The heart of the debate on abortion boils down to this, “Is a foetus a person?” and at what point does the unborn become a life that the state has an interest in protecting? Even the “My body my choice” mantra works with that assumption, the difference is it puts the woman and her body into focus and takes the “foetus” and the life developing inside that body out of the frame. It is essentially shifting the goalpost and reframing the argument in such a way that women are the real victims in being denied abortions.
Again, what nobody talks about is the absurdity of this stance. The implication is that whether or not a foetus is a baby (i.e a human being) or a lump of cells depends entirely on the feelings of the woman. When she feels like it, it is a baby and when she feels like it, it is a lump of cells to be discarded and thrown into the trash. Is this not biological dictatorship?
Also, is it not hypocritical when a woman has a miscarriage and mourns the loss, not of a foetus, but of a baby. Yet the same woman would willingly abort one of those foetuses if she is not in the mood to accommodate it?
But, I digress…
Going back to the heart of the matter, “is an unborn foetus a person?’. If it can be shown that God regarded them as people, then surely the termination of an unborn foetus is the snuffing out of a life.
We ask again, does God regard the unborn as a person? We refer to scripture
“Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.
And the Lord said to her:
“Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger.”(Genesis 25:21–23)
Notice that the “items” within Rebecca were referred to as “children” immediately after conception, but I am in a generous mood. Let us assume that was a term of convenience used by Moses because there was no other scientific description. What about God’s response then? He clearly refers to both children within her as nations, a nation of people and He goes ahead to describe how their futures would play out. He spoke about them like they were people. Living, breathing people.
Secondly, John the Baptist was spoken of as a person while in the womb, the angel Gabriel informed Zechariah that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15). An unborn child was filled with the Holy Spirit. This is the same John who leapt in his mother’s (Elisabeth) womb immediately the greeting of Mary was heard (Luke 1:41).
This caused Elisabeth under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to call Mary, “the mother of my Lord”. She called “the fruit of Mary’s womb” her Lord while it was unborn (Luke 1:42–43).
In essence, from those passages of scripture, we see that God sees the unborn as a life. God filled the unborn with the Holy Spirit and the unborn was capable of leaping in response to external stimuli.
Furthermore, David the Psalmist says of himself that God covered him in his mother’s womb (Psalms 139:13). The implication being he was a human being while in his mother’s womb.
Again in Psalm 22, he writes,
“But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.” (Psalms 22:9–10)
Notice, he was taken out of the womb. Again, necessarily implying he existed before he was extracted from the womb He even says God was his God from the womb and as Jesus said, God is a God of the living, not the dead. David therefore had to have thought of himself as being alive in the womb.
What further proof do we need to conclude that Biblically, personhood, begins in the womb? This is again in tandem with biology, which agrees that life begins at conception. A “foetus” has a heartbeat and a DNA distinct from that of its mother, ought this life not to be protected?
How does the Bible fit into this? A reading of the Bible, particularly the law and the prophets, shows that God is particularly sympathetic to the weak and defenseless in society. The poor, the widow, the fatherless, and the foreigner were part of the protected class under the law of Moses and it was a point of contention between God and Israel that they took advantage of those classes instead of protecting them (see the book of Amos for example).
Would a foetus not fit into the category of the defenceless? And if it does, why do we for a second think the Bible is apathetic about its treatment?
It is therefore no surprise that “The Didache: ”, one of the earliest surviving Christian texts (dated to the 2nd or 3rd Century AD) contains a teaching concerning abortion. It reads,
“You shall not murder a child by abortion or kill a child at birth” (Chapter of the second commandment, the eight commandment).
This book is dubbed as (and believed to be) the teaching of the twelve apostles to the nations (which quotes heavily from scriptures throughout)and somehow surprise surprise, it reaches the conclusion, that abortion is the murder of a child.
And yes, President Biden has whined and cried about a ten year old girl who was raped and could not get an abortion in the state she was in since it was illegal. While we commiserate with that situation, it is worth pointing out that it is a pathetic attempt to guilt trip those of the pro-life slant. These things happen but statistically rape accounts for less than 1% of abortions. The abortion movement has never been about rape victims, oh don’t get me wrong, the pro-choicers would do anything they have to in order to make a point, including using innocent victims as pawns but that is not what the movement is about. It is primarily about wanting to indulge in potentially baby-making activities but not having to deal with the potential baby part of it.
In conclusion, according to both scriptures and biology, life begins at conception and nobody should be given an unfettered right to terminate it. A woman’s body merely provides the right conditions and environment for a life to develop within it, therefore there is more at stake in deciding whether or not to terminate a pregnancy than the woman’s body. There is yet another body, the one developing inside the woman, which ought to be protected especially as it is defenseless. A person is a person and a life is a life, no matter how small and regardless of the phase of development it is currently in.