Jon for President

Notes on Abortion

 

? Abortion is somewhat like Gay Marriage. Why would I say that?
Both are subsets of the larger issues of the normalization of homosexuality and the topic of unwanted children.

 

? Abortion is the flipside of Euthanasia.  Why would I say that?
Both have to do with prematurely ending human life.  Both will often use the same methods of arguing to justify their positions.  See below.

 

? Abortion has two separate sets of vocabularies and sets of terms which are never allowed to mingle.  Why would I say that?
Depending on the view of the person, one will use scientific, impersonal terms (“fetus, terminate, unplanned”) and expeditious arguments (“what is best for…   “), while the other will use visceral, personal terms (“the mother, the child, murder”) and morally inflexible arguments (“it is always wrong to…  “).

 

? Abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, capital punishment, Hell, divorce, tithing all have this in common.  What might it be?
On the whole, people tend to consistently and uniformly embrace either “liberal” or “conservative” opinions of ALL of these.  Said another way, we all tend towards either justice or mercy, but seldom both, seldom do we have nuanced opinions.
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> Is the world becoming over-populated?  Does the world have limited resources? Should we do anything about it??  What???
- Note: Overpopulation was never a question that came up in the Bible.  Actually, neither is abortion, only the sanctity of life.  If we were to limit ourselves to 1 child per couple, in 100 years the population of the earth’s population would be 1.5 billion.  China did it.  Should we?  Can we?  Will the rest of the world cooperate?  Should we make it?  How do you “make” it cooperate?  Do we have a right to “make” it?  
- Note: God charged the first man and woman to subdue the earth (Gen 1:28).  Since they were appointed to be in charge, as it were, conserving resources and not fouling the environment would easily fall under their (our) job description.  The fact that Adam and Eve’s first “job” was tending the Garden of Eden reinforces this thought.
- Note also that the current vector of over-population does NOT take into consideration the resource-sucking effects of affluence.  Example: The US has less than 5% of the world’s population but consumes 25% of its energy (Europe is not far behind using over 15% for 6% of the population / Japan 4.8% for 1.7%).  Basically, we would need 5 Earths if everyone lived like an American.  The dystopian worlds of science fiction novels like the Hunger Games are closer to becoming a reality than we want to admit.

 

> Pregnancies resulting from rape, child abuse, or that endanger the mother [e.g. ectopic (tubal) pregnancies ] are extremely rare (less than 1% of all pregnancies).  Most abortions are from the mother not wanting the child.  Today’s abortions are almost always done for birth control reasons.  Yet both pro-life and pro-choice maintain that this is morally wrong (the pro-choicers maintaining that abortion is the lesser of two evils).  Does inexpensive, universal contraception solve this?  
- Surprisingly, the statistics show that the more readily contraceptives are available, the higher the rates of abortion within those countries.  They are statistically linked in that when one increases, so does the other.  Why do you think that might be? [?? greater sexual activity combined with inconsistent or improper use = more unwanted pregnancies]

 

> In Indianapolis, half of all births are to single mothers (and 90% among single black mothers!!!).  Good?  Bad?  Does it matter?  These chose not to abort.  Should they have?  What should they have done?  What should we have done?  What will we do?
- In India it is rare for a woman to be pregnant and unmarried.  Why is Indian morality so different?  Good?  Bad?  Does it matter?  How can an extremely impoverished nation have such a high ethical standard while the affluent United States rationalizes its lax morality and bristles at any suggestion that something is wrong?

 

> Based on several major studies (Finland, Sweden?, and southern California), women who had abortions were 4 times more likely to die prematurely (within 6 years of the abortion).  And not so much from the abortion as from suicide, murder, over-dose, and accidents.  Can you make sense of this?
[??? perhaps it is that these people were emotionally damaged  people at the outset (which is a politically correct way  of saying they were sin-scarred and morally adrift people) who regularly  indulged in risky behavior including promiscuous sex resulting in higher needs for abortion]

 

