Abortion: A Religious Issue
One of the toughest issues to debate in our world today is abortion. Abortion is the induced termination of pregnancy before the fetus can survive. Nowadays, abortion affects all people, not just the mother and the baby. There are moral, ethical, health-related, political, and religious aspects that affect how people feel towards abortion.By looking at religion and its views, one can see just how hard it would be to argue in the pro-choice position of this debate.
First of all, I must start with the truththe Bible does not directly say anything about abortion. The actual word is not mentioned at all. During biblical times, abortion was an unthinkable act and there was no need to mention it in the criminal code (Anderson 1). Children were viewed as a gift or heritage from the Lord the Scriptures statethat God opens and closes the womb and is sovereign over conception (Anderson 1). In this sense, childlessness was seen as a curse (Anderson 1). Passages taken from the Bible are used as supporting details because they state indirectly how God feels towards the issue.
Before Christ was born, however, opinions differed towards abortion. Unwanted children were destroyed through abortion and infanticide because the Romans and Greeks thought human life was neither sacred nor inviolate (Ayd 48). In fact, Aristole claimed that all babies beyond a legally defined quota should be sentenced to death by exposure (Ayd 48). However, there were some people who objected this inhumanity.
Hippocrates declared that physicians should not perform or enable a women to procure
an abortion (Ayd 48). Even though there were laws against the act, people ignored them and continued to perform the procedure as if it was nothing.
Then God became man, and man was created in Gods image. The Bible says that man is not the owner of his life and body, and the uses he can make of these are limited and governed by divine law (Ayd 48). The entire will of God is for man to come to know Him in a personal relationship so that he may spend eternity in Heaven. This is why there is life on Earth. If one can go through the trials and temptations of life and stay on the side of the Lord, then he is deemed worthy to go to Heaven. By following through with
an abortion, the unborn child is never given this chance.
Although abortion is not directly mentioned in the Bible, there are stories that illustrate why Christians believe that performing this act is wrong. Psalm 139 is about a man named David. He speaks of his praise for God sovereignty in his life by acknowledging that God is omniscient and knows what David is doing at any given point in time, including the nine months he was in his mothers womb (Anderson 1). David knows that he was a unique person being shaped by God for a special role in Gods plan. God knew David even before he was known to others (Anderson 1). According to the Bible, God knows what is going to happen before it ever does. This includes the life and identity of the unborn baby.
The main controversy when arguing abortion involves the actual life of the unborn baby. For many years, doctors and other specialists have tried to figure out the
exact moment of when the baby is considered alive. Some of the answers include: the moment the umbilical cord is cut and the baby is breathing on its own, after the first trimester, and from the moment of conception. Since the nineteenth century, the official doctrine of the Church has been that ensoulment (life) occurs at the moment of conception (Ayd 49). It was Pope Paul VI who insisted that from the moment of conception life must be guarded with the greatest care and that direct abortion is morally wrong (Ayd 49). However, no one really knows when the actually time of life begins and people will continue to argue against each other with varying opinions.
In a letter in my teen study Bible, I read an interesting fact to a question concerning abortion. It pointed out that the fetus is part of the