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Kristine
03-28-02, 09:42 PM
As a Christian staff worker of a pro-life youth group, I am eager to know what other Christians are doing to show love to their unborn neighbors.

Matt 22:39 tells us that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If we truly believe the unborn are human people (as the Bible affirms - Jeremiah 1:5-8, Psalms 139:13-16 etc) then our churches should be ministering to them as to any other people group.

Proverbs 31:8 tells us to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves" and Proverbs 24:11 & 12 commands us to [Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?]

Since the verse says we will be repayed according to what we have DONE for the least in our society (not merely what we have known, or what we have believed) I'm eager to know what everyone is doing for the unborn.

(And crossing my fingers that I can figure out how to post this poll - otherwise feel free to respond in writing.

selah
03-28-02, 10:22 PM
At the moment the honest reply would be "nothing". However, I am actively involved in ministry to other young women in a variety of capacities at my university; including my most influential roles as small group leader and simply friend. At the present I have never had to counsel a young woman who finds herself pregnant, however if I were in that position I would prayerfully minister to her and encourage her towards a Christ-centered course of action. In a way, I am "doing something" about abortion by helping to prevent unmarried young women from making decisions that would lead to pregnancy. I do urge my friends and my care group girls to remain sexually pure, so in this way my influence helps to nip the problem right in the bud.

Nicole
03-28-02, 10:29 PM
At the moment the only thing I'm doing is donating money to the local Crisis Pregnancy Center, and occassionaly volunteering in the clothes closet or something, though I would like to get more involved. When I was in high school I wrote a couple papers on abortion. I've had a couple friends that were pregnant, or thought they were pregnant that I've been able to talk to about abortion and the other options. When I was little my mom was a counselor at the Pregnancy Center - and my next door neighbors were a shepharding home for unwed mothers - so I grew up knowing a lot about abortions and the other options that are available.

Kristine
03-28-02, 10:59 PM
Kipepoe, thanks for your vote and your reply.

I'm glad to hear you're promoting sexual purity, truly that is the best way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. :)

But I would still encourage you to take things one step further. Promoting chastity may be a great solution to someone who might get pregnant tomorrow, but for the girl who just got pregnant today, we must be equipped to do more. I'm sure we all know of at least one unmarried person who had sex outside of marriage. Unplanned pregnancies still happen - even amongst Christians who know better.

A Christian couple at my church admitted to me just a few weeks ago that she had gotten pregnant. They knew they'd made a mistake, but it was too late for chastity - they needed wise counselling to help them not make their second mistake.

This Christian couple was terrified of their predicament. Her parents are well-reputed in the church and she had much to loose, reputation-wise. They scheduled an abortion. He told me that neither he nor she really liked the idea but 'we just wanted to make this all go away.'

Praise God that because of the influence that I and the other members of my pro-life youth group had had on the church group, the couple finally decided against abortion. We had done a pro-life presentation to the group a year earlier in which we presented solid reasoning for the humanity of the unborn and invited those present to see a short video clip of what an abortion looks like. That short presentation would later, unbeknownst to us until much later, save a child's life.

Each one of us, must be equipped and ready to 'speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves' and to train others how to do likewise. Resources are available to make abortion unthinkable (http://str.org , http://cbrinfo.org , http://abortiontv.com , Focus on the Family etc)

As a leader of a small group, you could order and present Stand to Reason's 'Pro-Life 101: Making Abortion Unthinkable' (a concise method of simplifying the abortion issue to the single-most important question 'what is the unborn', and proving the unborn are human using scientific and philosophic evidence. If you can press play on a VCR you can also change hearts and minds by showing Show CBR's Harder Truth video to your group members.
(see above link - look under resources)

I personally have played the video to countless audiences - Christian and secular (always with a clear warning and inviting those who wish to look away - most choose to look) I can tell you numerous stories of minds changed on the spot, and of lives saved.

Undoubtedly you are busy, like most of us; and I'm glad to see you are serving God in various forms of ministry. But perhaps you could ask yourself before God, if there might be a little more that you could do to serve your unborn neighbors.

Jesus told us in Matthew 25:40 that whatever we do "to the least of these" we do unto Him. Jesus is being aborted 14,000 times today alone, (4,000 U.S., 315 Canada...) I pray today's church will start speaking up, and not share in the same guilt that many Christians lived and died with who did nothing to save their Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust.

