A Rational Discussion about Abortion

As you may have noticed, I’ve been carrying on a discussion recently with a reader called “Notabilia.” The main subject has been abortion. He is convinced that I am a lunatic and a religious zealot because I consider the unborn children to be human and therefore deserving of the same respect as those of us who have been born.

He does not believe the unborn person is a person until birth, so I have asked him to tell me how he knows this to be true. Seems like a pretty simple request, right? It is not enough to simply assert that the unborn person is not a person because science uses terms like zygote and fetus to describe the unborn. Is there some reason why he thinks the words “fetus” and “person” are mutually exclusive?

As a pastor, I have held the hand of several women who have had miscarriages. As a man, I can sense the depth of their pain but really can’t imagine it. I’ve never had new life created within me.

I will never, never forget the burial service I led for a baby who died in utero abut four months before the expected date of birth. It was a time with all the depth and importance of a service for anyone else, born or unborn. We were burying a beloved baby, not a zygote or a fetus.

"Fetal Hand Grasp"

During a procedure to correct spina bifida while still in the womb, Samuel Alexander Armas, a fetus at twenty-one weeks, reached out. As Dr. Joseph P. Bruner reached and gently lifted the hand, Samuel reacted and squeezed tightly.


And this is little Sammy with his mother a few years later. Did that right hand become a human hand only after birth? If you believe so, can you give a reason for your belief?


About mthayes42

I am a retired pastor, interested in the Bible, cross-cultural ministries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the current and past history of western civilization.
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2 Responses to A Rational Discussion about Abortion

  1. Sammy’s story is very touching!

    • mthayes42 says:

      In the photo of Sammy and his mom, I’m touched as much by the joy on her face as on his. Human dignity, however fragile, is the source of real joy when it is guarded and respected. It is part of the “image of God” built into us at creation.

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