SEAN BLACKWELL – The Corsair
November 24, 2010
Abortion has been practiced since the earliest known civilizations. It was used to make sure women were able to travel with the clan without slowing them down. If the children were unfortunate enough to be born prior to the clans migration they were killed or left behind. There was no moral dilemma in this practice until monotheism made itself relevant. Ironically enough neither the Old or New Testaments say anything about the practice of abortion.
The practice of abortion through use of herbs and teas, such as pennyroyal and silphium, were common practice during the time the New Testament was written. Many major figures of the Bible like Paul and Jesus lived in cultures that practiced these abortions. Yet they were not compelled to write or speak against this practice that is so detested by modern Christianity.
In the Bible it is a sin punishable by death or exile to kill a person that is born, while it is only a fine for causing a woman to miscarry her child. This can be found in Exodus 21:12, “Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death.” While Exodus 21:22 states, “ When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage … the one responsible shall be fined.” This makes it clear that the death of an actual person is a worse sin than the death of a fetus.
Not only does the Bible not speak out against abortion it actually seems to endorse it. Numbers 31:17, “ Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.” Since the one asking is a servant of “God” his wish is granted, so the story goes. This is just one example of “God’s” disdain for children and the womb of pregnant women. I have neither the room nor allotment of ink to cite all of his murderous actions.
The argument by pro-lifers that the fetus feels pain during abortions is easily debunked with the help of science and medicine. I know the religious ones don’t believe in these fact based methods, but for the sake of argument I will use them anyway. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists found during research that the connection from the periphery to the cortex does not occur prior to the twenty-fourth week of gestation. Most neuroscientist believe this connection is necessary for pain to be felt.
Even the pain that may be felt after this connection is still insignificant due to a lack of consciousness of the fetus. For the nervous system to fully recognize the sensation of pain a complete system with a conscious state is required. In utero a fetus maintains a constant unconscious sleep or sedation. Besides, not all abortions are induced or wanted.
According to the think tank, Guttmacher Institute, approximately 40 percent of women had abortions between 1973-2005. This number only accounts for induced abortions. While the website MedicineNet.com states that at least 20 percent of known pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion. Spontaneous abortions occur when the female body either rejects the fetus, some type of trauma occurs to the womb, or the fetus is born prior to the twentieth week of pregnancy.
Given the facts there is no religious argument against abortion and medically there is no need to feel abortion is some torturous process for the fetus. There is no obvious reason to speak out against it. I don’t feel anyone likes abortion as an option, but it doesn’t matter what we like, it matters what can be legislated. I support a woman’s right to choose and I don’t feel it is anyone’s business what another person does with their body. Luke 6:37 “ Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”