The Abortion Question Today (Part 1)
The question of abortion has been debated long and hard over many years with many different and varied outcomes. We will cover this subject from a biblical standpoint but to start with we will look at the current situation around the world.
Some have put forward the idea of no abortion at all, under any circumstances, while others have suggested that it be allowed up to a certain time.
On the BBC website under “ethics,” the following information is available:
“At various times some of the following have been allowed in some societies:
- abortion for the sake of the mother’s health including her mental health and where a pregnancy is the result of a crime such as rape, incest, or child abuse
- abortion where the child of the pregnancy would have an ‘unacceptable’ quality of life such as cases where the child would have serious physical handicaps, serious genetic problems or serious mental defects
- abortion for social reasons, including poverty, the mother unable to cope with a child (or another child), the mother being too young to cope with a child
- abortion as a matter of government policy, as a way of regulating population size, as a way of regulating groups within a population and as a way of improving the population.
“Most opponents of abortion agree that abortion for the sake of the mother’s health can be morally acceptable if there is a real risk of serious damage to the mother.”
On the Debatepedia website under “Debate: Abortion – ‘Should abortions of any kind be permitted?’” the following brief excerpts are shown under “background and context”:
“The issue of abortion is one of the most contentious, and emotive dilemmas faced by modern societies. The question is whether one should allow the termination of a pregnancy. For some, the question is even more fundamental: at what stage is the embryo or fetus in the uterus to be regarded as a child? At fertilization? At birth? Or, maybe somewhere between. The battle-lines are drawn between strict, religious (‘pro-life’) arguments (that it is never permissible), and those (‘pro-choice’) that emphasise the woman’s right to choose as the primary concern. While abortion has been legal in America since the landmark Roe vs. Wade case in the early 1970s, this is by no means a reflection of universal agreement – either international or within America itself – as many Western countries still have considerable restrictions on abortion. For example, the Irish position has softened only recently, and the Catholic Church steadfastly refuses to change its resolutely pro-life stance in the face of criticism from Women’s and other lobby-groups.
“The abortion debate revolves around a number of questions. Does a woman have a right to her body that the fetus cannot take away? Does this right mean that a woman has a right to ‘unplug’ from the fetus? Or, does the fetus have a right to life that is binding on the woman and her body and that outweighs any rights held by the woman, requiring her to give birth? Is a fetus only a fetus or is it a person that deserves rights and protections? Does ‘human life’ begin at conception or at birth? (our emphasis). Is destroying a fetus akin to ‘killing a human’ or murder?
“What about the biological father? What rights does he have over a fetus? If the woman seeks an abortion, can he prevent it? And, what if she wants to give birth to a child, while he does not want it to happen? What say does he have? Is this, therefore, simply a question of the woman’s rights, or the man’s rights as well? Is a woman responsible for actions and behavior that may lead to an unwanted pregnancy, making her responsible for the fetus even if it is ‘unwanted’? Are there circumstances in which a woman cannot be said to be responsible for her own impregnation, such as failed contraception or rape? Can this justify an abortion?
“Is abortion an issue that is subjectively moral/immoral, so should be reserved to individual judgement (not law)? Must opponents simply tolerate the practice? Or, is the scale of abortions world-wide too large to ignore, and does this scale give cause to a ban?”
We can see from all of this information that, because God is never mentioned, the musings of man’s mind become the predominant questions to be answered, and there are plenty of questions asked as we have just seen.
The landmark Roe vs. Wade case in the early 1970’s is mentioned above. In Lifenews.com on January 22, 2013, we read the following:
“As Roe v. Wade and its allowance for unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy turns 40 today, the woman behind the infamous Supreme Court case has pledged her life to overturning it.
“Norma McCorvey never wanted an abortion — she was seeking a divorce from her husband — but young, pro-abortion feminist attorney Sarah Weddington used McCorvey’s case as a means of attempting to overturn Texas’ law making most abortions illegal. Weddington took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which invalidated every pro-life state law in the nation protecting unborn children and the rest is history.
“But most Americans don’t know that McCorvey, who was ‘pro-choice’ on abortion at the time, is now a pro-life advocate. She is now dedicated to reversing the Supreme Court case that bears her fictitious name, Jane Roe.”
It is interesting and encouraging to read that this woman who was involved in this case now feels very differently. She said: “I think it’s safe to say that the entire abortion industry is based on a lie…. I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name.” She concluded the following in a 60-second advertisement: “You read about me in history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.”