> China prides itself on halting its over-population crisis with their “one child per couple” policy.  But China also has a higher rate of abortion that the US (31% of all pregnancies vs. 22% in the US) and because there has been a cultural preference for boys, China now faces a “marriage squeeze” of having many more marriageable boys than girls.  If unchanged, by 2050 there may be almost twice as many marriageable boys as girls.   What should China have done or be doing?
- India has the same problem, but this is in a nation that tends to eschew birth control, that is, Indians are not known to want smaller families nor to seek abortions (2.3% of all pregnancies).  How can this be?
[Answer: In rural India, some families kill the girls are when they are born, while in urban India, naturally induced miscarriages are used when the ultrasound exam (now more readily available) indicates that the child will be a girl.]
- Note: It is has been shown that when higher percentages of boys to girls are present, then are similar increases in violence and rape.  Likewise, when there are more girls than boys, there are similar decreases in violence and rape.  The based on studies of China from 1988 to 2004, economist Lena Edlund estimated that every one percent increase in the sex ratio results in a six percent increase in the rates of violent and property crime. In addition, the parts of China with the most male-biased sex ratios are experiencing a variety of other maladies, all tied to the presence of too many single young men. Gambling, alcohol and drug abuse, kidnapping and trafficking of women are rising steeply in China.
?? Why is this important to us? [because if we were ever to embark on planetary population control, we can be sure that there will be people who will find ‘loopholes’ and ways of circumventing any plan to limit births, and, like in the cases of India and China, having disastrous results.]

 

> Facts to mourn about:  
   In the United States…


- 85% of all abortions are for unwed mothers. 

What is our reply?  (“Don’t do it” is too simplistic and easily dismissed.)
[?? uphold marriage… in law and… (what?) entertainment!?  How many TV and movie characters are unmarried vs. married?  Are sexual trysts more often portrayed between married or unmarried characters?  Does entertainment “reflect” or “change” cultural mores?  It does both.  In the 1950’s 22% of the adult population was single; in 1990 40%; now over 50%]   
[?? return to cultural and family pressure as a motivator as they do in most other “backwards” countries.  A good dose of shame might be just what the doctor ordered. A good dose of modesty wouldn’t hurt either.  Perhaps the threat of forced marriage should one become pregnant.  Perhaps the teenager’s parents being required to pay child support until said teenager gets a job, upon which having obtained a job,  25% said teenager’s wages will be deducted for the next 20 years (this is already the norm).  Moral arguments work on moral people.  For the rest, fear and rigorous enforcement are reliable, if regrettable, motivators.]


- 75% of all abortions are to persons of low income.  What is our reply?  [?? Education… with a vengeance.][Note: Elevation from poverty has more contributing factors than just education.  Education just happens to be at the top of the list.  Actually a love of education as a cultural trait is even better.]


- 70% of all abortions are for women under the age of 30.  What is our reply? [?? Befriend more unmarried young women and not just when they become pregnant.  Plentiful female mentors and role models are a complete blessing to any society.]


- What is our reply to… ?  
   African American women experience an average of 1.6 times more pregnancies than white women, and have 5 times more abortions over their lifetime.
   Hispanic/Latina women experience an average of 1.5 times more pregnancies than white women, and have 2.3 times as many abortions over their lifetime.


- 78% of all abortions involve “curettage” (e.g. D&C), which means using a tool to scrape the uterus.  Curettage has been statistically shown to often complicate future pregnancies.  If “choice” is the mantra of those who abort, shouldn’t we inform people about to get abortions of this, shouldn’t theirs be an informed “choice” at least?  (there will be more about ‘informed choices” later)

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Scripture relating to Abortion  -  Read and Comment


Note: These are the main verses quoted on most of the pro-life sites.  There are not many more than these.

 

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. — Jeremiah 1:5  
This is actually a pretty scary verse.  There is a hint that personhood and even mission are before conception!  That ‘life’ begins in the mind and intention of God.[Whoa!]  See also  Psa_71:5-6; Isa_49:1, Isa_49:5; Luk_1:76.  The first 3 indicate God’s calling from within the womb before birth; the last one is about Mary and Jesus and is prophesized before Jesus was conceived.

