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  Pro-Choice Scriptural Base is Bogus
by J. Grant Swank, Pastor
31 October 2002


The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is a misnomer and theological contradiction, that is, if defined in biblical terms.

Yet the hoax continues. With that, the group denounces recently President Bush’s administration health care policies as "extreme".

Perhaps some religious persons are duped by the organization's fabrication. But the truly biblically knowledgeable know a lie when they hear a lie.

Rev. James Lamb, executive director of National Lutherans for Life, says it all when he states that "once you lose your scriptural base, you can justify anything. They’re playing to what they think the culture wants to hear."

What is the clear biblical position? It is pro-life all the way for it is the revealed Word of the life-confirming Creator.

The Bible speaks of a fetus as a person, not simply tissue that can be discarded if found to be a bother or nuisance. Since the fetus is a person from the moment of conception, then the destroying of the fetus is killing a person. "In the past, some people have mistakenly speculated that perhaps the body might be in the process of formation for some time, and then 'God breathes a soul into it.' They had it backward. The life that is present forms matter into a body for itself' (Joseph Breig, "Life Forms Matter," The Catholic News, Jan. 24, 1974, p. 8).

"Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk ... and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit" (Job 10:8-12 NIV).

"Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name...and now the LORD says--he who formed me in the womb to be his servant..." (Isaiah 49:1, 5).

"The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:4-5).

In the following passages we note that personality is ascribed to the unborn:

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:13-16).

"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him" (Psalm 127:3).

Exodus 21:22-25 relates how Israel was to judge a circumstance relating to the death of the unborn: "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, bum for bum, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

All of the latter deals with unintentional hurt which comes to a pregnant woman; how much more will divine penalty come upon those who intentionally discard the fetus?

The Gospel of Luke ascribes personality to the fetus within Elizabeth: "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit... As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy" (Luke 1:41, 44). Mere tissue does not leap for joy; only personhood leaps for joy. The Bible regards the fetus as having personality.

In Galatians, Paul speaks of himself as a person while still in his mother's womb, but more a person consecrated by God for a holy mission (compare Jeremiah 1:5 for the same accent): "But when God, who set me apart from birth, and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles..." (Gal. 1: 15-16).

Since the Bible regards the fetus as personality, then the aborting of the fetus is murdering personality.

Some verses from Scripture dealing with murder are then appropriate for study, such as Genesis 9:6: "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man."

Also, read Exodus 23:7: "Have nothing to do with a false charge, and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty." Note I Peter 4:15: "If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer..."

Email J. Grant Swank

BIO

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., Pastor, New Hope Church, Windham ME

Graduate of accredited college (BA) and seminary (M Div) with graduate work at Harvard Divinity School.

Married for 41 years with 3 adult children.

Author of 5 books and over 2000 articles in various Protestant and Catholic
magazines, journals and newspapers. Writer of weekly religion column for
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD newspaper, Portland ME.

Hobbies: Traveling to So American, Europe, Middle East, Canada; writing;
watercolor painting; meeting new friends.

Current occupations: Pastor; Teacher at Alternative Learning School for
at-risk youths.

Pastorates: Calgary, Alberta; Indianapolis IN; Akron OH; Fishkill NY;
Manchester CT; Walpole MA; Windham ME.

Winner of First Prize Writing Contest which yielded a three-week guided tour
of the Middle East.