Statistics of abortions are nothing short of alarming, and we read on US Abortions Clock.org, the following figures as at the end of May 2019:
- Abortions in the USA since 1973 (the time of Roe v Wade) are now over 61 million.
- Worldwide abortions for 2019 were 16 million.
- Worldwide abortions since 1980 are over 1.5 billion.
In another report in 2013, Dr. Brian Clowes, director of education and research at Human Life International, investigated the number of worldwide abortions since 1973. The results were staggering! He estimated that there have been more than 1.72 billion abortions over the last 40 years, a trend that is not lessening but growing exponentially.
Whether the figures are 1.5 billion or 1.72 billion, they still represent an enormous number of lives that have been killed before birth.
Interestingly, over 200,000 abortions are performed each year in Britain. On the Christian Institute website, we can read this information: “Unknown thousands of human embryos are frozen, stored and destroyed by assisted reproductive technologies. In addition, human embryos are either specifically created, or obtained as excess ‘spares’ from IVF procedures, for use in destructive experimentation. Embryonic stem cell technology also means that human embryos are routinely destroyed in order to harvest such cells. More and more sophisticated prenatal screening techniques, including preimplantation genetic diagnosis, have been developed to implement a eugenic ‘search and destroy’ mission against the unborn who are suspected of being disabled.”
On the website medicinenet, several commitments by doctors are listed in “A Modern Version of the Hippocratic Oath”:
“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant which includes, amongst others, the following commitment:
“I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.”
The last italicized phrase is very interesting. Unfortunately, all too often, lives of the unborn are terminated for no reason other than inconvenience and even when there may be supposedly “valid” reasons for termination, this is really nothing more than a doctor “playing God” which they promise not to do. It is a very sad indictment on the medical profession when we read about the number of abortions that have been undertaken worldwide.
Recent events in the USA have taken a rather unexpected turn. CBS reported on May 16, 2019, that “Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the state’s controversial near-total abortion ban Wednesday evening. The new law is the most restrictive anti-abortion measure passed in the United States since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.
“The legislation — House Bill 314, ‘Human Life Protection Act’ — bans all abortions in the state except when ‘abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk’ to the woman, according to the bill’s text. It criminalizes the procedure, reclassifying abortion as a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison for doctors. Attempted abortions will be reclassified as a Class C penalty.
“The legislation makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.
“‘Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act,’ Ivey wrote in a statement Wednesday night. ‘To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God.
“Alabama’s ban is the latest in an onslaught of state-level anti-abortion measures that activists hope will be taken up by the Supreme Court and potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that protects a woman’s right to the procedure.
“Last week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law the state’s so-called ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill, a measure that will prohibit abortions after a heartbeat is detected in an embryo, which is typically five to six weeks into a pregnancy, and before most women know that they’re pregnant. The state was the sixth to pass such a law, and the fourth this year alone.”
Of course, there will be appeals against such action and the Guardian wrote the following in May 2019:
“Democratic leaders reacted with outrage, and pledged to fight for abortion rights. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and 2020 contender, tweeted: ‘This ban is dangerous and exceptionally cruel – and the bill’s authors want to use it to overturn Roe v Wade. I’ve lived in that America and let me tell you: we are not going back – not now, not ever. We will fight this. And we will win.’
“Hillary Clinton tweeted: ‘The abortion bans in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi are appalling attacks on women’s lives and fundamental freedoms. Women’s rights are human rights. We will not go back.’”
You will note that these democratic politicians frequently talk about women’s rights but rarely about the rights of the unborn. In an editorial in the weekly Update of the Church of the Eternal God, dated 15, March 2019, number 868, entitled “Blind Leaders,” the following was written:
“In his ‘State of the Union Address’ last month, US President Donald Trump raised the issue of abortion. Taken, word for word, from his speech, he said the following:
“‘Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth.
“‘To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.’”
The editorial continued: “The Daily Mail wrote: ‘A group of Democratic women who wore white in honor of the suffragettes gave President Donald Trump an unexpected standing ovation at Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address. They stood slowly at first, then clapped joyously, as Trump spoke about the economic gains that have been enjoyed in the United States by women since he took office. “No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year,” Trump said, prompting loud cheering from the section of women.’
“These women were basking in self-congratulatory terms but when it came to the President’s statement about abortion, they obviously did not approve of even a small curtailment of this abominable practice; after all, abortion is another name for murder.”
(To be continued)
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)