Fetal Life Matters

A young woman, 35, called into a local talk-radio program and said that she was a devout Christian, reared in a Republican home by Christian parents, but she was in favor of abortion and would vote for the Democrat presidential candidate.

The radio host reminded her that the church was opposed to abortion, and he questioned the woman’s honesty:

Something doesn’t add up. You say that you are a devout Christian, raised in a conservative home yet you’re going to vote for someone who supports unrestricted, taxpayer-funded, full-term abortions.

The woman replied,

I just don’t believe that’s what the church teaches. The church didn’t always teach that abortion was wrong. In my research I found that the Jews and Christians had no rules against abortion. Only in the last 200 years has it become an issue with fundamentalists wanting to keep women barefoot and pregnant.

One of the distinctions of ancient Judaism was its opposition to abortion and infanticide which were commonly practiced throughout the pagan, Greco-Roman world to control slave populations and cover the sin of sexual immorality. Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish philosopher at the time of Christ, condemned the practice; and Jewish Christians upheld the precept that abortion was murder. Saving the life of the mother was the only exception.

Augustine, in the 5th century, revived the Aristotelian teaching that the fetus has no soul until it becomes animated; but this was rejected by the orthodoxy which preserved church doctrine that the fetus is ensouled at conception.

When does life begin? Tertullian wrote:

In our case, a murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb … To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth (197 AD).

… all knew well enough that a living being had been conceived, and pitied this most luckless infant state, which had first to be put to death …

Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does. The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion (210 AD).

Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, wrote:

The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as a grave evil. Christian writers from the first-century author of the Didache to Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”) have maintained that the Bible forbids abortion, just as it forbids murder.

The Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) dates to the first century, and is a summary compilation of Apostolic doctrines:

The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure abortion, nor destroy a newborn child (70 AD).

Pope John Paul II:

I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium. No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.

The evidence, then, is that the church has always upheld the sanctity of life. What about the Democrat Vice-Presidential candidate who professes Christian faith?

Said the candidate:

I’m Catholic; I’m against abortion. But I’m going to take an oath to follow the law, and I will follow the law. I will represent all the people.

Well, if he publicly supports abortion how is he representing all the people? How does his position align with the millions of people who are opposed to the procedure? How can a man, in good conscience, deny his faith in pursuit of power? As Peter told the high priest, We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). The higher (moral) law must always reign in the hearts of God’s people, or else our faith is in vain and the Lord is denied.

The history of the term barefoot and pregnant is debated, but it became a signature phrase of radical feminists who wanted to denigrate the sanctity of motherhood. It was an assault on family values to suggest that women had no worth outside the home. What, there is no worth in being a mother?

How enlightened we have become to believe such lies. In ancient days there was great honor in motherhood. The story of Hannah reveals the disquietude of a barren woman who could not conceive. Such women were socially outcast and cruelly taunted.

What does Paul mean in 1 Timothy 2:15?

But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

Motherhood is a blessing from God. A woman is transformed by the bonding self-sacrifice in caring for a child. It is love perfected — a sanctifying love that is a gift from God.

David said that before his conception the days of his life were ordained by the LORD (Psalm 139:13-16).

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

What David called unformed substance, abortionists dismissively call fetal tissue. And we can’t overlook the fact that abortion is an appalling act of racism sponsored by the party of slavery. Though blacks make up only 13% of the population they account for 37% of all abortions. Martin Luther King asked, How can we achieve the Dream if we murder our babies? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb. [Source: Alveda King]

How is it that the Democrat Party receives even one black vote? As the toll rises ever closer to 60 million abortions we have to wonder how the government, entrusted by God to protect us, can willfully facilitate the murder of the most innocent, most vulnerable among us — the unborn.

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