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Human Beings and Abortion - by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

Apologetics - A Reasoned Defense of the Christian Faith

Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

The crux of the abortion argument against atheists rests in divine revelation, and the philosophical question, “When were you ever your mother?”

It is relatively easy to give facts about the abortion epidemic in the world today, and in the United States more specifically. It is one of the greatest moral problems humanity faces in the modern age of medicine. It is the second most common surgical procedure in the United States (circumcision being the first for due reasons). Over 1.7 million abortions occur annually since the Roe v. Wade decision January 22, 1973. This did not mean that abortions did not take place prior to this decision, but it was this decision that legalized murder in the United States. For example, even in the early days of the Christian church the Didache makes reference to abortions, “The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child.”1 Concerning Roman times just prior to the coming of Christ, Michael Gorman says, “abortions appear to have been practiced extensively, for a variety of reasons. Several methods were available. Medication (“poisons”), surgery, tight waistbands, and punching and kicking appear to have been applied quite effectively.”2 Even after a child was born, the Roman culture continued to practice infanticide. Balsdon remarks, “If a child was born, infanticide or child exposure was also a frequently practiced option.”3 The greater problem is not necessarily the statistics or history, but those who make the decision, and how they make it. For Americans in today’s society, it was not the decision of 269 million Americans that legalized abortion, but a majority vote out of nine Supreme Court justices that took morals into their own hands. There was no consensus here – only totalitarianism. The statistics measure that one out of every four pregnancies are aborted, and that number is on the rise. Since that decision, over 35 million abortions have taken place in the United States alone, and more than 98% of all abortions are made for non-medical reasons. Nine people made the choice to legalize murder.

Abortion is a contemporary moral epidemic in the United States. That is actually an understatement. Harold O. J. Brown, chairman of Christian Action Council says, “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.”4 Abortion is giving way to a more definably murderous act.

It is assumptive to say that abortion is murder without proving that abortion is murder. But before that proof is offered it would be helpful to understand what abortion means. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines abortion as the “spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation.”5 It defines human as “having human form or attributes susceptible to or representative of the sympathies and frailties of human nature.” It defines fetus as “a developing human from usually three months after conception to birth”. It defines nature, in this case, as “the physical constitution or drives of an organism; the genetically controlled qualities of an organism.” It seems that it is impossible to speak about abortion without referencing in some way to “human”, or “developing human” such as with genetics, and “human nature.” In all these definitions the term “human” is key. What does it mean to be human? This is not a legislative question, but a question of “being”. What does it mean to be a human being? Waltke says, “If we can define humanness “any way we wish,” then no life is safe; we are left with no philosophical basis for protecting any life.”6 If the fetus is less than human, then abortionists are making the same arguments that Hitler made about the Jews.

Pro-choice abortionists believe that the “organism” (which has encoded human DNA strands at conception) is not a human being. The pro-choice advocates’ arguments center compose the following thought pattern as a result of this view: Women should have the right to decide whether or not to have a child. Under the Constitution’s 14th amendment, women have “personal liberty” to have or not have an abortion. A man can withdraw from a relationship as soon as he finds out about a pregnancy. There is no question of his involvement after that; he has made his choice. It is only fair, they say, that the women have the same choice. If a woman cannot choose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, she is denied the right to the “possession and control” of her own body. Women want to control their own bodies and should have the right to do so.7 But this line of thinking is a moral question of being. The government of any country should protect the life, liberty and possession of every American citizen. This is bound up in the contract that the founding fathers of this country signed. “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is the right of every human being living in this land as a citizen of the United States. Citizens are conceived and born here. But is the citizen the mother? Or, to put it more simply, “When were you ever your mother?” This is the crux of the question.

