Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My Conviction On Abortion

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." --Mother Teresa

A Comment in the thread left after Yesterday's post made some interesting points, but not any that we haven't seen before:

"Abortion is the act of an individual, allowable under the law. I oppose it. But in the clash of rights and responsibilities and right and wrong and liberty that IS "the abortion question," and absent any clear guidance from Scripture, I stand with those who would continue to allow women to make the decision and deal with the consequences both here and in the hereafter. That's what "pro choice" means."

It is my opinion that the above statement is wrong in many ways. Here is my response:

The first thing that pops out and glares at me is the oft repeated argument that abortion is legal. This is oftentimes the first argument brought up in an abortion discussion. Are the proponents of abortion saying that since it is legal, it is moral? The usual line is this:

"Well, I don't think it's right but it's legal".

Do the proponents of abortion think the same of other issues? The comment was part of an anti-death penalty comment. The death penalty is legal. Does that make it right? My respected commentator doesn't think so. Why, then, does he use that argument to support abortion?

At the risk of offending some people, I have to say it is my conviction that anyone who says they support choice while personally opposing abortion is being hypocritical.

How can you support something you oppose? That just doesn't make sense.

Point made: Just because something is legal it doesn't make it right. Why do you think we Christian conservatives have been fighting so hard to make it illegal?

What gives women the moral right to choose to kill their own baby? The Government? If we follow that logic then everything the Government decides is morally right. Even execution. Even the current war. So, if Government is the final arbitrator, why would one oppose some of it's policies and support others? That's illogical. Maybe it's best to just shut up and let the World go to Hell in a hand basket.

"...absent any clear guidance from Scripture". What part of "Thou shalt not kill" is not understood here? Never mind. Don't answer that. We've heard the arguments about that, too. How about this?

"And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life." (Exodus 21:22-23)

By the way, further reading in that passage in Exodus, as well as in Leviticus and Dueteronomy supports the Biblical reasoning that Capital punishment is right and moral in God's eyes.

The Mosaic law tells us that a man who induces an abortion or miscarriage is to be punished, indicating that God values life before birth. A verse from Hosea 3 says that abortion is a punishment for sin, indicating God views it as bad. Likewise, God expressed His disgust for the Ammonites, who "ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead".

One might argue that Jesus repealed the Mosaic law. He did not. He said, "I have not come to change the law, but to fulfill it." The only problem Jesus had with the Mosaic law was the way the religious leaders of the day perverted it for their own humanistic purposes. Much the way we see Earthly governments today doing.

Finally, let me add my own response to those who say execution is wrong and abortion is ok. The key word in all this is the word, "innocent". Tookie Williams was far from innocent. Unborn babies are the only innocent life on Earth. Why should it be right to kill babies and wrong to kill vicious murderers?

Is it only about choice? Obviously Williams had a choice. His choice was to not give his victims a choice. Did his victims have the right to choose? Do you suppose they chose to die? Should he be given the choice to decide not only if he should live but if his victims should?

I had made up my mind to leave religion out of my posts, but since the commentator brought up the word "scriptural", I felt I owed him a response. And since the religious point of view has been broached, let me explain what convinced me, personally, that abortion is wrong.

I didn't always believe abortion is wrong. I once had the attitude that it is a woman's choice, and besides, it's legal.

One crisp autumn morning, while waiting for the office I worked at to open up, out in the parking lot, listening to the radio, my whole view changed. I was switching stations on my car radio when I happened across a program hosted by Rev. Chuck Swindoll, who was, at the time, President of Dallas Theological Seminary.

My whole argument was that a fetus wasn't a baby until it was born. Rev. Swindoll shot down that theory with the use of two short scriptures.

One was the scripture found in Jeremiah that says, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." The other one was the story of the visit Mary, the mother of Jesus, paid to her cousin Elizabeth, who was the mother of John the Baptist. Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant at the time with John, and Mary had just been told she was pregnant with the Son of God. When she told her cousin the news, Elizabeth's baby leapt with joy within her womb.

On the surface, one wouldn't think those simple scriptures would make a dent in my hardened heart, but there was something more powerful than words at work within me at that time. Somehow, and I am not going to attempt to explain how, my mind about abortion was changed at that moment.

Yes, I changed my mind. It took God to change my heart.

