knew of David’s days “when as yet there was not one of them.” These words must refer to the time before his conception, since Psalm 51:5 states that David’s beginning can be traced back to his conception and Psalm 139 gives a detailed account of God’s personal interaction with the development of the prenatal David.

Argument from Job 10:18-19

This passage reads: “Why then hast Thou brought me out of the womb? Would that I had died and no eye had seen me! I should have been as though I had not been, carried from womb to tomb.” The author of the tract “A Pro-Choice Bible Study” interprets this passage to mean that “Job did not consider the prenatal period as an existence.” This interpretation is totally unjustified for two important reasons. First, the passage is saying just the opposite: one does exist prenatally. Job said that if he had not been born it would be “as though” he “had not been.” He was not saying that if he had not been born he would never have existed, only that it would be as though he had never existed. People speak this way all the time. For example a disenchanted husband may say that his wife treats him as though they were not married, but he is still married to her. In the same way, when Job claimed that if he had been stillborn it would be as though he had never existed, he still existed. One cannot use “as though” unless one “is.”

Second, as already noted, Job 3:3 affirms the personhood of the conceptus: “Let the day perish on which I was to be born, and the night which said, ‘A boy is conceived.’“ Therefore Job 3:3 and 10:18–19 support the pro-life position.

Argument from Ecclesiastes 11:5

This verse reads: “Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman [or, ‘how the spirit comes to the bones of a woman with child,’ RSV], so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.” The author of “A Pro-Choice Bible Study” claims that “the writer of Ecclesiastes admonishes the Bible reader not to speculate about how or when the spirit of the child arrives. It could be presumptuous to claim that life begins at conception, which the Bible refuses to do.”

There are several problems with the pro-choice interpretation of this verse . First, it is way off the mark. The verse is not speaking against Bible students speculating about when the spirit of a child arrives. The verse makes no mention of when. Instead it says that one does not know how the “bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman.” It does not follow from one’s ignorance of the mechanism by which the soul or spirit is given by God that he does not know when this occurs. That a person may not know how his mind works (and it is still a mystery to the scientific community) does not mean he cannot know when his mind is working. Though one does not know how God brings human persons into existence, one does know when personhood begins, since so many other biblical passages clearly indicate that full humanness begins at conception.

Second, even if the pro-choice interpretation of Ecclesiastes 11:5 were correct, the verse does not support abortion on demand. For certainly abortion could still be a serious moral wrong even if the unborn entity were not fully human during the entire nine months of pregnancy. Furthermore the pro-choicer is admitting that the verse is teaching that the spirit of the child arrives sometime before birth (after all, the woman is said to be “with child,” RSV). Hence the pro-choice view of this verse does not support the pro-choicer’s own position.

Third, if this verse were really claiming that one does not know when the unborn becomes fully human, then it would be just as presumptuous to deny that life begins at conception (i.e., the pro-choice position) as it would be to affirm that life begins at conception. Therefore even with a so-called “pro-choice” interpretation, this verse could still be used as a pro-life proof text: Since one does not know when life begins, one should not kill the unborn entity, for it is a real possibility that if one performs an abortion one is committing a homicide. It is legal negligence to perform an act in which one does not know whether one is harming another (e.g., demolishing a building without checking to see if anyone is inside).

Argument from 1 Corinthians 15:46

This verse reads: “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.” Pro-choicers who use this verse argue that the physical reality of the unborn precedes its spiritual endowment. In this view, before a certain point of time in gestation, the unborn does not possess a spirit and hence it is not a person. The problem with this interpretation is that the verse has nothing even remotely to do with embryology or human development. The context is clearly referring to human salvation. As the verses before and after verse 46 reveal, Paul was contrasting the first Adam with the second Adam, Jesus: “So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Cor 15:45–49).


Argument from the Fact that God Calls Believers by Name

Since the Bible teaches that “God calls us by name (Isa 43:1, 7; Rev 3:5; Luke 10:20),” and “a child is ready to be named at birth because the sex is only then normally known (Gen 29:31–35; Eccles. 6:4 ),” pro-choice advocates conclude that one is not fully human until birth.

This argument is factually and logically absurd. First, none of the verses cited establishes the pro-choice position. Second, it does not follow from not being named that one is not fully human. For it would still be wrong for a parent to murder her one-year-old even if she had not given the child a name. Third, it does not follow that because something is named it is human. Some parents have named their miscarried children. Will the pro-choicers who deny the full humanity of such beings now concede that they were human? If a person were to name his pet hamster Margaret Sanger, would that make the hamster human? Fourth, since it is now known that gender is genetically determined from conception, and that it is possible in principle to know the gender of one’s unborn child a few days after conception, is it now wrong to abort the offspring of parents who name them long before their birth? Fifth, though it is true that God “calls us by name,” it does not follow that one who is not named by another human, such as a parent, does not have a name known only to God. For if this were the case, then unnamed newborns, infants, and adults would not be human. Sixth, Isaiah 49:1 states that God has indeed called people by name from the womb even before they were named by their parents: “Listen to Me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called Me from the womb; from the body of My mother He named Me.”