Thanks again for your response. :)
your sister in Christ,
Kristine

Ann
03-28-02, 11:06 PM
Our ministry is not a crisis pregnancy center but we do minister to moms who are in crisis pregnancy situations and to single moms who chose life among other people. This is a mainly rural area and some of our clients can't or won't go out of their own county to a crisis pregnancy center so we become their next best alternative. Our role is both to tell the moms that God cares and to show them His love in very practical ways from emergency food, to diapers, to help with rent, to info about community resources to listening and being a shoulder to lean or cry on, to going to child support apointments with them. We are not involved in adoption services because it is both out of our professional training level and out of our calling in the Lord but would refer anyone wanting adoption help to an appropriate resource. We are trying to start a volunteer mom mentor program for single moms who do not have a strong support base (family, church, friends in the community) and also encouraging local churches to be a foster church for families in crisis (kind of like a foster family opens their home without requiring a long term committment and cares for the child as their own a foster church includes the family in crisis in activities, provides rides to church, and is simply there for them the same way they would be for a family who were long time church members. I have been speaking and teaching against abortion since 1970.

Several churches in our area are also very supportative to girls and women in this situation.

One of the greatest joys right now is a 1 year old whose mama was one of the teens I worked with when she was a freshman in HS (and who I was sure ignored every I said) but now credits what she saw and heard then with her decision to give life to this little one despite medical advice to the contrary. Mom was found to have cervical cancer during pregnancy and there were other risk factors. But she fought for her child against doctors her parents etc. and God blessed with life and healing for baby and we are praying for healing for mom too. Please kep them in your prayers. This little one neds her mama to help her grow up.

Kristine
03-29-02, 12:08 AM
How exciting to have grown up around life-saving work. It can be exhausting and often the visible rewards are few, but nothing can replace the joy of knowing a child will live because of your work, or of hearing someone tell you that their views on abortion have been forever altered.

I too can recall high school papers written on abortion. In fact I trace my current involvement back to that point. I was visually confronted with abortion for the first time, through one of the resources I'd been studying. The things I read and saw broke my heart, and brought on many tears. The experience was so disturbing that I almost gave up that first assignment altogether. But it was then that I heard God speak to me.

It was one of the few times in my life I can actually recall feeling God speaking to my heart - I knew it was God, because my heart was just looking for a way to stop the hurt and leave this knowledge behind me. I heard him say something to the effect of "If this breaks your heart, how much more do you think I'm grieved, I who created that little child? It's precisely because this is so sickening that it must be told!"

And so with trembling knees and voice, I chose to do the optional oral presentation (rather than merely written) and told a class of thirty 18 year olds (I was 16 at the time, taking an advanced class) the truth about abortion.

Since that day I have gone on to share the truth with several hundred students, both high school and university age. I use Scott Klusendorf's Pro-Life 101: Making Abortion Unthinkable. It's so easy to master and teach that I've heard of 12 year-olds confidently presenting it to their class. speakers manual- http://www.str.org/cgi-bin/shop.pl/task=detail/SID=PUT_SID_HERE/item=BK163 or manual with audio tapes- http://www.str.org/cgi-bin/shop.pl/task=detail/SID=289562611/item=TS125

Even if you never plan to do youth group/church or college presentations, I'd still encourage you to oder 101 for your own pro-life confidence. You never know when you'll get to use it. (Last summer while I was on a city bus, the driver got a phone call on his cell from a one-night stand he'd impregnated. I was able to offer him the CPC contact, and some other pro-life wisdom... you just never know.)

If you're looking to do more about abortion, I'd encourage you to take a look at the poll for some ideas of little things you can do. Others include daily prayer for the unborn, their moms, men and women grieving an abortion decision, abortionists, politicians and judges....

And don't rule yourself out as a pro-life presenter. As I told the previous poster, if you can press play on a VCR you can present the mind-changing, life-saving Harder Truth video. Just call up your youth pastor and ask for 10-20 minutes to share your heart on the issue (the basic Pro-Life 101 takes less than 15 minutes and you can follow the presentation guide) http://cbrinfo.org/videos.html

God bless you for your desire to love your unborn neighbors. I pray that desire will be infectious throughout the church. What a priviledge it would be to be the tools God uses to restore justice to our land!