19 comments:

Pamela Reece said...

Mark, there has been a phenomena in our society over the past 10 years. That is teenage sex/pregnancy is becoming more and more acceptable. There was a time when, not only were girls who had sex before marriage frowned upon, if they got pregnant they were sent away so as not to humiliate their family. Some of these girls sought abortion in back-ally's and many died as a result.

After that era, when abortion became legal, young girls who had sex and became pregnant knew abortion was a way out so the social consequences disappeared.

Today, the statitics show that there are less teenage pregnancies. The trouble is that these are based on born babies. Aborted babies are not factored in. Why? Because girls can abort their babies and their medical records are kept confidential.

My point of this is that the legalization of abortion has contributed greatly to the increase in early sexual activity, STD's, etc. What is truly unfortunate is that young girls who abort babies, don't understand, beyond the medical aspects, what abortion is. Why? because when girls seek help when they are pregnant, nobody tells them the religious and moral attributes. All they hear from doctors and clinics is this: here's your choice; abortion, adoption or keep it. If a 14 year old only hears these as options which is she going choose?

Planned Parenthood, etc., do not hand out pamphlets telling girls about scriptures nor do they direct them to speek to clergy. To them, it's nothing more than a medical procedure.

If I had it my way I would overturn legalized abortion unless it were medically necessary. Period. Take away the option and maybe then children will think twice about having unprotected sex, parents will be more responsible, fathers will be held accountable...it would change our entire societal view.

whit said...

A very good post! The sad thing is that as our society has drifted away from the morality of the Bible we have fallen into the morality of secular humanism. Liberalism says that we can't judge the poor little pregnant girl who after all "just made a mistake. We all make mistakes." And now some thirty years after Roe many, many Women have made the same mistake and are unwilling or unable to judge another even though they themselves may have come to an understanding of the Truth like you and I. But, to the left, people who think like us are just Bible-thumping hypocrits. Against a womans right to choose or the "right-to-die" yet salivating for the death penalty. Who do we think we are?

Son of Lilith said...

As a Christian Conservative Mark, please answer me a few questions.

How can someone say they are pro-life if they support abortion in instances of rape or incest? Would not a person who is pro-life oppose abortion bar none? Woud not "selectively pro-choice" be a better label for such people?

I will grant you that the Scriptures speak against abortion. But not everyone believes in the Scriptures, nor does everybody define a fetus as a living being. Should we base our laws on the Bible? If so, then is that not establishing an official religion, even if indirectly? Is that not an infringement of the First Amendment?

I am part of that "not right, but legal" crowd, and there are many things that I feel the same way.

For example:

National and multinational companies paying peanuts to their workers while the CEOs make enough money to burn.

An insurance company denying someone coverage because they have a pre-existing condition.

The Electoral College.

Smoking in public areas.

Gas-guzzling SUVs.

Deforestation.

The death penalty.

And I could go on and on and on.

I respect your reasons for wanting to make illegal abortion, but the sad fact of reality is that they are all based on Scriptures that some people could care less about. Our government is not supposed to show preferential treatment to any belief system, religious or not, but try to cater to every one's beliefs.

So, therefore, I see it this way:

If you think abortions are immoral, don't have one. You are not held accountable for other people's sins. If you are a man that thinks abortion is immoral, don't date or marry a woman who disagrees with you. If she has an abortion anyway, then forgive her but divorce her.

As to young girls being encouraged to have abortions by their teachers, well that's bullcrud.

I'm sure that there are exceptions to every rule, but every sex ed. and health education class I've been in and have had even second-hand experience with stressed these points:

1. Abstinence is the only guaranteed way to avoid STDs and pregnancy.

2. Being pregnant/getting someone pregnant and contracting an STD have life-long repercussions.

3. Contraceptives are availible, but are unreliable.

4. Abortions are legal and availible, but have serious moral and psychological implications and life-long repercussions equalling at best and surpassing at worst those of a pregnancy carried to term.

Now, one last question: How is that encouraging teenagers to take sex and everything related to it lightly?

Son of Lilith said...

By the way, I apologize for any offense that I have caused you in the past. I am somewhat outspoken and I sometimes find it hard to control my temper when confronted with other outspoken people.

Merry Christmas to you.

