Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 1, 1971
NUMBER 46, PAGE 1-2a

The Christian And Abortion

Robert H. Farish

"Abortion" currently gets a large place in the news. Webster's definition of abortion as "criminal expulsion of a human fetus" (Third New International Dictionary 1966) to many modern minds is not correct. If the thinking, which has become so vocal lately, manages to prevail in our legislative halls, there will be no such thing as "criminal" expulsion of a human fetus — it will be legalized along with dope, sodomy and anything else which the mind of the flesh desires to make respectable by legalizing. It is the age old device of "calling evil good" being exercised.

One New York Abortionist is quoted as saying, "We can't let the nuts start monkeying with the law. They had their way for centuries. Yes, we've had some live births; we've had a dozen patient deaths, too. But by the end of the year we'll have performed 130,000 abortions. That means 130,000 women saved from unwanted babies. I think that's a hell of a good argument for our side." There exists little, if any, reason to expect the word of God to have a beneficial effect upon those whose souls have become so coarsened that they can "glory in their shame" — glorying in the fact that "by the end of the year we'll have performed 130,000 abortions." One hundred and thirty thousand babies deprived of life simply because they were "unwanted." There are however many people who desire to know the will of God in this area and for them this is written.

Thou Shalt Not Kill

The law of God has all along prohibited the taking of human life by man, except in certain circumstances. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood by man shall his blood be shed" (Gen. 9:6). The law of Moses on the taking of human life was, "Thou Shalt Not Kill" (Exo. 20:13). Perhaps better translated, "Thou Shalt Do No Murder." That "Murder," rather than just any taking of human life, is the thing God here prohibits is evident to the student who reads of God's instruction that "all the congregation shall stone" to death the man who profaned the sabbath (Num. 15:32-36). Many passages set forth the truth that there is a distinction to be made between murder and killing. Not all taking of human life is murder. (Exo. 21:13-17; 22:2; Num. 35:16-31; Deut. 17:6 etc.)

Abortion And Murder

If abortion be murder, then there is no room to be in any doubt about the Christian's attitude toward it. "Ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:15). With the Christian it will not effect the matter whether men legalize it or not. If it is murder, it is sin and no human tribunal can change a sinful action into a righteous action. The motive which prompted the measures to bring about the "expulsion of a human fetus" must be considered in determining if it be murder. Just because a baby is unwanted is not a justifiable reason for destroying it. There are many unwanted parents — unwanted old people, etc. — does this make it right to destroy them?

The Doctor And Abortion

The doctor who desires to do the will of God has always had the problem of determining which life to attempt to save, the mother's or the unborn baby, when complications appear in the birth process. If he take certain measures, the life of the mother will be jeopardized that the prospective life of the child might be realized. On the other hand, measures might be taken which jeopardize the life of the unborn baby, but seem to be necessary to preserve the life of the mother.

That the realized life of the mother is of greater value than the prospective life of the unborn baby is seen in one of the details which were given to enable men to determine whether a killing was murder or not. Read Exo. 21:12-25 for the context. Exo. 21:22, 23 is the text specifically on our point. "And if men strive together and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart (abortion occurs) and yet no harm follow; he shall be surely fined... but if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for life." The life of the man was to be given for the life of the woman in case of the woman's death resulting from injuries sustained by his violence. Such was not demanded for the loss of the unborn fetus. The fetus certainly had value or worth but was not placed on the level of the life of the mother. These considerations should help doctors determine their course in situations where abortion is necessary to preserve the life of a mother.

Lust And Abortions

Fornication contributes to the increase of abortions. When a prospective life is terminated simply because it is the fruit of fornication, that is murder. While this evil has been called good and is not frowned upon even by the courts as it formerly was, yet it is still sin. "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, envyings drunkenness, revelings, and such like? Of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practice such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21). The works of the flesh have become the way of life with many; it is then no wonder that many people would be in favor of legalizing this type murder.

Society is tolerant of easy divorce. When a husband or wife becomes unwanted, the course of the world is to get rid of the unwanted one by divorce. This is not the Lord's solution. The Lord instructs husbands to love their wives (Eph. 5:25) and wives to love their husbands (Tit. 2:4). The same requirement is expressed with reference to children — women are "to love their children" (Tit. 2:4). Husbands and wives cannot scripturally divorce simply because of the absence of love. The divine formula is to cultivate love one for another. Love is developed by consciously considering the other party — it "seeketh not its own." In like manner, love for the unborn baby can be cultivated. The sin of selfishness is perhaps the basic motive leading to the wholesale murder of unborn babies in the world. Unwanted babies are unwanted because they would hamper selfish indulgences.

Box 141, Lewisville, Texas