I appreciate your response to my poll :)

Kristine

Breni Sue
03-29-02, 01:02 AM
The truth is, I don't actively do as much as I probably should. I have very strong feeling against abortion and the folks who try to justify it by saying that it is just a "clump of cells" or "it's my body and I can do what I want". It angers me that folks such as myself try and try to have kids with no success. And yet there are these women who have been blessed and don't even respect the life that is inside of them.

Sorry for my mini-rant there, but obviously you can see just how I feel about this issue! :wah:

I think that President Bush is doing an excellent job as far as protecting the unborn. Restricting stem-cell research, and declaring fetuses a viable lifeform are IMO very huge steps in the fight to lower the abortion rate. But there is so, so much more that needs to be done.

Thank you for all the info, Kristine, and for sharing your very inspiring story! :)

Kristine
03-29-02, 02:27 AM
Kyrie, I don't mind the mini-rant. I'm really sorry you've been having trouble conceiving. As someone who loves kids and is really looking forward to knowing what it's like to have a human life growing inside of me I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to find out I couldn't conceive.

How long have you been trying? Have you sought medical advice? If you do end up seeking fertility help, be careful of in-vitro fertilization. In case you don't know, many fertility clinics fertilize more eggs than they can implant at a time. The 'leftover embryos' often get discarded, or (depending on where you live) used for embryonic stem cell research.

It's beyond me how any couple can create a dozen or more embyos, all with the same inherent capacity to grow into fully functioning human adults, and randomly pick one or two to nurture and parent while tossing out or allowing destructive research on their remaining offspring.

If you do go that route, be sure to look into how unused embryos are treated, and find a clinic that can guarentee storage of your embryos for future use (ideally they shouldn't fertilize more than you're ready to implant), or embryo adoption plans.

Another idea you may want to try if you are considering other means like fostering/adopting: open up your home to an unwed teen and as you help her through the pregnancy, you can offer to adopt her baby/take in the child through temporary foster care until she can get her life together. While this may be emotionally hard, especially if she decides to parent now or at a later date, you'll have had the priviledge of sharing love and your home with two people in need. (I read of a couple who took in 12 girls over many years, adopted two of the girls' babies, fostered four others through their early childhood, and still keep in touch with ten of the girls even as their children are now in their teens and early adult life.)

I wish you luck in your fertility efforts. You truly do have a unique vantage point on abortion (so-called "unwanted" children). Perhaps this trial may be what God uses to motivate you to do more about abortion. Perhaps you can donate to a local pro-life educational group (if there isn't one, you can get one started fairly easily.) I've said it before, but I'll say it to you too, being a speaker for a youth group/high school class isn't hard if you have the right tools (hint Pro-Life 101 - can you tell I love that resource? ;) You can also speak up in your peer group at work or around home.

Whatever you do, do it soon. Every day we delay, thousands more children die. There are enough Christians/pro-lifers in North-America to make abortion unthinkable. But each of us has to do our part, however small it may seem.

God bless,
Kristine

Kristine
03-29-02, 02:52 AM
Ann. God bless you for your life-afirming work! I'm glad to hear so much good is being done to help moms in your area.

Your story is inspirational in that it represents what the local church should be. In days long past, the church was the humanitarian aid of society. Christians were responsible for the founding of many schools, hospitals, the welfare system... the church was the place where the poor, destitute, homless, and societal cast-aways could find refuge, care and support. That is the model of love Christ laid down for his church.

But we the modern church, have for the most part strayed from our original mandate to be salt and light in our world. We no longer try to infiltrate our culture with the truth; instead, we opt to live apart from it, in what my friend has called 'the Christian sub-culture.' We have our own music, our own writers, (I've even seen Christian stores sell 'Chrisitian mints')we preach but the only ones in our pews are the Christians. It is very easy for most Christians today to live comfortably within the shelter of the church, never having to get ourselves dirty dealing with the rest of the world.

We have post-modernism to thank for a lot of that. Society's creed that we 'not impose our morality on others' has already seeped into many churches, to the point where I hear many Christians saying "It's fine that we have our truth, but we can't impose that on the rest of the world." And yet Jesus said he was THE way, THE truth, and THE life... No wonder we don't see a lot of Christians keen on bringing the gospel truth to the world, or speaking on issues of moral absolutes like abortion. Most of us don't want to get out of our comfort zone. We've been in it for so long, many of us likely wouldn't really know how to get out if we wanted to.

Once again, good for you and your church's ministry. I pray for you and others like you. Please join me in praying for our silent churches. What a tragedy if we become the useless, lukewarm church that Jesus spews from his mouth. I pray that won't be the case.

