One of the toughest issues to debate in our world today is abortion. Abortion is the induced termination of pregnancy before the fetus can survive. Nowadays, abortion affects all people, not just the mother and the baby. There are moral, ethical, health-related, political, and religious aspects that affect how people feel towards abortion. By looking at religion and its views, one can see just how hard it would be to argue in the pro-choice position of this debate. First of all, I must start with the truththe Bible does not directly say anything about abortion.
The actual word is not mentioned at all. During biblical times, abortion was an unthinkable act and “there was no need to mention it in the criminal code” (Anderson 1). “Children were viewed as a gift or heritage from the Lord the Scriptures statethat God opens and closes the womb and is sovereign over conception” (Anderson 1). In this sense, “childlessness was seen as a curse” (Anderson 1). Passages taken from the Bible are used as supporting details because they state indirectly how God feels towards the issue. Before Christ was born, however, opinions differed towards abortion.
Unwanted children were destroyed through abortion and infanticide because the Romans and Greeks thought human life was neither sacred nor inviolate (Ayd 48). In fact, Aristole claimed “that all babies beyond a legally defined quota should be sentenced to death by exposure” (Ayd 48). However, there were some people who objected this inhumanity. “Hippocrates declared that physicians should not perform or enable a women to procure an abortion” (Ayd 48). Even though there were laws against the act, people ignored them and continued to perform the procedure as if it was nothing.
Then God became man, and man was created in God’s image. The Bible says that man is not the owner of his life and body, and the uses he can make of these are limited and governed by divine law (Ayd 48). The entire will of God is for man to come to know Him in a personal relationship so that he may spend eternity in Heaven. This is why there is life on Earth. If one can go through the trials and temptations of life and stay on the side of the Lord, then he is deemed worthy to go to Heaven. By following through with n abortion, the unborn child is never given this chance.
Although “abortion” is not directly mentioned in the Bible, there are stories that illustrate why Christians believe that performing this act is wrong. Psalm 139 is about a man named David. He speaks of his praise for God sovereignty in his life “by acknowledging that God is omniscient and knows what David is doing at any given point in time,” including the nine months he was in his mother’s womb (Anderson 1). David knows that he was a unique person being shaped by God for a special role in God’s plan. God knew David even before he was known to others” (Anderson 1).
According to the Bible, God knows what is going to happen before it ever does. This includes the life and identity of the unborn baby. The main controversy when arguing abortion involves the actual life of the unborn baby. For many years, doctors and other specialists have tried to figure out the exact moment of when the baby is considered alive. Some of the answers include: the moment the umbilical cord is cut and the baby is breathing on its own, after the first trimester, and from the moment of conception.
Since the nineteenth century, the official doctrine of the Church has been that ensoulment (life) occurs at the moment of conception” (Ayd 49). It was Pope Paul VI who insisted “that from the moment of conception life must be guarded with the greatest care and that direct abortion is morally wrong” (Ayd 49). However, no one really knows when the actually time of life begins and people will continue to argue against each other with varying opinions. In a letter in my teen study Bible, I read an interesting fact to a question concerning abortion.
It pointed out that the fetus is part of the mother, yet it is completely separate. The mother has her own set of genes, which can be found in any cell taken from anywhere in the woman’s body. At conception, the fetus receives chromosomes from its mother and father, producing a genetic code that looks nothing like the mother’s. This proves that the fetus is not a part of the woman’s own body. Abortion the killing of an innocent human being, which goes against the 6th commandment: Thou shall not murder (Exodus 20:13).
Some individuals feel that the Catholic Church is forcing its beliefs, such as the commandments, on society. According to Frank J. Ayd, Jr. , M. D. , this is not true (51). He goes on to explain this by pointing out that: The Catholic Church’s teachings primarily are for its faithful, but it does have the grave responsibility by divine mandate to teach that all men have fundamental rights, one of which is the right to live. By defending the fetus’ right to live, the Church is not only affirming the sanctity of human life but it is opposing the delegation to any individual the right to decide who shall live.
By its insistence that innocent human life is inviolable, the Church is upholding one of the fundamental laws without which it is impossible for human beings to live safely in society. Furthermore, by its opposition to abortion the Church is being truly humanitarian. (51) This passage simply states that one should not have to be taught by the Catholic Church that abortion is inhuman. People should already know what an abortion does to the fetus. Just by looking at the pictures of an abortion should prove that the whole procedure is more inhuman than any other type of death.
In Stephen Schwarz’s book, The Moral Question of Abortion, there are three pictures showing a fetus after an abortion has been performed (126-127). The first uses salt poisoning, the second uses suction abortion, and the third uses dismemberment abortion. All are very vivid and allow one to see the actual horror of having an abortion done. God did not give women the wonderful experience of being pregnant just so they could have the option to destroy the baby into the many pieces seen in the pictures.
Even proving the horror of abortion does not seem to affect many people, and modern technology is not helping. Within the past year, a new pill has been discovered that actually causes the mother to have a miscarriage. This pill, known to the public as RU486, is giving women an easier route than actually having the medical procedure performed. This type of discovery makes it hard for any church to change a person’s mind, especially knowing the fact that miscarriages happen all the time.
Why not induce them? The Christian and Catholic Churches will continue to teach that the Bible and God are against abortion. There will also be many people who will oppose this teaching because of their own opinions and beliefs. No matter how people feel towards the issue of abortion, we must remember that the entire procedure is between the mother and the fetus. Both need to be taken into consideration when making a decision, and it is not hard to see where one might be led once reading the Bible.