Sunday School: Christian Ethics (Pt.12.1: Abortion)
What does the Bible teach about the protection of an unborn child?
Is there scientific evidence that the unborn child is a distinct person?
What about abortion in the case of rape or to save the life of the mother?
A. BIBLICAL EVIDENCE FOR THE PERSONHOOD OF AN UNBORN CHILD
1. Luke 1:41–44.
2. Psalm 51:5.
3. Psalm 139:13.
4. Genesis 25:22–23.
5. Exodus 21:22–25.
6. Luke 1:35: The Incarnation.
The conclusion from all of these passages is that the Bible teaches that we should think of the unborn child as a person from the moment of conception, and therefore we should give to the unborn child legal protection at least equal to that of others in the society.
(A Note on Forgiveness)
A. SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR THE PERSONHOOD OF THE UNBORN CHILD
Dianne Irving, a biochemist and biologist who is a professor at Georgetown University, writes: “To begin with, scientifically something very radical occurs between the processes of gametogenesis and fertilization—the change from a simple part of one human being (i.e., a sperm) and a simple part of another human being (i.e., an oocyte—usually referred to as an “ovum” or “egg”), which simply possess “human life,” to a new, genetically unique, newly existing, individual, whole living human being (a single-cell embryonic human zygote). That is, upon fertilization, parts of human beings have actually been transformed into something very different from what they were before; they have been changed into a single, whole human being. During the process of fertilization, the sperm and the oocyte cease to exist as such, and a new human being is produced. To understand this, it should be remembered that each kind of living organism has a specific number and quality of chromosomes that are characteristic for each member of a species. (The number can vary only slightly if the organism is to survive.) For example, the characteristic number of chromosomes for a member of the human species is 46 (plus or minus, e.g., in human beings with Down’s or Turner’s syndromes). Every somatic (or, body) cell in a human being has this characteristic number of chromosomes. Even the early germ cells contain 46 chromosomes; it is only their mature forms—the sex gametes, or sperms and oocytes—which will later contain only 23 chromosomes each. Sperms and oocytes are derived from primitive germ cells in the developing fetus by means of the process known as “gametogenesis.” Because each germ cell normally has 46 chromosomes, the process of “fertilization” cannot take place until the total number of chromosomes in each germ cell is cut in half. This is necessary so that after their fusion at fertilization the characteristic number of chromosomes in a single individual member of the human species (46) can be maintained—otherwise we would end up with a monster of some sort. To accurately see why a sperm or an oocyte are considered as only possessing human life, and not as living human beings themselves, one needs to look at the basic scientific facts involved in the processes of gametogenesis and of fertilization. It may help to keep in mind that the products of gametogenesis and fertilization are very different. The products of gametogenesis are mature sex gametes with only 23 instead of 46 chromosomes. The product of fertilization is a living human being with 46 chromosomes. Gametogenesis refers to the maturation of germ cells, resulting in gametes. Fertilization refers to the initiation of a new human being.”
C. OTHER ARGUMENTS AGAINST ABORTION
1. Treatment of a Baby after It Is Born.
2. Ultrasound Images.
3. The Instinct of the Mother
D. COUNTERING ARGUMENTS FOR ABORTION
1. Unable to Interact with Others and Survive on Its Own.
2. Birth Defects.
3. Pregnancies Resulting from Rape or Incest.
4. Abortion to Save the Life of the Mother.
More in Sunday School: Christian Ethics
March 15, 2020Sunday School: Christian Ethics (Pt. 16.1: Marriage)
March 1, 2020Sunday School: Christian Ethics (Pt. 15.2: Illness and Death)
February 23, 2020Sunday School: Christian Ethics (Pt. 15.1: Illness and Death)