Abortion - life begins when . . . ?

Discussion for Christian perspectives on ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, and so forth.
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Abortion - life begins when . . . ?

#1

Post by Anonymous » Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:25 am

I'm making this a new topic to ensure shirtless sees it since he has departed the 'Is Abortion Murder?" thread.


In regards to the life being in the breath -- in Leviticus 17:11 God states "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the alter to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement."

Blood is in the embryo at stage 11 of development (23 - 26 days after fertilization, i.e.; during week 4) when organogenesis begins. I'm not an expert, but I think that it is possible that there may be some development of blood cells at a microbiological level in the earlier stages. And we really can't forego the thought that sperm and egg are 'fed' by the blood in the adult body so where does one draw the line? See http://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/Notes/heart.htm for fetal blood development (go to http://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au if you can't get straight to the Developmental Notes, Heart/Cardiovascular system page which I first listed)

And for your further spiritual musing:
John 1
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God
.
3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'"

Christ existed before he was conceived. When did he enter His human vessel, when did He become flesh?

Luke 1

15"For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine or liquor; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother's womb." (About baby John)

31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.
36 "And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month.
38 And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
39 Now at this time Mary arose and went with haste to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42 And she cried out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 "And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?
44 "For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.
56 And Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home.

I haven't yet done much research on verse 39 yet to see exactly the correct interpretation/rendering of the Greek, to see if we can tell how much time actually elapsed between the angels departure and Mary hastening to Elizabeth. But I know if I had just been visited by an angel who said what he said and who had specifically told me about a cousin of mine being pg at an old age, I'd dash fairly fast to see what else was up, etc., with my cousin -- common heavenly bond and all that. So, my best estimate would be that she waited at the most one month. I say that because she stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months -- I bet she helped birth John -- why leave just before he was due? I also need to look on a map and see where Nazareth is from the hill country of Judah (my geography isn't up to snuff yet) to see how about long it would take for the trip. If it took a while (by walking or donkey?) that could account for some or most of the month. Anyway, I'd bet Jesus was no more than one month in Mary's womb when John lept for joy at 6 mos. I fully believe that Jesus was in His worldly vessel upon conception --how else would He experience all that it entails to be a human.

-------------
My prayer for you is: let it be as from His lips to your ears (or more accurately From His written word to your eyes (smile))

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#2

Post by Shirtless » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:44 pm

Hello salt. :P Sorry I've been absent for a while. I've found some of these passages to be intriguing.

Leviticus 17:11
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the alter to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement."

Does this refer to a baby, and how a baby is a human when he develops blood or blood cells? After reading this twice more closely, I realized that the passage is talking about atonement. The passage is saying, "There's only one way to save yourself from sin, and that is through blood sacrifice of specific animals" Later, the blood of Christ was our salvation. Through his blood we are saved.

About the Gospel of John,

When it comes to Jesus, you might want to be cautious when interpreting possible womb references. For example: John 1: 15 "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'"

Well, duh. Of course he existed before John, HE'S GOD! God existed before the universe was made. God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. John is simply stating Jesus is divine. So the references to Jesus in the womb can't be taken at face value, because He existed even before he was conceived. But even still, let's go back a few passages: John 1: 13 "who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

John the Baptist, however, is a different story. John is not God, so the baby in Beth's womb that leaped "for joy" could indicate that he was human with soul.

Luke 1
14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.

This indicates that John was filled with the Holy Spirit only at birth and no earlier. HOWEVER, this was taken from the NIV version, and there was a footnote that said "Or from his mother's womb". Ah ha! So, maybe John was with spirit before birth!

But wait a minute, John the Baptist was no Joe Average; he was prophesized hundreds of years before he was born, and he had direct involvement in Jesus' work; he was God's instrument before he was even conceived. So I'll take a note of John, but it's not enough to go on, at least not yet. BTW, if you take into account the footnote I just mentioned, then you have to acknowledge the footnote I mentioned in "Is Abortion Murder" that specifically states that a "miscarrage" from injuring a woman is not taking a life (read "Is Abortion Murder" pt 1 for more information).