It is not true that the mother has every right over her own body. As a matter of fact, no one has a right over their own body to do what they would like to. In actuality, that is the inconsistent and contradictory philosophical system known as hedonism with an Epicurean twist. The body is not something that every person has a personal “right” over. That is atheism. Nazi’s believed that the more powerful race should have rights over the less powerful for selfish propagation of their own superhuman genetics (or so they thought). This is basic evolution. Evolutionists (atheists) should herald Hitler as their poster child. But the absurdity of the example proves the point. God has a right over all men. They are His creations, whether rebelling or not. No one, not Hitler, or abortionists, have the right to kill others unless sanctioned by God for judicial means.8 Does a mother have the right over another human being’s body without their consent? In other words, do mothers have the right to murder their children? This, however, is only an argument if the fetus (the human nature, the human fetus, or the human DNA) is actually a human being. One must constitute what it means that someone is a “human being” and what judgments that ultimately entails for the life and rights of that “human being.” Everyone says that Nazi’s are wrong for determining to kill Jewish human beings, but what about abortionists who kill human fetuses?

What are the stages in a human being’s development? Any science book can give one a flow chart to track. On day 1 cells begin to divide after the egg is fertilized. On days 5-9 the fetus’ sex can be determined. The heart of the fetus (for lack of a better term at this point) begins to form 18 days after conception. There is a measurable heartbeat 21-24 days after conception. The human brain begins to form on day 23 and is formed enough to produce brain waves by 6 weeks. In other words, at this point, the fetus can feel pain when saline solution, which is used in abortions, is injected into the mother’s womb. On day 30 the fetus has grown 10,000 times it original size. At 8 ½ weeks fingerprints are engraved. At 9 weeks the fetus begins sucking its thumb. At 11 weeks the fetus urinates and can smile. And the list goes on. When though, and at what point, is the fetus a human being? Is it at conception? Is it at one day? Five days? Fifty days? Science textbooks do not give that answer. They assume the American populace believes that life begins at birth. But who determined this “fact” and when?

Determining “human life” is a hard question for those without religious values of any kind. Science can tell people how something works, but it cannot tell them why it works. Science, apart from a theistic morality gives no meaning to life. It is primarily atheistic. If there is no God, there are no morals. But aside from that at this point, it is quite simple to point out the inconsistencies of governmental opinions on this issue based on a non-moral approach to science. For example, the California Penal Code states, “Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.” But then it states, “This section shall not apply to any person who commits an act that results in the death of a fetus if any of the following apply: The act complied with the Therapeutic Abortion Act, Article 2 (commencing with Section 123400) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 106 of the Health and Safety Code…The act was solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the mother of the fetus. Subdivision (b) shall not be construed to prohibit the prosecution of any person under any other provision of law.”9 In this section the human is equated with fetus, but then the status of “human” is taken away when the abortion law comes into play, but then it is given back when it refers to the fetus having a “mother” which constitutes the fetus as a child. Government cannot make non-moral choices without being vigorously confused since it represents a plethora of different opinions (not truths) about what should or should not be done on matters of morals. A majority of nine Supreme Court Justices cannot, and ought not, take up a position of dictatorship (totalitarianism) on matters of morals without the consent of every citizen if the consensus is to be determined, and if government is really a democracy (at least in this governmental structure). This is exactly what they did. Gordon Clark rightly states, “Abortion is legal because the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. said so. A majority of nine men, without any amending of the Constitution or any referendum of the population, but all by themselves, negated the legal right of innocent persons to live.”10 People say that the Supreme Court should be able to make judgments with a non-religious bias. But this is impossible. The bias in which these nine Supreme Court members made a decision was made without God (non-religious) and constitutes a practical atheism. Is atheism a religion?

Abortion calls the philosopher (or anyone who has an interest in morality) to contemplate a number a questions that refer back, not to statistics and legislative policy, but to truth about human life and its constitution. What constitutes a human life? Who determines what is or is not a human life? What value is placed on a human life and who places that value on human life? Is a fetus a human being? When does a human being become a human being? Is this a subjective decision made by the Supreme Court Justices in order to justify the legalized killing of babies? Or is there an objective truth to this question?

In order to come to an objectivity of truth about “being” (or human nature) there are many systems of thought that attempt to apply their findings to the practical question of whether abortion kills babies and whether it is murder. One of the most popular systems of thought about the way one views reality is Empiricism.

