Five Reasons Abortion Is Murder: Killing an Innocent Human Being (2023)

  • Faculty
  • 28. October 2020

from Dr. Doug Potter

Five Reasons Abortion Is Murder: Killing an Innocent Human Being (1)

For some reason I missed taking an ethics course in college. My public speaking class made a list of topics we could work onnogiving a speech about abortion was at the top of the list, which was not in alphabetical order. All other classes that could have touched on the topic also avoided the problem. Despite my insufficient college education, abortion is still a highly controversial issue today. But just because someone is unaware of something controversial doesn't mean there isn't an objective understanding of the issue.

With individual lives at stake, the stakes couldn't be higher. There are no fewer than ten abortion methods that can be legally performed in most states, corresponding to the different stages of pregnancy. According to thatInstitut Guttmacher,

“In the US alone, there have been more than 61.8 million surgical abortions since the US Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973. That's about 2,362 abortions per day, 98 abortions per hour, or 1 abortion every 96 seconds.”

(Video) ‘Shame on You for Killing Babies’: Republican Lawmaker Loses Cool at Abortion Rights Protesters

I first heard about the pros and cons of abortion from my ethics professor at the seminary, Dr.Franco Beckwith. I learned that many arguments were based on the question of when, not life, butThere is a living man. If what is in the womb until some is not humanPointin its development,afterAbortion may be permissible beforehand in some casesPoint. However, when everything that makes a human is present in everyonePoint, then abortion should be banned from itPointin. Both positions must first deal with the questionPointif a human exists, or they only question or assume what they should prove. Everything depends on itPoint.

I learned from my philosophy and theology professor, the late Dr.Norman Geislerthat in order to fully answer a complex question, one must not rely on just one area of ​​inquiry such as the law or the Bible, but must consider all areas that relate to the truth of the matter. Only then can a systematic argument be made. This is simply because the truth about what is right or wrong is ultimately consistent or uncontradictory.

I therefore offer five reasons which, taken together, suggest why the existence of a living human being begins at conception and therefore all methods of abortion at all stages of pregnancy are morally wrong and should be prohibited by law and rejected by society, i.e. should be rejected by ours Society as an acceptable means of contraception.


Philosophically, what constitutes a human person? According to the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition, the human person consists of an immaterial rational soul (the one that separates us from non-rational animals) thatto form, i.e. an organizing principle for a material body that represents a functional unit of an organism. The person is not identical with the soul or the body, but both together make up the human person. The central philosophical question of abortion is: When does the unification or harmonization of the soul-body take place? All that needs to be said at this point is that for there to be a rational human soul there must be a material substance (i.e. a body) with the potential for the operation of a rational soul.

Another important clarification is between internal and external causes. A house, for example, is assembled by master builders from materials such as wood and metal according to a blueprint. The house cannot be built alone. The house has no inner working principle that allows it to grow and develop fully until it becomes what it is. The house needs an external cause, namely the builder. However, a natural living substance must contain an intrinsic or immaterial cause.the imagewhich moves the matter of potential substances towards their development goals. For a human thatthe imagethe rational soul must be present if there is an organized material body with possibilitythroughrational thoughts to be translated into realityvonrational thought. This does not negate the need for external support for development (like a womb supplying nutrients from another person), but it does show that once the material body has everything it needs for the development is as it should be. it is.

In short, only the active potential for rational operations in the substance needs to be present to constitute a human being. The actual rational operation doesn't have to be there, because when I sleep I don't stop being a human being. As such, there must be an immaterial interiorthe imagewhich controls the development of the essential body substance (i.e. the organs). The question of whether and when it is available must come from another field of study, namely biology.


What makes humans biological? The chemical deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was first discovered in 1869 and its genetic function in 1943. However, it was the work of James Watson and Francis Crick in the 1950s (popularly published in the bookthe double helix1968), who was the first to discover its double helix structure, which solved the puzzle of how genetic instructions can be maintained in one organism and passed to another through reproduction. Since then we have not only knownwasbut alsoWasall genetic information is present in the human zygote. At the moment of conception, when the male sperm with twenty-three chromosomes and the female egg with twenty-three chromosomes unite to form a human with forty-six chromosomes that exists with all the genetic information (DNA) necessary for development. . No additional or new genetic information will be added. In the words of my ethics professor:

"The genotype, the inherited characteristics of an individual human being, is established at conception and remains current throughout that individual's life."

The unborn individual, sharing the same nature with all human beings, is different from any individual that has been conceived before and is different from any individual that is conceived again (unless they are identical twins).[1]

The justified question from philosophy now has an answer. Active internal efficient causality for rational operations (i.e. an immaterial soul) is present at the time of conception given the biological understanding of DNA to guide the development of essential material organs.


Should human laws have an essential connection with morality? A human right consists of specific ordinances, rules or principles established and promoted in a way that is good for all. According to Thomas Aquinas, human law, in order to be good or just, must be derived from natural law. Natural law is based on an indisputable unifying principle that enables a human being to thrive in accordance with his nature. In short: "Good must be done and pursued, and evil avoided" (Theological SummaryIa-IIae.94.2). All human law must be derived from natural law, otherwise it is a perversion. Since the full human being is present at the moment of conception, all human law must promote good to all unborn human beings and prevent all evil that can be done.

One such unfortunate perversion of human rights occurred in a series of United States Supreme Court decisions beginning in 1973 (five years afterWasof DNA became common knowledge). The first wasRoe vs Wadein which the court ruled that a woman has the right to an abortion on demand during the first trimester. Although this decision left states free to ban abortion based on profitability, a second caseDoe contra Bolton(1973) quickly opened the door to abortion after the first trimester, extending maternal health to virtually anything, allowing abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

Judge Blackmun, who drafted the court's verdictRoe vs Wadeadmitted two things: First, the court did not rule when life begins [160],

“We don't need to solve the difficult question of when life begins. If those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy and theology cannot reach a consensus, the judiciary at this point in the development of human knowledge is in no position to speculate on the answer."

