Thou shalt not kill.

22 weeks

This week, amid much controversy, the Texas legislature modified the conditions under which it is permissible to terminate a pregnancy.  In essence,  limiting how and where a woman might chose to end the viability of the fetus growing in her womb.  Both sides are extremely passionate when it comes to protecting their position.  But, ultimately it has come down to just that – when is it OK to kill an otherwise viable fetus which, in the high majority of cases, would have gone on to be born and live just as you or I have.  Is 20 weeks the cut off? Or, should it be 24 weeks?  Why not 28 weeks?  Should it be in a hospital, or a clinic?  Should these practitioners be required to have hospital admitting privileges, or not?  All details of a decision that has already been made.  Since Roe v. Wade, our courts have decided that there are millions of conditions when it is OK to end life in the womb.

It got me to thinking.  What other of God’s commandments have we taken and qualified to suit our own purposes?  When is it OK to steal?  Is it OK to commit adultery if your spouse has?  Can we bear false witness if it saves a life?  Such is the consequence of free will.  With it comes the unique opportunity to defy law and justify our actions.  But does it make it right?

I used to be on the wrong side of the abortion issue.  I know that God has forgiven me for that mistake.  I now try to live my life using a single test – What would Jesus do?  And as far as I can tell, there are no conditions under which Jesus would have said it is OK to terminate the life of an unborn child, or a convicted serial killer for that matter.  Neither is it ever OK to commit adultery, or lie, or steal.  Now, that is a standard not easy to keep, but nonetheless as a Christian, that is the standard.  (Thankfully, as Christians we are also subject to God’s grace and forgiveness when we transgress the standard.)

But Robert, what about in cases of rape and incest?  Well, there are likely thousands of people out there that were born out of these acts – maybe we should ask them, or their parents?  Ask Amanda Berry and her 6-year old daughter.

Many Pro-choice people argue the point that a women’s body is her own, and therefore it is her choice to do with it as she wills.  That is a difficult position to take if you call yourself a Christian woman.  I mean, as Christians we are taught that our bodies are a gift from God, created to house our spirits and do His work here on earth.   (Read Cor 6:19: 19 Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God.)   And C.S. Lewis adds:  ‘Let us go back to the man who says that a thing cannot be wrong unless it hurts some other  human being…But does it not make a great difference whether his (body) is his  own  property or not?  Does it not make a great difference whether I am, so to speak, the landlord of my own mind and body, or only a tenant, responsible to the real landlord?  If somebody else made me, for his own purposes, then I shall have a lot of duties which I should not have if I simply belonged to myself.’

If that be the case, then to whom does that being growing inside of the woman’s body belong to? 

  • The Christian mother? – How so if you consider the points made above?
  • To God? – Ok then, just like you it belongs to God.  And what right allows terminating someone who belongs to God?
  • To itself? (Along the lines of the ‘it’s my body’ argument) Then terminating someone else’s life is normally defined as murder.

One last point:  The image above is that of a 22-week old fetus that was successfully delivered in a hospital in Florida.  From what I understand, doctors were able to keep this baby alive once delivered, and it has survived.  Under the Texas law that was just changed, this baby could have been aborted up until it was 24 weeks old.  As medical technology advances it is no doubt that we will be able to have babies survive outside of the womb at earlier and earlier stages of development.  So, why is the discussion about when abortion is OK versus if it is OK?  God help us all.