Empiricism teaches that all human knowledge is derived ultimately from sense experience. This method of knowledge is mainly seen is such worldviews as materialism (the theory that only matter exists), and naturalism (that the universe is a boxed system that does not allow for metaphysical or spiritual interaction or reality of any kind). This system was made popular by Aristotle and then more refined by John Locke. The empiricist must be prepared to show how every instance of human knowledge has sense experience as its necessary and sufficient condition.11 If this is true, secular empiricism has a problem. Whenever one asks “why” something works empirically, that is much different than asking “how” it works. “Why” relates to significance. “How” demonstrates approximations asserting technical facts. Empiricism must be able to offer moral significance to its claims if it is to be trusted at all. This is where scientific philosophy must take over. For anyone who attempts to adhere to an “ethical naturalism” commits what G.E. Moore called the “naturalistic fallacy.”12 One cannot define goodness in terms of natural properties without an objective reality determining that which is good and evil. One cannot determine an “ought” (i.e. abortion ought to be seen as “good”) from an “is” (i.e. abortion is practiced). In other words, one cannot believe that whenever one thinks one is acting rightly, one is acting rightly. This is ethical relativism. The abortionists think they are acting rightly when they murder a child. But by thinking one acts rightly does not give one the ability to insert significance into the act as “good.” Aristotle and John Stuart Mill both said that all inherent “goods” must have the property of conducing to happiness and that only those things are inherently good which do conduce happiness. This is a continuation of the naturalistic fallacy. If a rapist or a murderer believes rape or serial killing is conducive to their happiness, then murder and rape are inherently good because they consider it so. Jeremy Bentham attempted at great length to make “goodness” a matter of calculation. But there are no standards by which a naturalist can measure, or possibly measure, every given and known situation for all people in order to demonstrate, quantitatively, what is good – unless one is omniscient, then it is an impossibility. How might anyone make value judgments without an objective source of value without ending up in relativism, and ultimately skepticism concerning the meaning of purpose? One would not know what value is!

Empiricism must have a philosophy of life. If it does not, then it cannot furnish anyone with any real information about anything at all because it cannot interject into the “how” the “why.” A statement of fact is not an explanation. A statement of fact is the very thing that needs to be explained. Science can tell people facts about a ten-week-old fetus. But can it furnish people with significance about that fetus? Can empiricism really explain significance at all? If it cannot, then it has no basis for determining whether moral rights belong to women or to the child growing in her womb. It has no ability to insert significance in the facts surrounding the termination of life in the womb. This is practical atheism at work, and this is not a non-religious view. Empiricism cannot take atheism and insert value on the life of the fetus, or the mother’s act of termination or omission of termination (which is why government’s rely on the scientific method of verification because it seems to have no religious connotations). However, if empiricism and scientific observation were going to be helpful in determining the moral character of the fetus, then they would have to come up with a manner of knowledge that includes significance and value. But this, as just demonstrated, is impossible. Empiricism really has nothing to say at all about abortion being good or bad. It just says abortion “is.” It makes laws that affect morality without having the ability to determine those morals in any way. As the Humanist Manifesto teaches, “Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science make unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values.”13 Abortion has no value one way or the other according to the humanist, or according to the Supreme Justices who voted it in and legalized it. But in legalizing it as something “good” for abortionists, have they not attempted to make it valuable to people? This is a contradiction. The Humanist Manifesto goes on to say that “It the State should not favor any particular religious bodies through the use of public monies.” However, once Christian theism is pushed aside and atheism is embraced, the State is simply trading one “religion” for another. In essence, arbitrary absolutes characterize communistic rule. As Francis Schaeffer rightly comments, “And (taking abortion as an example) if this arbitrary absolute by law is accepted by most modern people, bred with the concept of no absolutes but rather relativity, why wouldn’t arbitrary absolutes in regard to such matters as authoritarian limitations on freedom be equally accepted as long as they were thought to be sociologically helpful?”14

In turning away from atheism and toward Christian theism, the Bible explains that the entire life of a human – from the beginning to its natural end – is sacred, since God determines the length of the human life. Men are made in the image of God and are endowed with significance because morality is governed by God’s decree and providence, not because men want to throw God out of the nation and then act like God to legislate on moral issues. Everyone who supported slavery was free. Everyone who supports abortion was born. This is how oppression works. Abortionists say that the fetus is not really a person – but that has been heard before. But the question remains, “When were you ever your mother?”

