When does Life begin? The Christian anti-abortionists are dead wrong.
The Bible says life begins with the first breath. I have included 11 scriptures in the body of this essay that show my assertion. We'll take a look at Philosophers, the Church of Rome, the law and medical science. July 2007 finds us to a great degree, understanding the fertilized ovum and its stages of development. But that doesn't seem to have helped much. Now regardless of our freedom of religion or from religion, we are still divided into three hostile camps. Life begins at conception or at birth or somewhere in the messy gray area.
Since the early 1800s western society has been settling issues in the struggle to define a balance of civil rights. By the end of the 1950s in the U.S. women were enjoying the right to have their own bank account and cast their own vote, but at the same time, reproduction rights had slipped clear away. All abortion was outlawed in the
Aurelius Augustine born 11-13-354 A.D. was a sincere and passionate scholar of philosophy, and after converting to Christianity in his fifties became one of the church's most respected writers of doctrine. Building on Aristotle's theme, he was the one to introduce the term “the Quickening,” and his clear distinction between the animate and inanimate state of a fetus became Cannon Law in 1140. Decretum Magistri Gratiani 2. 32.2.7 to 22.214.171.124, in Corpus Juris Canonic 1122,1123 (A.Friedburg, 2nd ed.1879) There were a few brief exceptions, such as Pope Sixtus V in 1588 made all abortions illegal, but was reversed again by Pope
Gregory X1V, codifying abortions at up to 16 ½ weeks as “not equivalent to the killing of a human being, as no soul was present.” Then Pope Innocent 111 in the early 1200s ruled that the fetus had no soul until it was “animated” Thus the Church of Rome including all of its Prodestant offshoots has influenced western law on abortion to this day, coming to America by adoption from the English Common Law of the Quickening concept. This began changing in 1803 with a series of changes in English statutory law.
After the Civil war, legislation in the
Thus women were given back their right to choose. So here we are still in 2007 fighting over when life begins. In all fairness to the philosophical acumen of Aristotle and Augustine and even Thomas Aquinas, in their day, it was the excepted belief that the world was flat.
Furthermore the printing press was a thing of the future, 1454, and the Holy Bible wasn't to be assembled and distributed by King James until 1611. So the church doctrines were created from logic and philosophical Reason. therefore any person who is not a catholic does not have the religious obligation to defer to
Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
Isaiah 42:5 Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
Ezekiel 37:5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: &10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
Acts 17:25 he giveth to all, life and breath, and all things.
Genesis 6:17 And behold I, even I do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
Genesis 7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
Psalm 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
Jeremiah 10:14 ?.every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
1 Kings 17: 17 and it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.
&21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. &23?..and Elijah said, see, thy son liveth.
Job 9:18 He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with bitterness.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule. The Bible tells us in Luke 1:41-44 that John the Baptist leaped in the womb for joy when he heard that Jesus had been conceived. So not only was Mr. Baptist aware of the whole sacrificial lamb plan from fetus hood, he also had extraordinary under water hearing. However he was able to know as a fetus, he was definitely the exception. Just like Elijah who was so Holy he got to by pass death and go to heaven in a chariot of fire. All the rest of us have to live and die by the rules, which clearly are breath or no breath, according to the Bible.
Christians however do not own the exclusive rights to morality. In this 21st century there is a growing culture who have come to embrace morality as a human imperative that stands alone outside of any religious doctrine or dictate. Much like Socrates, if we are not looking to God to dictate our morality, then we must reason with ourselves. But we have another advantage over Aristotle. Modern science shows us how human procreation takes place. It mostly happens inside a woman's uterus. Her body creates an ovum. Once it is fully formed in about 28 days, it is released to reside in the uterus. Even though modern science has proven that the ovum is truly alive, it will not grow into a
person unless it is fertilized. Because the ovum alone and by itself cannot grow into a person, some assert that life begins at the time of fertilization or conception. But is it truly a person?
Or does it remain just as dependent on many more processes of development, just as fully alive as an unfertilized ovum but equally as not yet a person until all of the developmental stages are completed and it emerges into the world and begins to live and breath on its own. I assert that the ovum is not any more a person the moment after it is fertilized, than it is the moment before it is fertilized, and not any less alive the moment before fertilization, than the moment after. Conception is only just one step in the nine month process. And so I'm going to have to agree with God on this debate, we become a living Soul or a person, when we breath that first breath
into our “nostrils” at birth. So I plead with all people of reason. Let us stop the eroding of our bill of Rights. Let us leave the responsibility of the breath of life in the hands of God, and the private choice to host or not to host, right where it is now, the responsibility of women, who bear the entire consequences on their health and body.