Argument from the Fact that every Person lives under God’s Care from the Time of Birth

This argument states that since both the psalmist and the Prophet Isaiah taught (Pss. 22:9–10 ; 58:3 ; 71:6 ; Isa 49:5) that “every person lives under God’s care from the time of birth, instead of conception,” full humanness does not begin until birth.

This is a strange argument. None of the passages cited supports the pro-choice position on abortion. In fact they all lend support to the pro-life position. Psalm 22:10 says that “from my mother’s womb you have been my God” (JB). Psalm 58:3 merely asserts that “wicked men…have been in error since birth” (JB). This hardly proves that these “men” had no prenatal existence. One can certainly use the word “since” in reference to a thing’s attribute, such as “being in error,” when the thing in question existed before acquiring that attribute. For example, if a person says he has weighed 180 pounds since 1988, it implies that he existed at another weight before 1988.

Psalm 71:6a (“I have relied on you since I was born,” JB) can be understood along the same lines as Psalm 58:3. Psalm 71:5 says, “Yahweh, I have trusted you since my youth” (JB), and the second part of verse 6 states, “You have been my portion from my mother’s womb” (JB). If the psalmist is claiming in the first part of verse 6 that there was no prenatal existence, then in verse 5 he is claiming that there is no preadolescent existence. But the second part of verse 6 is affirming prenatal existence. Therefore verse 6 supports not the pro-choice position, but the pro-life view.

Isaiah 49:5a reads, “And now Yahweh has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him” (JB). Since being “formed in the womb” is consistent with, and lends support to, personhood beginning from conception, it is incredible that this passage is cited in defense of the pro-choice position.

Argument that Life Begins When Blood Comes Into Existence

Since certain biblical passages teach that “life is in the blood (Gen 9:4; Lev 17:11, 14; Deut 12:23),” and since “embryologists have determined that blood cells do not develop until 20 days after fertilization,” therefore, pro-choice advocates argue “life” does not arrive “until three weeks after conception.”

Aside from the fact that these passages do not support abortion on demand for the entire nine months of pregnancy, there is a fundamental problem with the use of these verses to establish the pro-choicer’s conclusion. Not one refers to unborn humans; they all refer to mammals at a stage in their development when blood is a necessary condition for their mortal existence. The pre-20-day-old embryo, however, is a mammal and in particular is a living human being who does not need blood as a necessary condition for his existence. It does not follow from the fact that blood is a necessary condition for the existence of post-20-day-old humans that pre-20-day-old humans are not fully human.

 

Conclusion

This article has critically analyzed the major biblical and theological arguments for abortion rights, concluding that none of them is logically compelling. In fact it seems that the Bible points toward the opposite conclusion: almost all abortions are acts of unjustified homicide. But one should not conclude from this that Christian pro-lifers do not have good secular arguments they may use in order to persuade those who do not share their faith. In fact this writer has presented such arguments in detail elsewhere. It should not be forgotten that a long and rich tradition in Christian church history, extending back to the early church fathers, has been against the practice of abortion. This fact solidifies the pro-life interpretation of Scripture defended in this article. That is to say, since the early church fathers were so close to the writing of the New Testament, it is reasonable to say that there is a presumption in favor of their interpretation of Scripture and their application of what they believed are its ethical teachings. The church fathers could have been wrong, but the burden of proof is on those who would bring this accusation against them.

 

 


 

 

Last night in Southern California, PBS broadcast a program called "The Last Abortion Clinic." This is a letter I wrote in response. Louis


Hello,

I was very disappointed in your show last night, "The Last Abortion Clinic." It was basically unfair toward the Pro-Life point of view.

For one thing, Partial-Birth Abortion was never mentioned until the very end. If this is not an ezample of unregulated access to abortion, I do not know what else it could be. A child is brought out of the womb, feet first, then her or his brains are removed as the head is still inside the mother. This is to avoid breaking laws against infanticide. Why did you want to give the impression that there is some kind of control in the third trimester?

Secondly, you allowed the Pro-Choice people to say that sanitary regulations were targeting abortion clinics with no explanation from the Pro-Life side. Were you aware that veterinary clinics are cleaner than abortion clinics? They need regulation like any other medical facility!

Then there is the question of the "doctors" who perform abortions being required to serve in the nearby hospitals in order for them to be able to admit women who need emergency treatment steming from a botched abortion. The answer is that those "doctors" are not qualified as real doctors, and they cannot serve in those hospitals! Whom are you trying to fool here? Many abortionists are medical students who failed medical school or worse! You should check on these so-called doctors.

You stated that Pro-Life people have changed their strategy in their struggle to save lives from bombing abortion mills to legal lobbying, and other more acceptable means. What slander! The fanatics always ruin the good that peaceful life-loving people do and make all of them look bad. The environmentalists have struck teror more often and caused more economic damage than the bombers and snipers ever did in their mis-guided pursuit of what they think is right.

