Abortion - The Slaughter of the Innocents
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." Matthew 2:16-18
People familiar with the Bible will remember the story of Joseph, Mary and Jesus' escape to Egypt. King Herod, concerned that a messiah had been born who would endanger his leadership, ordered the murder of all boys in the area of Bethlehem who were two years of age or younger. This event is commonly referred to as the slaughter of the innocents.
As reprehensible as this act is, the same thing is happening today in our society, in the killing of innocent babies. Since the court decision in Roe vs. Wade in 1973, approximately 55 million children have been slaughtered in and outside of their mother's wombs in the United States, and the worldwide total is estimated at 42 million every year!
Women get abortions for various reasons - they are scared, they can't be bothered taking care of a child, their boyfriends or husbands or parents pressure them into an abortion against their will. Often people will use the reasoning that the child was conceived as a result of a rape, or that the child would be raised in less than ideal circumstances. Are these valid reasons?
Let's look at the question of rape. The reasoning is used that the child will have an unfair advantage in life, will be raised without the advantages of someone brought up under more ideal circumstances. But is that true?
Activist Jesse Jackson was a result of a rape. So were singers Eartha Kitt, Ethel Waters and countless others who have made a success of their life. The fact that someone is the result of a rape doesn't negate their right to live, nor their right to not have someone else determine that they should die. In some cases, yes, life might be more difficult, but that doesn't mean they don't have a right to make the best of a bad situation. Who knows what benefits someone may have brought to the world had they lived?
The woman who is raped will often say that the whole event has been so traumatizing that she can't possibly continue with the pregnancy and be constantly reminded of the event before and after the birth of the baby.
One woman who was the product of a rape wrote the following to Students for Life:
I know it is traumatizing for a girl or woman that is raped to have to carry a child, but it is no more traumatizing than someone who gets shot during a violent attack and has to deal with those wounds. Counseling and therapy can help heal the trauma, but the trauma will be there whether she has the abortion or not, and the abortion could even make it worse. It has caused me so much anxiety over the years to think that many pro-lifers would have approved of my mother’s abortion. By the way, she gave me up for adoption, and my adoptive parents were never able to have children.
Another woman who was raped wrote years later:
Raped by an acquaintance, my first consideration was abortion even though I had spoken out against it all my life… I perused adoption and chose parents to give my baby to. I changed my mind and chose motherhood. I have provided, educated, clothed, fed, nursed, counseled, encouraged, and loved with all my heart the daughter of a man who violated the last virtue I was cherishing, my virginity… “It is the hardest thing in the world to choose what you know is right. Being a single parent is no more easy than living with the haunting memory of aborting your child. No matter how hard you wish, either way your life will never be the same. Both have their pains and their struggles, however, only one choice afforded me a profound peace… Never have we been in want. Never have I regretted my choice. The scars of my experience have been healed.
What If the Mother's Life is in Danger?
Another reason people will defend abortion is the situation, they say, when the mother's life is in danger. Stand to Reason's Greg Koukl writes:
When the motherʹs life is truly in danger, we must treat both the mother and child as human beings worthy of protection, for that is what they are. I’m aware of only one medical circumstance when abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life: ectopic pregnancy. In an ectopic pregnancy, the newly conceived human being implants on the wall of the fallopian tube (or some other tissue) instead of on the wall of the uterus. As the embryonic human being grows, the fallopian tube will rupture causing severe blood loss and probably death. In these cases, there is no way to save the child’s life. If we do nothing, both human beings will die. Because we believe it is better to save one life than to lose two, we remove the child (causing his death) and save the mother. The death of the child is an unintended, although foreseen, consequence....The childʹs death is unavoidable, so protecting the mother becomes our primary concern.”
There are other conditions that may threaten the mother's life, but in many cases the mother can be treated and the child saved. Some of those conditions include toxemia, placenta previa and plancenta abruption.
The attempt must be made to save both the mother and the child because both lives are of equal value. This isn't necessarily the first concern of those who generally favor abortion, however, as they frequently wish it to be legal without any restrictions.
The question should also be asked, What do you mean by the mother's life being in danger? Suppose she says she'll kill herself rather than have to look after a child or go through a pregnancy? Does that qualify as putting the mother's life in danger? What if she is afraid that the child's biological father will kill her? Is that a valid reason for abortion? If so, then we are saying the mother's life is of more value than the child's life. To say that her life is worth more on the grounds that she has already been born is a false argument.
Is the "Fetus" a Child?
Many people believe that the baby is not a living human being before being born, or before a certain number of weeks. A few decades ago that would have been a difficult thing to determine, but today medical technology as advanced to such a degree that this argument is refuted by science.h
Scientific facts show that 22 days into conception a child's heart begins to beat with that child's own blood. That child's blood type is often different than that of the mother's. At week five eyes, legs and hands begin to develop and at six weeks brain waves are detectable. At seven weeks the baby can kick. At week eleven the baby can grasp objects placed in his/her hand and at twelve weeks the baby can dream (REM) sleep.
Additionally, even if a baby's humanity were still in question, isn't it better, if one is going to err, to err on the side of safety and assume that it is a living child?
Who Are You to Tell Me What I Can Do With My Body?
One of the most common arguments. I can do what I want with my body. Actually, you can't. This country has numerous laws about what you can do with your body, particularly when it involves harming another human being.
Secondly, that child is not you. The baby has a different DNA, different brain waves, different organs, different reflexes, a different nervous system and frequently a different blood type. Yes, you are nurturing that child until he/she can survive on its own. For that, be proud of what you are doing!
Adoption is a logical step to take for someone who can't raise a child on their own. To be sure, the adoption process may be in need of improvement, but it would be better to concentrate on those efforts than to fight for the right to take away the life of an unborn child. There are many organizations that will help you with the adoption process, or refer you to the right people. Students for Life is one such organization.
Which is better, to take a life or to save a life? Pro-life advocates fight to save lives - the lives of the unborn. How can anyone find this offensive?