God gives men a moral distinction between the human being and everything else on the planet. God first created the world. The Westminster Confession of Faith states, “ It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good ( Rom 11:36; I Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:2; John 1:2-3; Gen. 1:2; Job 33:4; Rom 1:20; Jer. 10:12; Psa. 33:5; 104:24; Gen 1:1-31; Psa. 33:6; Heb. 11:3; Col. 1:16; Acts 17:24; Exod. 20:11).”15 Everything God made was “good.” Men who attempt to define “good” without God have an impossible task. Atheism cannot supply men with criteria for good and evil. It simply becomes a form of relativism. Bahnsen says rightly, “Without this presupposition of the Christian theory of being there would be no defensible position with respect to the relation of men and things. Neither men nor things would have a discernable identity. There would be no science and no philosophy or theology, for there would be no order. History would be utterly unintelligible. Finally, without the presupposition of the Christian theory of morality there would be no intelligible view of the difference of good and evil. Why should any action be thought to be better than any other action except on the supposition that it is or is not what God approves or disapproves?”16 This is the basis (God’s approval) as to what is good or evil. Unbelievers, such as the Supreme Court Justices of Roe v. Wade, do not use justifiable epistemological commitments in order to make moral assertions. Instead, they use assumed atheism that devalues moral judgments altogether and attempts to make life’s choices accomplished in a humanistic vacuum that holds no purpose whatsoever. They thought they were making a judgment call that had no moral consequences to it. However, choice, in and of itself, is a moral dilemma that is only reconcilable by attending or not attending to what God says is good or evil. Choices are never neutral according to God. They are either good or evil. If God says abortion is evil, and the destruction of human life is evil, and that the human fetus is a human life, then abortion is sin and murder. “Thou shalt not kill,” then, applies to abortion.

The Westminster Confession of Faith then goes on to state, “After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after his own image (Gen 1:27; Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; Luke 23:43; Matt. 10:28).”17 As “image of God” man is a royal son with the judicial function of the cultural mandate appertaining to a kingly office.18 Man in his imaging of God in righteousness, knowledge, and true holiness is also a relational being, the equality of male and female existing in the form of an order including a relation of authority. He relates to others made in the image of God and to God Himself. Even though God made man upright after His image, as a consequence of choosing sin (breaking God’s covenant in the garden of Eden) man fell from grace and his mind became darkened. Calvin says, “The image of God, in which man has been formed, was annihilated. God then declares, that the whole world, which had been created for his sake, fell together with him from its primal original, and that in this way, much of its excellence was lost.”19 In the Westminster Larger Catechism, question 21, it asks, “Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created him?” The answer is given, “Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the commandment of God in eating the forbidden fruit; and thereby fell from the estate of innocencey wherein they were created (Gen. 3:6-8, 13; Eccl. 7:29; II Cor. 11:3).” All mankind fell in that transgression because Adam was the covenant head of all mankind. As question 22 answers, “The covenant being made with Adam as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression (Acts 17:26; Gen. 2:16-17; Rom. 5:12-20; I Cor. 15:21-22). What then happened to all men? The answer of question 23 says, “The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery (Rom. 3:23; 5:12).” Though man was endowed with something special above the rest of creation (the image of God) he fell and that image became corrupted. The image of God was corrupted and darkened, but it was not lost. Gerstner says, “Because sinners are at enmity with God, the knowledge which the mind discovers is repugnant to them.”20 Though men have darkened minds, they are still made in that image. It is marred and twisted, but there nonetheless. This means that though the fall occurred, and the imputation of sin occurred, human beings made in the image of God still have value because God says they do. At what point, then, does God determine that a human being is a human being?

