Abortion... Modern Infanticide

Larry R. DeVore
South Bend, Indiana

Infanticide is the murdering of infants. Such a gruesome practice reaches far back into antiquity. Constantine said "the killing of a child by its father, which the Pompeian law left unpunished, is one of the greatest crimes" (Schaff, Church History, III, p. 114). In the time that Jesus was born, human life was a cheap commodity. Consider the cruel order given by Herod the Great to murder the infants that he might kill baby Jesus. (Matt. 2:16-18)

Pro-abortionists today proceed on the supposition that the unborn fetus is not a living being, a human being, and thus abortion is not murder, but simply like having an ingrown toenail removed! However, this is a false supposition from all available evidence. Let's take a look.

Medical Testimony

Dr. W. W. McWhirter of Rochester, Mick, stated in the American Medical Association News: "I believe there is no question, either scientifically, ethically, morally, or philosophically, about when human life begins. A human life beings at the moment of conception, i.e., when the ovum is fertilized. In my opinion, there is no question but that to destroy the product of conception at any time thereafter is to take a human life . . . Dr. H. Ratner, Director of Public Health in Oak Park, Ill., said in the Milwaukee Journal, Jan. 24, 1970: "The fertilized ovum, from the initial moment of its existence, is a separate entity, possessing at once the mystery of life, life in addition to that of the mother." Also, in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat of April 18, 1969, 94 physicians published a signed statement affirming the same thing as these two doctors quoted. The medical testimony is overwhelming that the baby, from the point of conception is a living entity, even though dependent upon the mother for a time.

Bible Evidence

The Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, seems to view man as a "person" from conception onward. God considered Jeremiah a person when He said ". . .before thou camest out of the womb I sanctified thee . . ." (Jer. 1: 5). The Psalmist said: "Thou it was who didst fashion my inward parts; thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb." "Thou didst see my limbs unformed in the womb, and in thy book they are all recorded; day by day they were fashioned, not one of them was late in growing." (Psa. 139:13, 16 New English Bible). W. T. Purkiser comments: ". . . it was the Lord who . . . watched over his development even in his mother's womb. The expression 'fearfully and wonderfully made' (verse 14) is a judgment that modern man with all his scientific knowledge of human anatomy, cannot surpass" (Beacon Bible Commentary, Vol. 3, pg. 428).

The Greek word Brephos is found several times in the New Testament. It is defined as: "(a) an unborn child as in Lk. 1: 41, 44 (b) a newborn child, or an infant still older, Lk. 2:12, 16; 18:15; Acts 7:19; 2 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 2:2 (Expository Dictionary of N.T. Words, W.E. Vine, vol. 1, p. 93). John, as a brephos, leaped in his mother's womb (Lk. 1:41). Jesus, as a brephos, was laid in a manger (Lk. 2:16). If abortion is justifiable and not a sin, it would have been proper to destroy John as a brephos (yet unborn, a fetus). Consequently, by the same reasoning, there would have been no sin in putting Jesus to death as a brephos (newborn babe) as he laid in the manger! Who can believe it? The same term is used for both the newborn and the unborn; the brephos or babe. Neither in Greek or English is there any difference between the two, except a matter of time! The babe, newborn or yet unborn, is a living being, and therefore to destroy him or her is murder!! Abortion is a sin! Matt. 5:21-22; Romans 13:9-10. Legislators may pass laws to make abortion legally right (some states have done so), but it will still be morally wrong!!

Additional Reasons

In addition to being a violation of the scriptures, there are compelling non-religious reasons for being opposed to abortion.

Medically, it can do physical damage to a woman and may cause emotional disturbances which in some cases do not emerge until years later. Many psychiatrists report that women who have had an abortion often experience feelings of guilt and deep depression which is frequently a prelude to suicide. Abortion is not a cure for psychiatric disease but it does kill an innocent child.

Legally, it undermines our centuries-old legal tradition of respect for human life and puts the law in the impossible position of approving the destruction of innocent human life. The American Medical Association has stated that they do not expect the frequency of criminal abortions to be reduced even if liberal abortion laws are enacted.

Socially, it further contributes to the degrading of human life and human rights that we see so prevalent in our society today. We should never accept the idea that one person or a "therapeutic abortion committee" has the right to decide that another person's life is not worth living.

Let us think on these things, brethren. Let us inform our state and national legislators where we stand on this vital issue.

"But for ... murderers ... their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8)

(Note: Credit is acknowledged to bro. Wayne Jackson in Christian Courier, Vol. 6, No. 3, July, 1970, and to literature published by the Committee for the Preservation of Life, Indianapolis, Ind., for some of the material included in this article.)

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 49, pp. 8-9
October 21, 1971