January/ February, 1972
Volume 7 Number 1
The moral issue of abortion is more than a question of the freedom of a woman to control the reproductive functions of her body. It is rather a question of those circumstances under which a human being may be permitted to take the life of another. We believe that life is a gift of God, and that God has conferred divine blessing upon unborn infants, and that there are penalties for actions which result in the death of the unborn.
For many centuries no decent person, and certainly no devoted Christian, advocated killing an unborn baby. But today there are those who would hasten to say that abortion can be a virtue. One sometimes wonders what would have happened to Joseph and Mary – if they could have visited some modern churchmen. If Mary would have told about her vision, and insisted that Joseph was not the father of her expected child, the clergyman would likely suggest psychiatric care, and raise the subject of abortion. Surely none of us has the right to pass a death sentence on a totally defenseless and innocent being.
It is surprising that the people who are eager to legalize abortion, are often the same persons who mobilize and march to stop killing on the battlefield. What is really hard to understand, is that the same liberal church leaders who are crying civil rights, human rights, and human dignity – are now supporting the shedding of blood under the guise of abortion. From the other side, it is just as hard to understand how some fundamentalists can cry out against abortion, and say that all abortion is murder — when at the same time, they are strong militarists, and support the taking of human life in times of war.
The name of the game is dead babies for big dollars. The abortionist is not usually concerned so much with the needs of humanity, as he is about making a fast dollar at the expense of someone who sees human life as a cheap thing. We need to oppose murder in all its forms – whether the person killed is sixty years old, six years old, six months old, or a six-week fetus.
Four Ways to Kill an Unborn Child
by Harold S. Martin
There has been a great deal of talk recently about abortion. Not too many years ago, abortion was considered a shameful act, but today public opinion is rapidly changing. Until the last decade, the general pattern of the law in the United States, was to prohibit abortion, except in cases where it was permitted to preserve the life of the mother. Today many states have liberalized their abortion laws, and other states are planning to relax their restrictions.
The dictionary defines “abortion” as the expulsion of the human fetus prematurely. An abortion can be of two kinds. A natural abortion is usually called a miscarriage. An artificial abortion is an abortion induced by artificial means – by the use of instruments, or the use of chemicals that kill the fetus and cause it to be expelled. There are four common methods used by doctors to deliberately abort an unborn child:
(1) The suction method.
During an early pregnancy, the doctor can insert a tube through the opening of the mother’s womb, and connect it to a suction apparatus. The vacuum on the apparatus is so powerful that the fetus is instantly broken up into a mass of blood and tissue, and quickly passes through the tube, and is collected in a bottle.
(2) The forceps method.
Sometimes the doctor dilates the mouth of the womb, and inserts a spoon-like instrument with sharp edges (called a forceps). He reaches in with this toot and scrapes out the baby (and also the placenta). Sometimes he has to cut the baby into several pieces in order to get it out. The larger parts are cut into smaller pieces and spooned out piece by piece, and then discarded.
(3) The Caesarean-type method.
Larger babies may require an abdominal operation. The womb is cut open and the baby is lifted out. It usually squirms and moves its arms and legs; it tries to breathe; the heart often continues to beat; but the organs are not sufficiently developed, and so within a few hours, it usually dies.
(4) The chemical method.
The doctor sticks a large needle through the wall of the mother’s abdomen and into the womb. A strong, salt-water solution is injected. The baby thrashes around for a few moments, and then soon dies. Within twenty-four hours, labor starts, and the dead body is delivered.
Abortion is nothing but barbarianism in the Twentieth Century! No wonder some nurses are rebelling. They are expected to finish the work of abortion, by taking the crushed, bloody mass of the fetus, and then disposing of it. In light of the current discussion on abortion, in this message we want to look at several aspects of the topic.
1. AN UNBORN BABY IS A HUMAN BEING
Some say the fetus is not a human being, but merely a mass of protoplasm, a group of cells, a mass of tissue. One denominational resolution says, “The fetus is not a person, but rather, tissue with the potentiality of becoming a person.” The Scriptures however, give evidence that life begins at conception , and therefore to take the life of an unborn child (regardless of the number of days it has been forming in the mother’s body), is nothing but tragic murder.
The Bible speaks of pre-natal personhood. Jeremiah (in Jeremiah 1:5) says that he was set apart and ordained a prophet before he came forth out of the womb. God said, “Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you, and ordained you a prophet to the nations.” If Jeremiah’s mother would have had an abortion – it would have been Jeremiah who was killed. The mother would not have known his name, but God had already named him.
John the Baptist (Luke 1:44) lea ed for joy in his mother’s womb, when Mary greeted her. Notice – a fetus “leaped for joy.”
David says of his pre-natal infancy, “Behold I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). Notice the personal pronouns. Even at the time of conception, David was a person. I was shaped in iniquity; my mother conceived me. (This is not saying that David was conceived out of wedlock, nor that the sex-relationship is sinful – but that at the time of conception, he received the sin nature). In Psalms 139:13-16, David again uses the personal pronouns., when he talks about being marvelously formed in the inner recesses of his mother’s body. In fact, the Psalmist says that from the very beginning of life, God has plans for each one of us in a book. “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book!” (Psalm 139:16 Living Bible).
Gabriel announced to Mary (Luke 1:31) that she would conceive, and bring forth a son – and in verse 36, Gabriel says, “Thy cousin Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son.” Mary conceived a son; Elizabeth conceived a son. An abortion (at the time each of these women conceived) would have been aborting (or killing) a son.
