Archive for the 'Abortion' Category

Graphic abortion images removed from Queensland submission

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

26 Week Abortion

(photo 26 week abortion, courtesy AbortionNO)

By Spencer D. Gear PhD

I made a 15-page submission to the Queensland ‘Abortion Law Reform (Woman’s Right to Choose) Amendment Bill 2016 that was submitted in June 2016. It was published online as submission No 455 at: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/committees/HCDSDFVPC/2016/AbortionLR-WRC-AB2016/submissions/455.pdf (Accessed 16 July 2016).

The Bill is designed to change the law to decriminalise the killing of the unborn through abortion. My emphasis was to retain the law as it exists.

You will note in my published submission online that the Parliamentary office has chosen to:

A. Blank out certain portions of my submission

Here is how the censorship appeared. This table with a picture was blacked out.

5. This will be what will happen for many Qld children if MPs CHOOSE to reject the Bill.

You will choose this kind of life over death!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. This also was blanked out

7. This will be what happens to unborn Qld children if you CHOOSE to pass this Bill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C. What did I send in my submission?

5. This will be what will happen for many Qld children if MPs CHOOSE to reject the Bill.

You will choose this kind of life over death!

clip_image002
(photo courtesy PublicDomainPictures.net)

D. This also was sent in the submission

 

7. This will be what happens to unborn Qld children if you CHOOSE to pass this Bill.

clip_image004
(image courtesy Abortion Truth)
clip_image006
(image courtesy 100 abortion pictures)

E. Conclusion

I am left to conclude that the graphic contrast between a newly born and growing child when compared with aborted remains of 2 children were too graphic for the government bureaucrats to include. Or could I be more accommodating and concede that the guidelines for submissions prevented the use of graphics? This especially applied to photos that would show the existence of a human being who was slaughtered by abortion and the unsightly remains that clearly demonstrate the nature of abortion.

Here’s the contrast again of life for children and the killing of children in the womb (abortion):

Image result for Newborn Baby on an Arm public domain
(photo courtesy PublicDomainPictures.net)

(photo courtesy www.abortiontruth.com)

 

Copyright © 2016 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 28 September 2016.

Queensland Senator bullying Queensland MPs

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

(image courtesy clker.com)

By Spencer D Gear PhD

How do you think a politician would push her views on abortion? I wrote to her on 5 November 2015 by email to expose what I understood she was doing. The title of my email was, ‘Quit your histrionics[1] and bullying’:

I read the article in the Brisbane Times (2 November 2015) about what you are doing to Queensland State MPs, ‘Greens Senator Larissa Waters wants Queensland MPs to show position on abortion‘.

Please quit this action of bullying Qld MPs. They are big boys and girls who are capable of thinking through the abortion issues themselves.

We already have provision for doctors to abort if there is physical or mental danger to the mother.

It is important that children be protected from conception. You obviously don’t give a hoot about that view. It’s important to safeguard children from murder while they are in the womb. There are life and death reasons for keeping the Qld abortion laws as they are.

It is time for you, a federal Qld senator, to remove yourself from wanting to influence State MPs like this and using the mass media to push your view. What you are doing is engaging in histrionic bullying of MPs with your public demands.[2]

How do you think her office would reply to this kind of personal email from me?

A. Red herring reply from a Senator’s office

I want to commend the Senator’s office for replying to my email because many of the Senators I contact do not get back to me at all. It’s as if my writing to them, for whom I have voted, is a waste of time. However, how did the person in the senator’s office reply? Here it is:

Thank you for contacting Senator Larissa Waters regarding abortion.

Senator Waters respects your concerns and acknowledges your perspective on this issue.

The Australian Greens have been, and continue to be, strong supporters of women’s right to access free, safe and legal termination services.  The Greens believe it’s unacceptable that so many Australian women still struggle to access this basic health service, which is why we will continue to work to improve women’s access to termination services.

Thank you again for contacting Senator Waters to express your views.

Regards,

[staff member’s name]

Office of Senator Larissa Waters [3]

Notice what she missed from my email of 5 November to Senator Waters? She omitted one of my primary emphases that I placed in the email title, ‘Quit your histrionics and bullying’. Not once in this reply did the staff member mention my accusation of bullying of Qld MPs – not once. She avoided it to push Senator Waters’ pro-abortion agenda.

(Herrings kippered by smoking and salting until they turn reddish-brown, i.e. a “red herring”. Prior to refrigeration kipper was known for being strongly pungent; courtesy Wikipedia)

By avoiding the topic I raised of histrionic bullying of MPs, Senator Waters’ office has practised a red herring logical fallacy. What is that? The Nizkor Project explains:

A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to “win” an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of “reasoning” has the following form:

1. Topic A is under discussion.

2. Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).

3. Topic A is abandoned.

This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim (The Nizkor Project 2012. S v red herring).

Therefore, I responded to Catherine Garner via email:[4]

Your response is a red herring logical fallacy. You did not address the issue I raised of Senator Waters bullying Qld MPs about their views on abortion. Please quit it. Bullying in all its forms should not be promoted, let alone practised, by Senator Waters.

1. Politicians among least trusted

Your reply endorses fallacious reasoning. No wonder in 2011, reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, it was found that ‘this year’s Reader’s Digest survey on the most-trusted professions sandwiches politicians between car salesmen and telemarketers, in the bottom three out of a list of 45 vocations’. Politicians were 44 on the list of 45′ (The Sydney Morning Herald 2011). Sadly, journalists were competing with politicians near the bottom of that list at No. 40. In fact, sex workers are at #39, meaning that politicians are less trusted than prostitutes.[5]

How was Senator Waters tackling the views of Queensland MPs on abortion?

B. Politician bullying other politicians

clip_image002(photo of Senator Larissa Waters, courtesy Wikipedia)

 

This federal Greens’ senator for Queensland, Larissa Waters was bullying Qld MPs with some of these emphases, as reported by the Brisbane Times:[6]

1. She was asking Queensland State MPs to declare their position on decriminalising abortion. Why? It was a component of her campaign to expose what she considers is Qld’s ‘outdated law’ that she wants changed. To me, this seems like a predicted technique. She is pushing for a change in Qld State legislation. So what better way to do this than to unmask the politicians’ perspectives on abortion so that she could then attempt to debunk or parade their values for possible ridicule or exposure in their electorates?

However, she is a federal politician and should be leaving State politics to the state political sphere. This doesn’t prevent her from expressing her views. However, she did it in a very public sphere through this article in the Brisbane Times.[7]

2. This was associated with a report in the Brisbane Times that Qld women were travelling interstate to obtain abortions (Mitchell-Whitington 2015). This article claimed Qld women wanting abortions were breaking the law by going south for the procedure. ‘In 2014, Children by Choice referred 77 women interstate, with similar organisations making the same type of referrals so that figure is probably much higher’, claimed Professor Caroline de Costa of James Cook University School of the College of Medicine and Dentistry.[8] De Costa’s contention was that ‘extensive abortion “tourism” from all Australian states to Victoria and overseas (is occurring) in the face of barriers to access to abortion’.

So this Brisbane Times article garnered a pro-abortion response from a Professor of Medicine. Where was the balance? I did not find a right of response from Cherish Life, a right-to-life organisation.

3. This is how Waters is bullying Qld MPs. It was reported that ‘Larissa Waters has begun campaigning to decriminalise the procedure [of abortion] in the sunshine state, with plans to publish where Queensland’s MPs stand on the issue’ (Remeikis 2015). This kind of threat amounts to bullying by intimidation, in my view.

4. This article stated, ‘”The fact that abortion is still a crime in Queensland creates stigma and legal uncertainty for women and for doctors,” Ms Waters said in the letter to the state’s MPs’. So Waters is pushing the stigma and legal side to try to get MPs to declare their hand on abortion so that she will shame them (this is how I see it) about ‘the dearth of access to abortion in Queensland’ (Remeikis 2015).

5. The bullying by shaming continues: ‘Our outdated laws, are hurting Queensland women’. This is guilt by association. If Qld MPs support the current abortion laws they are endorsing old fashioned laws that are hurting women, according to Waters.

6. The guilt by association and bullying continued: ‘Ms Waters said polling shows four out of five voters supported decriminalising abortion, with the Australian Medical Association of Queensland calling the current law “a barrier to a doctor’s first duty – best patient care”’. Not one statistic was quoted by the Brisbane Times or Ms Waters to support this assertion of the percentage of Queenslanders who support abortion. However, elsewhere these are the polling statistics that were not 80% in favour of abortion:

ALMOST two-thirds of Queenslanders support the decriminalisation of abortion, according to an exclusive Galaxy opinion poll.