Side Note: In 1826, Karl Ernst Ritter von Baer discovered the mammalian ovum and in 1827 von Baer became the first person to observe a human ova.  In 1876 the fusion of spermatozoa with ova was first observed (by Oskar Hertwig) (in this case, of a starfish).  This little bit of trivia is actually a big deal.  First, it speaks to the several millennia of scientific understanding that humans are created by the husband planting his “seed” into the woman’s fertile field.  The idea of conception beginning when the sperm has attached to the egg and cellular division has begun, is actually very recent.  Rather, the “seed” taking root and beginning to grow has been the prevailing view of all of human history AND the view of the writers of the Bible.
Cp. 1Jn 3:9  No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
Cp. The Parable of the Sower
Cp. The uses of the “seed” of David and Abraham in both the OT and NT (note: this is less apparent in modern translations which use “offspring” or “children” in place of the literal word “seed”)
[Side note: This might explain the theory behind levirate marriage, that is, when someone marries his brother’s widow to raise up seed for him.  The supposition(?) is that the living brother’s “seed” is the same as the dead brother’s seed (like apples from the same tree or grapes from the same vine) and the child conceived would be no different than one conceived by the original brother.  This was “science” until very recently.  But more importantly, the idea of the original brother’s possessions and inheritance being passed on to his “own” son AND the idea of a widow without children being cared for by her new husband are the more important (and God approved) concepts at work.  Side side note: Today we would raise the objection that both the widow and the living brother are being coerced into what will likely be an unloving relationship.  This is our smug modern view.  But arranged marriages and levirate marriages were the cultural and personally approved norms of that time.  Indeed, they still are in practice in surprisingly many places today.  Look it up.]

 

Even before I was born, by his grace, God had chosen me to be His. — Paul in Galatians 1:15
This has often put forth as an anti-abortion verse.  Is it?  Why?

 

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 
David in Psa 139:13-16  
Again, this passage is also scary because it speaks of God already knowing what we will do and having it written down beforehand!  It would be well to read the whole Psalm, for this is one of its several themes, namely, God’s foreknowledge.
{maybe ask class what they think might be some other themes}[God’s omniscience, omnipresence, love and care, and Sin’s presence are also other themes.]

 

Yes, sons are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
  Solomon in Psa 127:3-5  
This passage and the Genesis 1 “Be fruitful and multiply” passage (below) are the 2 most cited Bible verses to justify large families.  
Are we disobeying God by not having lots of children (if we are able)?  
Are we disobeying God by limiting the number of children we have by using contraception?  The Vatican says yes, that this is a sin.  
Yet to use the “rhythm method” is just as an intentional attempt to avoid having children as using contraception.  The intent of the heart is still the same.  
What if we are not able to have children?  Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth (who they?) deemed it a reproach, a public disgrace.  Is it?

 

When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life,  eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.  Exo 21:22-25 (see also Lev 24:19-20 and Deu 19:21)
This is the first time in the Bible where we encounter “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” which was/is common in many cultures, aka, lex talionis, or “the law of retaliation”.  
The KJV uses “mischief” for “harm”.  Other translations use: but no other evil comes to her; If she isn't badly hurt; but she herself lives; but she is not injured in any other way; but there is no injury; but there is no serious injury; yet no further injury results; is not otherwise hurt.
> How would you translate this verse?  Note: In ancient times premature birth was almost always fatal.  In this verse, the child dies.
[?? is there a meaning here that wishes to differentiate between an unfortunate accident wherein the aggravated parties immediately cease their striving and tend to the injured woman and continued misconduct that may affect the woman, whether from intentional personal malice towards her or from rage in general or indirectly in disregard for the woman’s safety whereupon lex talionis damages are assessed?]
> The Bible is silent about abortion and there are very few verses that refer to miscarriages.  This is the main one.  Does this verse have any bearing on Abortion?  
[Perhaps so if one of the men were to intentionally hit the woman hoping that she would miscarry.  But this is an assault borne of malice.  Are there any abortions that are done out of malice, i.e., out of hatred for the baby?]
[Because there does not appear to be the requirement for “a life for a life” when an unborn child is killed, pro-choice advocates will point especially to this verse to minimize the moral impact and repercussions of the death of an unborn child.]