Kristine

Ann
04-02-02, 12:18 AM
Just for the record I should probably clarify that Caring Hands Ministries ( www.ilovejesus.com/missions/a-caring-place ) and Fire Mountain Church
( http://www.forministry.com/usgaindptfmmfm )are totally seperate ministries.

Sometimes the cast of characters overlaps a lot but they are 2 seperate organizations. You might say it's another example of different people walking in different callings yet in a harmony in Christ.

Multimom
04-06-02, 10:00 AM
DO NOT use/encourage my partner to use
abortifacient contraception (birth control pills, IUD,Norplant, Depo-provera, morning after pill etc)

Many will argue this and thats fine, BUT "birth control when used monthly and according to the Doctor's instructions is NOT "abortifacient".

With the "exception of the moring after pilland the IUD," contraceptives prevent ovulation in the female body. (the prefix contra means to prevent or stop, and ceptive being the partial root and modification of the word conception)

Since there is no ovulation, there is no chance for conception. Therefore since no conception took place there is nothing to "abort".

You can't abort an ovule that never left the ovary.

Kristine
04-16-02, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by Multimom
birth control when used monthly and according to the Doctor's instructions is NOT "abortifacient".... contraceptives prevent ovulation in the female body. (the prefix contra means to prevent or stop, and ceptive being the partial root and modification of the word conception)
....Since there is no ovulation, there is no chance for conception. Therefore since no conception took place there is nothing to "abort".


I'm glad you raised this common myth-conception about the birth control pill. Unlike what is commonly believed, the birth control pill does not merely act as a contraception.

In fact 'the pill', acts in three ways:
1. Prevents ovulation (most of the time)
2. Thickens cervical mucus to prevent penetration of sperm
3. Changes the lining of the uterus to make it inhospitable to a fertilized egg

There are two types of Birth Control Pill, one often called the 'mini pill' as it contains progestin only, and the other, most commonly used, known as the combination pill which contains a dosage of both progestin and estrogen. Combination pills act as described above, sometimes preventing ovulation, and other times preventing implantation; while the progestin only pill acts primarily by thickening cervical mucus (may prevent penetration of sperm) and by thinning the uterine lining.

What are the risks? Dr. John Billings estimates that between 2 and 10 per cent of a woman's cycles are still ovulatory even when she is taking the Pill. That means there is a chance she can still conceive a child; but because of the Pill's effect on the lining of the womb, the child will not be able to implant itself into the life-sustaining wall of the uterus. This newly formed human will thereby starve to death from lack of oxygen and nutrients, and be expelled from the mother's body. Although the risk seems relatively small, over time, the likelihood of an egg being fertilized while a woman is taking the pill is great. (1 cycle every year might be ovulatory, 1 every four years at best)

Ultimately, there really is no such thing as a "negligible" risk of aborting a baby. Any risk of ending a life that has already begun is too great. To say that because birth control pills usually act as contraception, that any abortions that result should be accepted as an unfortunate accident is a little like saying that it's alright to fire a gun randomly in the dark, as you usually won't hit anybody, and in the few cases when you do, it should be accepted as an unfortunate accident.

Why is the birth control pill touted as contraception, perhaps even by your doctor? Because that's its main purpose.
But if you do some research, you'll find plenty of medical sites and sources who do mention the pill's alternate purpose.

Consider the following list of pro-life, medical, and even pro-choice pro-contraception sites for research purposes.

I pray this information will help you and your partner make a Godly and informed choice about the contraception you use. 'Contra' is to prevent conception. But if the birth control you use controls birth by possibly eliminating life after it is begun, it is not contraceptive but abortifacient.

God bless,
Kristine



http://www.lifesite.net/clc/abortio...tion_types.html

http://www.pfli.org/declaration.html

http://www.ohiolife.org/SearchEngine/details.asp?txtTitle=&txtCategory=abortion&txtAuthor=&txtPub_Date=&txtText=&txtKeywords=oral+contraceptive&Submit=Submit&id=10134

http://www.thepillonline.com/info.html

http://cbc.ca/news/indepth/background/birthcontrol_pill2.html

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/TEENISSUES/BCCHOICES/bcchoices.html#pill

http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/0663.html

http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/ba...umsex/3557.html

The above information, along with details of other abortifacient 'contraceptives' (Depo-Provera, Norplant, IUD, RU486) can also be found at http://ottawayouthforlife.org/Resources/pill.html