The poll of 800 voters, conducted exclusively for The Courier-Mail, found 64 per cent believed abortion should be legalised, while 31 per cent disagreed. Five per cent were uncommitted (Miles 2009, emphasis in original).

A year later it was reported:

Image result for clipart research public domain

(image courtesy clipartpal.com)

New independent polling by Galaxy Research reveals Queensland voters are evenly split on whether to “decriminalise abortion”, despite widespread media coverage of the recent Cairns court trial and contrary to recent claims by the pro-abortion lobby that there is 90 per cent support.

The poll, taken after the week-long trial, shows a cautious attitude towards abortion with 29 per cent saying they would not allow abortion “at any stage of pregnancy”. This makes a total of 74 per cent of Queenslanders who would not permit abortion beyond the first trimester, or not at all.

Even support for first-trimester abortions is qualified because half (49 per cent) of Queensland voters do not support abortion for non-medical reasons (that is, social or financial reasons). Of course, it is deemed common knowledge that the majority of the annual 14,000+ abortions in Queensland are carried out for non-medical reasons, something which may shock the general public if they knew.

Catapulting the cause for abortion law reform into media headlines was the trial of a young couple in Cairns during October 12-14. After only one hour of deliberation the jury found them not guilty of the two charges: procuring one’s own abortion and supplying a drug to procure an abortion (McCormack 2010, emphasis in original).

Commenting on this poll, the Australian Christian Lobby stated:

“Despite activist organisation GetUp! reportedly claiming that decriminalising abortion has 90% public support, this new poll shows that 74% of Queensland voters are opposed to abortion past the first trimester,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said. “Another important finding is that almost everybody (94%) believes that a woman should receive free independent counseling to enable a fully informed decision. Three quarters of respondents (77%) believed that abortion can harm the mental and physical health of a woman.

“The poll also found that 29% of respondents did not support abortion at any stage of a pregnancy, and that nearly half of those surveyed (49%) said they did not support abortion for non-medical reasons. This is particularly noteworthy considering that the vast majority of abortions carried out in Australia today are not for medical reasons, but for purely for financial or social reasons.

“There is clearly no consensus that abortion laws should be changed except to introduce better safeguards for women such as independent counseling, cooling-off periods and parental consent for girls under 16,” Mr Wallace said (Australian Christian Lobby 2010).

A 2008 survey reported in The Medical Journal of Australia came to different conclusions. It was ‘an anonymous online survey of 1050 Australians aged 18 years or older (stratified by sex, age and location) using contextualised questions, conducted between 28  and 31 July 2008’ and reached the conclusion that there was,

a high level of support for access to early abortion; 87% of respondents indicated that abortion should be lawful in the first trimester (61% unconditionally and 26% depending on the circumstances). In most of the clinical and social circumstances described in our survey, a majority of respondents indicated that doctors should not face professional sanctions for performing abortion after 24 weeks’ gestation.

Conclusions: Our data show that a majority of Australians support laws which enable women to access abortion services after 24 weeks’ gestation, and that support varies depending on circumstances. Simple yes/no polls may give a misleading picture of public opinion (de Crespigny et al 2010).

However, this study did admit that ‘late abortion is especially controversial, although less than 2% of abortions occur at 20 weeks or later. Few data support the belief that Australians strongly oppose women’s access to late abortion, while surveys in the United Kingdom and United States do report opposition’ (de Crespigny et al 2010).

C. Abortion ‘tourism’ is pathetic publicity

passenger airplaneProfessor de Costa of James Cook School of Medicine used a wretched designation for the travelling to another city to have an abortion. She called it, ‘extensive abortion “tourism”… in the face of barriers to access to abortion’ (Mitchell-Whitington 2015). Sarah Colyer (2015) for the Australian Medical Association also used the language of ‘abortion tourism’ and cited Professor de Costa in her article, along with others. In a Media Release for the Australian Medical Association on 26 October 2015, Professor de Costa again repeated the offensive language of ‘tourism’ to obtain an abortion because of the divergence in legislation across Australia: ‘The result of these differences is continuing and extensive abortion “tourism” from all Australian states to

Victoria and overseas in the face of barriers to access to abortion’ (de Costa 2015).

1. ‘Medical tourism’ in action

I find it abominable that any medical doctor or professor could call the killing of an unborn child in abortion to be an example of tourism in action. Wouldn’t travelling interstate to murder somebody be a better description of what goes on?

How do you think others see this view of ‘tourism’? One comment to Colyer (2015) was: ‘The use of the word “tourism” in this article is in the same context as “medical tourism” – where people travel to have procedures or treatment that are not accessible to them locally – either due to availability or cost. The term does not intend to trivialise the treatment, but to describe the act of travelling’ (comment by Sue Ieraci). Another’s response was more provocative, ‘“Tourism’”??? Really???? I find this both an inflammatory and demeaning term to be used in the exploration of a significant health issue’ (Nicole L in Colyer 2015). How does a doctor of conscience with a different view to that of de Costa and others deal with abortion?

I work in Victoria and am always concerned about the welfare and rights of both mother and baby when a woman with an unwanted pregnancy presents. It happens to me very rarely now as I get older.

Unless the mother’s viability is in real danger and there therefore exists the mother’s right to act in self defence of her life, I will not be part of killing anyone. Therefore, I refuse to be involved in a referral for abortion to someone who is not of the same moral belief. i.e. I will break the law in Victoria where my right as a citizen to act according to my conscience has been legislated away as a result of the unfortunate alliance of left wing Victorian Labor politicians of the early 2000s. Emily’s List is a very powerful lobby group in the Labor Party who have engineered legislation which allows the legal killing of babies while in utero until birth. What barbarity! (Paul Jenkinson in Colyer 2015).

I’m with you, Nicole. To describe travelling to have a procedure to kill an unborn child as ‘tourism’ is not only demeaning and abominable but profane,[9] in my view. The abuse of a life given by God (the child in the womb) through killing is vulgar and wicked to redefine as tourism, even medical tourism. What is a nation coming to where a professor of medicine is prepared to publicly go on record as regarding murder of an unborn child as tourism?

This does get down to worldview and scientific issues regarding the commencement of human life.

D. Conclusion

This article commenced with a Qld example of a Qld federal Senator, Larissa Waters, who was pressuring (bullying was my language) Qld MPs for their views on abortion so that she could pressure them to decriminalise abortion in Qld.

What was her purpose? She wanted to prevent ‘medical tourism’ by which a pregnant woman would travel to another state or territory to have her abortion – the killing of her unborn child.

The Brisbane-based ‘Children by Choice’, states that the organisation ‘is proud to have the support of our three patrons – Senators Claire Moore, Sue Boyce and Larissa Waters’. So that nails Senator Waters’ colours to the mast. She’s a promoter of abortion and her bullying Qld MPs to obtain their views on abortion seems to be to pressure them into providing evidence that her pro-abortion side can use to manipulate Qld laws for pro-abortion change to decriminalise abortion.

I find the tactic abominable that she has used.

Works consulted

Australian Christian Lobby 2010. Qld polling challenges pro-abortionist claims (online), 29 October. Available at: http://www.acl.org.au/2010/10/qld-polling-challenges-pro-abortionist-claims/ (Accessed 10 November 2015).

Colyer, S 2015. Call to end “abortion tourism”. MJAInSight[10] (online), 26 October. Available at: https://www.mja.com.au/insight/2015/41/call-end-abortion-tourism (Accessed 11 November 2015).

de Costa, C 2015. Advances in fetal medicine outstrip abortion law reform. The Medical Journal of Australia: Media Release (online), 26 October. Available at: https://www.scimex.org/__data/assets/file/0007/57355/Abortion-Laws_MJA_Media-release.pdf (Accessed 11 November 2015)

de Crespigny, L J; Wilkinson, D J; Douglas, T; Textor, M & Savulescu, J 2010. Australian attitudes to early and late abortion. The Medical Journal of Australia (online), 193 (1), 9-12. Available at: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2010/193/1/australian-attitudes-early-and-late-abortion (Accessed 10 November 2015).[11]

McCormack, L 2010. QUEENSLAND: 12 per cent swing in favour of protecting unborn. News Weekly, November 13. Available at: http://newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=4491 (Accessed 10 November 2015).

Merriam-Webster Dictionary 2015. Available at: http://www.merriam-webster.com/ (Accessed 11 November 2015).

Miles, J 2009. Two thirds support abortion law change: poll. The Courier-Mail, September 15. Available at: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/two-thirds-support-abortion-law-change-poll/story-e6freon6-1225773035076 (Accessed 10 November 2015).

