Considering Abortion From Biblical and Ethical Perspectives (3)

WE HAVE been discussing the issue of abortion from both biblical and ethical perspectives taking into consideration the various arguments advanced by scholars. Notwithstanding these arguments, biblical and ethical views hold that abortion is wrong and unethical. Thus, a decision to terminate a pregnancy for any unjustifiable reason is tantamount to murdering a human person.

It is emphasized that the embryo is human from conception with its own DNA. Left alone, it will develop into a person. Normal L Geisler sheds light on this with scientific proofs when he writes, “modern science has placed a window in the womb. As a result, the evidence is now clearer than ever that individual human life begins at the very moment of conception, or fertilization.”

Furthermore, every child is precious and unique gift from God. Regarding this, Geisler asserts that unborn children are just as much persons in God’s image as little children or adults are. They are created in God’s image from the very moment of conception, and their prenatal life is precious in God’s eyes and protected by his prohibition against murder.

Also, Ronald B. Allen points out that “the Bible never speaks of fetal life as mere chemical activity, cellular growth, or vague force. Rather, the fetus in the mother’s womb is described by the psalmist in vivid pictorial language as being shaped, fashioned, molded, and woven together by the personal activity of God.”

That is, as God formed Adam from the dust of the ground, so He is actively involved in fashioning the fetus in the womb.  Another important point to consider is the fact that the fetus can feel pain and has intelligence; it can also move in the womb indicating that the fetus is a living person in the womb.

Michael A Grisanti writes this about baby John, the Baptist. “He is said to have reacted personally when he was yet in the womb of Elizabeth (in the sixth month of her pregnancy). According to Luke 1:44, Elizabeth told Mary, “For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.” When Mary entered the room to see her cousin Elizabeth, her cousin exclaimed that her unborn child leaped for joy in her womb.

Often, proponents of pro-choice perspective argue that drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes affect the unborn child’s health; teenagers who engage in binge drinking and drug use are more likely to have unprotected sex and become pregnant. Often, these babies are born with physical deformation, mental problems, respiratory problems, HIV, among others.

For this reason, such pregnancies should be terminated. But biblical perspective opposes this insisting that “Children with physical or learning disabilities can lead full and rewarding lives. Aborting people because of disability is like telling disable people that they are worthless. Moreover, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child says that children need protection both before and after birth. Another ethical issue to consider is the fact that unwanted babies could be adopted as many childless couples are desperate to adopt children.

So, now, do the biblical and ethical perspectives permit abortion at all? Under what conditions can abortions be done? Raque Lopez states that although the Catholic Church and the Christian church might have a few conflicting ideas, both are basically against abortion at any circumstance; however, the church has shifted…to a rather philosophical angle, focused on ethical belief, morality and values.

She further states that Pro-life and Pro-choice partisans agree, for obvious reasons, that women in certain situations should not conceive children; nonetheless, they do. It is easy to understand how certain kinds of situations would lead to a great chance of misfortune in the lives of children and, consequently, their mothers.

Thus, Grisanti posits that “within the anti-abortion movement, there is disagreement whether abortion might be legitimate in certain cases. For the most part, pregnancies that threaten the mother’s health and those caused by rape or incest are the ones debated and discussed within the pro-life movement as possible instances where an abortion may have legitimacy.”

He further states that “this reason applies only when the mother’s life is actually at stake, primarily in the case of ectopic or tubal pregnancies. With an ectopic or tubal pregnancy the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube rather than the mother’s uterus. The doctor has only two options.

“On the one hand, he can intervene and take the baby’s life by surgically removing the fetus from the fallopian tube and save the mother’s life. His other option is to do nothing and let both mother and baby die. There is abundant medical information available that no ectopic/tubal pregnancy ever resulted in childbirth. This is an issue to which pastors and potential parents must give careful attention.”

Now it must be stated in conclusion that as long as the earth remains, ministers of the Gospel will continue to offer care and counseling services to people especially Christians in decision-making. Some of the decisions may be made in relation to abortions caused by natural factors, medical factors and socio-economic factors.

For the Christian, the biblical views on abortion remain supreme and must be upheld in obedience to the Word of God. God is the source of life, the Giver of life. The embryo in the womb is human life and therefore must be respected and protected. Terminating it is tantamount to murdering a human person.

By James Quansah