By Mel Futrell
January 22 sadly marked the 45th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision to grant a “constitutional right” to abortion. What this infamous court ruling [Roe v. Wade] did was guarantee a woman’s “right” to abort her fetus (baby) in the first two trimesters of pregnancy. A later Supreme Court case [Doe v. Bolton], would extend the “abortion right” throughout the nine months of pregnancy.
Of the approximately 926,000 abortions performed annually in the United States, 88% – 92% occur between the sixth and tenth week of pregnancy. By this time the baby’s heart is beating [22 days] and brain waves are clearly measurable [40 days]. You get the picture; this is a developing child. For your information, the cost of an abortion in the U.S. is from $320 to $700 depending upon the type of abortion and how far along the pregnancy is. And since 1973 over 59 million innocent unborn children have been murdered in their mother’s womb. If you were to add the current total population of the states of California and New York, the sum would equal the number of babies murdered by abortion over the last 45 years in the United States alone!
One of the questions at the center of the 1973 split decision was whether or not what is in the woman’s womb is a human life or not and hence deserving of protection. Pro-abortionists have and continue to argue for fetal viability over humanness as one of the principle determinants in the “right” to abort. In other words, since the fetus (unborn child to Bible believers) is rarely viable outside of the womb before 22 weeks then it must not be a human. Thus, to the abortionist, it would not then be murder to terminate the pregnancy. This line of reasoning is flawed both medically and Biblically. When does human life begin? Consider these sound medical and Biblical arguments.
First, I believe that we can demonstrate that it is a scientific fact that human life begins at the point of conception. Undeniably, it is at conception when the 23 chromosomes of the male sperm combine with the 23 chromosomes of the female ovum to form a new being. One scientific authority wrote:
“In this first pairing [of sperm and ovum], the spermatozoon has contributed its 23 chromosomes, and the oocyte has contributed its 23 chromosomes, thus re-establishing the necessary total of 46 chromosomes. The result is the conception of a unique individual, unlike any that has been born before…”
Dr. Hymie Gordon, professor of medical genetics at the Mayo Clinic has said:
“I think we can now also say that the question of the beginning of life — when life begins — is no longer a question for theological or philosophical dispute. It is an established scientific fact. Theologians and philosophers may go on to debate the meaning of life… but it is an established fact that all life, including human life, begins at the moment of conception.”
Dr. Keith L. Moore in a recent embryology text has written:
“Human development begins at fertilization, approximately 14 days after the onset of the last menstrual period…when a sperm fuses with an oocyte to form a single cell, the zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”
From this point on not one additional cell from the mother or father will be added to this new creature of God’s. What has now been formed is a living being with different cells, different genes, and possibly a different gender than its mother. At the time of conception the genetic blueprint of the child has been laid down. A blueprint that includes innumerable traits of this new individual such as: sex, eye, skin, and hair color; the tendency to be either tall or short. I ask you, at what other point could it be said that a new human has been formed if not at conception? Everything necessary for the transmission of the life principle into a human being occurs then.
Second, I know beyond any doubt that we can demonstrate Biblically that life is present in the womb and that that life is just as valuable as the mother’s. In Exodus 21:22-23 Moses wrote:
“If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.”
From the above, it is clear that the “life for life” principle applies if either the mother or the child brought forth prematurely dies. So the conclusion drawn is that the unborn child has as much intrinsic worth as its mother. Further evidence of the unborn child’s humanity is in these verses:
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
“And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41).
It seems clear to me from these passages, and others like Psalm 139:13-17 where David describes his existence prior to birth, that the unborn child is truly human. Interestingly, in the passage from Luke the word “babe” is from the Greek word brephos denoting a living, breathing, nursing infant. The same Greek word is found in Luke 2:21 in reference to the eight day old Jesus.
The U.S. is presently 1 of only 7 nations out of 198 in the world that allow elective abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The others being: Canada, China, Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam. Why we have allowed ourselves to become a culture of death is simply beyond me. But perhaps a growing climate of moral relativism, personal narcissism, and secular humanism have all contributed to the moral evil of abortion.
Pro-abortion people have believed a lie when accepting as true the dogma that life begins sometime between the beginning of the third trimester and birth, rather than at conception. I concur with the Arkansas citizen writing to the editor of the Arkansas Gazette years back when he said, “My only suggestion to this group is that they perform metaphysical abortions instead of ripping the arms and legs off unborn babies in the name of “choice.” Amen!