The unborn baby is a person, and he has a right to live. The unborn baby is not merely a potential human being; rather, the fetus is a human being with potential! The fetus is not just a thing, a blob of flesh, a mere part of the mother’s body – not something she can dispose of like a tonsil or a scab . The unborn baby is a person, whose life must not be taken simply at will.
2. ARGUMENTS USED TO FAVOR ABORTION
One of the common arguments given to favor abortion, is that the baby might be a threat to the mother’s physical or mental well-being. But most doctors agree that in our day of excellent medical care, abortion is simply not necessary to save the life of the mother. And concerning mental health abortion doesn’t alleviate mental problems; it contributes to mental anguish (because of guilt feelings following abortion). Very few women who have had an abortion, get by without at sometime or the other, asking themselves the question, “Did I really kill my baby?”
Another argument given to favor abortion is the argument that the baby might be the result of rape or incest. But the unborn child is an innocent being, and is in no way responsible for the offense, and should hardly be punished for the crime of the parent. Furthermore, this argument bears little weight, because “rape and incest account for a negligible percentage of abortions” (Time, Sept. 27, 1971).
Some argue that abortion should be permitted when there is a possibility that the baby might be physically or mentally deformed. But a doctor’s prediction that a child might be deformed, is not guaranteed to be absolutely correct. And so to abort a child, might mean the murdering of a normal child. And even to kill a deformed child is contrary to the kind of compassion Jesus showed. The Bible says, “Even a bruised reed shall he not break.” Then too, God has often made defective children a wonderful blessing for the parents, and for the whole family. The writer of the biography of Bob Childress (The Man Who Moved a Mountain) tells about their deformed daughter (Hattie), and concludes the section on her life by saying, “The retarded child who was not supposed to have lived long at all, had made their lives rich.”
Another reason suggested to favor abortion, is that one can stop criminal abortions by making abortion legal. Some say that by not permitting abortions legally in hospitals, thousands of abortions are being performed illegally anyway, only they are being done in back rooms and basements by untrained personnel. But in those countries which already have liberal abortion laws, the rate of criminal abortions has also gone up (along with the rate of abortions in general). When it’s legal and popular and acceptable to have abortions, then criminal abortions (performed by unskilled persons) also increase.
There may be an occasional necessity for a therapeutic abortion for example, the case of a tubular pregnancy. But most of the reasons given for justifying abortion are simply not acceptable in light of the sacredness of human life.
3. SERIOUS OBJECTIONS TO THE PRACTICE OF ABORTION
The primary reason why Christian people must object to the loose practice of abortion, is that the fetus which the expectant mother carries, is already a living human being. In the wisdom of God, physical life passes from one generation to another, across the fragile bridge of just two human cells. And by repeated divisions, the first cell becomes two, and then four, and then eight – and then soon develops the features of the human body. By the twenty-first day, the heart is beating, and by the sixty-fourth day, the eyes are forming. Every characteristic that the human being ill ever have is genetically present at the time of conception. And as was pointed out earlier, the Bible uses personal pronouns when speaking of the unborn – even from the time of conception. The unborn baby is a human being, and to terminate a human life is murder.
A second objection to the practice of abortion, is that the liberalization of abortion laws may ultimately lead to the legalized extermination of other human beings. If an infant fetus can be destroyed simply to suit the parents’ personal convenience – it’s going to be relatively easy for a child to dispose of his parents, when they become old and senile. If our society permits the killing of unborn children, then it won’t be long until the lives of the aged, and the handicapped, and the retarded are going to likewise be candidates for destruction. If your doctor will take money for the killing of an innocent baby in the womb, he may kill you some day (when paid to do it by your children).
Another serious objection to abortion, is that easy abortion leads to increased promiscuity among those who are not married to each other. The primary reason why abortion is so popular today, is that it is an easy way to do away with unwanted children that result from promiscuous sexual activity. The problem of the unwanted child is especially acute on college campuses. Time (9/27/71) describes one outfit in New York City which charges a flat rate of $400 for a plane trip to New York, an abortion, a meal, and a ride back home. For many years, both the world and the church have been letting down the bars on adultery and fornication, and now (because of all the illicit sexual activity) we have all these unwanted babies on our hands, and so we advocate killing them. Of course some who want abortions, are not guilty of unchastity, but simply don’t want to interrupt their plans for the future. Abortion for them is merely a social convenience – but in the eyes of God it is still taking human life.
Samuel Voisard tells about a mother who stepped into a doctor’s office, carrying a bright and beautiful baby just a year old). She said, “Doctor, I want you to help me out of a dilemma. My baby is only one year old, and I’ve conceived again – and I don’t want to have children so close together.” She wanted the doctor to perform an abortion. After thinking for a moment, the doctor said, “I think I can suggest a better method for helping you out. If you object to having two children so close together, the best way would be to kill the one on your lap, and let the other one come on. It’s easy to get at the one on your lap, and it makes no difference to me which one I kill for you. In fact, it might be dangerous for you if I undertook to kill the one yet unborn.” As the doctor finished speaking these words, he reached for a knife – and continued by asking the mother to lay the baby out on her lap, and to turn her head the other way
The doctor’s offer to commit murder was no worse than the mother’s request for the destruction of her unborn child. To take the life of an unborn child is murder.