In the past, prolife and prochoice groups have been locked in a vicious debate on whether or not abortion should be permitted. Both groups offer compelling and convincing reasons to back up their positions and for this reason, abortion remains a one of the most debated if not controversial issues today. Is abortion permissible on any grounds? What are the various arguments that have been advanced against abortion? Are these arguments compelling enough? In an attempt to provide answers to the questions above, I review some of the prolife arguments that have been presented in the past.
Abortion: Prolife Arguments
To begin with, it is important to note that although the Bible does not make direct references to abortion, it does underscore the value of life in no uncertain terms. In that regard, it would be prudent to submit that the Bible does indeed abhor abortion.
Some of the biblical positions that seek to restate the value of life and hence reservations against abortions can be found in the Old Testament. Psalms 139 is one of the biblical verses that speaks against abortion (albeit implicitly). In this particular verse, David acknowledges the role God plays in the formation of a baby in its mother's womb. He says: "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…" (Psalms 139:13-16). From this particular verse, it is indeed clear that the Creator is actively involved in the formation of an individual right from conception. Aborting a fetus at any stage would not only be belittling the work of God, but also interfering with the same. Thus from a biblical perspective, a developing fetus must never be viewed as just mere biochemistry -- it is God's work in progress. Next, Genesis 1 explicitly points out that man was created in not only the image but also the likeliness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). In that regard, even the unborn child already bears God's image. For this reason, abortion is inherently wrong in the eyes of God as all human beings (whether born or unborn) are equal and fully human before him.
The New Testament also presents some arguments and instances that could be taken to mean that from a biblical perspective, abortion cannot be permissible. For instance, it should be noted that in the New Testament, Jesus was recognized by John the Baptist before he was even born -- i.e. while he was still in the womb of his mother (Luke 1:35-36). This is one of the clearest indicators that from a biblical perspective, no clear distinction exists between a fully grown individual and a baby that has not yet been born. If it is wrong to take the life of a fully grown human being, it cannot be regarded right to kill an unborn baby. In Matthew, it is written, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Matthew 7:12). If we were not aborted when we were in our respective mothers' womb, why should we then promote or support the abortion of the unborn?
Impact on General Wellbeing
In seeking to further reinforce the prolife position, it would be prudent to also point out that abortion does impact negatively on the general well-being of the individual procuring the same.
To begin with, it is important to note that some medical arguments have been presented in the past against abortion. One of these arguments is that abortion could negatively affect the physical health of the mother. According to Goldman, Troisi, and Rexrode, although induced abortion is widely regarded safe most particularly in the U.S.,…