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Apologetics: How To Respond To Tough Moral Questions 2: Abortion

January 25, 2009

Here’s the audio from class #3; it’s actually the end of the introduction, plus the beginning of Abortion as a topic, plus some admin.  The actual class info starts about 5 minutes in.

•I.Introduction

A.  When societies begin to degenerate morally, they begin to victimize the weak and defenseless

•1.    Evil Israelites – sacrificing kids to Baal

•2.    Carthaginians burned 1000’s of babies to Moloch – many were socially undesirable, though offered under religious pretext

•3.    Romans “exposed” unwanted babies – left them in the wilderness to be eaten or to freeze to death (the fortunate ones were rescued by Christians!)

B.   Many think we have abortion available because we are “enlightened and progressive”, but reality is that we have suffered some degeneration

•1.    Pagan doctors from before time of Christ had prohibitions against using healing arts to kill

•2.    Hippocratic Oath originally *specifically prohibited* euthanasia and abortion

•3.    “Modern” versions have eliminated those prohibitions

•II.Church Teaching on Abortion

A.  Direct abortion:  the deliberate killing of an unborn baby

•1.    Vat II calls abortion “an unspeakable crime” (GS 51)

•2.    Abortion is one of the few offenses that carries a penalty of automatic excommunication (canon 1398, Code of Canon Law)

B.  Evangelium Vitae – Pope John Paul II

•1.    Lack of outrage over abortion = sign of dangerous moral crisis

•2.    Euphemisms (“termination of pregnancy”) obscure the true nature of abortion: murder. Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness into light, and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!”

•3.    There is none more innocent/helpless than an unborn baby. Cannot even cry; murdered in silence.

•4.    Mothers cannot escape blame; unborn child entrusted completely to her care, yet she betrays that trust.

•a)     HOWEVER, the tremendous pressure that can be brought to bear on pregnant women mitigates

•b)    We must show compassion and express how eager God is to forgive them (EV sec 99)

•5.    Fathers who fail to protect and provide for children they father are to blame for abortions, even more so if they pressure the mother to “get rid of the problem”.

•6.    Legislators supporting abortion laws are likewise guilty (EV 73).

•7.    Those who promote sexual permissiveness also share in the blame for abortion.

•III.Answering the “Top 12” pro-abortion arguments

A.  “It’s my body; I have a right to choose.”

•1.    Absolutely right!  *every woman has (or should have) the right to choose…whether or not to engage in sexual activity. We are not animals; we can choose to use or not our sexuality. But *choice* ends there!

•2.    Abortion kills a human person who is distinct from his mother.

•3.    Woman has no more right to kill an unborn child than she does to kill a born one.

B.  “The fetus is just a clump of cells, a glob of tissue.”

•1.    Even at single-cell stage, the fetus has its own distinct genetic makeup and life principle.

•2.    This “clump of cells” is a unique individual who only need s the addition of nutrition and time to grow into a mature human person.

•3.    Size does not = humanity; what else would the offspring of two humans be?

C.  “An unborn baby can’t reason or interact with people. Therefore it’s not really a person, so we can kill it.”

•1.    Does same logic apply to children already born with mental impairments that leave them unable to interact with others? Coma victims?

•2.    Wouldn’t the same logic allow us to kill people who are simply unconscious?

•3.    This is an arbitrary definition of “person”.

D.  “A fetus becomes human when it can live on its own, outside the mother’s womb.”

•1.    Can a two-year-old live on its own? What about a 95-year-old with Alzheimer’s?

•2.    Even adults need others in order to survive; this dependence on others does not make us less human.

E.  “Abortion is legal.”

•1.    It was legal to kill Jews in Nazi Germany. It was legal to hold slaves in the United States until the practice was outlawed. Was either one ever right?

•2.    Any law that goes against the divine law is invalid and evil.

F.   “If abortion becomes illegal, it will still go on in back alleys.”

•1.    Yep. So do other crimes, like rape and slavery, child abuse and spouse abuse.

•2.    Do we legalize other crimes and make it easier to commit them because “people will do them anyway”?

•3.    The law is an educator. Civil rights laws changed the way people viewed discrimination (change the behavior=change the attitude).

G.  “You cannot legislate morality.”

•1.    Yes you can. We do it al the time!

•2.    Laws against murder, stealing, incest, child abuse, are all legislating morality.

•3.    Abortion should be treated the same.

H.  “I’m personally opposed to abortion, but I’m not going to tell other people what to do.”

•1.    Abortion is not an issue on which we can remain neutral.  It’s either wrong and horrible, or harmless medicine.

•2.    Would we stand by while a woman dropped her three-month-old from a window?

•3.    If it’s murder, then we have to stop it.

I.     “I’m opposed to late-term abortions, but I think we should allow abortions in the first trimester.”

•1.    Every argument used to justify early abortions can be used to justify late-term ones.

•2.    Every argument against late=term abortions is valid against early ones.

•3.    Is there a material difference between a 12-week old fetus and a 20-week old one? Nope, just time and nutrition.

•4.    Purely arbitrary division, with no basis in biology, philosophy, or morality.

J.   “We must make exceptions for rape and incest.”

•1.    Rape and incest are hideous crimes deserving punishment.

•2.    HOWEVER, a baby from either crime has committed no crime, and is still a unique human person who has a right to life like everyone else.

•3.    We should not kill a child for the sins of the father.

K.  “Better an aborted baby than an unwanted one.”

•1.    How do we define “unwanted”? This was Nazi logic in killing retarded children.

•2.    How do we determine who is unwanted? God wants ALL of them; He gave them life!

•3.    Thousands of couples long to adopt, but cannot based on laws that restrict it. But THEY want them too.

L.   “I couldn’t give my child away for someone else to raise.”

•1.    So I’d be better to kill it?

•2.    Children are not possessions to be controlled, but persons to be loved unconditionally.

•3.    See 1Kings 3: 16 – 27. The story of the two harlots who argued over a child before the king. The real mother gave her child up rather than have him die.

•IV.Conclusion

A.  Human life begins at conception

•1.    Full genetic makeup present at that time.

•2.    What else could it be; nothing added after that except time and nutrition.

B.  Even if we are not sure when life begins, we should always err on the side of life.

C.  American abortions laws lead to some absurd results.

•1.    A twenty-week premature baby killed is murder; a 36-week baby killed by partial birth abortion is NOT, even though he’s four months older!

•2.    We have laws that allow unborn children to inherit property.  They can also be killed on demand!

D.  Test-tube babies demonstrate clearly that a fertilized egg is a life separate from its mother.

E.  At the end of the day, though, many who support abortion admit that unborn babies are human beings…and don’t care!

 

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