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Eowyn's Heart

The name of this blog is based on the character Eowyn from Lord of the Rings because I strongly identify with her on many levels. The purpose of this blog is to proclaim the glory of my Lord and King through His work in conforming me into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus. In all things, I trust you will see His hand at work.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

On the subject of abortion

Around 2 - 3 weeks ago, I vented a bit on Facebook about fellow believers taking positions in support of Planned Parenthood and abortion (or at least a woman's "right" to choose to have an abortion).  Such a position troubles me because I believe it grieves the heart of God.  Following some not wholly unpleasant discussion on the matter (thankfully, for the most part, both sides stated their beliefs respectfully), I decided a more thorough look at the subject was in order.  What follows are MY thoughts on this issue and what I believe to be reasoned, Biblical, scientifically based answers to the opposing arguments.

As this is a touchy subject, I should note, responses to this blog are moderated.  I will gladly approve posts opposing my views and arguments provided those posts are respectful and thoughtful.  I will not approve rants, foul language, or angry/hateful comments.

The biggest issue, of course, is whether the fetus is a living human being with as much right to life as the mother.  If you believe it is not alive or that it is somehow not human, then any argument defending it's right to live is moot.  The mother's inclinations, wants, perceived needs, overrule any potential of the fetus.

There's TONS of evidence out there that the fetus IS a living human being, however.  Both scientific and Biblical.  

First, I think it's helpful to look at what determines "death" of an already "living" human - this will help us see what defines life for one not yet born.  And, please note, by "define" - I don't mean "definitively" - there is much more to life and death than biology and we still have a LOT to learn about God's design in the human body.

I did a google search for the "definition of death".  While the results showed some variations, most concurred with this medical dictionary's general description: Death is defined as the cessation of all vital functions of the body including the heartbeat, brain activity (including the brain stem), and breathing.

The key features universally identified were heartbeat, breathing, and brain activity.  When all three of these are absent, death is likely to have occurred. Thus, we might reasonably assume that, when all three are present, life is likely to have occurred.

Now, some specifics about development from http://studentsforlife.org/prolifefacts/fetaldevelopment/ (these are my selected highlights, please click the link to get the full list):

  • Weeks 1-3: The circulatory system rapidly forms (including the umbilical cord), and the heart begins to beat toward the beginning of Week 3.
  • Week 6: Brainwave activity has begun.
Breathing is the one thing missing from this list.  A baby receives it's oxygen through the umbilical cord - the mother breathes for the baby.  So, does this mean the baby is not alive?  Consider the person on the lung machine - are they no longer alive if their heart beats independently and they are alert and able to respond - brainwaves are present?  So, I would further my argument to say that the ability to process oxygen, however it is introduced to the system, could be considered a "sign of life."  Thus, by week 6, a fetus has all the indications of what we currently, scientifically, call life.

As to whether it is human life, I would think this needs no real comment, if it's not human, what is it? (rhetorical, in my opinion).

So, scientifically speaking, by 6 weeks, a fetus should be considered a living human being.

I think the Bible lends credence to saying there's more to defining "life" than biology.  I believe life begins at or shortly after conception.  Here is my reasoning.  The full DNA is there to define all that the person will physically become.  We are not told when in the process of growing (which is really all that occurs once the egg is fertilized) God endows the baby with a soul.  Thus, to me, any attempt to define life beyond conception is an attempt to usurp God's sovereign authority over life.  

Consider this small sampling of verses and what they tell us about God's relationship with the unborn child:

  • 1 Samuel 1:5, "but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb." We see this type of reference multiple times in Scripture.  God opens and closes wombs at His will.  Consider Sarah, having a child in her old age well after her monthly cycle had ended.  Thus, fertilization is NOT happening without God's will for it to happen and if God wills for it to happen, no amount of birth control is going to stop it.
  • Psalm 22:9, "Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
  • You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts."  God is credited with the baby being brought to term and reaching live birth.
  • Psalm 139:13, "For You formed my [i]inward parts;You wove me in my mother’s womb." The God who opens wombs then personally forms each living being in the womb.  "For we are His workmanship . . . " Ephesians 2:10.
  • Jeremiah 1:5, "“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you;. . ."  Gods own words to Jeremiah - He knew him BEFORE he was even conceived and had plans for him.  Do we really think this applies only to a few select individuals?  Even if it does (which I don't buy into), how do we know which ones?  And what right do we have to step in and say "This one is not chosen by God."???  
  • To continue Ephesians 2:10, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."  Prepared BEFOREHAND.
I think the scriptural evidence at the very least indicates God's personal and intimate involvement with conception, growth of the baby, live birth, and what happens to them after birth.

There is much more to say on this topic.  I have other arguments to address, but I'm tired and the day is running away on me so I will stop here for now.