[Concerning Biblical citations about Miscarriages - see also:
Exo 23:26 - None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.
Job 3:16  Or why was I not as a hidden untimely birth, as infants that never see the light? There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners are at ease together; they hear not the voice of the taskmaster. The small and the great are there, and the slave is free from his master.
Psa 58:8  Let them (the wicked) be like the snail that dissolves into slime, like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
Ecc 6:3-5  If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered.  Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he.
Hos 9:14 - Give them, O LORD— what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.]
[see also: Jer 20:14-17 - Cursed be the day on which I was born! The day when my mother bore me, let it not be blessed! Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father, 'A son is born to you', making him very glad. Let that man be like the cities which the Lord overthrew without pity; let him hear a cry in the morning and an alarm at noon, because he did not kill me in the womb; so my mother would have been my grave, and her womb forever great.]


You shall not murder. Exo 20:13
> Let’s talk about murder.  Is all murder the same? Expand.
? In Forensics there are 4 types of death: Natural Causes, Homicide, Accidental, and Suicide.  How do each of these relate to abortion?
[Natural Causes = miscarriages / Homicide = see below / Accidental = an unplanned incident / Suicide = mother takes her own life as well as the life of her child]
> Note: 50% of all fertilized eggs are miscarried according to The March of Dimes.  70% to 80% of the time, the woman doesn’t even know the egg was fertilized.  Miscarriages where the woman knows she’s pregnant only occur about 10% to 15% of the time.
> If “life begins at conception” then half of all people die before seeing the light of day.  Comment.
> It is important to note that while men tend to produce sperm most of their lives, women only get a set amount of eggs at the beginning.  What is interesting is that there are several million egg follicles in evidence during the fetal stage, but only about a million at birth, and only about 300 to 400 thousand at puberty.  Whereupon about 1000 die every time a viable egg descends (only 300 to 400 eggs will descend during a woman’s lifetime).  There is an amazing lessening in the reproductive cycle which is further contracted by half of all fertilized eggs being miscarried.  This underscores the miracle of conception and giving birth to a healthy baby.
? In American Jurisprudence there are 4 types of homicide (meaning where one human causes the death of another human):
1st degree = forethought and malice and planned;
2nd degree = forethought and malice but unplanned, e.g. doing things that one knows might be lethal but not necessarily having the specific intent to kill, like throwing a rock at somebody;
3rd degree = malice but no forethought nor planning, e.g. a crime of passion or striking out of anger /no prior intent to kill;
4th degree = neither forethought nor malice nor planned, e.g. a drunk driver or criminal negligence.
Different degrees of murder is Biblical.  Cp. Exodus 21:12-36 and especially Numbers 35:9-34.
> How do these relate to abortion? [note: rarely is there malice in abortions and seldom is there forethought or planning, as in saying, “Well, if I get pregnant, I’ll just have an abortion.  No problem.”  Yes, this happens, but it is rare... one hopes.  Planning and forethought imply 2nd degree murder, but without malice, it is problematic.]
> Note: We did not mention killing done in war nor killing done in self-defense or defending the lives of others.  Are these also murder?  Conscientious objectors say yes.
> So are all abortions the same?  Are all abortions just murder, and if so, murder in which degree? And if murder, should not the doctor also go to jail, indeed be put to death for taking a life?  Who else might be culpable (worthy of blame, condemnation, and penalty)?  The father, of course.  But aren’t the family, the counselor, the pastor, and anyone else who suggested that the mother abort her unborn child also guilty of complicity in the death of a human being?  Note: Complicity is the act of helping or encouraging another individual to commit a crime. It is also commonly referred to as aiding and abetting.  One who is complicit is said to be an accomplice.  Complicity would warrant criminal penalties for the above.  Do you think that complicity is judged in Heaven?  You bet it is!
> It is by the intentions of the heart and the full understanding of the mind that our actions and motives will be judged, indeed ALL our actions are judged by these.  Also interior motivations and exterior influences and circumstances have their part to play in any just evaluation.  [Tell about these.]  So are all abortions the same?  Are all abortions just murder?