Pamela Reece said...

brandon,

I agree with you 100%. Abortion is an American societal issue. I don't support abortion in the case of rape or incest. I only support if it is medically necessary. Meaning the woman's life is in danger or the fetus is already gone.

Basing our Constitution upon Christian guidelines is not new. It is what our nation was founded upon.

In answer to all of your questions it is simple...our society has given up on the social and moral consequencs of sexual behavior. It not only encourges it, but gives women and their sexual partners an easy way out. What they fail to understand is that the consequences will never be fogotten within themselves.

No matter what the law dictates it is the woman who must live with this choice forever and ever. Planned Parenthood and the likes dont ever say this or confront this moral or religious issues. They just want women to have control over their own bodies but not that of the soul and gift they have been given.

Erudite Redneck said...

The old Constitution-is-expressly-Christian thing is just old. I won't engage it other than to say, no.

And I want to make sure this comment of mine from thje previous post remains part of this discussion. So here it is.

Let me put it this way ...

If my kiddo got pregnant and wanted an abortion, at 19, I would weep, scream, holler, or pray, plead and cajole, and try to persuade her not to. If she chose to, ultimately, it would be her decision.

Then, if you, or anyone else, came along and wanted to invade her body, and crawl up inside her womb, and inside her head, and deny her the right to make the decision for herself and to live with the consequences, I would want to shoot you dead.

But I wouldn't want the government to do it. I'd just want the government to lock you up for a long, long time.

Erudite Redneck said...

If anyone wants to read a couple of genuinely sincere alternative views, which make moral argukents FOR choice, here they are, fromn my bloggy buddy, Bitch, Ph.D.

http://bitchphd.blogspot.com
/2004/10/abortion.html


I like this one best:

http://bitchphd.blogspot.com
/2005/04/do-you-trust-women.html

BRUISER said...

Like Kids?

Have unsafe sex and unwanted pregnancies because you were taught by an abstinance only approach instead of a real scientific education of human sexuality and the "real" world.

Mark said...

Wow, Brandon. That's a lot of questions!

my post was a response to a comment made on my last post that included the phrase, "and absent any clear guidance from Scripture,"

The subject of scripture was brought up by the commentator, therefore, I answered it accordingly.

You ask, "How can someone say they are pro-life if they support abortion in instances of rape or incest? Would not a person who is pro-life oppose abortion bar none?"

My answer to that is: Speaking for myself only, I don't support abortion in cases of incest or rape. In both those cases, the crime is not the baby's fault. The baby still deserves life.

Laws are already based on the Bible. or at least, the ten commandments.

As far as what people define as a living human being-- Whether a person believes a fetus is a baby or not doesn't change the fact that it is. If I said the sky is green, does that make it true?

Except for a few radical out of the mainstream scientists. most scientists now agree that life does indeed begin at conception, but that is something I always knew since God changed my heart.

The only infringement I see of the first amendment is when people try to tell me I am not allowed to preach the gospel in a government building. The first amendment not only cautions the congress against making laws establishing a government religion, but it also guarantees my right to freely practice my religion. That second part seems to be the part that most Liberals don't notice. My God tells me to go into all the world and preach the gospel, not all the world except government buildings. And as long as I'm on that subject, Yes, What God tells me always trumps what the government tells me, even if they don't agree. He is always correct and they make mistakes.

As for the libertarian way that you look at it: In the case of abortion, there is more than the pregnant woman's choice to consider. There is also the life of the innocent baby. Allowing a woman to choose to have her unborn baby killed infringes on the baby's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I already addressed the issue of the death penalty. The key word is "innocent" here. If Tookie was innocent it would be wrong to kill him as it was for him to kill the 4 people he was convicted of killing. But the evidence was overwhelming that he murdered them. Even if he didn't kill those 4 people he is still directly and indirectly responsible for hundreds of other murders as a founder and leader of the Crips.

Nothing wrong with smoking in public places, and I don't even smoke.

Nothing wrong with SUV's. They may guzzle gas, but if they do, the only thing they are hurting is the owners wallet. The idea that man is destroyng the environment is a myth.

Deforestation is also a myth. It only takes about 10 years for a tree to grow from a seed to a deeply rooted tree, and it would take hundreds of years at the present rate of "deforestation" to completely wipe trees off the face of the earth. In short, by the time we clear a thousand acres of land, more trees will have already started to grow back. The lumber companies are fast, but not so fast that they will ever destroy all the trees. There simply isn't enough lumberjacks in comparison to the square miles of timber to accomplish that task. Do the math.

