God Is Moral Part Eleven
Previously we examined evidence that showed a total human being (body and soul) comes into existence at the moment of conception. Thus an abortion at any time after conception involves the taking of a personal human life and, therefore, is murder.
Now we will examine a biblical passage that confirms that conclusion and observe several consequences of abortion.
A Significant Passage
Exodus 21:22–25 has significant implication concerning God’s view of abortion. It records a judgment of the Mosaic Law that God required of Israel:
If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely,…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.
Thus, if a man who was fighting accidentally struck a pregnant woman and caused her child to be born prematurely, he was to be punished.
Several significant facts should be noted concerning this required judgment. First, if death resulted for the mother or her offspring, the man who struck her was to be executed. There was no distinction of guilt for death of the mother or death of the offspring. Even if the offspring alone died, the man was to be executed for his action that caused the death. And the action that caused the baby’s eventual death was the man’s accidental blow to the woman while her child was still in utero.
Second, since God required the same penalty of death for the death of either the mother or offspring, and since the blow that caused the death of the offspring was delivered while the child was in the mother’s womb, it can be concluded that God regarded the child in utero to be as fully a human being as the pregnant mother. It also indicates God has the same concern for the life and well-being of the offspring in the womb that He has for that of the mother.
Third, although in the Mosaic Law God usually did not require the death penalty for unintentional, accidental death, in this instance He did. He thereby required the same penalty as He did for murder. Thus God regarded this kind of death of a pregnant woman or her offspring as equivalent to murder, at least in effect.
Historically, governmental law and the Bible regard murder as the willful, premeditated killing of a human being by another. The historic view of abortion has been as follows: abortion is the willful, premeditated act of killing offspring while in the mother’s womb in order to obtain a type of premature delivery from the mother’s body without live birth. Since Exodus 21:22–25 indicates God regarded a child in utero to be as fully a human being as the mother, then it can be concluded that He regards abortion as the willful, premeditated killing of a human being by another and, therefore, murder.
Consequences of Abortion
The practice of abortion produces serious consequences, both immediate and future.
Consequences for unborn offspring. Abortion involves at least two consequences for unborn offspring. First is the excruciating experience of the procedure. According to the brochure Abortion: Some Medical Facts, published by the NRL Educational Trust Fund, six procedures are used to induce abortion.1
- Suction aspiration, used in most abortions, uses a powerful suction tube in the uterus. It dismembers the baby, rips the placenta from the uterus, and sucks the body parts into a container.
- Dilatation and curettage, used mainly during the seventh to 12th weeks of pregnancy, dilates or stretches the cervix for the insertion of a loop-shaped knife that cuts the baby’s body into pieces and cuts the placenta from the wall of the uterus.
- Dilatation and evacuation, used when the child is as old as 18 weeks and has bones, uses forceps to remove the child from the uterus by twisting and tearing away and slicing away the placenta.
- Salt poisoning, the second most widely used method, is employed after 16 weeks of pregnancy and involves injecting a concentrated salt solution through the mother’s abdomen into the amniotic fluid sac around the baby. The child is poisoned by breathing in and swallowing the salt solution and usually dies after an hour.
- Prostaglandins (hormones that assist the birth process) are injected into the amniotic sac around the child, usually during the second half of the pregnancy. They prompt violent labor and the premature birth of a baby usually too young to survive. Salt or other toxins may be injected first to guarantee the baby will not be delivered prematurely alive.
- Hysterotomy, similar to a cesarean section, involves making an incision into the uterus2 if the salt-poisoning or prostaglandin methods fail to kill the baby. If the baby survives this procedure, then the question becomes, “How, when, and by whom is the child to be killed?”
These are the historically used abortion methods. More recently, the partial-birth abortion has been developed. It involves maneuvering the baby so that all of its body except its head can be delivered. Once the baby’s head is lodged in its mother’s cervix, forceps are inserted to crush the infant’s skull or the skull is sliced open with a sharp instrument. Then the baby’s brain is sucked out of its skull. Sometimes the result is that the infant is dismembered and decapitated.3
Contrary to what many abortion advocates insist, all of these methods cause severe pain for the baby. Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, an Oxford and Harvard trained neonatal pediatrician and pain expert, testified that unborn babies experience pain more acutely than adults and fully born infants. He said that by the 20th week of the pregnancy, a baby has developed all the nerve and brain functions to feel pain but not the mechanisms to deal with it. He specifically stated that the partial-birth abortion causes “prolonged and excruciating pain” for the baby.4
The second consequence of abortion for the unborn child, of course, is death.