It is quickly asserted by Christians that God determines that people are “human beings” at the moment of conception, but this must be proven. One cannot simply assert “being” without proof from God that being exists. The fetus is the product of human DNA and by its very nature undeniably human. If this human nature if left to grow, it will result in a fully developed human baby. Are humans “human beings” because they have human characteristics? Some humans have feet, hands, walk vertically, and speak. Others are born with birth defects, diseases, mental retardation, and the like – all a consequence of sin in the world. But humans are “human beings” not because of a certain arm length, height, weight or mental capacity, but because of the image of God in them – because of their nature, not because someone has more cells than someone else. Cell count, and physical characteristics are completely beside the point – whether they are two cells, or two billion cells big. Some say that a cell in the body has human DNA and is alive and it is acceptable to destroy it. With a fetus, it is simply a large conglomeration of cells, so it makes no difference whether one kills cells on their arm, or a collection of cells in the form of a fetus. It is certainly true that a cell on the arm of a human body has DNA and it is alive. But this is different than saying that cells have “being.” A cell that lines the walls of a lung is not a human being. A cell that dies from eczema is not a human being. But a fertilized egg of a human is by nature that very thing which becomes a fully developed human. It is a human being. It is endowed, at conception, with “being” or “the image of God.” The Scriptures prove this emphatically.

Psalm 51:5 states, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” King David, in this psalm on penitence, first states that “I” was “brought forth.” The Hebrew word is chuwl in the Pulal, and is in the perfect mood or tense. Literally it refers to being “made” in iniquity, and is first person. David is speaking of himself – that “he” had a relationship with God, in sin, imputed to him, at the moment he was conceived or shapened in the womb. In chet (sin) David was yacham (conceived). He had a relationship with God from the moment the egg was fertilized by the sperm. At that point, David can say “I” apart from both his father and his mother at the point of conception. David is not his mother at the moment he is conceived. From that point the comparison of numeric cells between David’s mother and David himself is irrelevant. David, at conception, is his own person – he is a human being.

The Bible calls a “fetus” in the womb a “child” and assumes the equivalency of the child in the womb as valuable as the mother. Note the various distinctions between the mother and the person in the womb in each of these passages. In Exodus 21:22-25 it reads, “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. “But 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.” There is no distinction on the value of the life in this passage. Cottrell says, “It must also be noted that the text itself makes no distinction between harm done to the child and harm done to the mother.”21 As the text reads, “life for life” applies to both the child and the mother. The relationship God has with a child is something that extended not only from conception, but also back in the decreed will of God from eternity. In Jeremiah 1:5 God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” As with Jeremiah, so with the apostle Paul, “God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace (Galatians 1:15).” God even saves some children in the womb as with John the Baptist. Luke 1:15 accounts, “He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.” As a matter of fact, the child in Elizabeth’s womb “leaped for joy” when the Christ child was near in the womb of Mary (Luke 1:41). Do human beings have joy? Do they leap for joy? Or is this a mass of inanimate cells?

From the womb wicked men are enemies of God because of the imputation of sin. God actually has a negative relationship with them from the time they are conceived. Psalm 58:3 states, “The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.” Since all Adam’s posterity was in Adam when he fell, they were morally present to fall (Romans 5:12). It is biblically impossible, then, to deny moral accountability from a prenatal point of view.

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.22 Job 31:15 states, “Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?” Psalm 22:10 says, “I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God.” Again, this demonstrates the personal relationship God has with an unborn child. Psalm 139:13-14 also says, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” Isaiah 44:24 makes it clear that God is the one who creates the child He knows in the womb, “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who makes all things.”

This discussion can also be applied to the incarnation of the Son of God in the humanity of Jesus Christ. Isaiah gives a prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ when he says, “Listen, O coastlands, to Me, And take heed, you peoples from afar! The LORD has called Me from the womb; From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name (Isaiah 49:1).” Here it is clearly evident that Christ is not His mother Mary. God called “Me” from the womb, as the text states, making a conscious distinction between the child and the mother. Both are human, both have value. When Mary was said to be with “with child”23 the text assumes the humanity of the Christ child when it says, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us (Matthew 1:23).” The “pregnancy” is a child that is a human. Luke 2:5 says that “Mary, his betrothed wife…was with child” while she was pregnant. The Greek terms here and in Matthew 1:18 are both parallel words between being “with child” and “pregnant.” Sons are human beings.