I want to make it clear that I am open to whatever God says I must do, and if banning abortion is His wish, then so be it! But so far I don't have enough to believe that. I've prayed to God for guidance, whatever it may be. I suggest you do the same...


NOW!!!!

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#3

Post by Anonymous » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:15 am

I suggest you consider the scientific point of view about when life begins.
I'm not saying you should ignore the bible but at least you should consider the issue ALSO scientifically.

http://www.devbio.com/article.php?id=162

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#4

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:38 am

Shirtless wrote:BTW, if you take into account the footnote I just mentioned, then you have to acknowledge the footnote I mentioned in "Is Abortion Murder" that specifically states that a "miscarrage" from injuring a woman is not taking a life (read "Is Abortion Murder" pt 1 for more information).
The thread, "Is Abortion Murder" can be found at http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... c&start=15 (just thought I'd reference it).

I also think the Exodus 21:22 passage where the woman gives birth "prematurely" (not miscarriage as previously discussed), is very good Scriptural support for showing the unborn baby is just as valuable as a born human being. Thanks for raising this again Shirtless ;). To provide some with deja vu, Gleason Archer, a well respected professor of the Old Testament, concluded: <blockquote>“There is no ambiguity here, whatever. What is required is that if there should be an injury either to the mother or to her children, the injury shall be avenged by a like injury to the assailant. If it involves the life (nepes) of the premature baby, then the assailant shall pay for it with his life. There is no second-class status attached to the fetus under this rule; he is avenged just as if he were a normally delivered child or an older person: life for life. Or if the injury is less, but not serious enough to involve inflicting a like injury on the offender, then he may offer compensation in monetary damages...”

http://www.str.org/free/commentaries/ab ... atexod.htm—</blockquote>I'd also recommend reading the article, Exodus 21:22-25: Translations & Mistranslations by Dr. Gary Butner, to discover more on this passage which strongly favours treating the unborn human life equal to that of a born human life.

Kurieuo.

PS. A great PowerPoint slideshow, which I again recommend can be found at http://www.swordandspirit.com/LIBRARY/P ... ofetus.ppt.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#5

Post by Shirtless » Fri Jan 28, 2005 11:14 am

That website was interesting. Nothing groundbreaking, but it makes a claim that I need to address. That is, the passage in Exodus clearly means that killing or injuring an unborn baby is the same as killing or injuring an adult.

I've written an email to Jewish.com's "Ask a Rabbi" on this issue. Jewish scholars study the Torah to a much greater extent, so a Rabbi's opinion would be worth noting.

About that Mistranslations website, I have to say that I don't trust that website; mostly because of the OUTRAGEOUS misuse of 1 John 4:1-4 and John 1:14 (I think he got them mixed up too). Very unprofessional.

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#6

Post by Kurieuo » Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:31 am

You could do that, or simply examine the word yourself in use. The word translated "prematurely" in NASB is yatsa. You may wish to do a word search on this in e-Sword or other, to see how this is translated elsewhere. The BDB defition of this words has:
  • yâtsâ'
    1) to go out, come out, exit, go forth
    1a) (Qal)
    1a1) to go or come out or forth, depart
    1a2) to go forth (to a place)
    1a3) to go forward, proceed to (to or toward something)
    1a4) to come or go forth (with purpose or for result)
    1a5) to come out of
    1b) (Hiphil)
    1b1) to cause to go or come out, bring out, lead out
    1b2) to bring out of
    1b3) to lead out
    1b4) to deliver
    1c) (Hophal) to be brought out or forth
Obviously, translating yatsa as "miscarriage" would be to read something into the text not there. Namely that the baby comes out and is dead, the latter which in not implied.

Yet, allow me to make another case. Verse 23 says that if any hurt follows, the penalty is to be "life for life," "eye for eye," "tooth for tooth," etc. Now I wish to bring attention to the penalty "life for life" and to whom this penalty applies.