Mitchell-Whitington, A 2015. Outdated Queensland abortion laws creating a ‘tourism’ of women travelling south. Brisbane Times (online), October 26. Available at: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/outdated-queensland-abortion-laws-creating-a-tourism-of-women-travelling-south-20151023-gkhbe6 (Accessed 11 November 2015).

Oxford Dictionaries 2015. Oxford University Press. Available at: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/ (Accessed 11 November 2015).

Remeikis, A 2015. Greens Senator Larissa Waters wants Queensland MPs to show position on abortion. Brisbane Times (online), November 2. Available at: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/greens-senator-larissa-waters-wants-queensland-mps-to-show-position-on-abortion-20151101-gko8sy.html (Accessed 10 November 2015).

The Nizkor Project 1991-2012. Fallacies (online). Available at: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ (Accessed 11 November 2015).

The Sydney Morning Herald 2011. Australia’s most trusted: sex workers trump pollies in public confidence stakes (online), June 22. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/national/australias-most-trusted-sex-workers-trump-pollies-in-public-confidence-stakes-20110622-1ge82.html (Accessed 10 November 2015).

 

Notes


[1] ‘Histrionic’ means being ‘excessively theatrical or dramatic in character or style’ (Oxford dictionaries 2015. S v histrionic):

[2] I sent this to Senator Waters’ email address: Senator.Waters@aph.gov.au.

[3] The staff member sent this email on 10 November 2015 from email: Senator.Waters@aph.gov.au.

[4] I do not make my personal email available on this ‘Truth Challenge’ website.

[5] I did not include this last sentence in my email to Waters’ office.

[6] Remeikis (2015).

[7] Ibid.

[8] This professorship is confirmed in the MJA InSight (Colyer 2015).

[9] I am using ‘profane’ as meaning ‘to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt: desecrate; to debase by a wrong, unworthy, or vulgar use’ (Merriam-Webster 2015. S v profane).

[10] This is a Medical Journal of Australia publication.

[11] There was no pagination for this online edition.

 

Copyright © 2016 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 14 January 2016.

When an abortion goes horribly wrong

Friday, December 28th, 2012

clip_image002

(image courtesy priestsforlife.org, Patrick’s face burned by saline)

  By Spencer D Gear

I was sitting in the waiting room of a hospital awaiting day surgery shortly after 6am on Thursday, 24 November 2011, when I heard the sad news on Channel 9 TV news, Australia, that an ”Aussie hospital mistakenly aborts wrong twin fetus‘. The essence of this news item was:

  • A Victorian (Australian) woman, 32-weeks pregnant, lost her twin babies in a botched abortion on Tuesday, 22 November 2011, at Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital – the wrong baby was ‘terminated’. That means that he was killed.
  • Doctors had told the woman that one of the babies had a congenital heart defect requiring many operations if it lived. Obviously the woman had agreed to abort the unhealthy baby.
  • Instead of ‘terminating’ the unhealthy twin, the healthy twin was aborted when he was ‘accidentally injected’.
  • Then there was ‘an emergency Caesarian section to end the life of the sick child’.
  • The mother is traumatized.
  • The medical staff involved called it a ‘clinical accident’ and were said to be ‘inconsolable’.
  • A hospital spokeswoman apologised, said the hospital was deeply sorry for the loss suffered by patient and family.
  • A newspaper, the Herald Sun, said that the family was considering legal action.

See further details at, “Healthy foetus accidentally terminated” (ABC News Australia).

How did I respond?

Here I’ll give a brief personal reflection.

Firstly, I was in a hospital waiting room in the early hours of the morning about to undergo a much less serious procedure when I heard this message on the TV in the waiting room. Instead of thinking of the possibility of a botched procedure in my own case, my heart went out to this mother, father and family who were grieving the loss of twin boys who had already been named. I felt deeply for their loss in such tragic circumstances.

I’ve lost both of my parents through death, but I can’t imagine that this is anything like the severity of losing twin boys through an accidental medical procedure.

Secondly, my grand-daughter was born one month prematurely in July 2011 at 8-months gestation. She was the same age as these twins in their mother’s womb. I know what my grand-daughter looked like as a premature new-born child. These are the size of children that this mother in Melbourne lost. Under normal circumstances they may have been old enough and developed enough to live. I’m thinking of a mother losing two children who could have been the size of my grand-daughter at birth. But the mother did choose to abort one of the boys on doctors’ recommendations.

What are some of the ethical issues?

Is it ever right to abort, even if a child has abnormalities?

1. It should be very obvious with these twin babies that they were old enough to survive outside of the womb under normal circumstances. However, the bigger issue is that abortion always kills human life. See my article, “Abortion and life: A Christian perspective“, that demonstrates that all of life is precious, from conception to the grave. Ethically, I consider that there is only one circumstance in which abortion is an option and that is to save the life of the mother, an example being a tubal pregnancy.

2. What happened at the Melbourne hospital is an example of the medical profession playing God and it went horribly wrong. It is God’s right to give and take life. How do I know?

I am a committed evangelical Christian who takes the Bible seriously. God’s view on life is more important than mine. Hannah’s prayer was, “The Lord gives both death and life; he brings some down to the grave but raises others up” (1 Samuel 2:6 NLT). It is God’s responsibility to give life and to end life. Human beings want to take that responsibility from God. We must remember God’s perspective: “And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NLT).

3. What about abortion of those with disabilities, as with the Melbourne case?

It is often claimed that abortion is a more “humane” alternative for the defective, since it will spare them the agony of “lives devoid of quality and meaning”.  I’ll let the handicapped speak for themselves, through a testimony that appeared in 1962 in the London Daily Telegraph in the midst of the thalidomide tragedy:

Sirs,
We were disabled from causes other than Thalidomide, the first of us having two useless arms and hands; the second, two useless legs; and the third, the use of neither arms nor legs.
We were fortunate . . . in having been allowed to live and we want to say with strong conviction how thankful we are that none took it upon themselves to destroy us as helpless cripples.

Here at the Delarue School of spastics [Trowbridge, Kent], one of the schools of the National Spastic Society, we have found worthwhile and happy lives and we face our future with confidence.  Despite our disability, life still has much to offer and we are more than anxious, if only metaphorically, to reach out toward the future.

This we hope will give comfort and hope to the parents of the Thalidomide babies, and at the same time serve to condemn those who would contemplate the destruction of even a limbless baby.  [Signed by Elane Duckett, Glynn Verdon, Caryl Hodges] (in Davis 1985, pp. 156-57).

4. Are foetuses in the womb human or are they medical tissue to be aborted? There are strong biblical arguments for the foetus being a fully human being (surely the abortion of a foetus at 32-weeks can be recognised as human):[1]

a. Unborn babies are called “children,” the same word used of infants and young children (Luke 1:41, 44; 2:12, 16; Exodus 21:22), and sometimes even of adults (1 Kings 3:17).

b. The unborn are created by God (Psalm 139:13) just as God created Adam and Eve in his image (Genesis 1:27).

c. The life of the unborn is protected by the same punishment for injury or death (Ex. 21:22) as that of an adult (Gen. 9:6).

d. Christ was human (the God-man) from the point he was conceived in Mary’s womb (Matt. 1:20-21; Luke 1:26-27).

e. The image of God includes “male and female” (Gen. 1:27), but it is a scientific fact that maleness or femaleness (sex) is determined at the moment of conception.

f. Unborn children possess personal characteristics such as sin (Ps. 51:5) and joy that are distinctive of human beings.

g. Personal pronouns are used to describe unborn children (Jeremiah 1:5 LXX; Matt. 1:20-21) just as any other human being.

h. The unborn are said to be known intimately and personally by God as he would know any other person (Ps. 139:15-16; Jer. 1:5).

i. The unborn are even called by God before birth (Gen. 25:22-23; Judges. 13:2-7; Isaiah. 49:1, 5; Galatians 1:15).

j. Guilt from an abortion is experienced, therefore, because a person has broken the     law of God (sinned), “You shall not murder” (Ex. 20:13; Matt. 5:21; 19:18; Romans 13:9).  Forgiveness can be received through confession to Jesus Christ (1 John 1:9).

“Taken as a whole, these Scripture texts leave no doubt that an unborn child is just as much a person in God’s image as a little child or an adult is.  They are created in God’s image from the very moment of conception, and their prenatal life is precious in God’s eyes and protected by his prohibition against murder” (Geisler 1989, p. 148).

5. There is another tragedy in the death of twins in the womb. There could be many couples without children in Australia who would be ready, willing an able to accept a child for adoption who has congenital heart disease and would need many operations throughout life. These people are denied this opportunity.