[an internet insert]

The Bible speaks of 4 types of death:
SPIRITUAL DEATH (Isa.59:2; Eph. 2:1)
This death is the separation of man from God because of sin, typified in the fall of Adam (Gen. 2:16-17). One can be alive physically but dead spiritually (Matt. 8:22; I Tim. 5:6). A lost person may have a live body and live soul but still be spiritually dead;
PHYSICAL DEATH (Jas. 2:26; Gen. 35:18) This death is the separation of the inward person from outward person (cf. Eph. 3:16; II Cor. 4:16). There is no escape from physical death except at the Rapture! But barring the Rapture in our lifetime, we will all die and there is no escape in spite of the amazing advancements by technology, science, and medicine. The body may be dead but the soul is alive forevermore in heaven (II Cor.5:8) or hell (Luke 16:23). We get a foretaste of physical death when we sleep and dream (??!!!);
ETERNAL DEATH (Luke 16:19-21; Ezek. 18:4) If a person has not found a way to make up for their misdeeds and indulgences while they were living, then they will fairly and justly be found guilty, and not just guilty but lost and condemned for ever and ever. This is the message of the Bible and the implications of a Moral Universe (where the good and the bad that we do counts forever). They will be separated from God eternally! Unlike spiritual death, eternal death is irreversible;
SECOND or FINAL DEATH (Rev. 20:15; 21:8) This is the punishment of ETERNAL DEATH. Contrary to popular belief, the Last Judgment does not occur at the Second Coming of Christ but only after His 1000-year earthly reign (Rev. 20:5-6).  At the Last Judgment, the dead will be physically resurrected which means that their bodies will again re-unite with their souls to face God – the Judge and give an account. The sea, the grave, death, and hell itself will give up all the bodies and souls in them to be judged. Notice that this second death is the casting of both body and soul into the sea of fire. (Mat 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.)

 

When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luk 1:41 and Luk 1:44  For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  Coincidence? Exaggeration? Fiction?

 

God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth. Gen 1:28  
Expand – What does it mean to ‘”rule” over the animals?  Explain “fill and subdue the earth”.  “Be fruitful and multiply”… till when?  Always without ceasing?  Is there a limit?  What is it?  Is it a sin to limit?
Keep in mind, contraception did not exist 100 years ago.  Birth control meant either using the ‘rhythm method’ or self-induced miscarriages or not having sex.  Indeed, owing to a typically high infant mortality rate, having lots of kids was Plan A for most people.  But now, owing to low infant mortality rates, having 10 or more children is easy to do if one is able and so inclined. So if we are able (at least most of us), why don’t we?

 

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Psa 51:5
(NET)  Look, I was guilty of sin from birth, a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.
(ERV)  I was born to do wrong, a sinner before I left my mother's womb.
It bears reminding that we are not pure and innocent from our mother’s wombs.  Yes, “as innocent as a newborn babe” is how we tend to see all children, but as time progresses, so does the evidence that we were not so pure as we thought.  Here are a few more verses about our inherent sinfulness for those who still need convincing: Gen_8:21; Job_14:4, Job_15:14-16; Psa_58:3; Joh_3:6; Rom_5:12; Eph_2:3


Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man. Gen 9:6
Note: This is before the 10 Commandments… waaay before.  Can you guess when?  These are a part of what the medieval rabbi’s called the Noahite Commandments, which because they were given before Abraham, are binding upon all people everywhere. The “commandments of Noah” supposedly are seven—the prohibitions of (1) disobedience, (2) idolatry, (3) blasphemy, (4) adultery, (5) theft, (6) murder, and (7) the eating of blood.  Researching the basis for the Noahite Laws tends to be rather arbitrary, nevertheless this commandment and the “not eating blood” commandment to Noah were indeed pre-Mosaic.
> It should be emphasized that reason given here for the death penalty has to do with the “image of God”.  This is important.  Why?  [We are not just animals.  We are more than animals.  And this is implicit in all of God’s Laws, namely that we are much more accountable than the animals.   We are moral creatures, we have immortal souls, and we will ultimately be judged by God in the end.]

 

Side note: There does not appear to be any place on the internet where a Bible verse was used to encourage having an abortion.

