As far as I am aware, neither Jesus nor the Maestros of the Old Testament either explicitly mention, or explicitly condemn abortion. It is yet another of those worrying features of modern life on which the Bible is silent. Another issue in which God has decided against giving clear guidance, in favour of placing the burden of discretion and interpretation squarely on the shoulders of modern religious leaders. But, what’s more, in light of the justifications now used to condemn abortion, one has to wonder why this prohibition does not extend into other areas. For example, why aren’t transplants and other major surgeries also considered bad?
A quick Google search on “Abortion and Bible Verses” proves my point. God never expressly forbade Abortion, instead, Christians have taken to lawyering the Bible in order to condemn it. Christians have resorted to utilising offhand remarks and side comments within the Bible to extend the Franchise of life to the unborn. They use Bible verses like Jeremiah 1:5, which states: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” The argument is that we are alive before birth because God made us, because he knew us. In other words, we are divinely constructed, blessed with life from the moment of conception; we are alive because it is God’s plan. Once Christians have established that foetuses are blessed with life, terminating them can be easily condemned. After all, killing is one of the few things the Bible clearly condemns (let’s just overlook the multitude of times it does justify it, shall we?). A prohibition on killing can be found in two prominent places within the Bible. The fifth/sixth Commandment of Old Testament fame explicitly states that “thou shalt not kill”, and, if so inclined, you can argue that killing is contrary to Jesus’s famous Golden Rule. The religious argument against Abortion, then, can be summarised thus: foetuses are imbued with life because they are part of God’s plan, and terminating them is wrong because it is contrary to God’s plan.
But does this argument not also cover many other things? For example, in early June this year I underwent a Craniotomy to remove a rather large Brain Tumour. I was not graced with this Tumour because of anything I did. It is not a result of smoking, or drinking, or any other form of debauchery. Unlike many other illnesses, it was not preventable or foreseeable. I had apparently had this Tumour since birth. It was, in the words of many insurance companies, an “act of God”. If you believe that God is responsible for my creation, then he must also be responsible for the creation of my Tumour. Just like my birth, it was apparently part of his plan. So, why, in this instance, was it ok to mess with God’s plan? Why were there no protests outside my operating room? Why did prominent Christian leaders not condemn me? Why were Christian politicians not campaigning to remove the public funding of my operation? Why was my surgeon’s life not threatened? Why was his Practice left untouched? Why did my Christian relatives support my decision and cover the costs?
Of course, many will argue that my examples are not equivalent; they will claim that allowing me to have surgery was saving my life, whereas abortion is ending life. Well, as I have shown, without the appeal to God’s will, there is no argument that foetuses have “life”. There is no evidence or facts “proving” that foetuses have life. It is an existential problem, and only by appealing to God’s plan can Christians claim that Foetuses are alive. Furthermore, it also possible to argue that abortion does save lives. In many cases it can save the lives of the Mother, and, especially if it is an unwanted baby, it can save both the baby and the parents much grief (which can often end in blood shed). My argument in essence is this; since both of these examples are examples of God’s will being obstructed by the will of humans, why is it only bad in one of the scenarios? God obviously wanted me to have a Tumour, why was it ok to remove it? Why are Abortions bad, and other surgeries good?