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
"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
to the baby, or injury to the mother. Falwell says that, from
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,
was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.?
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.
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