HeatherlyButterfly
04-16-02, 11:22 PM
i was a "suprise" baby. a suprise in the sense that the marriage was back on. my mother considered an abortion. i'm here though.. so we can see what happened..

however i do think that though not a personal choice of mine, i am pro-choice. i don't think it's right, but everyone has to be able to decide themselves. God let us choose whether or not to sin. He didn't stop us, but gave us free will, i think that should be extended to all areas of life.

also-no one knows what kind of risks are involved in a pregnancy. there are always cases where circumstances aren't good. my mother got pregnant between my sister and my brother. the doctors informed her that if she tried to carry the baby to term that not only would the baby die, but my mother would as well. thus at her doc's advice my mom had an abortion. it was later learned that a medicine she had been on for several years had birth defects they had not discovered yet, and it explained a lot about my sister and some of her disabilities.

and though i know it hasn't been brought up in the thread yet, there are people who would like abortion to be illegal again. my fear is that if it is made illegal many young girls will die by trying to do home abortions with unclean facilities and improper instruments.

i know i'm kinda an oddball here... sorry..

Nicole
04-16-02, 11:37 PM
in the case of the mother's life being endangered - I still think abortion is wrong.

If I try to picture myself as the mother - I can't see myself justifying aborting my baby just to save my life. Who am I to determine that my life is more valuable than my child's? I've heard a true story before of a woman who's doctor told her that if she carried the baby to term, they would both die, but she wouldn't abort. In the end - through a miracle - the baby actually ended up saving her life - something about the growing baby put pressure on a certain area or something - don't remember the details. But, point is, God is in control of life and death - I don't think it's ever right to take a life that God created.


However, you are right in the idea that we have free will and it's really everyone's choice at the most basic level

Kristine
04-17-02, 02:48 AM
Butterfly, 'oddballs' are welcomed in this room too ;) , I'm glad you posted your feelings on this.

I'd like to address a few of the comments you made, because I know you're not alone in holding these views.

You said
i don't think it's right, but everyone has to be able to decide themselves
and so, I would ask you: Why do you not think it's right? Chances are, you personally object to abortion because you believe the unborn are human beings, and abortion is killing them.

If this is the case, what you are in essence saying is that you don't think it's right to kill unborn humans, but you think it should be legal for people to do it anyway. This is hardly a neutral position.

I won't argue with the principle of free will and that everyone is a sinner and can make sinful choices. But I'm sure you don't mean by that point, that we should just let people run arround and freely do all the sins that please them, without restriction. I'm sure you would not say "I personally don't like rape, but I don't think there should be any legislation against it, every man should decide for himself what he wants to do with his body." And yet you want take that very position when it comes to abortion.

Truly, if the unborn are human, like the potential victim of rape, we have a duty to protect them, even if this means restricting the so-called choices of others. After all, the choice to harm or to kill another human being, whether by rape or by abortion or by any other means, is not a choice anyone should be entitled to make.

You also said my fear is that if [abortion] is made illegal many young girls will die by trying to do home abortions with unclean facilities and improper instruments.
But the ultimate question is "are the unborn human?" If so, why should the law be faulted for making it more dangerous for one human being to kill another?

Certainly the use of illegal drugs would be much safer for drug addicts if we legalized their use and let the addicts shoot up under legislated tax-funded facilities... but we do not legalized dangerous and wrongful practices just because they are more dangerous when done illegally. We don't legalize bank robbery so it's safer for felons, nor rape so that men don't have to get scrapped and scratched up doing it in dark parks and forests... as extreme as these comparissons may seem, they are perfectly just comparissons, if the unborn are human beings (and scientific evidence tells us they are)

As a pro-lifer, I don't just oppose legal abortion, I'm against the illegal ones too... that's why I believe it's so critical to focus on making abortion unthinkable. By teaching people the truth about the unborn and about what abortion does to them, we drastically reduce the desire for abortions, legal or not.


As for abortions to save the mother's life, today they account for an infinitesimal number of abortions and are extremely rare. Even when elective abortion was illegal, abortions to save the mother's life were always done. But medical technology is so advanced today that according to doctors (I'd be happy to provide documented sources if you're interested), there is virtually no circumstance that would warrent killing a fetus to save the mother's life, other than the case of tubal pregnancy. If the fetus is sufficiently developped and urgent intervention is needed (ie Cancer Treatment), premature delivery would be attempted, and treatment then given to the mother. In the case of tubal pregnancy where the mother's life is in immediate danger and the fetus still too premature, if the fetus is allowed to develop further, the fallopian tube will rupture, killing the mother and the fetus will die along with her.