 

In conclusion:

Altho the Bible does not specifically talk about abortion, it does hold human life to be precious, indeed sacrosanct (what’s that?).  It tells us that interior (and exterior) motivation and full knowledge of our actions should inform our judgement of all things as indeed it will underlie God’s judgement of us.  And like God judged David who had Uriah the Hittite killed so Bathsheba’s pregnancy might be hidden, God is not trifled with if we would seek to abort/kill our own children to remedy our sexual indiscretions.

 

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An Abortion Tract

 

My sister aborted her child.  What will happen to it?  What will happen to her?

 

Some people believe an aborted fetus is no different than a malignant tumor. Both grow at an accelerated rate. Both are independent of the host, yet dependent on it for nourishment. In fact, a fetus is easier to get rid of and never needs chemotherapy to stay rid of. So why don’t people just get over it?

 

What if it’s not aborted, what will that fetus turn out to be? a wart? NO, it will be a child--completely human from its conception. It bears the genetic code that will determine a unique individual, affecting everything from personality to creativity to intelligence. And becoming a “parent” means accepting that child and all that that means--responsibility, time, financial commitment, joy. The privilege of watching and molding the adult person the child becomes.

 

Now for the world’s most tasteless joke: Question: “What is the difference between an unborn child and a fetus?” Answer: “How badly the mother wants it.”

 

Whoever has aborted a child did something more than have an unwanted tumor removed. That person made a decision that ended a human life. Some people would advise that it was a valid decision—choosing what is best for yourself, as well as for the unborn. But rarely does the guilt just go away despite well-meaning counsel. People often return to the question, what will happen to the mother? to the baby?

 

Pragmatic advise says: “Nothing will happen to either of you. It will decompose like all dead organic matter. It’s not a person, it never was. So why worry?”

 

Sympathetic friends will say: “God will take care of it. Nothing innocent will ever be allowed to suffer. As for yourself, give it time. You did the right thing, the reasonable thing. Eventually you’ll realize this.”
     
Unkind voices may say: “You killed your child; you’re supposed to feel bad. You’ll always feel bad. You’ll just have to live with your choice.”

 

But there’s another voice. It is a still, small voice. It is the voice of God as He speaks through His Word-- life and death, guilt and forgiveness, sin and redemption all have a turning point. His name is Jesus Christ.

Have you done the wrong thing? Forgiveness is Jesus’ specialty. Are you full of remorse? He will give you peace. Is ‘what might have been’ heavy on your mind? Jesus can sort it out. He loves the little children, even the ones who never felt a loving human touch.

 

If you need a place to come and talk about Jesus’ love and forgiveness, find a church that loves Him and His Word. Bring your sister!

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This section will explore “choice”; what it is; what it is not; and why it is held up as paramount by the pro-abortionists.

 

And when it comes to children, there are indeed many choices on the table.  

 

But before we talk about choices, let’s talk about “choice” itself.

 

If true choice means knowing all the possible alternatives one can choose from and all their possible implications, then our ability to choose is laughably underinformed.  Creative thinkers can help to put more options on the table, but an honest person will acknowledge their own limitations.  Comment…

 

As for freewill, if freewill is the ability to choose without bias, free of cultural and family influences, free of inner fears and desires, and free from the effects of a fallen world and a fallen sin nature, THEN, maybe, one might be said to possess freewill.  Anyone here have a free will?  Comment…

 

But when we own and acknowledge our limitations and creatureliness, and if we entreat our Heavenly Father for wisdom and insight (Who alone is truly free and truly knows ALL the possibilities AND delights to bless us anyway), then we might venture forth to exercise what little freewill and limited choices we do possess.

 

[digression: A good passage that highlights our limited moral ability is Matthew 7:9-11  “Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Of course there are many other verses which acknowledge our limitedness, e.g. Isa 55:8-9  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Or Job’s final reply to the LORD in Job 42:1-7.  And another that has implications for abortion, personhood, and mystery - Ecc 11:5  As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.  But we digress…]

 

The woman’s body and her choices concerning it are ever held up as the unassailable reasons why someone may choose to have an abortion without apology or condemnation.  But are these indeed unassailable?

