Center for Biblical Theology and Eschatology
by Robert Greatbatch
The front page of the Brisbane Courier-Mail , on Saturday, December 21, 1996, had an article about the views of the Police Commissioner, Jim O'Sullivan, on the evils of abortion. The report said that Mr O'Sullivan described abortion as murder and as a much greater evil than violence and property offences, yet abortion was committed with impunity.
The following article on abortion was written by Robert Greatbatch as a school assignment, but it has a message for us, too.
Bob and Betty were two well-educated people, with good jobs and healthy lifestyles. One day they met. They fell in love. They got married. As they settled down into their marriage, they made a plan on how to pay off the house. After many hours of discussion, they decided that they both needed to keep their jobs if their house was to be paid off in a reasonable amount of time.
One evening, the news came that Betty was pregnant. For the newly-weds, this was a catastrophe as Betty would have to leave her job, and then the house would take an extra few years to pay off. As they sat down to discuss the matter with the quiet buzz of the radio in the background, the idea came that Betty should take a year off work to look after the child. When it was about a year old, she could send it to a day care centre. However this wouldn't work as it would still take them extra time to pay off the house.
After more discussion, the only logical thing for Betty to do would be to have an abortion. Just as the couple settled on this solution, an announcement came over the radio stating that a maniac had killed thirty-five people in the quiet little tourist area of Port Arthur. Bob and Betty were amazed and disgusted. How could one person - one Tasmanian - commit such horrific deeds.
Both were really upset by this terrible event which had taken so many lives. But this couple were going to cause the needless death of another victim - a victim of the horrific crime, abortion, which claims more victims than any serial killer would do.
The following questions are all answered from a Biblical viewpoint.
Question: Is abortion wrong?
My Answer: Yes, it is wrong.
Objection: It has been scientifically proved that the foetus is not fully developed, and therefore is not a human being.
My Answer: You should not believe everything that scientists tell you. In Luke 1, it is recorded that Mary, while she is pregnant with Jesus, enters the house of Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist. Upon hearing Mary's greeting to Elizabeth, the child in Elizabeth's womb jumps for joy. It seemed to recognise a person and it also seemed to show the emotions (jumping for joy) that a human being would. This proves that when the foetus is first formed it is a living creature, commonly called a human being, and any person who takes the life of the unborn child by abortion, is committing the crime of intentional murder.
Question: Does the Bible give a standard for a pregnant woman who, for example gets German measles, and the baby she carries in her womb, is very likely to be deformed or retarded? What can be done then?
My Answer: The meaning of the Bible does not change just because a child will be handicapped. Let's say that a child's deformities were not discovered until the child was born. Do you then kill the child in the hospital? Of course not! Would you kill a child at the age of ten if he/she suddenly became blind? No. What is the difference then between killing a child in the womb because of its deformities, rather than killing it when it is born? Does anyone have the right to kill one of the creatures that God alone formed?
Exodus 4:11 says, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
Let me share with you an example from my own experience. A good friend of our family became pregnant with twins. Four months before the babies were due, delivery started. The mother and father were both rushed to a Melbourne hospital where some of the world's best doctors delivered the babies - a boy and a girl. The doctors said that neither would live because they were not fully developed. One example of this lack of development was that the little girl's intestines had many holes in it. As expected the little boy died within forty-eight hours of his birth. However, the little girl continued to get stronger each day, and she has amazingly lived. Now she is back home in Tasmania. She is a living proof that the foetus, though not fully developed, is still a living human.
Question: If a woman became pregnant by rape, what would God want her to do?
My Answer: If pregnancy does occur, does it make it right to kill an unborn child? Two wrongs don't make a right. One violent act doesn't undo another.
Question: Don't the laws state that legally preventing a woman from having an abortion is an invasion of her privacy?
My Answer: Our laws are sometimes very strange. The law allows police to enter the privacy of people's homes to stop them from battering or abusing their children, and then they use the same law to guarantee the privacy and right of parents to grind up their children before they are born. Anyway, do you obey our country's laws if they are contradictory to what God has to say? NO. You put God's law over and above everything else.
Question: Is birth control another form of abortion?
My Answer: It depends on what is used. If you consider the following statement, you will know which methods are right or wrong to use. True contraception is preventing a new life from being conceived, not aborting a life that has already begun.
Question: Since Adam was not alive until God breathed into him the breath of life, and since the baby does not breathe until it leaves the womb, isn't it true that the unborn baby has no soul and therefore can be aborted without guilt?My Answer: No parallel can be made in this situation. Adam had no life until God breathed into him, but from the moment of conception the baby is alive and growing. James 2:26 states that the body is dead without the spirit (or soul). If the child in the womb was not alive, then there would be no one there to kill!
Question: Is it fair to bring an unwanted baby into the world?
My Answer: If the child has already been conceived, then this question was asked too late. No matter what anyone may believe, it does not change the fact that the pre-birth child has already been brought into this world, and no one has the right to take away his or her life.
Question: If the mother is pregnant, but her life is also in danger if she gives birth to a child, is it then not right to abort the child?
My Opinion: For me personally, this is the question that has caused me the most difficulty. I find it very difficult to give an answer, so I will give my opinion. I believe that unless the mother is in danger of losing her life through childbirth, no baby should be aborted. I think that if the parents knew that the mother's life was going to be in danger if she had a child, then they should have done everything they could to prevent conception.
This is basically my belief on the matter. I would like to conclude with a few verses from a psalm that I think sums up very nicely all that has been covered.
For Thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
This article was written by Robert Greatbatch and originally appeared in The Burning Bush, Vol 1, No 1, April 1997