Adoption numbers are reducing in Australia. One report stated, “There has been a substantial decline in the number of adoptions in Australia since the early 1970s. In 1971–72 there were 9,798 adoptions, which declined to 1,052 in 1991–92, and 576 in 2005–06”. Here are figures for “Adoptions Australia: 2005-2006“.

What a tragedy that some Aussie family has not had the opportunity to adopt a child who had congenital heart disease.

For the benefits of adoption, see my wife, Desley Gear’s, testimony, “Adoption – How sweet the sound“.

Conclusion

I pray that what happened in Melbourne Royal Women’s Hospital will jolt the medical profession and Australians in general to rethink what they are doing in endorsing abortion and what the medical profession is doing in violating its own Hippocratic Oath in killing infants in the womb.

I grieve for the parents involved, but I have deep sorry for the thousands of babies who are killed in the womb in Australia every year. The Australian government states that “it is impossible to quantify accurately the total number of abortions which take place in Australia each year”. Life Network, in the article, “Abortion in Australia“, used government and other statistics to demonstrate that:

estimated 80,000 – 90,000 surgical abortions are performed in Australia each year. This equates to approximately 250 per day, or one abortion for every 2.8 live births. One in three Australian women will have an abortion in their lifetime.

And this is supposed to be the Lucky Country!

Works consulted

Davis, J. J. 1985. Evangelical Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today. Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company.

Geisler, N. L. 1989, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues. Leicester, England: Apollos (an imprint of Inter-Varsity Press).

Notes:


[1] This section in its entirety is based on Geisler (1989, p. 148).

 

Copyright © 2011 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 15 October 2015.

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Whytehouse Designs

Abortion and Life: A Christian Perspective

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

 

(image courtesy, Abortion and American Holocaust)

By Spencer D Gear

“Australia faces not a population explosion. . . but a copulation explosion,” with an increasing pregnancy rate, a falling birth rate and an alarming abortion rate (Fisher & Buckingham 1985, p. 1). In the financial year 1984/85 there were 55,153 abortions.  This increased to 77,551 in 1995/96.  For the year 1999/2000 there were 73,699 abortions (Queensland Right to Life 2001). I spoke with one Australian federal Member of Parliament during the year 2004 and his estimate was that the current abortion rate was approaching 100,000 unborn children, killed every year in Australia.  This figure was confirmed by De Costa (2007:13).

The rate of abortion in Australia was a national tragedy and society had too lax an attitude towards sexual promiscuity among teenagers, federal Health Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday.

Speaking at Adelaide University on the ethical role of a Christian politician, Mr Tony Abbott MP, a Catholic, said there were 100,000 abortions in Australia each year, which he labelled a measure of the nation’s moral health. . .
“Why isn’t the fact that 100,000 women choose to end their pregnancies regarded as a national tragedy?” (‘Abortion rate a tragedy, says Abbott,’ 2004).

(photo Tony Abbott, courtesy Wikipedia)

It was not surprising that such open opposition to abortion by the former Australian Federal Minister for Health & Ageing, and former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott MP (pictured above) – and Prime Minister of Australia in 2013 – brought criticism from within the political arena, interest groups and by the general public:

Former TREASURER Peter Costello has warned his colleagues not to make abortion an “incendiary political issue” after Health Minister Tony Abbott said women were taking “the easy way out” by terminating pregnancies.

Mr Costello also insisted his cabinet colleague was making a personal statement – not signalling any change in government policy – on access and funding for abortions. “We would not want it to become one of those incendiary political issues in this country,” he told Sydney radio king John Laws. “Let’s not try and turn elections on issues like that” . . .

Federal Women’s Minister Kay Patterson distanced herself from Mr Abbott’s views yesterday. “It would never be an easy choice, but women have the right to choose,” she said.

Opposition Leader Mark Latham said women had a right to choose abortion and Mr Abbott should get off his “moral high horse”.  “I believe women have a right to make a choice in their circumstances,” he said. . .

Roberto Rojas-Morales, the director of Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia, which is yet to receive confirmation of further federal funding, challenged Mr Abbott to “put his money where his mouth is” and boost funds for comprehensive sex education.

“We agree more attention and resources should be focused on lowering the abortion rate — and the best way to do that is through quality education,” he said. Australian Women’s Health Network convenor Helen Keleher said if Mr Abbott was serious, he should insist that all schools – including the Catholic system that educated him – gave full and frank contraception advice.

“We agree the rate is too high – it is a tragedy – but blaming women is not the answer,” she said. Women’s Electoral Lobby spokeswoman Sarah Maddison slammed Mr Abbott’s comments as “deeply offensive” and called on him to apologise to women who had had abortions.

Children by Choice spokeswoman Cait Calcutt said Mr Abbott could reduce the number of abortions dramatically if he agreed to fund better quality sex education  (see Schubert 2004).

Since we have reached the situation in Australia where approximately 100,000 children are aborted every year according to the Federal Health Minister in 2004, more Australians are aborted each year than died from the atomic bomb blast at Hiroshima (estimated as between 70,000 – 100,000 killed).  Based on information published in 1985, there is one abortion for every three live births in Australia.  Abortion claims more than two in five human deaths in Australia each year.  One unborn Australian child dies by abortion every seven minutes [in 2004, it is one abortion every five minutes].  For every five women having abortions, three are unmarried (Fisher & Buckingham 1985, pp. 18, 20). By comparison, in the United States in 1985 there were 1.588 million abortions and an estimate of 1.328 million in the year 2000 (National Right to Life 2004). 

Although the statistics are dated, John Jefferson Davis stated that

the United States leads the world in teenage abortions, with over 500,000 per year.  Some 150,000 abortions are performed in the second trimester of pregnancy, “the most grisly of all,” notes Dr. Matthew J. Bulfin, “the ones that some hardened abortionists refuse to do because the killing is so real and unmistakable” (Bulfin 1983:A22, in Davis 1985:130)

Davis cites statistics from a quarter century ago, that “of those obtaining abortions in 1981, 66 percent were under age 25 and 77 percent were unmarried” (1985:130).

It is difficult to obtain reliable figures for abortion worldwide, since many countries (especially Eastern Europe, the former Commonwealth of Independent States and China, where most of the world’s abortions take place) do not keep accurate statistics.  These are proposed figures:
 blue-arrow-smallIn 54 countries (61% of the world population) abortions are legal.
blue-arrow-smallIn 97 countries (39% of the world population) abortions are illegal.
blue-arrow-smallThere are approximately 46 million abortions conducted each year, 20 million of them obtained illegally.
blue-arrow-smallThere are approximately 126,000 abortions conducted each day (statistics from “Women’s Issues” 2004).

Fisher and Buckingham claimed that “the number of human lives lost by abortion each year is more than the total of all lives lost in all the wars in history put together” (1985, p. 15, emphasis in original).

Technically, abortion refers to the miscarriage of an unborn child, whether naturally or artificially caused.  However, in everyday language, “abortion means deliberately bringing about a miscarriage or bringing to an end a pregnancy and the life of the unborn child involved,” surgically or with drugs.  The latter definition is the one assumed in this paper.  Euphemistically, abortion has been called “termination of pregnancy”, “cleaning out the uterus”, “removing the products of conception”, “interception”, “the procedure” or “interruption of pregnancy” (Fisher & Buckingham 1985, p. 5)

Partial-birth abortion procedure

( image courtesy Advocates for Life)

Is John W. Montgomery over-reacting when he titles his book, Slaughter of the Innocents? (1981) Is the title, Abortion: The Silent Holocaust by John Powell (1981) an exaggerated description?

Those who promote abortion and those who oppose abortion start from opposite positions.  The pro-abortionists emphasise the rights of the mother; the right of the child is the focus of the anti abortionists.  Christians who submit to the Lordship of Christ and desire to live under Christ’s authority, justice and compassion, must ask themselves what principles are involved.  It is then that the key moral and theological issue emerges: what is the nature of the foetus?  I “reject as totally false and utterly abhorrent the notion that the foetus is merely a lump of jelly or blob of tissue, or a growth in the mother’s womb, which may therefore be extracted and destroyed like teeth, tumours or tonsils” (Stott 1984, p. 284). However, is the unborn child a human being?  Harold O.J. Brown forcefully asserts:

Of all the arguments used to support abortion, the contention that the foetus is not a human being has to be the most dishonest.  No one who studies human development can pretend to be ignorant of the facts.  Admittedly, there may be some dispute as to precisely when fetal life is “fully human,” but everyone knows it is long before birth (1977, p. 135).

What then is the evidence for the origin of human life?

When does human life begin?

This is the fiery issue that will call a storm in conversations if you dare to raise it.