In a world that is unaccountable to God, these reasons would appear to be so.  Yet depending on where we find ourselves in time and place, not so much.  Examples: In Nazi Germany, pure blooded Germans had an obligation to the Reich to procreate and raise up more Arians.  So it was that a woman’s body and her choices were subservient to the State.  It was/is this way also in the Communist nations, namely that one’s personal rights were subservient to the greater needs of the State.  So having 2 children in China was considered unpatriotic and subject to penalties.  Conversely, currently in rural Asia, Africa, and South America, to intentionally avoid having children is tantamount to family or community betrayal and childlessness is considered a shame.  There are indeed Biblical women who believed this!  See Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth above.  Note: We no longer consider childlessness a shame but many childless couples still harbor a sense of loss about it.  This is culture and family pressure at work.  So choice and self-determination can sometimes conflict with history and traditions and one’s own upbringing.

 

Furthermore, whose body is our body?  Did we create it?  Do we decide what height we will be or what hair color we will have?  Cp. Mat 6:27  “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”  Mat 5:36  “Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.”

 

Now it is very true that we are custodians of our bodies.  Indeed we have been entrusted to take care of them, indeed self-preservation, the avoidance of pain, and the seeking of sustenance are inextricably part of our very nature.  Eph 5:29  “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord does the church:”

 

So it is that the ones without Christ are ultimately left with their own contrived morality or their nation’s morality or their religion’s morality, but for those in Christ… 1Co 6:19-20  “Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God's glory.” GNB

 

But at last we arrive at a woman’s “choice”.  But is her’s a truly informed choice?  Has she been fairly and impartially shown her options? [adoption, raise the child, (marry and raise the child), abandon, abort, sell the parts to laboratories]  Have they been exposed to the different viewpoints about abortion?  Have they even seen an abortion? [these are readily available on YouTube and various anti-abortion sites.][Note: If you EVER do see how an abortion is done, you likely never have one, indeed if anything would make someone an instant pro-lifer, it will be seeing the tiny hand being dragged out of the uterus or the tiny head being injected with saline solution.]  Have they been sent home to consider any of the above?  So, is the abortion clinic offering choice or deception or coercion?  If we would champion “choice”, shouldn’t we champion informed choice?

 

Note: In voicing our support of choice, we usually neglect the others that should be consulted as to their choice, namely the ones directly involved with the pregnancy or the opportunity of abortion.  Who are they?  [The father, preeminently.  The doctor.  The employees of the abortion clinic.  The parents who are allowing their pre-teen child to undergo surgery.  The taxpayer who funds the clinic.  The society who sanctions it.  The church, who will be loving the woman regardless of her choice.  God, who gives the gift of life and the gift of eternal life.]  Have these also been “informed” so that their assent or objection could made known to the woman before she makes her “decision”?   “If you don't ask for advice, your plans will fail. With many advisors, they will succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 (ERV)

 

The hard truth is that most abortions come from people wanting sex without consequence or encumbrances, like marriage or children.  But there is a large difference between the removal of a child that will kill the mother if it remains in the womb (or fallopian tube) and the removal of a child that will impede the prosperity of the mother or the marriage.  There is a large difference between removing a child that was put in the womb against the mother’s choice (ie. from rape or molestation) and removing a child who is there because the mother choose to have sex with a man who was not her husband.  And as regards to married couples who do not wish to have children (or more children), if one has availed themselves of the various ways we use to limit children and a child is still begotten anyway, then surely it is a gift of God and not a curse to be rid of and the “choice” that remains for the wife AND the husband is to acknowledge this, or, to find a way to justify sending this gift back to God.

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Unclassified comments and citations.  Read and comment.

 

From a pro-choice site:

 

“It is dishonest to conclude from this verse that a fetus is a human being deserving of more protection than women.” 

A true statement.  But then is a fetus undeserving of any protection or consideration?

 

“The contention that quality of life is a more worthwhile pursuit than simply life for the sake of life is a basic pro-choice stance.” 

