Challenging Abortion in America

I was in a classroom of about 150 students that day, in a Political Science class. The college I attended wasn’t really known to be extremely liberal, but regardless the institution, every student will most likely end up with one or two professors who are so far left, they think John McCain is conservative. This lady was just such a professor. Almost every Tuesday and Thursday, for the 1 hour and 30 minutes I sat in her classroom, I gritted my teeth and bit my tongue. Except on this particular day. Call it a breaking point if you will, but I had just had enough of the idiocy. She was ranting about how if we overturned Roe vs. Wade, it would cause mass consternation and the nation wouldn’t be able to handle it because of the polar division that this kind of ruling would create. On those grounds alone, she was arguing that consideration of overturning the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling should be deemed preposterous. But, as overly opinionated professors often do, she just wouldn’t let it go. I looked around the class and saw a LOT of students shaking their heads with noses turned upward and steam pouring from their ears. So… I raised my hand.

I think she discerned what I was going to say because she was very reluctant to call on me. But alas, I was the only student who cared to participate in this discussion, and I think she was assured of her ability to cut down this conservative 21 year old boy who sat under her extensive scholarship and vast knowledge of the political field. She had another thing coming. When called upon, I stood to my feet and hit the issue head on. “I mean no disrespect, ma’am, but you said that overturning Roe vs. Wade would cause mass consternation and the people of this nation would be extremely divided. Well, I just have to say that this decision was made thirty years ago, and we’re still arguing about it in a political science class today. It has ALREADY caused mass consternation! And it STILL IS causing mass consternation!” You know on those cartoons when two parties are arguing, and the heads of the bystanders swish from one head to the other, anticipating the response of each party? Yeah – it was definitely like that. For the next ten minutes, we went back and forth. And as her argument wore down, other Pro-Lifers in the class started giving me subtle “amen’s” and affirming nods. She kept trying to shut me up. But I refused. How did the argument end, you ask? Well, she ended up saying, “Okay – you’re right.” Did she mean that? Probably not. But her reluctant admission was good enough for me. I don’t think the point was to win an argument that day. I think it was that 150 people in the class were not brain-washed by the idiocy of a professor with a liberal agenda. By the way, I got a “C” in that class. 🙂

I believe that biblically, abortion is wrong. In Genesis 29, we see the story of Leah and Rachel. Leah was barren, so God “opened her womb.” In Job 10, we read Job’s words… that God, “shaped me and formed me,” “clothed me with skin and flesh,” and “wove me together with bones and tendons.” In Isaiah 44, twice the author says that God “formed you in the womb.” Jeremiah acknowledges God’s “knowing” and “calling” before he was even formed in the womb and before his actual birth. In Matthew Chapter 1, we see that Jesus was appropriately a person at the time of conception: “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Psalms 51 and 58 also acknowledge that humans are persons at the time of conception. And perhaps the most convincing passage of scripture very often pointed toward in considering the sanctity of human life is Psalm 139:13-16:

“For it was You who created my inward parts;

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise You,
because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful,
and I know [this] very well.

15 My bones were not hidden from You
when I was made in secret,
when I was formed in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all [my] days were written in Your book and planned
before a single one of them began.”     – (HCSB)

I believe that scientifically, abortion is wrong. Did you know that at the moment a human egg is fertilized, his or her DNA is fully present? That means that at the millisecond conception occurs, a child is a unique member of the human race. Even when formless, it possesses every bit of biogenetic specificity that you or I carry. A fertilized human egg is a complete human being. At just 21 days after conception, the baby’s heart begins to beat independently. And at that point, the child develops a blood type of his- or her own. And in this same pattern of development, biological, biochemical, and physical individualities continue to emerge, develop, and on some levels, continue in a pattern of development or change over an entire lifetime. Life begins at conception, even scientifically. “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” – Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman, Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic. For more information by people much more qualified than I on this matter, follow this link and visit a website (by professional physicians) which explains in more detail. 

I believe that historically and societally, abortion is wrong. Though not required of all doctors, the Hippocratic Oath is one in which a doctor swears to practice medicine in an ethical manner. Hippocrates, the originator of this oath, wrote in the 4th century B.C., “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.  Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.” Have you ever met someone whose parents seriously considered aborting them? Damaging psychologically, no doubt. But it is amazing to walk and talk with someone who, at the beginning of their life, could have been legally murdered in the name of convenience, safety, and even “morality” in some instances… and the influence and life that they carry today would be non-existent. I can’t know for sure, but some of such people, as is widely rumored, are: Lord Byron (18th – 19th Century poet, author of “Don Juan”), John Wesley, Beethoven, and Jesus Christ. Yes. Jesus – a young unmarried “virgin” suddenly presents with child? There was certainly the possibility of aborting that baby, and ending the potential social estrangement she would face before it ever began.

So if abortion on any level is morally, ethically, socially, historically, and biblically wrong, the question becomes, “Why not end the practice altogether?” I read on Fox News this morning that Mississippi will consider on the election ballot this November, an amendment which recognizes human life as beginning at conception. And they’re not alone. Four other states hope to have a similar motion on their own ballots in 2012. But the leftward idiocrats are imploring the same arguments that my political science professor preached all those years ago: “It’s just too inconvenient. The ramifications would be dire.” It escapes me why that argument has any weight at all.

Drug reps are concerned that this would jeopardize their highly praised drug which has become known as “The Morning After Pill.” Doctors are crying that it would put their practices in difficult positions concerning pregnant mothers or fetus care. Health insurance providers are in an uproar about potential new regulations. Executive branch officials worry about the legal ramifications and the enforcement of the new laws this would create. My thoughts? – – – SO WHAT???!!! If it is wrong, it must be righted.