Leading obstetrician gynaecologist and medical researcher, Dr Landrum B. Shettles, says the real core of the debate over when life begins is “the clash between an ethic that makes the sanctity of human life an absolute and a new ethic that renders that life relative and sometimes expendable” (Shettles with Rorvik 1983, p. 107).

Medical Aspects

In 1970, in the midst of the United States’ abortion debate (it was legalised in 1973), the editors of the journal California Medicine (the official journal of the California Medical Association), noticed “the curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death” (in Davis 1985, p. 137).

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, in 1981, held hearings on when life begins.  The following are samples of evidence submitted by the medical profession (in Shettles with Rorvik 1983, pp. 113-114):

Dr Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris:

When does life begin? . . . Life has a very long history, but each individual has a very neat beginning, the moment of its conception . . . To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion.  The human nature of the human being, conception to old age, is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.

Dr Watson A. Bowes, Jr, of the University of Colorado Medical School: “The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter — the beginning is conception.”

Dr Alfred Bongiovanni of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, after noting that standard medical texts have long taught that human life begins at conception, added:

I am no more prepared to say that these early stages represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty . . . is not a human being.

Dr Micheline Matthews-Roth, research associate of Harvard University Medical School: “It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”

Professor Hymie Gordon, chairman of the Department of Medical Genetics at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota): “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.”

Dr McCarthy De Mere, a practising physician and a law professor at the University of Tennessee: “The exact moment of the beginning [of] personhood and of the human body is at the moment of conception.”

The medical breakthrough came in the 1960s when Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the genetic code (DNA).   

The genotype — the inherited characteristics of a unique human being — is established in the conception process and will remain in force for the entire life of that individual.  No other event in biological life is so decisive as this one . . . The genotype that is conferred at conception does not merely start life, it defines life (in Shettles with  Rorvik 1983, pp. 36-37).

Biologically, human life begins when the sperm merges with the ovum to form the zygote, containing the full set of 46 chromosomes necessary to create new human life.  “The haploid sex cells (ova or spermatozoa) are parts of potential human life.  The zygote is human life” (Shettles with Rorvik 1983, p. 40, emphasis in original). The First International Conference on Abortion in Washington D.C., 1967, declared: “We can find no point in time between the union of sperm and egg and the birth of an infant at which point we can say that this in not a human life” (in Stott 1984, p. 286).

Bible Basics

The Bible does not specifically condemn abortion.  Nor does it specifically deal with infanticide (killing babies) or genocide (the killing of a whole race).  However, there are specific provisions against homicide (the deliberate taking of human life).  Therefore,

if the developing fetus is shown to be a human being, then we do not need a specific commandment against feticide (abortion) any more than we need something specific against uxoricide (wife-killing).  The general commandment against killing covers both (Brown 1977, p. 119).

Definition of a Human Being [2]

The most important clue is given in Genesis 1:27 where human beings are differentiated from animals in two significant ways: they are made (1) in God’s image and (2) by a direct divine act.

Another contrast is given in God’s covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:3-7) where human beings are given stewardship dominion over animals and may use them for food.  It is also evident that the wilful killing of innocent blood of human beings is an offence against the image of God.

Although the meaning of God’s image in human beings has been defined a number of ways, “most theologians agree that it is only because he was made in God’s image that man can relate to God” (Brown 1977, p. 126). While God takes an interest in animals (e.g. Jonah 4:11), He does not relate to them as He does to human beings.  “If God relates in a personal way to a human creature, this is evidence that that creature is made in God’s image” (Brown 1977, p. 126, emphasis added). How then does God relate to us before birth?

God and Us Before Birth

Psalm 139, using poetic imagery and figurative language, states three important truths about our prenatal existence on which John Stott elaborates (1984, pp. 286-288):

(1) Creation.  “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (v. 13).  “Although the Bible makes no claim to be a textbook on embryology, here is a plain affirmation that the growth of the fetus is neither haphazard nor automatic but a divine work of creative skill” (Stott 1980, p. 50).  See also Job 10:8.

(2) Continuity.  The psalmist refers to himself in the past (v. 1), present (vv. 2-3), future (v. 10) and pre-natal (v. 13).  In all four stages, he refers to himself by the same personal pronouns “I” and “me”.

He who is thinking and writing as a grown man has the same personal identity as the foetus in the womb.  He is aware of no discontinuity between his antenatal and postnatal being.  On the contrary, in and out of his mother’s womb,. before and after his birth, as embryo, baby, youth and adult, he is conscious of being the same person (Stott 1984, p. 287).

(3) Communion.  Psalm 139 gives the radical personal relationship of God to the individual.  The “I-you” relationship between God and the psalmist is expressed in almost every line.  The Creator God loved the psalmist and related to him long before he could respond in a conscious relationship with God.

What makes us a person, then, is not that we know God, but that he knows us; not that we love God but that he has set his love upon us.  So each of us was already a person in our mother’s womb, because already then God knew us and loved us (Stott 1984, p. 288).

Other biblical passages speak of the prenatal and postnatal continuity (Job 31:15; Psalm 119:73).  God chose Jeremiah before birth and sanctified him in his mother’s womb (Jer.1:5).  David recognised his identity began with conception (Psalm 51:5).

In the New Testament, when Mary and Elizabeth met, both being pregnant, Elizabeth’s baby (John the Baptist) “leaped in her womb” in salutation of Mary’s baby, Jesus.  Of special significance in Luke’s account is that he used the same word brephos (NT Greek) for an unborn child (1:41, 44), the new-born baby (2:12, 16) and the little ones brought to Jesus to bless (18:15) [Stott 1984, p. 289].

The most startling affirmation of the sanctity of prenatal life is the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  His personal history on earth began, not when he was “born of the Virgin Mary”, but when he was “conceived by the Holy Spirit” (see Matt.1:18, 20) [Davis 1985, p. 150].

If Jesus (true God and true man) was present in His mother’s womb from the first moment of His conception, then it follows that other [people] must also be alive and existing as human beings from the first moments of their conceptions; for unless they are the same as Jesus in this respect of their human nature, He would not be like them in every essential human respect except for sin (Krimmel & Foley 1985-86, pp. 12-13) [See also Heb. 2:17].

Foetus as fully human: Biblical arguments [3]

1.    Unborn babies are called “children,” the same word used of infants and young children (Luke 1:41, 44; 2:12, 16; Exodus 21:22), and sometimes even of adults (1 Kings 3:17).
2.    The unborn are created by God (Psalm 139:13) just as God created Adam and Eve in his image (Genesis 1:27).
3.    The life of the unborn is protected by the same punishment for injury or death (Ex. 21:22) as that of an adult (Gen. 9:6).
4.    Christ was human (the God-man) from the point he was conceived in Mary’s womb (Matt. 1:20-21; Luke 1:26-27).
5.    The image of God includes “male and female” (Gen. 1:27), but it is a scientific fact that maleness or femaleness (sex) is determined at the moment of conception.
6.    Unborn children possess personal characteristics such as sin (Ps. 51:5) and joy that are distinctive of human beings.
7.    Personal pronouns are used to describe unborn children (Jeremiah 1:5 LXX; Matt. 1:20-21) just as any other human being.
8.    The unborn are said to be known intimately and personally by God as he would know any other person (Ps. 139:15-16; Jer. 1:5).
9.    The unborn are even called by God before birth (Gen. 25:22-23; Judges. 13:2-7; Isaiah. 49:1, 5; Galatians 1:15).
10.    Guilt from an abortion is experienced, therefore, because a person has broken the     law of God (sinned), “You shall not murder” (Ex. 20:13; Matt. 5:21; 19:18; Romans 13:9).  Forgiveness can be received through confession to Jesus Christ (1 John 1:9).

“Taken as a whole, these Scripture texts leave no doubt that an unborn child is just as much a person in God’s image as a little child or an adult is.  They are created in God’s image from the very moment of conception, and their prenatal life is precious in God’s eyes and protected by his prohibition against murder” (Geisler 1989:148).

Exodus 21:22-25

The English Standard Version renders these verses: “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine.  But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

Some have used this passage to support a permissive view of abortion.  One interpretation of the passage is that

if a man causes a pregnant woman to have a miscarriage, but no further harm comes to the woman, then capital punishment is not required for the loss of the life of the unborn child, no matter how advanced the pregnancy.  According to this interpretation, Old Testament law does not consider the unborn child a soul or human life, thus implying a clear distinction between the value of the life of the unborn child and that of the mother (Davis 1985:150-151).

The “miscarriage” translation is rejected on linguistic grounds, since the verb yatza when used alone (as in this passage) refers to a live birth, not a miscarriage (cf. Gen.25:25, 26; 38:28-30; Jer.1:5; 20:18).  Therefore, the better translation is “premature live birth” rather than “miscarriage”.  “The text actually treats the life of the mother and that of the unborn child as equally valuable” (Davis 1985:151; see Davis for a detailed explanation).