It is philosophically impossible to assign value to a fetus through atheism or a denial of Christian theism. God objectively gives value on things good and evil. The unborn child, at the moment of conception, is in a relationship with God – he is at enmity with Him and needs to be converted. The Scripture plainly determines this is the case. It is therefore murder to kill an unborn human being based on the decision that killing is murder, and is a transgression of the Law of God. Is there a bible verse that states, “Thou shalt not abort?” Scripture has no command of this nature – but there is a reason for this. Meredith Kline 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.”24 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; Psa. 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 since generations are exceedingly important to covenant families (Deut 25:6; Ruth 4:5). Barrenness would have 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” (Exodus 20:13).25 To abort the life that God formed in the womb and knew relationally, which is a human being, is to kill that which is human in nature. Abortion is murder.

Where, then, does the mother gain the moral right to premeditatively overpower and kill the human being within her? Since women want to have a right over their own bodies as a constitutional amendment, does that give them the right to kill other human beings? Instead, the women should exercise the right of self-control over her wicked actions to murder, rather than, for sake of convenience, to destroy the fruit of her lust. The human being growing inside her is simply less powerful than she is. She has the power to destroy that child more easily than, say, a 250-pound man she dislikes. The 10-week-old child has no power to stop her from killing it, but the 250-pound man will put up a fight. Maybe she will decide to hire a hit man to take care of the man she dislikes. But in either case she is attempting to rule over another person and to take their life. She has no warrant to do so. The growing life in her and people who live outside of her are not her property to be owned and manipulated. She is not her child, and the child is not her. She is not the 250-pound man and the 250-pound man is not her. Both she and the government should be fighting to uphold life, liberty and happiness, not destroying it for the sake of convenience.

There are a number of main arguments used against the theistic position that life has value. Argument one: The fetus is not really human therefore it can be thrown away. But God says that at conception he knows the child. God knows the name of every unborn child before it is even conceived. In order to hold this first argument’s position, one must become an atheist. If one is properly an atheist, he has no grounds whatsoever to conclude anything on moral issues. By state consensus people determine that burglary is wrong and so the state passes a bill and a law to take action against theft. Why? What makes burglary wrong? Who says it is wrong? The atheist has no answers other than appealing to continence, and when he does, he is making a moral choice because he does not like the idea of someone else wearing his shirt. But to “like” or “dislike” something is a moral dilemma. The atheist has no grounds to stand on when dealing with morals. His opinion is as good as Stalin’s, Ted Bundy’s, or any other vile criminal.

The second argument says that a fetus requires a symbiant body and therefore cannot be considered fully human because it is completely reliant on another. This is not only absurd, but ridiculous. Take any one-day-old child who has been born and place them in a garbage can (as some women have). Men take the garbage out in garbage cans all the time. Abortionists throw away children in garbage cans all the time. They are garbage. Take the newborn and throw him in a garbage can and come back in two weeks and see if the baby has done well for himself. This should not be a difficult task for a non-theist to do since they have no basis for morals at all. Tossing the child into the garbage should be a walk in the park; it is neither good nor evil for them. Intelligent mothers would never do this – even atheistic mothers would not because they love their child, and they know if they do it, at the very least, they may be caught and prosecuted. They know the child would die, and they would go to jail. But they also know, begging the question, that the child is dependent on her to take care of him for a very long time after they are born. Dependence does not dictate nature. Otherwise, any child dependent and reliant on their parents should be seen as unnecessary as a two-celled fertilized human being. But are abortionists that consistent? Never.

Argument three has already been discussed: A woman has a right to do with her body as she desires. Abortion involves the death of a separate body. It is not her body and never was her body. Her son is not she and she is not her son. When the heart of her son begins beating after just three weeks, is that her heartbeat or his heartbeat? Personhood is given by God and cannot be transferred to another. The child has as much right to live as she does even if she made a mistake in having promiscuous sex and became pregnant. A mother’s stupidity should never justify murder.