Now if the pregnant woman died, then how did she give birth? It seems the "life for life" penalty cannot be applied to a pregnant woman, seeing as if a pregnant woman died, then she could not give birth to a baby. Yet, the passage is clear the woman in question does give birth to a baby as verse 22 indicates, and therefore the woman must be alive. A common sense understanding seems to indicate that the "life for life" is not necessarily referring to that of the woman. Using deductive reasoning, as well as taking into account the context, it seems the "life for life" penalty is dependant upon whether the baby brought forth lives or dies (as the baby wouldn't be brought forth if the woman died).

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#7

Post by Prodigal Son » Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:40 pm

cool article on education plan to stop abortion: http://www.cpforlife.org/

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#8

Post by Anonymous » Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:38 am

K, if I might make a comment on the tag closing your messages...

It is quite true that brain activity is detected quite early in fetus.
However, human brain activity has a peculiar signature which can be detected. At that early time brain cortex has not even formed.

Human-like brain activity is not detected until 20-22 weeks.

I'm sure this data will not shake you, but.. I like to be precise when I can.

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#9

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:37 am

I'm not sure we should go here (from past experiences). However, if it's not "human" brain wave activity, then what species of brain wave activity is it? As far as I'm aware, the unborn baby has "human" DNA?

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#10

Post by Anonymous » Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:55 am

Do any of you personally know a woman who has had an abortion?

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#11

Post by Anonymous » Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:59 am

colors wrote:cool article on education plan to stop abortion: http://www.cpforlife.org/
If you want real education to stop abortions, teach children real sexual education. If you teach people how to prevent unwanted pregnancies, then there will be fewer unwanted pregnancies, thus fewer abortions. Combine this with highly effective methods of birth control available to all and it could be possible to get unwanted pregnancies down to 0 and then abortions would only occur to save the life of a woman.

Simply beating your beliefs into their heads is highly ineffective, as all you'll end up with is high rates of undesired infants being born.

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#12

Post by Anonymous » Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:00 am

salt wrote:Do any of you personally know a woman who has had an abortion?
I do.

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#13

Post by Anonymous » Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:05 am

Kurieuo wrote:I'm not sure we should go here (from past experiences). However, if it's not "human" brain wave activity, then what species of brain wave activity is it? As far as I'm aware, the unborn baby has "human" DNA?

Kurieuo.
Human DNA, yes, but it is only a potential human being. It does not meet the qualifications for life until it preforms stimulus response as an organism. This does not occur until significant brainwaves have began, which is not until the 20th week of gestation.

This is of course using the scientific definition of life in which life must meet vertain qualifications such as having cells, ability to reproduce, stumulus response et c. So if you want to be changing the definition of life for the embryo, then why not change it to include viruses in which case you'll have a whole new debate of abiogenesis seeing as scientists have formed prions in a labroratory abiogenetically.

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#14

Post by RGeeB » Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:26 am

vajaradakini wrote:
It does not meet the qualifications for life until it preforms stimulus response as an organism.
..and what's your definition of stimulus response?

In terms of the value of life, would you consider it being equal for a human and virus, wrt each other?
Maranatha!

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#15

Post by Anonymous » Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:34 am

RGeeB wrote:..and what's your definition of stimulus response?

In terms of the value of life, would you consider it being equal for a human and virus, wrt each other?
Response to a stimulus. As complete organism in the case of a multicellular ogranism. For instance, if there is a bright light, you will react by shielding your eyes, a plant will react by growing in that direction, a protezoa with photosensitive bits will react by moving towards it or away from it (depending on what this particular protezoa likes) An embryo does not preform stimulus response until it has reached a level of development where its nevous system is developped enough to act as an organism.

In terms of value, I would say that viruses contribute more to the good of the planet than we do, really. To be perfecly honest, we haven't been terribly good for this planet, whereas viruses serve a useful purpose in the grand scheme of things. When one considers that viruses may be a starting point for life, though they do not qualify as it entirely.

However, that is not the point of this discussion and bringing value into the equation only serves to throw emotions into the mix. The debate here is when does life begin. There are set standards that do not change from species to species and by those standards, the human embryo (or any other embryo) does not fit the description.

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