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And second, he admitted that when the personality of the unborn is established, the Constitution of the United States would guarantee the right to life [156-157],

"Of course, if this hint of personality is upheld, the applicant's argument [for abortion] collapses, since the right of the fetus to life would be expressly guaranteed by the [14th] Amendment."

The judiciary finds its answer from philosophy and biology. For the above reasons, a philosophical and moral realism recognizes an essential relationship between law and morality. Therefore, perverse laws that are not moral must be legally overturned.


Does the Bible agree with the above truth about the unborn? Whether you view the Bible as the Word of God or simply as a book reflecting ancient cultural views, you must agree that it presents a consistent view of the fetus from the standpoint of conception as fully human. First, the Bible forbids the killing of innocent people in the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13). This divine law reflects and makes clear the natural law established above. In Exodus 20:22-23, the life of the unborn is protected by the same penalty for adult injury and death:

"If men quarrel among themselves and beat a pregnant woman, and she gives birth prematurely [live birth of the child], but there is no harm, he will certainly be fined as the woman's husband demands, and he will pay what the men." decide. Judge. But if there is further harm [the child or woman dies] then you shall mark life as punishment..." (NASB)

Second, the biblical writers consistently ascribe to the unborn in the womb the same characteristics of the person outside the womb. In one of the first books of the Bible, at Job 3:3, we read two lines of poetry:

"May the day die that I should have been born,
And in the night he said: 'A child will be conceived.'” (NASB)

In this poetic parallelism, the second line emphasizes the first by repeating it in different words. The 'born' child and the 'child' are the same person and are spoken of at 'conception'.

In Jeremiah 1:5 (cf. Isaiah 49:1) we see that God knows the unborn as well as a person outside the womb.

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have made you a prophet to the nations." (NASB)

Psalm 139:13-16 (cf. Psalm 51:5) refers to the early stages of pregnancy, when God "formed my interior," "wove me together in my mother's womb," "I was made in secret," "[ I was skillfully hewn", composed of "my formless substance". Given the personal statements, background and descriptions of what is in the womb, it is clear that from conception onwards he or she is a person known to God because it is a work of God.

“Because you formed my guts;
You knit me in my mother's womb.
I will thank you for I am wonderful and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you
When I was made in secret
and skillfully carved into the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my formless substance;
And in your book they were all written
The days that were destined for me
When there weren't any of them." (NASB)

Finally, after the Old, the New Testament uses the same term “baby” for what is inside and outside the womb (Luke 1:41,44; 2:12,16), indicating personal continuity “from the womb to the grave , as I would say, shows my late professor. Jesus Christ was fully human at the time of His conception by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary (Matthew 1:20-21), and the apostle Paul was known and called of God in the womb (Galatians 1:15). Taken together, all of these passages imply the entire substance of a human being already existing in the womb and being the object of God's love from the moment of conception.

The Bible reader must at least acknowledge that Jesus of Nazareth kept the teachings of the Old Testament (Matthew 4:4; 5:18; Luke 11:50-51) true in all that he confirmed and promised (John 17:17). the same divine source of truth to his immediate disciples (John 16:13). It follows that Jesus of Nazareth assumed that a living human being existed at the moment of conception. And this position of Jesus is certainly reflected in his teaching not to kill (Matthew 5:21-22) and to love one's neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40), which should apply even when she or he is still in the womb is.


Does the theologian unite the truth found in the Bible with that found elsewhere? Even if you are not a believer, you should be able to see the unity of truth in the four reasons above and conclude that abortion is murder. But if you accept that theism is true, that there is a transcendent, eternal, all-good, all-powerful, and omniscient being who created everything according to his nature, then it follows that God is the efficient and continuous cause of the soul. While there are differing theological views as to whether God creates the soul directly or indirectly, both views regard God as the efficient and sustaining cause. Both points of view now agree, it is about the moment of conception (reasons 1-4). Therefore, abortion is the willful destruction of an intact and innocent unborn human being, which is an attack on God's work that bears His image (Genesis 1:27). In short, from the integration of philosophy, biology, law, and the Bible, abortion is murder and therefore a sin that violates God's eternal law.


Reason and truth may not convince everyone. But given the five reasons above, I hope that people of reason and faith will come together, put differences aside and acknowledge the genocide that governments around the world are allowing against a group of people because of their size, location and development. . Moment. The question of when a person begins may or may not have been clear to some in the past, but today it is crystal clear to all who want to learn.The major areas of human studies and research that say something about when a person starts point to the same conclusions: thetimeof conception

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Even if you somehow think that there is something missing from the five reasons above that makes you insecure or unconsciousPointfrom the moment a human being exists, heed the request of my teachers and do your best to support all legal, social, religious and political efforts to stop the killing of unborn humans. As any hunter knows, don't shoot unless you're sure what's hiding behind the whispering bush. If somehow you're still not sure when a human exists, don't stop! All human efforts within legal means must be used to change the laws that allow abortion in every nation in existence. For the Psalmist (9:18-20 ESV) warns:

"Because the needy are not always forgotten,
Even the hope of the oppressed is not lost forever.
Arise, O Lord, let not man prevail;
May the nations be judged before you.
Frighten them, O Lord;
Let the nations know that they are only human.”

[1]Francisco J. Beckwith,Politically correct death: Response arguments in favor of abortion rights(Grand Rapids: MI: Baker, 1993), 42


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