Protests against the recent Supreme Court abortion ruling have been swift, loud, and sometimes violent. Abortion’s bottom line is the taking of an innocent human life.
The core argument offered by pro-abortion supporters is that women have a right to their own bodies. On the other side, pro-life supporters argue that abortion is wrong because it takes the life of the most vulnerable people among us.
Both sides believe their argument is far superior to the other argument. Let’s try and cut through the noise of the abortion protest and determine which argument is superior. Our interest is not political or even legal. I am concerned with the morality of abortion.
And because I believe that morality is anchored in the purity of God’s character, and I believe that God’s character is reflected in the truth of the Bible, I will look to the Bible for the ultimate answer to this question. However, in this article, I will appeal to science and logic to demonstrate that abortion is wrong. My desire is that this article will be read by nonreligious people and that they will be convinced by the facts herein.
Even though I believe this to be a moral issue to which God has spoken in his word, I understand that I have no right to force a religious belief upon another person. Jesus never tried to force a person to follow him. In fact, the Scriptures are full of occasions where people stopped following Jesus because his teachings were difficult (see John 6).
Abortion is a corrosive detriment to society even apart from the Scriptures. Just as 19th century slavery was ultimately rejected because it was morally wrong, present-day abortion should be rejected because it is morally wrong.
Abortion’s Bottom Line: A woman has a right to her own body
Does a woman have a right to control her own body? For pro-choice advocates, this is abortion’s bottom line. But does it hold up? Yes, and no. No one has an absolute right to use their body any way they want. No one has a right to use their body in a criminal act. Prostitution is almost universally illegal. Even though that sex-for-pay occurs between two consenting adults, we understand that it strikes at the morality of society. Therefore, most societies make prostitution a criminal act.
Drug abuse is illegal. Even though the person consuming the illicit drugs only harms their own body, as a society we have chosen to make such behavior illegal.
More to the point, we reject the idea that a person can use their own body to harm someone else. Even if we allow, only for purposes of discussion, that a woman does have an absolute right to her own body, we unequivocally reject the idea that she has a right to anyone else’s body. That which grows within the pregnant woman, whether we call it a fetus or an unborn child, is as unique as a grown child is from its mother.
In reality, the expectant mother carries within her womb a separate human being. She is the temporary home of the unborn child. Left alone to develop naturally, the child will be born at roughly nine months and will eventually live independently from the mother.
It is true that a woman has many rights to her own body including the right to engage in the action which produced the child. Pro Life writer Cassy Fiano-Chesser, a woman with five children says it this way:
Except in the very rare circumstance that a woman gets pregnant from being raped, women do have control over their bodies. They have control over if and when they choose to have sex, which is what causes pregnancy. And because no birth control method is 100% reliable, it’s a risk that women take every time they have sex.Cassy Fiano-Chesser
While abortion advocates claim that consent to sex is not necessarily consent to pregnancy, this is a denial of exactly how our bodies are supposed to work. It’s not punishment or patriarchy; it’s biology. So if a woman is not ready to be a parent, there’s a way she can take control of her own body and avoid pregnancy: don’t have sex. (https://www.liveaction.org/news/abortion-nothing-control-body/)
Abortion’s bottom line? She does not have the right to the child’s body. Neither pre nor post-birth will she ever have an absolute right to that child’s body.
Abortion’s Bottom Line: The unborn is a living human being
Certain facts are not in dispute. When two gametes meet (egg and sperm) something marvelous happens. A new life is created. At this moment of conception, a unique human comes into being. What did not exist a moment before, now does. This infinitesimally small being does not at this moment look like a human but it will. Already it possesses its own unique DNA profile. During his time in utero, the unborn will develop her own heart, her own lungs, her own brain, and her own nervous system. At the moment of conception, the unborn’s gender is fixed (that’s another article) and even the color of its eyes is fixed. The only thing that remains before this unborn child can walk, talk, drive a car, and graduate from college, is time.
The only thing that remains before this unborn child can walk, talk, drive a car, and graduate from college, is time.
During the roughly nine months after conception, the child will continue to grow and develop before being thrust into the world through the birth process. This period of specialized care, which we typically refer to as gestation, is essential to the well-being of the child. If gestation is compromised, either through natural or unnatural events, the child will suffer and may die. These facts are not in dispute.
The argument from pro-choice advocates is that the unborn is not a human being. They assert that the fetus becomes a human being at some point in time. They struggle to determine the point at which the unborn becomes a human.
Let’s examine Abortion’s bottom line on viability.
Some have suggested that a fetus becomes a human at the moment of viability that is, at the moment when the fetus can exist on its own separate and apart from the mother. This is a very unsatisfactory argument.
First, a newborn cannot exist apart from his mother outside the womb for a very long period of time. The newly born child requires care, feeding, medical care, and many other things in order to be able to grow and develop.
Second, viability is a constantly changing number. Once, a premature child, delivered 10 weeks early, would likely die. Then, due to advances in medical care, children born 20 weeks early are now able to survive. Today, medical advances have pushed that number back and more.
Viability is unsatisfactory because it is an arbitrary number. Some unborn children may be able to survive as early as 18 weeks while others might struggle at 35 weeks. The science of developmental anatomy cannot observe any sudden change in the fetus at week 20 as compared to week 21. The fetus knows no viability number. The moving target of viability does not determine when the unborn becomes human.
Abortion supporters suggest that the detection of heartbeats or the detection of brain waves isa means of determining life. This may sound reasonable because the absence of a heartbeat or the absence of brain waves in an adult typically suggests death. But there is a fundamental difference between organ function in a fetus and organ function in an adult.
In a fetus, functioning organs only await developmental progress. The natural, uninterrupted development of the fetus will produce functioning organs. In an adult, cessation of functioning organs may be permanent, especially with the loss of brainwave activity. If left alone, organs will begin to function in the fetus. Likewise, left alone, adult organs which have stopped functioning will not restart.
Abortion’s bottom line is clear: The fetus is human!
Abortion’s bottom line is clear: Life begins at conception. The most logical, cogent analysis of the facts so demonstrates. There is no other moment in the development of the unborn when life can logically be said to begin. That being the case, we returned to our two fundamental arguments. Pro-choice is left with the defunct argument that a woman has an absolute right to her body. Pro-life is left with the argument that the unborn is a living human being. “My rights,” or “your life.” Tell me, shall we elevate individual rights over an individual life? I think not.
The unborn child is the most vulnerable human being. How we, as a society, treat the unborn, says much about our character as a people. If there is any error to be made here, let it be on the side of the unborn child.