WHAT THEN IS ABORTION?

https://i1.wp.com/clinicquotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/de.jpg

(image courtesy ClinicQuotes)

God clearly sees the unborn child as already a human being, made in His image.  Killing of such a person (abortion) is MURDER.

In this abortion debate, Harold O.J. Brown argues persuasively that the burden of proof is on the advocates of a permissive position to show that the unborn child is not human.

If a hunter were to see a movement behind a bush and shoot at it, without being sure that the movement were not caused by a human being rather than by an animal, such an action would be morally irresponsible.  Regarding abortion, any doubts concerning the humanity of the unborn child should be resolved in favor of developing human life (Brown 1977:119).

IS ABORTION EVER AN OPTION?


(image courtesy Amazing animations)

When the morality of abortion is analysed, there are three major options: abortion-on-demand, abortion on “indications”, and abortion only to preserve the life of the mother.

Abortion-On-Demand

This is a secular outlook on the value of human life, one of its most prominent representatives being situation ethicist and liberal churchman, Joseph Fletcher.  He identified personhood according to consciousness and intelligence (minimum IQ score of 20 on the Binet scale).  “Obviously a fetus cannot meet this test no matter what its stage of growth . . . The unborn child is a nonperson, and abortion would always be justifiable except in those cases where undesirable consequences for the woman would outweigh desirable ones” (Davis 1985, p. 145).

It is clear that this view rejects the biblical ideas of human beings made in the image of God and human life existing before birth.  It is a non-biblical option.

Abortion on “Indications”

Norman Geisler, an evangelical Christian apologist, theologian and ethicist, makes the distinction between the “actual” life of the mother and the “potential” life of the unborn child (1971:218ff). He concludes that abortion is justified in four distinct cases:

(1) For therapeutic reasons when the option is “taking the life of the unborn baby or letting the mother die, then abortion is called for” (p. 220);
(2) For eugenic reasons “when the clear indications are that the life will be sub-human and not simply because it may be a deformed human” (p. 222);
(3) When there is “conception without consent” through rape.  “A violent intrusion into a woman’s womb does not bring with it a moral birthright for the embryo”     (p. 222);
(4) When conception is through incest (p. 223).

This view makes the foetus less than a full “person” or “human being”, because it lacks fully developed consciousness.  I consider this to be a dangerous position to adopt, because the same argument could be used to justify infanticide after birth.  Former Australian philosopher, Peter Singer, as the Director of the Centre for Bioethics at Monash University, Melbourne, and now a professor at Princeton University advocates such a conclusion (Singer 1983:128-129) [4]. “Rather than saying that the unborn represent `potential human life,’ it is more accurate to say that the unborn represent actual human life with great potential” (Davis 1985:153, emphasis in original).

The Life-of-the-Mother Position

It is widely held by conservative Protestants and represents the official pronouncements of Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Orthodox Jewish religious leaders.  This position states that only in rare cases where continuation of the pregnancy would threaten the mother’s life, would abortion be morally justified.  An example would be a tubal pregnancy.  Abortion is not performed on the assumption that the foetus is without value.  But, rather than letting two lives perish, the abortion is performed to save the mother’s life when the unborn child’s life is not salvageable (Davis 1985, p. 147).

The life-of-the-mother position seems to have the most support from Scripture (see Brown 1977, p. 118ff). However we need to note the paediatric experience of the former Surgeon-General of the United States, Dr. C. Everett Koop, when he stated,

Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my thirty-six years in pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life.
    When a woman is pregnant, her obstetrician takes on the care of two patients—the mother-to-be and the unborn baby. If, toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, he will take the child by inducing labor or performing a Caesarian section.
    His intention is still to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby will be premature . . .  The baby is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger (Koop 1980).

Rape, Incest and Anticipated Birth Defects

Rape is a physically and emotionally traumatic experience for the woman involved, requiring a ministry of Christian compassion and assistance.  However, should an abortion be performed if a pregnancy results?  Pregnancy from confirmed rape cases is rare, findings ranging from zero to 2.2 percent of the victims involved (Davis 1985, p. 154).

Justice requires that the rapist be punished, not the innocent child conceived as a result of the rape.  Yes, the woman has suffered an injustice, but abortion would represent a further injustice.  Two wrongs do not make a right.  By not having an abortion, the woman avoids the psychological and spiritual problems from the guilt of killing an innocent human life.  She also avoids the risk of endangering her future reproductive capacity (Davis 1985, p. 154).

Amniocentesis and other medical techniques now allow for the detection of a growing list of genetically related conditions before birth.  Should unborn children with anticipated birth defects be aborted?  Dr Glanville Williams forcefully asserts:

To allow the breeding of defectives is a horrible evil, far worse than any that may be found in abortion . . . An eugenic killing by a mother [who gives birth to “a viable monster or an idiot child”], exactly paralleled by the bitch that kills her mis-shapen puppies, cannot confidently be pronounced immoral (in Stott 1984, p. 295).

The Christian conscience should recoil from such horror.  Biblically, there is no justification for a “search and destroy” ethic.  Birth defects can be used in God’s sovereign plan (see Exodus 4:11).  Jesus Christ demonstrated God’s compassion and justice, not by destroying the sick, blind and lame, but by healing them.

It is often claimed that abortion is a more “humane” alternative for the defective, since it will spare them the agony of “lives devoid of quality and meaning”.  I’ll let the handicapped speak for themselves, through a testimony that appeared in 1962 in the London Daily Telegraph in the midst of the thalidomide tragedy:

Sirs,
    We were disabled from causes other than Thalidomide, the first of us having two useless arms and hands; the second, two useless legs; and the third, the use of neither arms nor legs.
    We were fortunate … in having been allowed to live and we want to say with strong conviction how thankful we are that none took it upon themselves to destroy us as helpless cripples.
     Here at the Delarue school of spastics [Trowbridge, Kent], one of the schools of the National Spastic Society, we have found worthwhile and happy lives and we face our future with confidence.  Despite our disability, life still has much to offer and we are more than anxious, if only metaphorically, to reach out toward the future.
    This we hope will give comfort and hope to the parents of the Thalidomide babies, and at the same time serve to condemn those who would contemplate the destruction of even a limbless baby.  [Signed by Elane Duckett, Glynn Verdon, Caryl Hodges] (in Davis 1985:156-57).

OTHER EFFECTS & ISSUES

The Hippocratic Oath

The Hippocratic Oath, which many doctors swear by at the time of their graduation, says:

I will follow that method of treatment which, according to my ability and judgement, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion (‘The Hippocratic Oath’ 1996).

There is a modern day Hippocratic Oath that states: “I will maintain the utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and reject abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life” (also available from ‘The Hippocratic Oath’ 1996).

The Declaration of Geneva (1948) updated the classical Hippocratic Oath statement: “I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception” (‘The Hippocratic Oath’ 1996).  Many doctors sign this oath.  It is inconsistent, in my understanding, to sign this Oath and then perform abortions!

The Abortion & Breast Cancer Link

Ductal Carcinoma in situ

(image courtesy Breast Cancer)

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer was formed in May of 1999 by a group of women in the Chicago, USA,  area concerned about the fact that women were not being told by the National Cancer Institute, by their physicians and by anti-cancer organisations that there are now 28 out of 37 worldwide studies, published since 1957, which have linked induced abortion to breast cancer. Our purpose is to educate women and to save lives.  For lots of other links showing the abortion/breast cancer association, follow this link to The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer.

Dr. Joel Brind (2000), wrote: “Recently I found myself arguing with the General Counsel to the New York State Department of Health about the need to follow up on the state’s study linking abortion and breast cancer.  Published more than a decade ago, the study found that women who chose abortion were almost twice as likely to contract breast cancer by age 40, compared with the matched, healthy control group with no abortion history.”

A European study brought similar results: “The risk of breast cancer is double for women who have had an abortion. That startling statistic comes from a newly released analysis of breast cancer rates in Europe — and is consistent with a growing body of research” (Shepard 2001).

Big Bucks

In her article, “Confessions of an Abortionist,” former abortionist Carol Everett says: “Abortion is about helping women.  Wrong.  Abortion is about making money — big money.  Greed, not love, is the motivating factor behind the abortion industry” (1992, p. 5)


How do you respond to such a confession?  Everett cannot be speaking for all abortionists, but she is making a strong statement about her former role in the abortion industry.

Abortion Photographs

Some of you may find these photographs of aborted babies offensive and emotionally disturbing.  If so, please do not look further.  However, for those who want to see what happens to these children in the womb, these links are provided for your educational benefit.