Although pro-lifers agree that both the mother and child in such a case are human beings, two lives will be lost if intervention is not had. In this case the best course of action is to remove the fetus and thus to save one life, rather than to loose two, even though the inevitable result is that one life is lost in the process. In this case one is acting not with the intention of ending a life, but of saving one. But the fact still remains that over 99% of abortions are done, for 'social reasons', on healthy children and healthy women.


The "choice" may not be yours to have to make, but you can still oppose a bad choice. I've never had to choose whether to lynch a black man, slaughter a Jew, or abuse my child, but I can - and should oppose those actions.... You and I cannot try to stand in the middle on the question of abortion. There is no in between, no moral neutral ground on questions of life and death.

Abortion is either the killing of a human being, or it's not. Fetuses are either human beings or they aren't. They cannot be human in one womb and 'blobs of tissue in another'. One's status doesn't change based on what another person thinks about them. It is not up to anyone to choose whether or not their fetus is human. No more than they can choose whether their toddler is a human being. Science has already determined that.

Kristine

HeatherlyButterfly
04-17-02, 06:16 PM
i totally agree that it shouldn't happen. i don't think that we should encourage it at all. and i agree that making it unthinkable is the best solution. however realistically i see 15 year old girls going to an abortion clinic as soon as they find out they're pregnant with no second thought. realistically our world has it placed and viewed as a safe and easy option for birth control. which it is not. i have done the research, done the reports, made a video for class. it is not a good thing.

i also realize that the mother's endangerment is not a real excuse in most cases anymore, with my mother however it was 1985 and the docs were pretty much clueless, especially in rural arizona...

i do not think that abortion is right by any means. and i do not support it. i don't know how to really express what i think... it is hard for me sometimes..

i understand what you are saying.. and i agree with most of it... i need a little more time to process my thought though... ok... i'll be back after class tonight... :)

selah
04-17-02, 06:53 PM
Fetuses are either human beings or they aren't.

Not necessarily. Okay, I agree with you that a fetus is a stage of development in a human being just as infancy, toddlerhood, adolescence, adulthood, etc. However, when it comes down to the initial fertilized egg and just after that, I personally am not that convinced. Is a walnut a tree? I don't think it is. And I don't think I can define to you at what point I believe that the walnut and what grows from it actually becomes a tree. I'm willing to say, "I don't know" just as "I don't know" when a fertilized embryo becomes a human being.

What I do know, is that the argument isn't as simple as people make it out to be. One side says, "abortion is murder of a human being." The other side says, "making abortion illegal takes away the legal right of the mother to decide what to do with her body." But, I'm not convinced that embryos are humans, and I'm not convinced we should have the right to kill whatever living thing we want. The only thing I can clearly conclude is, the debate is not clear.

What is clear to me is that God created and loves those fertilized embryos that become fetuses that become humans. From the moment of conception, God designed each of us and loves each of us. For this reason, I am adamantly against abortion because I believe it is killing a little life--even if not necessarily a completely human life. But since my view stems from my faith in God instead of logical reality, I am uncomfortable pushing that on others.

I don't think religions should have any control over the government. Christianity is relatively tame but I shudder to think what would happen if the group of religious people in the middle east who treat women so poorly were to gain some form of control over the American government. As it stands, if America wants to hold the position that embryos and fetuses before a certain point cannot be called human and therefore it is not unethical to abort them--I think they should have the right to decide that.

I know it goes into a new issue to say that. <rant>I just look back at history and every time any religion has had control over the government of any country, the results are always bad. Always. The religion becomes just that--religion--and not a relationship with Jesus. It becomes a way of keeping the citizens in line through tactics of fear, etc. And it often puts a moral minority in a position of authority over everyone else. Whereas I believe the government should be representative of the citizens it governs. That's why I think we need to do our evangelizing in relationships, etc. and keep religious zealots out of congress. </rant>

Kristine
04-25-02, 12:17 AM
Kipepeo, thank you for bringing up some points that are really worth addressing.

First of all, you said
I'm willing to say…"I don't know" when a fertilized embryo becomes a human being.