This statement will work for abortion, euthanasia, sterilization, and genocide.  It is in fact a defective paradigm.  Moreover, “Life for life’s sake” will keep us from killing our elderly, the incapacitated, and the mentally ill.  Are these pitiful ones our burden to be rid of or do they allow us to live out our compassion?  What would make glad the heart of God?

 

Quotes from John Piper:

 

“So it is with politics. You have to decide what those issues are for you. What do you think disqualifies a person from holding public office? I believe that the endorsement of the right to kill unborn children disqualifies a person from any position of public office. It's simply the same as saying that the endorsement of racism, fraud, or bribery would disqualify him-except that child-killing is more serious than those.”

 

“These reflections have confirmed my conviction never to vote for a person who endorses such an evil-even if he could balance the budget tomorrow and end all taxation.”

 

“… in Minnesota we have a fetal homicide law that makes it "murder to kill an embryo or fetus intentionally, except in cases of abortion"--in other words, it's unlawful to kill the unborn child unless the mother chooses to have it killed. And that is a strange and dark criterion for lawful killing.”

 

“The evidence mounts on all hands that the unborn are persons and patients alongside their mothers. But abortion providers turn a deaf ear to observations like Dr. Steve Calvin's in a letter a few years ago to the Arizona Daily Star: "There is inescapable schizophrenia in aborting a perfectly normal 22 week fetus while at the same hospital, performing intra-uterine surgery on its cousin."

 

“The Bible commands us to rescue our neighbor who is being unjustly led away to death.
"Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'We did not know this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not requite man according to his work?" (Pro_24:11-12)
There is no significant scientific, medical, social, moral, or religious reason for putting the unborn in a class where this text does not apply to them. It is disobedience to this text to abort unborn children.”

 

“We can argue, I say, endlessly over what "full" personhood is.”

 

… To which I will add: A one week old baby is not much more of a “person” than an 8 month old unborn child or an 8 month old “preemie” – So is personhood an event or a journey?  It is a journey that is marked by events.  The journey to personhood ‘started’ at conception with the fusing of the 2 different sets of DNA, and it progresses along a continuum; a continuum possessing signposts and maturity markers, both before and after birth and throughout life.  And the Bible indicates in a few places that this journey actually started in the mind and will of God.  The question then is not whether a ‘natural’ miscarriage or an intentional miscarriage are moral equals.  They are not.  But the question is rather what is the level of culpability for the mother and doctor if we are not requiring capital punishment for the intentional death of a human being.  Note: Miscarriage is different than abortion in that abortion is the active removal of the fetus, whether by instrument or vacuum.  Nevertheless, intentional miscarriage and abortion are moral equivalents.
To seek a “cut off” point when an abortion is possible or permissible is to miss the point greatly.  Saying that “when the blood starts flowing”[“the life is in the blood”] or when the heart starts beating or when you can feel the baby move [in the 19th cent. known as 'quickening'; that is, when the fetus begins to move in the womb at between 18 and 20 weeks into the pregnancy] or when the baby starts to breathe air [“then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”] may sound all well and even somewhat Biblical, but are nonetheless rationalizations born of our fears and desires and our sins which is where all our other rationalizations come from.  And in case you didn’t get the memo, when we start to rationalize and justify, we are already on shaky moral ground.
And this journey to personhood has no “cut off” points but conception and death, and even death itself is not an end point if we indeed have immortal souls.  It is merely a transition point.


In the Didache (a manual of Christian practice circa 100 AD), Chap.2 (2) You shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not corrupt boys; you shall not be sexually promiscuous; you shall not steal; you shall not practice magic; you shall not engage in sorcery; you shall not give a woman a potion to cause miscarriage or commit infanticide. You shall not covet your neighbor's possessions.


In the Hippocratic Oath (circa 400 BC) – “…I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause miscarriage…”


There is a slight hypocrisy in the pro-life movement.  It concerns the recommendation for the mother to seek to have her baby adopted.  Why hypocrisy?  How can you ask someone else to adopt out their child if yourself are unwilling to adopt it?  Why slight?  Because there are ample numbers of persons seeking to adopt unwanted children.  Indeed these are adopting children from overseas because it is easier and less expensive.

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