A physician tells why abortion is murder‘;
Late term abortions‘;

WHAT THEN SHALL WE DO?

In the medical community, some are acknowledging that abortion is the destruction of life — murder — but proceed to advocate abortion as a necessity for “social reasons”.  Mary Anne Warren, a bioethicist (Dept. of Philosophy] at San Francisco State University, is a representative of this response.  She dismisses most of the pro-abortion arguments as specious, claiming that the foetus is clearly a human being, but it is not worthy of protection.

Warren is willing even to sanction the killing of an eight-or-nine-month-old fetus, proclaiming that the unborn even at that age is “considerably less personlike than is the average mature mammal, indeed the average fish.”  Even at this stage the fetus, in her view, has no more right to life than “a new-born guppy [fish].”  Consequently, she also sees nothing wrong with killing the unborn in order to make use of its tissues and organs in experimentation and transplantation.  Infanticide is all right, too, in her view, if the baby is defective or there is no one who wants it (in Shettles with Rorvik 1983, p. 117).

Read Mary Anne Warren’s (1996) article, “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,” where she claims that “it remains true that according to my argument neither abortion nor the killing of neonates [i.e. newborn children] is properly considered a form of murder.”  Why?  It’s based on her definition of personhood.  She suggests that the traits which are most central to the concept of personhood, or humanity in a moral sense, are, very roughly, the following:

1.  Consciousness (of objects and events external and/or internal to the being), and in particular the capacity to feel pain:
2.  Reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems);
3.  Self-motivated activity (activity which is relatively independent of either genetic or direct external control);
4.  The capacity to communicate, by whatever means, messages of an indefinite variety of types, that is, not just with an indefinite number of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics;
5.  The presence of self-concepts, and self-awareness, either individual or racial, or both (Warren 1996).

Warren does admit that “there are apt to be a great many problems involved in formulating precise definitions of these criteria, let alone in developing universally valid behavioral criteria for deciding when they apply” (1996).  She’s even aware of the outrage that her position might cause:

However modest and reasonable they may seem to some people, [they may] strike other people as morally monstrous, and that some people might even prefer to abandon their previous support for women’s right to abortion rather than accept a theory which leads to such conclusions about infanticide (1996).

She’s dead right!  Morally monstrous infanticide seems like an accurate description of Warren’s view.  However, this kind of view  should not be surprising when it comes out of a finite human mind!  We need the Lord of the universe to tell us when human life begins and how we ought to treat every human being, no matter how early or late in life.  Using a human definition of personhood seems to be clutching at staws to justify abortion and infanticide.

In my view, any society which tolerates such things, even legislating for them, has ceased to be civilised.  Terminal decadence has set in.  If slaughtering innocent lives in the womb or as newborn children is the recommended solution for social problems, this society must be at the end of its social, economic, scientific, and spiritual resources.  Can we ever forget Germany’s genocide during World War II?  We must recall George Santayana’s words: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (in Shettles with Rorvik 1983, p. 133).

Will we be seduced by the pro-abortion movement’s publicity?  Dr Bernard Nathanson, a former practising abortionist, admitted to a Canadian gathering in 1981 how the abortionists misused polls and statistics:

We fed the public a line of deceit, dishonesty, a fabrication of statistics and figures.  We succeeded because the time was right and the news media cooperated.  We sensationalized the effects of illegal abortions and fabricated polls which indicated that 85 percent of the public favored unrestricted abortion, when we knew it was only 5 percent.  We unashamedly lied, and yet our statements were quoted as though they had been written in law (in Shettles with Rorvik 1983:130).

Alternatives to Abortion

For compassionate care for the prospective mother and the child, I recommend that you seek out people who promote life, support you through your pregnancy, and are there to assist following the birth of child.  There are two groups of people who do this very well: Local churches and right-to-life organisations that will help you through the pregnancy and  with decisions concerning the child.  Do you want to keep the child?  If you do, you will need lots of support, especially in the early months and years of the child’s life.  If you want to make the child available for adoption (there are loving parents waiting in droves for adoptive children), these two agencies will help.

In Australia, here are some possible contacts for pro-life groups:

Right to Life, Australia, phone: 1300 737 732.

Cherish Life, Queensland, phone: (07) 3871 2445,

NSW Right to Life, phone: (02) 9299 1057

Right to Life Association of South Australia, phone: (08) 8298 8830

Pro-Life Victoria, phone: (03) 9818 6186

Human life protection society, Tasmania, phone: (03) 6224 2632
Pregnancy Help Australia‘.

Action

John Stott’s recommendations for action are worthy of support (1984, pp 297-98):

1. We need to repent.  If Old Testament prophets were to visit us today, I am convinced they would confront us with this massive, deliberate destruction of unborn human life.

If a nation permits the slaughter of the innocent, it surely will bring God’s judgment upon itself.  For Christians to stand idly by while such killings go on, especially in a democratic society where they have a voice in government, it is not tolerance; it is complicity (Brown 1977, p. 122, emphasis in original).

Francis A. Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop dedicated their book and film Whatever Happened to the Human Race? “to those who were robbed of life, the unborn, the weak, the sick, the old, during the dark ages of madness, selfishness, lust and greed for which the last decades of the twentieth century are remembered” (1979, p. 5).

2. We must accept full responsibility for the effects of a tighter abortion policy, if it can be secured.  This will mean providing practical help for the pregnant woman and her baby.

3. We need to support a positive educational and social campaign.  This will involve educating Christians about the sacredness of human life.  Almost all abortions are due to unwanted pregnancies.  Therefore, we need to become involved in working to prevent and remedy social conditions which lead to unplanned pregnancies.  This will be simultaneous with the proclamation of new life through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.  God is building a new community characterised by love, joy, peace, compassion, freedom and justice.  A new beginning.  A new power.  This is the gospel of Christ.

I maintain fourth and fifth points:

4. Proclaim forgiveness from the guilt of abortion through Jesus Christ.  This will require loving care and ministry towards those who have sinned through having an abortion.  We, of the church, must never reject them.

5.  Join a reputable, but pro-active, pro-life organisation in your city or State (for Australia, see contacts above).

This page is also dedicated “to those who were robbed of life, the unborn, the weak, the sick, the old, during the dark ages of madness, selfishness, lust and greed for which the last decades of the twentieth century are remembered” (Schaeffer & Koop).

Endnotes

2. This section is based on Brown (1977:120-127.
3.  This section in its entirety is based on Geisler (1989:148).
4.  Peter Singer wrote that

if we compare a severely defective human infant with a nonhuman animal, a dog or a pig, for example, we will often find the nonhuman to have superior capacities, both actual and potential, for rationality, self-consciousness, communication and anything else that can plausibly by considered morally significant. . .  Humans who bestow superior value on the lives of all human beings, solely because they are members of our own species, are judging along lines strikingly similar to those used by white racists who bestow superior value on the lives of other whites, merely because they are members of their own race (cited in Davis 1985:129). 

His arguments are not merely hypothetical.  He argues that infanticide would be acceptable for profoundly retarded newborn babies because they lack the intelligence of normal human beings.  His claim is that “we can no longer base our ethics on the idea that human beings are a special form of creation, made in the image of God, singled out from all other animals, and alone possessing an immortal soul” (Singer 1983:129).

Works consulted

Abortion-breast cancer link.

Abortion rate a tragedy, says Abbott‘ (The Age, March 17, 2004)

Brown, H. O. J. 1977, Death Before Birth, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville.

Bulfin, M. J. 1983, letter to the editor, New York Times (July 1).

Davis, J. J. 1985, Evangelical Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

De Costa, C 2007. RU-486: The Abortion Pill. Boolarong Press, Salisbury, Qld.

Everett, C. 1992, “Confessions of an abortionist,” New Life (8 October).

Fisher A. & Buckingham J. 1985, Abortion in Australia: Answers and Alternatives, Dove Communications, Blackburn, Vic.

Geisler, N. L. 1971,  Ethics: Alternative and Issues, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI.

Geisler, N. L. 1989, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues, Apollos (an imprint of Inter-Varsity Press), Leicester, England.

‘The Hippocratic Oath’ 1996. Ohio Right to Life, Available from: http://www.pregnantpause.org/people/hippo.htm [22 September 2004].

Koop, C. E. 1980, ‘A physician speaks about abortion’ [Online] as told to Dick Bohrer, Moody Monthly, May 1980, Available from “Pathlights” at: http://www.pathlights.com/abortion/abort08.htm [21 September 2004].

Krimmel, H. T. & Foley, M. J. 1985-86, “Abortion and human life: A Christian perspective” The Simon Greenleaf Law Review, Vol. 5, pp. 12-13.

