Forty-five percent of pregnancies in the United States are “unintended.” Of those, 27% are unwanted at the time, and the remaining 18% are unwanted at any time. Photo courtesy of The Commons

Some Thoughts on the Abortion Issue

Basically, abortion or anti-abortion is a religious concept. Many anti-abortionists claim that a soul is present immediately upon conception. Many of those who favor abortion do not believe that there is such a thing as a soul.

Scientists in the past even went so far as to weigh people before and after death to see if the soul was physically present. They thought that there would be a measurable loss of weight after death. There wasn’t. This, of course, is extreme.

Trying to prove that souls exist or do not exist is impossible. That argument cannot be won or lost. Therefore, having an abortion is considered murder by many Christians, whereas it is meaningless for many abortion supporters.

That means that abortion cannot be made legal or illegal because there is no factual evidence as to whether the soul exists. No law should be made on an issue for which there is no concrete evidence that could be supported in court.

Our laws are supposed to be enacted to cover acts that can be seen, touched and measured. There is nothing measurable about a soul.

Court proceedings depend on evidence of some kind, not something that can’t be seen, touched or measured. That means that abortion is okay if you believe it is okay, and it is not okay if you believe it is not okay.

What this should mean is that whether abortion is right or wrong is up to the individual and therefore cannot be the subject of a law. The U.S. Constitution specifically says that the government cannot rule on religious issues, as that is the government endorsing one religion over another religion or those with no religion at all. That is the separation of church and state, which was a big issue for the writers of the Constitution.

We know a murder has been committed because a human being’s life is taken. It is measurable because a person was alive until murdered and after the murder, that person is no longer alive. The person is dead. How was a soul murdered when we cannot see or touch the soul to know if it was even there?

Delving into whether abortion is morally objectionable brings up another moral issue. Is it morally acceptable to deny an abortion to a woman who does not want the baby? What are the consequences to the baby, the family, the community and society?

Forty-five percent of pregnancies in the United States are “unintended.” Of those, 27% are unwanted at the time (mistimed), and the remaining 18% are unwanted at any time.

How many are unloved? Child psychology research literature is clear. Statistically, the fate of children raised unloved is a disaster for the babies. Statistics show that in poor families the financial burden of an unwanted additional baby can cause havoc with the family, resulting in malnutrition, inadequate clothing, family breakup and even homelessness.

Seventy-two percent of those seeking an abortion are poor single adult mothers, and 40% of them fall below the poverty line. A large minority of unwanted babies remains unloved. Raised by uncaring adults, abused, shifted from one family to another, enormous suffering and harm are done to those children.

In Fresno, there are regular stories in the news about children being murdered by their mother, their mother’s boyfriend or the child’s father. What is the difference between being born unwanted and ending up dead in a few years and the painless abortion preventing their being unwanted and abused to death?

The unloved, unwanted child who grows up after this takes that uncaring childhood to become unloving and uncaring teens and adults. All of society pays a price for the unwanted baby. How moral is that?

Now to the statement heard regularly, “God loves all babies just as he loves all adults.” Now assuming that every human fertilized egg is immediately infused with a soul then what about the overwhelming number of natural abortions that occur?

Science says that up to 60% of all impregnated eggs are aborted naturally and the woman never even knows that she was briefly pregnant. If God loves all fetuses, then why does he kill off more than half of them? Why is it illegal for a pregnant woman and her doctor to perform an abortion but it’s OK when God does it?

And if God loves us so much, why is it he approves of or calls for the murder of so many human beings? How can we view the God of Christians and Jews as a gentle, loving, caring father when in the Bible he shows himself to be a bloodthirsty tyrant, as described in Numbers 25:8–13, Numbers 31:13–18, Kings 8:6–10, Deuteronomy 13:6–10 and Exodus 22:28–30.

Moreover, there is not one word against abortion in either the New Testament or the Old Testament even though hundreds of things are prohibited in the Bible under the penalty of death.

Why in Exodus 21:22–25 is the miscarriage caused by an attacker not treated as murder? And how do we explain Hosea 9:14, in which the prophet asks the Lord to punish the wayward people of Israel by giving their women “a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.” Or the fetuses that perished in Hosea 13:16 when “their little ones shall be dashed to pieces, and their pregnant women shall be ripped open.”

Where in the Bible does it say one becomes a sacred, soul-bearing human at conception? Nowhere. The Bible consistently associates the arrival of spirituality, of the soul, with one’s first breath (at birth).

And, if we are to be persuaded that the New Testament revoked all those horrible backward codes of the Old Testament, why does the New Testament and Christ himself maintain silence on abortion?

  • Norman Lambert is a native Californian, a former small business owner, a writer, a Democratic Socialist and a secular humanist. He participated in antiwar activities, the farmworker movement, boycotts and picketing. He is accustomed to being on the losing side a lot.

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