The fact is, is we don’t know when life begins, we can’t take a chance on destroying it. Imagine if a demolition worker said “I don’t know for sure that there are no people inside this old building, but I’m going to tear it down anyway.” Or a hunter who shot at the rustling bushes without being absolutely sure that the shadow was a deer and not his hunting buddy… we would find such people to be very negligent, and yet you seek to take that same position with regards to abortion.

One cannot say “Let’s keep abortion until birth legal because we don’t know when life begins” that statement in itself is assuming that life begins at birth (or whatever point in time one decides to draw the line). But again, if you don’t know for sure that the embryo is not a human being, you cannot morally be justified in taking the risk of destroying what may well be a human being.

Secondly, we do know that life begins at fertilization, and we don’t need religion to tell us so. Biologically, every living creature reproduces after its own kind. It is not possible for two human beings to create something that is not human but that later becomes human. Embryos are human because they are offspring of human beings.

By your ‘walnut’ illustration, you alluded to the famous argument of the acorn and the oak tree. No, the acorn is not an oak tree, but it is still an oak. The acorn contains in itself the inherent capacity to sprout roots, grow into a sapling and eventually into a mature oak tree. But it has this capacity precisely because of what it is.

Likewise, the embryo is not a mature human adult, but (s)he is a human being. She has the inherent capacity in and of her own genetic makeup to grow arms, legs, organs and to grow into a mature human adult, the same inherent capacity that an infant has at a little later in human development. It is only because of the kind of being that the embryo is that (s)he is able to develop human parts and human functions. All living things develop according to a certain pattern because of the kind of entity that they are. And living things don’t change specie in the process of changing their form and maturing in their functions.

This is also the reason why the single-cell embryo differs from sperm and ovum, or from hair and skin cells. All other DNA-bearing cells are differentiated and will never grow to be anything other than the cell that they are. Sperm and ovum are cells belonging to another human being, and on their own they will never sprout legs and arms. Only upon their fusion, through which sperm and egg die, is a brand new genetic entity created, with the capacity to continue to develop itself through all stages of human development until she reaches maturity. (We see that (s)he has this inherent capacity to develop itself as the embryo is often growing and developing long before the mother is even aware of his/her presence)

The single cell embryo may not function like a mature human being, or even look like what we recognize to be a human, before we see arms or legs developing, but she is nevertheless human. To say otherwise is to suggest that how one looks or functions defines one’s humanity… a dangerous slope to travel for those who have amputations, severe disfigurations, and otherwise don’t look like our common definition of human. (This is why black people and Jews were targeted for destruction and abuse years earlier) Or for those who aren’t capable of their own kidney dialysis, their own waste elimination, or even their own breathing… Clearly one can not look or function like a human beings and still be one.

Furthermore, the embryo looks precisely like what a human being is supposed to look like that stage in his/her development. She may not be capable rational thought or even of simple functions like heart beating (before the 3rd week) but she is functioning as she needs to at that stage in her development. An infant cannot walk yet, but we don’t cast her off as crippled.

Take the illustration of bananas. If you open your cupboard and find two sets of bananas, one rotten and crawling with worms, and another that is very green, both lack current capacity to function as food. But while you’d throw out the rotten ones, you wouldn’t throw out the green ones because you know they have inherent capacity to function as food and will develop that in time. The same can be said of the current functions the embryo lacks.

Finally, you said
since my view stems from my faith in God instead of logical reality, I am uncomfortable pushing that on others.

The true pro-life position that the unborn are human beings, is not a religious one. As I have indicated, it is a biologically accurate, and intellectually sound position that can and should be held by people of any faith or of no faith. While our mandate to love should compel us as Christians to love the unborn and to speak up on their behalf; the reality of the unborn’s status is no more religious than saying that toddlers are human beings and should be protected by law like all other human beings. Toddlers, infants, fetuses, teenagers, and embryos alike, are all members of the human family in different stages of their growth as human beings. It is biological fact.

I would love to help you be able to present a solid, irrefutable scientific and philosophic case for the humanity and personhood of the unborn, that can stand up in the secular square. When carefully studied, there is no position more logical then the pro-life one, and Christians need to be able to give a defense for what they believe (1 Peter 3:15) Christianity is Truth; and as such science, history, archeology etc, when properly understood can only point us back to the Truth. We have a duty to be God’s salt and light and shed his Truth in a dark, confused world. The unwanted unborn are being unfairly targeted for destruction, and it is up to we who know the Truth to spread it. I pray you will join me.

Kristine