When Does Life Begin?
When Does Life Begin?
Some weeks ago a Colorado woman, six weeks pregnant at the time, was told that she had mistakenly been given a prescription that might cause her to lose her baby. The media went apoplectic, consumed in one of their famous hand-wringing furors about this horrible tragedy that might befall this poor innocent “mother-to-be”!
While watching the news on this mother-to-be, the coverage sometime seemed more skewed toward fixing the problem of mixed-up prescriptions, rather than the possibility that this mother could lose her first child to this abortion drug: A drug probably illegal before Roe vs. Wade.
What has happened to this country? We have literally seen the decline of our collective conscience since Roe v. Wade became law nearly 40 years ago. I believe this decline to be quite unimaginable merely a couple of generations ago. And quite reflective of this loss of conscience was the answer by our current president to a question posed by Rick Warren during a 2008 presidential campaign debate. Warren simply asked Mr. Obama when does a baby have human rights? Then Senator Barack Obama ducked it, answering, “Whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective, or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity is, you know, above my pay grade.” The question is above his pay grade? Really?
I suppose the President, who claims to be a Christian, is not familiar Gen 1:26, 27, or Gen 2:7, or Jeremiah 1:5, or even with Job’s quite graphic description of unborn life! “Your hands have made me...Remember that you have made me like clay; and will you return me to the dust? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese? You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit” (Job 10:8-12).
The question of human rights or of when life begins has been and continues to be a paramount social and moral issue on the national political stage. It has been so since that infamous Supreme Court ruling almost 40 years ago! Warren’s query was NOT intended to be a theological question despite Obama’s attempt to make it so seem. Questions regarding abortion and the origin of life have tremendous political ramifications. After all, the Supreme Court justices who must decide these issues are nominated by our president.
First of all, as for Obama’s caveat regarding theology vs. science, any thoughtful person should have immediately recognized the underlying issue: that one should arrive at the SAME answer from either perspective, assuming adequate data is correctly applied. And given the state of our scientific knowledge in the year 2011, we certainly have the adequate data!
The very word “CONCEPTION” connotes beginning or the origination of something, and in terms of pregnancy, it means the nascence of an individual new life! If life does not begin at conception, then when? If life does not begin until the sixth month, then which week, which day of that week, which hour of that day, which second of that hour? If the unborn baby was not a human being before that absolute and quantified point in time, then what was it? Can we not see where we end up when making such an arbitrary and nonsensical determination? If a student logician constructed a syllogism to defend this argument, he/she would be laughed out of class!
One would think that our President, with his Ivy League education, would be aware of some basic scientific facts regarding the unborn child. They are certainly available if he is interested:
At conception every cell of this “child” contains all 46 chromosomes that will determine all the hereditary factors.
20 days from conception the child has a heartbeat.
At 22 days, blood is pumping through a closed circulatory system with its own blood type!
Within 42 days of conception an EEG will pick up brainwaves.
At 60 days, (well within both the 1st trimester and the Supreme Court’s “anointed” time to allow for abortion), ALL BODY SYSTEMS ARE PRESENT! Respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, etc.
At 65 days, the child swallows and breathes.
If the baby is not yet a distinct human being, then what is it? “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth” (Psalm 139:13-16). Thanks to modern science this formation which David is talking about is no longer hidden. As a matter of fact, neo-natal surgeries are often performed to correct defects in the baby long before that child is born!
Murder is the taking of an innocent life. Can anyone think of a life more innocent than one in the womb of its mother, entrusted by God to nurture, nourish, and to protect that life? If our president does not value and protect EVERY INNOCENT LIFE, born or unborn, we are a nation in trouble. Our moral compass is broken and we had better fix it. I am convinced that God demands it! (Gen 1: 26, 27)