Since we are talking about the past, let me bring up another point: When Chief Justice Blackman was writing "Roe vs. Wade," he believed that abortion was four times safer than childbirth. here in America today, no woman ever dies in childbirth. Thank God for the medical developments that save the lives of women giving birth now! So if a woman was in fear and thought that abortion was an option for saving her life, she no longer has reasdon to fear. This is good news, not abortion.

One of the abortion providers said that the Pregnancy Advisory Clinics who counsel women to let their babies live do not provide enough support. She said something like "a few toys and clothes are not enough to raise a child after birth." Then you cut to a shot of the counselors praying with the pregnant mother, as if to denigrate the power of prayer. One of the pro-Life women who was poor once, but gave birth to her child, said that God saw her through the hard times. have you ever tried prayer? You should.

As for the woman you showed who said that God told her to have an abortion, would the same God Who said: "Thou shalt not kill" tell a woman to have an abortion? I doubt it.

Louis A. Shapiro

Sec'y, CA Dems-for Life

http://www.DemocratsForLife.org

Abortion: The Black Woman's Voice

Abortion Incidence Among Blacks Minority women constitute only about 26% of the female population (age 15-44) in the United States, but they underwent approximatly 36% of the abortions. (Morbidity and mortality Weekly Report, U.S. Censuc Bureau, December 18, 1992, Centers for Disease Control).

This incidence of abortion has resulted in a tremendous loss of life. It has been estimated that since 1973 Black women have had about 10 million abortions. Michael Novak had calculated "Since the number of current living Blacks (in the U.S.) is 31 million, the missing 10 million represents an enourmous loss for, without abortion, America's black community would now number 41 milion persons. It would be 35 percent larger than it is currently. Abortion has swept through the Black community cutting down every fourth member. (Flight of Life's Priorities, Cal Thomas, Washington Times, April 1, 1993, p. G1, G4).

Abortion has also affected black women through its connection with breast cancer. A highly significant Howard University study showed that African American women over age 50 were 4.7 times more likely to get breast cancer if they had had any abortions to women who had not had any abortions. (Breast Cancer Risk Factors in African American Women: The Howard University Tumor Registry Experience, Laing AE, Demenais FM, Williams R, Kissling G, Chen VW, Bonney GE, 1993, J Natl. Med. Assoc., 85: 931-939).

Women Speak Out Erma Clardy Craver, Social Worker and Civil Rights Leader: "Several years ago, when 17,000 aborted babies were found in a dumpster outside a pathology laboratory in Los Angeles, California, some 12-15,000 were observed to be black. Wake up America, and relive Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream! The way of abortion is the way back into bondage!" Beverly Clark, former Houston city councilwoman and congressional candidate: "People think Planned Parenthood is a counceling-based business. The bulk of their business is from doing abortions. And parents are always shocked when they find out these people are going into schools and teaching our children about birth control. They tie in "helping the poor" with the issue of abortion. They tell us the world is overpopulated. That is brainwashing so they can continue to have clients for their industry. If we stopped abortion, we would hurt somebody's pocketbook."

Noreen Z. Johnson, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.: "Wee see today a common thread of degeneration in our society with the erosion of absolutes set forth by these two noble instruments - the Hippocratic Oath and the Constitution of the United States. The legalization of abortion has opened a Pandora's box of abuse of fetal tissue in research, and has allowed genetic engineering to lurk as a monster at our doorsteps."

Akua Furlow, Executive Director for the Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN): "Planned parenthood started bnack in 1960 by Margaret Sanger. If people would just study the documentation they would find that Planned Parenthood was rooted in racism and founded by a white supremist. She believe there were disgenic groups of people who needed to be exterminated. Most of Planned Parenthood's clinics are in minority communities. The language has changed, but the original intent is still the same - to limit the births of minority people, poor people, and people that are handicapped."

Sharon Weston, Member of the Louisiana State legislature: "When we look at African Americans from a historical standpoint, you do not find abortion as an integral part of our history. The whole abortion issue can minimize the impact that African Americans can have as future leaders. In our history, we have been the major caregivers for our own, whether it is for our young children or our very old, and regardless of our status in life. They (NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, etc.) call this a "poor person's" issue and a "civil rights" issue because they need us and they are trying to give us information that will "help" us. In reality, it is something that will "hurt" us.

Dolores Grier, Psychologist and President of American Black Women Against Abortion: "Since 1973, 78 percent of abortion centers have been located in Black and minority communities. Upper middle class white females are not reproducing and they are trying to keep other groups from reproducing so they can remain in the majority. It is my belief that in pruning the minority population, they're keeping themselves as the majority. NOW and NARAL want only the preferred (white), the privileged (wealthy) and the perfect (no Downs syndrome or handicapped children). They are just trying to play God.


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