.. before as well as after, birth” (Wilke 94). The unborn are beginning to gain more rights. From state to state, legal rights of an unborn child can mean the difference between the death of a fetus being a criminal act to being just a matter of legal consequence. Mothers are now starting to be prosecuted for harming their babies through drug and alcohol abuse. Drunk drivers are also being punished in some states for injuring fetuses.
Accidents like these would have gone without punishment up until a few years ago. Almost half of the states, such as Delaware, do not consider the killing of a fetus as murder unless the child is born and then dies (USA Today). Patricia Bast Lyman added to the American Center for Law and Justice, fetal rights to its docket. It was stated, “The law is a teacher and we think the law should teach respect for children at all states in the womb.” While fetal rights are growing, the woman’s right to control her body in ways that could affect the fetus, are lessening. Planned abortion is the only circumstance under which the killing of an unborn child goes on without consequences. The growing consideration of a fetus is a surprising change in the law. The so called, “born-alive” rule is still in effect in almost half of the states.
This rule says that the fetus must be born alive, even briefly, before its death can be recognized as a homicide. In 1994, this rule showed its inadequacy. A woman was hit by a vehicle that ran a red light. The car she had been riding in was damaged, and so was her baby. The day after the accident she delivered a dead baby. The man who had hit her was charged with manslaughter.
Later the judge dropped the charges because of the “born-alive” rule. The mother stated, “It was bad enough losing my child, but then to learn there was no penalty was too much to take. I was three weeks from my due date, and they were telling me my daughter was not a person” (USA Today). In another case, however, a woman was given sixteen years in prison because of her part in a drunk driving accident. She was charged with manslaughter in the death of a baby who met the legal requirements of being “born-alive,” but two days later the baby died due to the injuries (USA Today).
There are two opposing positions on abortion. The pro-life position believes that abortion is immoral and should not be legal. The pro-choice position believes that a woman should legally be able to have an abortion, and that it is her right to terminate the pregnancy or carry the baby (Burtchaell, 101). Pro-abortionists say that the unborn child is just fetal tissue and not really alive until it is born (Walton 12). Pro-life groups say that the unborn are, in reality, a living human who has to die a painful death when being aborted (Walton 12). Many doctors perform abortions because of the financial rewards.
Fortune magazine says that abortion is now one of the major businesses in America. They estimate that abortuaries probably make more than half a billion dollars a year. This estimate was made ten years ago (Walton 8). Doctors who perform abortions are breaking the Hippocratic Oath that they repeat before entering the medical profession. The Oath states, “I will follow that method of treatment, which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous.
I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel. Furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion” (Colliers 113). Not only does the Hippocratic Oath say something about abortion, but so does the Creator, God. He is the Creator of the unborn. Psalm 139:13-16 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.
My name 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 (Bible 640). God values each and everyone of us highly, especially His children. In Genesis 1:27 it says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Bible 3).
God further tells us in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder” (Bible 80). God has the ultimate authority in life and death. One of the strong messages from the Pro-life movement comes from Deuteronomy 30:19. It says, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Bible 209).
They encourage people to choose life, to carry their babies to full term and not abort them. To God there are no exceptions for choosing life. He does not allow us to kill a child because it was conceived as a result of rape or incest or has deformities or handicaps. He tells us in Deuteronomy 24:16, “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin” (Bible 204). In Romans 8:28 God also tells us that, “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Bible 1218).
He says all things, not just for the perfectly formed baby or the baby that was conceived in harmony and love, but for all situations. God also reminds us in Exodus 4:11 that He is the one who gives us our mouth and who makes us deaf and mute or who gives us our sight or chooses to make us blind (Bible 64). The Bible tells us that women do not have a right to control their own body. He tells us in Psalm 127:3, “Children are a heritage from the Lord; children are a reward from Him” (Bible 636). In Ezekial 18:4, God further reminds us that, “Every living soul belongs to Me, the father as well as the son-both alike belong to Me. The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Bible 871). Pro-choice women feel they have a right to choose about their bodies.
The Bible clearly states that no man is allowed to take a life before birth. Matthew 18:14 tells us how precious babies are to Him. It says, “Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish” (Bible 1030). To those doctors or clinic workers who are involved in abortions God gives a stern warning. He says in Deuteronomy 27:25, “Cursed be he that accepts a reward to kill an innocent person” (Bible 206). There are solutions to the abortion problem.
Unfortunately, there are some places which originally started out to help women, but became greedy and no longer provide all sides to the pregnancy and abortion issue. One such organization is Planned Parenthood. It was started about sixty years ago. In 1963, a Planned Parenthood pamphlet said, “An abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health.
It may make you sterile so that when you want a child, you cannot have it” (Student Packet 15). In 1984, there were eighty-eight thousand eight hundred and twenty-four abortions done by Planned Parenthood. They now have over fifty clinics around the country. Planned Parenthood says that , “Abortion is currently the safest of the most frequently performed surgical procedures,” yet abortion is the sixth leading cause of maternal deaths (Student Packet 15). Planned Parenthood receives about thirty million dollars a year from Title X, a government program, and millions more from other tax supported programs (Walton 8). Even though there are some bad centers for women, Crisis Pregnancy Care centers and Right-to-life centers are good places to go for real help.
They tell women the truth and give them alternatives to abortion. Adoption is one alternative given to women. Adoption needs to be presented as a loving act for a child and a unique and special way to build families. Adoption laws must be modernized so that laws advocate the rights and needs of the baby, biological parents and the adoptive parents (Sider 69). Adopted children have more socio-economic advantages than kids who stay with their unmarried mothers.
They have better educated mothers and live with families with a higher income. Thousands of babies are being aborted daily, and yet there are about two million infertile and fertile couples or individuals that want to adopt children. In 1986, fifty-one thousand one hundred and fifty-seven American children were adopted. Half of these children were healthy babies under two, from all races and backgrounds. Another alternative or preventative measure would be to teach or encourage abstinence in dating relationships.
This needs to be taught in the home first and then supportive teaching by the church, community and in the schools (Student Packet 8). Shepherding or maternity homes are also a helpful alternative for the pregnant woman. A woman can come and live in these homes during her pregnancy. She is given the support of a loving family and learns about healthy family relationships, adoption and bringing up her own baby (Falwell 118-119). Legal changes need to be set into place.
One change would be the consent requirement law. This law says that the consent of the husband or man who is responsible for the pregnancy will have to agree to the abortion. There are states that prohibit minors from having an abortion without their parent’s consent. In Minnesota, a pregnant minor that chooses not to go to Court to have a judge decide whether she is mature enough to make the abortion decision or if an abortion is in her best interest, must tell or notify both of her parents and have their consent before having an abortion. The law makes no exceptions for girls of divorced or unmarried parents who do not have guardianship (Tribe 198-199). Limiting the reasons for abortions also will lessen the number of aborted babies.
A compromise is that a woman would have to be examined before having an abortion. This was suggested because in Pennsylvania women wanted to kill their fetus because it was the wrong sex. This reason for abortion became outlawed in Pennsylvania (Tribe 204). Abortion is wrong and there are no exceptions. No one should have the right to kill an unborn child. God says it is wrong and He has the ultimate say in life and death.
Mother Theresa stated, “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish” (Student Packet 13). Abortion is not a quick fix for a child that is unwanted. Every child should be a wanted child. There are viable solutions to this problem, and we must do all that we can to promote those solutions. By doing this, we can help stop the killing of innocent children.