Abortion


The Biblical Argument

The Biblical argument against abortion begins with the sixth commandment, in Exodus 20:13, "You shall not murder." The Bible forbids the unjustified taking of a person's life. Pro-Choice advocates would argue that this somehow excludes unborn children, so we must investigate other passages in order to determine whether or not this imperative includes the life of a person who is still inside the womb. The Law of Moses addresses this situation specifically in Exodus 21:22-25:

"If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

Falwell indicates that the key words here are, ". . . if there is any further injury."  We must determine whether this refers to injury to the baby, or injury to the mother.  Falwell says that, from the word order of the sentence, without any further amplification being given, it would seem that this refers to the baby. So, the penalty for the men is determined by the extent of the harm that has come to the prematurely born baby. If their actions caused the baby to be stillborn, then their penalty was death ("life for life").

It seems that the issue concerning abortion is quite evident by the very fact that the word "life for LIFE" is used here. The live baby in the womb was a living person, but when the men struck the mother, this caused the death of the baby while still inside the womb, unjustly taking away the baby's life. This is deemed to be a capital offense, just as in any other situation where the life of another person is taken unjustly. In other words, abortion is a capital offense. The murder of an unborn infant is to be treated the same as the murder of anyone else (such as in verse 12, "Anyone who intentionally strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death.").

A supporting text can be found in Isaiah 49:1, which says,

"Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name."

God called Isaiah into service before he was even born, implying that his life began before his birth. 

The simple truth is that abortion is murder. This sounds ugly, but abortion is an ugly business. Based upon the above scriptures, it is obvious that life begins at conception, and unjustly taking a life always calls for the death penalty, as with any other murder.

(Denying) The Violence Argument

Since the Pro-Life argument should be based upon Biblical principles, I don't think that it's appropriate for Pro-Life advocates to use "the violence argument." By this I mean drawing attention to the various violent acts involved in the abortion process itself, even when they seem so hideous such as in the third term of pregnancy. In the first place, of course it's violent--it's murder. Murder is almost always a violent act. However, more importantly, the issue of abortion really has nothing to do with the violence of the act. The Bible doesn't impose certain penalties for murders that are particularly brutal, and lesser penalties for those that seem less violent. The Bible simply imposes the death penalty upon murderers because they unjustly ended a person's life, not because they were guilty of a certain (subjective) degree of violence. For this discussion, murder is equally hideous in God's sight, regardless of the brutality or intensity of the act itself.

The Scientific Argument

I find it ironic that the opponents in the abortion issue often also choose sides against each other on the issue of creationism vs. evolution, and on the more general question of God vs. science. How can one stand upon the "clear evidence" of the fossil record, and yet fail to acknowledge the evidence of life inside the womb? Perhaps as recently as fifty years ago, that scientific argument might have seemed somehow more fathomable. However, with our recent advances in ultrasound technology, and even photographic-like 3D-4D images, how can we continue to deny the reality of the life of children inside the womb? Are there still some who place more confidence in what we think the fossils are telling us about events outside the realm of human history, than what we see with our own eyes in the present time?

The Political Argument

We have laws against murder, and few would disagree that this is appropriate. These laws forbid us not only from taking a gun and killing another person out of anger or revenge, but also from using euthanasia as a result of determining who we think is worthy to continue living. Even suicide is a crime (but, obviously, it includes its own death penalty, so there was no need to explicitly mention it in the scriptures.) So, even with our flawed human mentality, most governments recognized that murder violates God's laws, but abortion should be included. From a political perspective, there are few disqualifying issues, but abortion is one of them. I could never vote for a Pro-Choice candidate, because the Bible is too clear on this issue. It is too obvious that life itself is a gift from God, and we should cherish it.

The Destiny Argument

Destiny is another valid argument against abortion, but only after the Pro-Choice advocates argue that life begins only at birth, not at conception. Even if this were true, we would have to consider the natural destiny of the fetus. In other words, what would happen if man did not intervene with an abortion? Would this fetus never become a human being, even as defined by the Pro-Choice group? Obviously, it is the destiny of the fetus to become a living and breathing human child outside the womb, at which time even (most) Pro-Choice advocates concede that this child is alive, and her murder would be a crime.

(Denying) The Choice Argument

Pro-Choice Advocates often speak of a woman's right to choose, a clever phrase which is intended to make abortion appear to be a noble cause. However, what is the argument, Biblical or otherwise, that the woman is in an appropriate position to make this choice? By what authority does the woman choose life or death for another person? This is God's decision, not that of any man or woman.

Furthermore, wouldn't we all be better served if the Pro-Choice group spoke of "the mother's right to choose," instead of "a woman's right to choose?" We're not talking about some arbitrary woman, such as a female Supreme Court justice, deciding the fate of some arbitrary child. Instead, it is a particular woman in each case--the child's own mother. Even if we could somehow argue that the fate of an unborn child should be left to mankind instead of to God, how can we possibly argue that the child's mother should decide? Besides the natural instinct of a mother to protect her child at all costs, why does the father have no part in this decision? Is it because it happens to be the mother, not the father, who will nurture this child in her womb? (Again, doesn't the very idea of nurturing imply protection?) What if the father wants this baby to live? Is it just for him to be forced to stand idly by, while the mother and her physician end the child's life?

The Civil Rights Argument

I have heard Pro-Choice advocates refer to the Pro-Life advocates as the "Anti-Choice" crowd. Again, this is only a clever phrase, one intended to tarnish the image of the Pro-Life movement. If, however, we accepted this label, would the Pro-Choice advocates agree to the same tactic for themselves, and refer to the Pro-Choice movement as the "Anti-Life" movement? Would we somehow be moved to elevate "choice" above "life?" How can one even have choice without life? Furthermore, how can this issue not be included in the cause of civil rights? Isn't life itself at the top of the list that should not be denied to any innocent person, regardless of race, gender, age, etc.?

(Denying) The Majority Argument

Just as with the "Violence Argument" above, I believe that the Pro-Life movement should refrain from drawing attention to polls such as a recent one indicating that 51% of Americans are Pro-Life. This is no argument, neither for nor against abortion. If the next poll indicates that 75% of Americans are Pro-Choice, would that somehow nullify God's Word? Abortion cannot be justified, regardless of how many people are in favor of it. One might ask, "Can 100 million people be wrong?" Yes, a majority of people can be wrong, and often they are. In fact, even in the above-mentioned poll, either 100 million people are wrong, or the other 98 million people are.

(Denying) The Other Person Argument

The implication of the Pro-Choice movement is that it is appropriate for certain people to decide whether or not certain other people are to live or to die. Such an attitude indicates a kind of power fetish, wishing to be in control of others, or of their rights or property. Isn't this strikingly similar to the agenda of many on the political left; for example, to increase the taxes of certain other people, in the name of a cause that they claim would benefit the greater good? We seem to be quite liberal with other people's lives, rights, and money, as long as we're not denied the same rights that we're denying to them. It's simply hypocritical and arrogant for one person to claim the sanctity of life for herself (even if only by not having committed suicide), and then to deny that sanctity to others.

Owen Weber 2009