Even our Southern Baptist machine was slow to combat the issue of abortion. During the mid to late-mid part of the 20th Century, when the theologically liberal were running amuck amongst our convention, abortion was side-stepped, and largely ignored. Various resolutions recorded in our history uphold the right for abortion in the case of rape, incest, or danger to the mother. I thank God that we have since righted that wrong denominationally. There is no instance in which it is biblically, ethically, morally, scientifically, societally, or historically “right” or “just” to end an unborn human’s life. (In 2003, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a very strongly worded resolution, “On Thirty Years of Roe vs. Wade.” Please click HERE to read its complete text.)

Now it is time we right this wrong nationally.

Will it cause mass consternation? No more than the mass consternation Roe vs. Wade has impregnated and nurtured inside the womb of our culture over the past thirty-eight and a half years.

Will it create moral dilemmas? None so great it usurps the morality of standing up for those who are unable to stand for themselves.

Will it create division? Already divided, this great nation will benefit more from life than it ever has from death.

Grace and Peace,

Tony

2 thoughts on “Challenging Abortion in America

  1. You sort of did ok till you got to the “late 20th centuries and the liberals taking over everything” or some such. I was in Seminary at that time and the conservatives did horrible damage to an honorable institution, it’s history of high acadamic standards and moderate stances on issues. That was a nasty. I knew too many faculty who quit after decades of happy teaching cecause of the very ugly “holy wars” which pretty much destroyed the place.- It’s off topic, I know, but you opened the door.

    What is “wrong”…………..? Who gets to determine it, and who then determines the punishment for the ones doing wrong.? It is there that I would rather see wrong done rather than the terror of many of the righteous turned agains those who for good or not so go reasons have gone against the grain and made difficult choices, choices which carry their own life-long scars, which do not need the brands of the self righteous segregating these people and chasing them away from the very place they would pray to call “sanctuary”. I’ve seen it too much, and can’t go back to those places.

  2. Well, my friend – as you know well, I have great friends on both sides of that theological divide. Friends that were in the same seminaries at the same time as you who have come out with a completely different set of opinions. So the way we evaluate circumstances, others’ actions, and eras is very subjectively approached. There must be some objectivity somewhere out there. That’s what I’m advocating. Objective right and objective wrong. Those who have made choices in the past, who will carry with them the scars of those choices are to be ministered to in love, and met with grace, not condemnation. We’ve been through that conversation. This argument has nothing to do with them. Rather, this argument has to do with the children of humanity from this day forward. Who stands up for them? We should.

    As for who makes the decision, I’m advocating that WE make it. WE decide together that from this day forward, we will protect the lives of the innocent, and at the same time, minister to the needs of the inconvenienced. I, of course, am spiritually motivated at the core. Human life is precious to God – inside, or outside the womb. But I am also logically motivated. Most basically, as a culture we are deciding one of three things:

    1) A human embryo is not a “person” until “x” stage or until “x” becomes reality in its development. Therefore, before that point, it is morally acceptable to end its life.

    2) A human embryo is a complete “person” at the point of conception, and as such, deserves to be protected with the same vigor and deliberation as all other human life.

    3) A human embryo is a “person” at some specific point, but we are not willing to explore the thought because it is offensive and controversial – so instead, we will allow individual mothers to decide for themselves whether or not it is morally acceptable to end this being’s life.

    The first option is largely subjective. Is an embryo a person when its heart beats independently? Or maybe when it develops fingers and toes? Or when it takes its first breath? In this instance, you’re right – it is too subjective of a decision for 300 million people to make. There are too many opinions and too many possibilities. So this option should be off the table.

    The third option, I would argue, is a crime against humanity. To deliberately choose to ignore possible murder because of potential offensiveness or controversiality is to suppress the conscience that separates us from the rest of the animal world. It would be shameful for an entire culture to refuse addressing the issue of potential murder in the name of tolerance. Also, this option is even more subjective than the first. Rather than the subjectivity being left up to a group of people, it is dependent upon every single person’s opinion and desire. 150 million women in America, each deciding for themselves what is morally acceptable with relation to the ending of another human being’s life – – – that’s scary.

    The second option is the only objective one. If we can decide together that life begins at the moment of conception, the only natural/logical course of action from there is to protect that life just as we protect the rest of human life. And if we use a logical course of action, starting at the physical birth of a human baby, then tracing backward everyone’s personal opinion on where life begins, we will regress incrementally until we finally get to the point where there is nowhere else to go – that point is at conception, when 100% of the human baby’s DNA, the “building blocks of life” is present. The only logical point from which to start is at fertilization of the egg. AKA – conception.

    Who makes decisions about the penalties? WE do. Our legislative branch, together with our judicial branch – accomplishing their institutive duties by respectively making and interpreting the laws of the land. JUST LIKE THEY DO FOR EVERY OTHER CAUSE AND “PROBLEM” IN OUR LAND. Who carries out the punishment? Our executive branch.

    I know that many people want to write this off as a conservative CHRISTIAN viewpoint. I am a conservative Christian. And can (and often do) argue against all forms of abortion from a conservative Christian standpoint. BUT – this travesty can also be argued against from a logical standpoint. Just because we don’t like the other party’s roots does not mean that everything they say is heinous. And just because they have Christian soil for the roots of the idealistic trees they grow does not mean that the same roots cannot be fed from logical soil as well.

    T

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