Consequences for the Mother. Although abortion advocates claim that abortion is safer for a woman than childbirth, the brochure Abortion: Some Medical Facts, states, “The experiences of private physicians and gynecologists do not support the validity of this claim.” It indicates that negative consequences from an abortion “include both physical and psychological complications.”5
The most common physical complications include “hemorrhages, laceration of the cervix, uterine perforation, inflammations of the reproductive organs and menstrual disturbances.” Long-term physical complications that may occur later include “sterility (the chances of which multiply with successive abortions), increased risk of ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, an inability to carry a pregnancy to term, and difficulties in future labor and delivery.” Obviously, “death of the mother is the most serious of all physical complications. The risk of death is greater as the duration of pregnancy increases and the complexity of the abortion procedure expands.”6
Psychological consequences include “guilt,…anxiety, depression, sense of loss, anger and deterioration of self image,…nightmares, flashbacks to their abortion experience and imaginations of their aborted children,” and “divorce and even suicide.”7
Consequences for Society. Abortion contributes significantly to a declining population trend that has long-range, serious consequences for the world. According to an article published by the Council on Foreign Relations,
Some 59 countries, comprising roughly 44 percent of the world’s total population, are currently not producing enough children to avoid population decline, and the phenomenon continues to spread. By 2045, according to the latest UN projections, the world’s fertility rate as a whole will have fallen below replacement levels.8
This trend will greatly affect “the global economy and balance of power.”9 As birthrates decline, the number of workers who produce goods and support the economy and the elderly will decrease, while the number of dependent elderly increases. This situation will cause severe government budget strain; “massive government borrowing”; the imposition of increasingly higher productivity levels and tax burdens upon the remaining workers “to pay for old-age pensions and health care”;10 a shortage in funds for research, development, and education; and a decrease in motivation for starting new businesses.11 Could such conditions prompt euthanasia programs to eliminate the elderly at a certain age?
The decline in birthrate will “make military actions increasingly difficult. ”12 There will be fewer youths available for the armed services, and the rising cost of pensions and health care will deprive the military of funds to purchase weapons, pay soldiers, and maintain preparedness.13
As birthrates decline, nations resort to immigration to obtain workers. That situation can prompt “security concerns” and “cultural backlash against immigrants.”14 What can happen to a nation when immigrants outnumber native citizens?
Europe is an example of problems generated by a declining birthrate and worker immigration. Wrote Don Feder:
Europe is augmenting its shrinking workforce with recruits from North Africa and the Middle East….Western Europe has gone from a Muslim population of 250,000, 50 years ago, to 20 million today.15
While native Europeans are not producing enough children to maintain their population, “European Muslims have large families”; and most of these Muslims “are quite serious about Islam.” Thus Europe has imported “an immigration jihad.”16
Several observers claim that Europe’s secular-humanistic rejection of Christianity is the cause of its declining birthrate. Feder stated that Europe has rejected “Judeo-Christian morality”:
In the Bible, procreation isn’t optional. The first commandment is to be “fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth”…Having lost their faith and embraced an ethic of radical autonomy, Europeans stopped going to church, stopped taking the Bible seriously, stopped believing in the future and stopped having children….Having abandoned Christianity, Europe is trading the cross for the crescent.17
James P. Gannon wrote:
Among the consequences of Europe’s abandonment of its religious roots and the moral code that derives therefrom is a plunge in its birth rates to below the replacement level. Abortion, birth control, acceptance of gay marriage and casual sex are driving the trend.18
Rejection of God’s truth has serious consequences.
- Abortion: Some Medical Facts, (Washington, D.C.: NRL Educational Trust Fund, 1985).
- Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd ed, unabridged (Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam Company, 1939), s.v. “hysterotomy.”
- Lynn Vincent, “The Ugly Truth,” World Magazine 19, No. 15 (April 17, 2004), 17, and John Dawson, “Painfully unaware,” World Magazine 19, No. 16 (April 24, 2004), 24.
- Dawson, 24.
- Abortion: Some Medical Facts.
- Phillip Longman, “The Global Baby Bust,” Foreign Affairs 83, no. 3 (May/June 2004): <foreignaffairs.org/20040501faessay83307/phillip-longman/the-global-baby-bust.html>.
- Don Feder, “‘Homophobia,’ demographic decline, Islamic immigration and the European death wish,” February 8, 2006 <worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48731>.
- James P. Gannon, “Is God dead in Europe?” January 8, 2006 <usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/ 2006-01-08-faith-edit_x.htm>.