The fourth argument is said this way: It is better to kill the fetus than to have an unwanted pregnancy. No. The word “better” is a moral word that deals with value. Again, atheists have no right in making that type of statement if they desire to remain consistent in the “a-morality”. Those who deny Christian theism have no logical power in making moral statements unless they have an objective reality by which determines their ethical system. Morals are not something that atheists can talk intelligibly about (which means they cannot really talk intelligently about life at all). Proverbs 6:17 states that God hates “hands that shed innocent blood.” This applies to both of those who conspire to kill children that God creates – the mother with an unwanted pregnancy – and the doctor who performs the act. God says that murder is sin and those who murder will not only be judged, but they will be condemned for this sin to eternal torment in hell for all eternity unless they repent (II Thess. 1:9; Mark 9:43-44, 46, 48; Luke 16:24).

James 1:27 gives the Christian community an ethic about matters pertaining to abortion and activism. It states, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” When a woman decides to murder her own child, she has virtually orphaned it. Sin begins in the mind, not in the act. It is only a matter of time that the abortionist will tend to the murder itself in the doctor’s office, but she has already murdered and orphaned the child in her heart. Christians, as a biblical rule, should be activists in attempting to save orphaned children. Tending to them, as James states, is “pure and undefiled religion.” Literally the Greek reads “Pure religious worship which is undefiled.” Taking an active God-centered stand against abortion (and other like atrocities with children) should be like breathing air to the Christian. It is part of his life-service before God (Romans 12:1-2).

Abortion is murder for the sake of personal self-interest. It is an act of self-love and rebellion against the law of God. It is no different morally than Hitler killing Jews, Stalin killing Russians, or the Mafia putting a bullet into the head of a drug addict who is too late on a loan payment. It is not morally different than serial killers who rape and murder women, or people who steal children and the homeless for Satanic rituals. It is not morally different than the torture that went on in the Vietcong POW camps, the burning of martyrs in the 16th century, or the exploits of the Spanish Inquisition. Morals never change. God’s law does not change. What makes abortion socially different is that it is done in a doctor’s lab, and the Government has given murder its approval. People can stomach things much better when they go into visit a smiling doctor. They take a little nap, the doctor kills the child through ripping it limb from limb and sucking its brain out, and the mother who made the decision, or was foolish enough to listen to her pressuring boyfriend, sees nothing of the aftermath.26 They just throw the child into the garbage can and the young women goes on her way “feeling much better.” Or, nowadays, someone can just have the doctor write a prescription for RU 482 and they can take a pill. Science has made murder easy and more convenient. Murder has not changed since Cain killed Abel out of jealousy – only methods change. As Gordon Clark rightly said, “The only difference between abortionists in the US and the cannibals in the Congo is that the abortionists here do not eat the babies.”27 This is true enough. And the only difference between a woman consciously aborting her unborn child and Hitler killing a Jew in a furnace is…nothing really.

In Matthew 2:18 there is the final keynote on the description of the children massacred by Herod. Herod was trying to kill the Christ child and ordered every male child put to death (aborted after the fact) from two years old and younger. There were no more than a few hundred children killed. The text reads, “ In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” It was a time of great sorrow. God saw this massacre and history labeled it as the massacre of the innocents. God has also seen the 35 million children aborted over the last 40 years. What does He think of this? In many places of the world, it would be the annihilation of entire countries and populations of people.

If the parents of the abortionist reading this paper practiced abortion, they would not have been able to read its biblical and philosophical arguments for life. They would be spared bitter feelings against its pages. If this writer’s parents believed and practiced abortion, then this writer would not have written this paper at all, and the abortionist may have been spared some cogent thought on the subject, and also been spared those same feelings. Hopefully, though, this paper would have stirred up more than feelings. Since the abortionist may be engaged in contemplating these things more carefully, maybe in the future, there will be fewer abortions, and more children to glorify the Lord.

Psalm 127:3-5, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his 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.”