Montgomery, J. W. 1981, Slaughter of the Innocents, Crossway Books, Westchester, Ill.

National Right to Life (USA) 2004, ‘Over 40 Million Abortions in U.S. since 1973,’ Available from: http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/aboramt.html [21 September 2004].  See HERE.

Powell, J. 1981, Abortion: The Silent Holocaust, Argus Communications, Allen, TX.

Schaeffer, F. A.  and Koop, C. E. 1979, Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey.

Shettles, L. B. with D. Rorvik 1983 , Rites of Life: The Scientific Evidence for Life Before Birth, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI.

Singer, P. 1983, “Sanctity of Life or Quality of Life?” Pediatrics 72.1, July.

Stott, J. R. W. 1980, “Does life begin before birth?” Christianity Today (September 5).

Stott, J. 1984, Issues Facing Christians Today, Marshalls, Basingstoke, Hants.

Warren, M. A. 1996, ‘On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,’ from Biomedical Ethics. 4th ed., eds. T.A. Mappes and D. DeGrazia, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York, pp. 434-440. [notes not included], available from: http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/warren_article.html [10th October 2004]

“Women’s Issues” 2004 [Online], Available from: http://womensissues.about.com/cs/abortionstats/a/aaabortionstats.htm [21 September 2004]. This article was no longer available online on 20 May 2017.

 

Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 20 May 2017.
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Links between breast cancer and abortion

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

https://i1.wp.com/www.priestsforlife.org/resources/medical/suctionweb.jpg
Looking abortion in the eye

By Spencer D Gear

Also see: Suction and Curettage Abortion of a 9 week Old Fetus

The New York Times is misrepresenting the research with this statement: “… using inaccurate information, like the medically refuted assertion that abortions cause higher rates of breast cancer” (‘Truth in counseling’, 1 March 2011).

The facts are that there were research studies in China, Iran, Turkey and the USA in 2009 that demonstrated the link between induced abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer.

One 2009 study by Jessica Dolle et al from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that the increased risks of breast cancer were among those who used oral contraceptives and had had abortions.

Contrary to The New York Times’ biased opinion, even a person who formerly denied the link, Dr. Louise Brinton, has reversed her position on the abortion-breast cancer link because of the evidence. She said that there was a 40% increased risk of breast cancer after induced abortions. Dr. Brinton was involved in 2003 research that denied this link, but she has changed her opinion, based on the 2009 research.

It is time that The New York Times came up to speed with the recent research, instead of denying the research information of the link between abortion and breast cancer.

See also the possible link between use of the contraceptive pill and increased risk of breast cancer. There have been studies pro and against the link.

 

Copyright © 2009 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 9 October 2015.

Exodus 21:22-23 and abortion[1]

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

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Abortion photo courtesy of  The Abortion Gallery

By Spencer D Gear

Exodus 21:22 reads: “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine” (ESV).

This verse has sometimes been interpreted to state that the foetus is not fully human. From the exegesis of the passage, I cannot conclude this way for these reasons:

1. The Hebrew word translated in the ESV as “come out”, is yahtzah and it means “to give birth.” This is the same Hebrew word used throughout the OT for live births. So, in this passage it refers to a premature birth of a live child. It does not refer to a miscarriage.

2. Another Hebrew word is used for miscarriage, shakol, and that is not the word used in Ex. 21:22.

3. The name of the mother’s offspring in this verse is called “children,” yeled. This is the same word that is used in verses such as Gen. 21:8 and Ex. 2:3 for babies and young children. If there was harm done to either the mother or child, the punishment was “life for life” (Ex. 21:23).

4. So, Ex. 21:22-23 demonstrates that the unborn was equal in value to the mother.

Geisler quotes the famous Hebrew scholar, Umberto Cassuto , also known as Moshe David Cassuto (1883–1951), who translated Exodus 21:22-23 this way:

“When men strive together and they hurt unintentionally a woman with child, and her children come forth but no mischief happens—that is, the woman and the children do not die—the one who hurts her shall surely be punished by a fine. But if any mischief happens, that is, if the woman dies or the children, then you shall give life for life”.[2]

Therefore, these verses confirm that unborn children in the womb are human, on the same level as an adult woman who gives birth to a child, and the punishment for killing an unborn child is “life for life”.

Notes:


[1] Information based on Norman Geisler 1989, Christian Ethics, Apollos, Leicester, England, p. 145.

[2] Umberto Cassuto 1974. A Commentary on the Book of Exodus, trans. Israel Abrahams. Jerusalem: Magnes, p. 275 (cited in Geisler ibid.)

 

Copyright (c)  2010 Spencer D. Gear.  This document last updated at Date: 0 October 2015.

The Church Fathers on Abortion

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

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Abortion pictures courtesy of The Center for Biological Reform (but the link no longer operated).

See also, ‘Images of aborted children‘.

Opposing abortion is not a recent innovation. We know this from these historical sources, from some of the Church Fathers on abortion (dates given are at the end of the quote):
The Didache

“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 [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child” (Didache 2:1–2 [A.D. 70]).

The Epistle of Barnabas

“The way of light, then, is as follows. If anyone desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following. . . . Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born” (The Epistle  of Barnabas 19:5 [A.D. 74]).

The Apocalypse of Peter

“And near that place I saw another strait place . . . and there sat women. . . . And over against them many children who were born to them out of due time sat crying. And there came forth from them rays of fire and smote the women in the eyes. And these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion” (The Apocalypse of Peter 25 [A.D. 137]).

Athenagoras

“What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers?
. . . [W]hen we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it” (A Plea for the Christians 35 [A.D. 177]).

Tertullian

“In our case, a murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from the other parts of the body for its sustenance. 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. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed” (Apology, chapter 9 [A.D. 197]).

“Among surgeons’ tools there is a certain instrument, which is formed with a nicely-adjusted flexible frame for opening the uterus first of all and keeping it open; it is further furnished with an annular blade, by means of which the limbs [of the child] within the womb are dissected with anxious but unfaltering care; its last appendage being a blunted or covered hook, wherewith the entire fetus is extracted by a violent delivery.
“There is also [another instrument in the shape of] a copper needle or spike, by which the actual death is managed in this furtive robbery of life: They give it, from its infanticide function, the name of embruosphaktes, [meaning] “the slayer of the infant,” which of course was alive. . . .
“[The doctors who performed abortions] all knew well enough that a living being had been conceived, and [they] pitied this most luckless infant state, which had first to be put to death, to escape being tortured alive” (The Soul 25 [A.D. 210]).

“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 Soul 27).

“The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion [Ex. 21:22–24]” (The Soul 37).

Minucius Felix

“There are some [pagan] women who, by drinking medical preparations, extinguish the source of the future man in their very bowels and thus commit a parricide before they bring forth. And these things assuredly come down from the teaching of your [false] gods. . . . To us [Christians] it is not lawful either to see or hear of homicide” (Octavius 30 [A.D. 226]).

Hippolytus

“Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time!” (Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, chapter 7 [A.D. 228]).

Council of Ancyra

“Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfill ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees” (canon 21 [A.D. 314]).

Basil the Great

“Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years’ penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not” (First Canonical Letter, canon 2 [A.D. 374]).

“He that kills another with a sword, or hurls an axe at his own wife and kills her, is guilty of willful murder; not he who throws a stone at a dog, and unintentionally kills a man, or who corrects one with a rod, or scourge, in order to reform him, or who kills a man in his own defense, when he only designed to hurt him. But the man, or woman, is a murderer that gives a philtrum, if the man that takes it dies upon it; so are they who take medicines to procure abortion; and so are they who kill on the highway, and rapparees” (First Canonical Letter, canon 8).

John Chrysostom

“Wherefore I beseech you, flee fornication. . . . Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit?—where there are many efforts at abortion?—where there is murder before the birth? For even the harlot you do not let continue a mere harlot, but make her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to prostitution, prostitution to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then do thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with his laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine” (Homilies on Romans 24 [A.D. 391]).

Jerome

“I cannot bring myself to speak of the many virgins who daily fall and are lost to the bosom of the Church, their mother. . . . Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder” (Letters 22:13 [A.D. 396]).

The Apostolic Constitutions

“Thou shalt not use magic. Thou shalt not use witchcraft; for he says, ‘You shall not suffer a witch to live’ [Ex. 22:18]. Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. . . . [i]f it be slain, [it] shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed” (Apostolic Constitutions 7:1.3 [A.D. 400]).

 

Copyright (c)  2010 Spencer D. Gear.  This document is free content.  You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the OpenContent License (OPL) version 1.0, or (at your option) any later version.  This document last updated at Date: 19 December 2013.

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