The insurance companies and corporate inequities are both the result of greed, something that we would have regardless of laws. If we divided all the money in the world up and distributed it to all the people in the world equally, some people would manage it right and some wouldn't. In a few short years we would be right back to where we were to begin with. The Rich get richer and the poor get poorer. There is nothing that can be done by government or charities that would ever change that fact.

By the way, Jesus said, "The poor we will have with us always". And that is still true whether you believe Jesus is the Son of God or not.

Mark said...

There is no "moral" argument for choice.

ER, if you try to talk your daughter out of having an abortion and she does it anyway, the baby is still dead. It is still murder and if you don't do all you can to stop it before it happens and you support her decision, there is a legal term for that. It is called "accomplice".

You are so much in favor of the Government making our decisions for us, Why don't you think saving the life of a baby is worthy of government legislation? After all, you have stated that you think capital punishment should be illegal.If it should be illegal to take the life of a guilty man, why shouldn't it be illegal to take the life of an innocent baby, which did nothing to deserve being killed?

whit said...

Erudite Redneck: making arguments/threats like that make you sound anything but erudite.

Mark said...

Bruiser, perhaps you can explain how unwanted pregnacies and unsafe sex can happen when you are abstaining.

Do you understand the meaning of the word abstinance?

whit said...

ER: Suppose your daughter was pregant and chose to keep the baby, was attacked and the baby died as a result. Would you want to see the attacker brought to justice for killing the baby? Based on your comment about shooting someone for getting into your "daughter's head," I suspect you would. So, it's okay to take the life in one instance because it is an unwanted inconvience but in the other case it's immoral because the baby was wanted.

Son of Lilith said...

I think the point that Bruiser was making is that an abstinence only program will not make teens abstain.

Something to be said for that. Sex is a natural human drive after all.

No harm intended, but responding to your response will only enter both of us into a circular argument that's been done waaaay too many times before, but I did read it and thank you for responding.

Son of Lilith said...

Whit:

I don't think that ER was defending the morality of abortions. He said they were a personal choice; he didn't say they were fine and dandy.

whit said...

Brandon,
So is the abortion moral?

Erudite Redneck said...

Masrk, "The only infringement I see of the first amendment is when people try to tell me I am not allowed to preach the gospel in a government building."

If you are an employee of thre government, and therefore a representative of the government, then you are prohibited from spreading the Gospel in a government building. And you should be! Because you're not there on your own time, buit on the government's. Show me where someone has said that every day people, while in a government building, can't say anything they want to anyone -- assuming they're not disrupting others. I will oppose them.

Mark again, Yes there is a moral argument for choice, and if you didn't folow those links and read them, then you should -- not because I think you will be persuaded, but because I know you will be informed. Feel free to oppose them with your own moral arguments.

Mark yet again, If you don't understand the fundamental offense that occurs when one person presumes to take conrol of another person's body, why, let me come to your house and remove your prostate gland ad then tape up and seal off your penis and refuse to let you make decisions concerning it. Then tell me how you feel. Sorry to be so crude. But really. You want to give to do the equivalent to million of women.

Whit, There is a reason the name is Erudite REDNECK. I would kick your ass for getting in my kid's face, let alone her head or womb. And I might very well kill anyone -- and regret it terribly -- for such an offense against her. There is no threat there, actually. Human life is sacred. But some especially heinous assholes deserve to die, you know, in blood feuds and such -- just not at the hands of the government.

Whit again, If abortion is always immoral, then NO abortion is ever moral, and any exceptions made for rape or incest are cheap and sorry, sorry, cop-outs.

If you're against abortion ALWAYS, PERIOD, then I at least respect your position. If not, then you are no better than any other proponent of "situational ethics."

Mark said...

No abortion is ever moral.

Mark said...

ER, you say, "let me come to your house and remove your prostate gland ad then tape up and seal off your penis and refuse to let you make decisions concerning it. Then tell me how you feel".

I wouldn't like it. One bit.

But then, that doesn't require the taking of an innocent human life now, does it? You simply cannot leave the life of an innocent baby out of the equation, I don't care how you rationalize it.