[1] Didache 2:1–2 [A.D. 70]. See also The Letter of Barnabas (Letter of Barnabas, Page 19 [A.D. 74]); The Apocalypse of Peter (The Apocalypse of Peter, Page 25 [A.D. 137]). Athenagoras (A Plea for the Christians, Page 35 [A.D. 177]); Tertullian (Apology 9:8 [A.D. 197]); Minucius Felix (Octavius, Page 30 [A.D. 226]). Hippolytus (Refutation of All Heresies [A.D. 228]). Lactantius (Divine Institutes 6:20 [A.D. 307]). Council of Ancyra (canon 21 [A.D. 314]). (First Canonical Letter, canon 2 [A.D. 374]). John Chrysostom (Homilies on Romans, Page 24 [A.D. 391]). Jerome (Letters 22:13 [A.D. 396]). The Apostolic Constitutions (Apostolic Constitutions 7:3 [A.D. 400]).

[2] Gorman, Michael J., Abortion & the early church: Christian, Jewish & pagan attitudes in the Greco-Roman world, (Downers Grove: np, 1982), Pages 15-20.

[3] Balsdon, J. P. V. D., Roman Women: Their History and Habits, (Toronto, np: 1977) Page 190.

[4] Harold O. J. Brown, Death before Life (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1977), Page 74.

[5], key words “abortion”, “human”, “fetus”, and “human nature.”

[6] Waltke, Bruce, Reflections from the Old Testament on Abortion, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, vol 19 (Winter, 1976) Page 6.

[7] It is too bad that women do not maintain self-control before they are fornicators or promiscuous and control their bodies at that time. Adultery and fornication, though, are not against the law of the land, though they are against the law of God (cf. Exodus 20:1ff).

[8] For more information on the acts of the Civil Magistrate, see the Westminster Confession of Faith chapter 23.

[9] California Penal Code sections 187-199.

[10] Clark, Gordon, Essays on Ethics and Politics (Jefferson: The Trinity Foundation, 1992), Page 92.

[11] Nash, Ronald, Life’s Ultimate Questions, (Grand Rapids, Zondervan Publishing House: 1999) Page 94.

[12] Edwards, Paul, The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, vol 3 (New York, MacMillian Publishing Company: 1972) Page 70.

[13] The Humanist Manifesto I (1933), Page 8.

[14] Schaeffer, Francis, How Should We Then Live?, (Westchester, Crossway Books: 1986) Page 222.

[15] The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter I: Of Creation, Paragraph 1.

[16] Bahnsen, Greg, Van Til’s Apologetic, (Phillipsburg, P&R Publishing Company: 1998) Page 117.

[17] The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter I: Of Creation, Paragraph 2.

[18] For a greater explanation of this idea see Meredith Kline, Creation in the Image of the Glory-Spirit, Westminster Theological Journal, vol 39 (Spring: 1977) Pages 265ff.

[19] Calvin, John, Commentaries on the First Book of Moses, Called Genesis, 2 vols, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948) at Gen 3:1.

[20] Sproul, R.C., Gerstner, John, and Arthur Lindsey, Classical Apologetics, (Grand Rapids, Zondervan: 1984) Page 244.

[21] Cottrell, Jack W., Abortion and the Mosaic Law, Christianity Today, (March 16, 1973) Page 8.

[22] Laney, J. Carl, The Abortion Epidemic: America’s Silent Holocaust, Bibliotheca Sacra vol. 139, (October: 1982) Page 348.

[23] Literally, “in pregnancy”.

[24] Kline, Meredith G., Lex Talionis and the Human Fetus, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, vol 20 (September, 1977) Page 193.

[25] Laney, J. Carl, The Abortion Epidemic: America’s Silent Holocaust, Bibliotheca Sacra vol. 139, (October: 1982) Page 346.

[26] It is important to note that a great portion of women suffer emotional and psychological guilt (rightly so) after the act is committed. Some are never able to conceive again from the operation, and others continue to miscarry other pregnancies long afterwards.

[27] Clark, Gordon, Essays on Ethics and Politics (Jefferson: The Trinity Foundation, 1992), Page 93.

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