An anonymous author (OllieGarkey) over at the very ultra-liberal and anti-Christian Daily Kos thinks he has finally answered those who believe that killing unborn babies is murder. How can it be, he “reasons,” because unborn babies are not breathing? He spends paragraph after paragraph trying to defend his abortion points. He even quotes several Bible passages in defense of his position and leaves others untouched.
Of course, when you dig down into the article, the anonymous author doesn’t care about anything the Bible says on any subject, much less on what it might have to say about the abortion issue.
He writes that “fundamentalists who talk about how the bible is the foundation for their faith” should be thought of as “dangerous moron[s].”
But the idea that the Bible teaches that life begins only when a baby takes in air through his or her lungs is preposterous. Babies in utero are getting oxygen during the entire nine months of their time in their mother’s womb.
In addition, there are passages in the Bible where babies are self-consciousness in utero. Jacob and Esau are said to have “struggled together” while in their mother Rebekah’s womb (Gen. 25:21-26; Hosea 12:3). Struggling requires oxygen and the removal of carbon dioxide. Where did Jacob and Esau get the oxygen? From the time they were conceived they receive oxygen transmitted through their mother’s umbilical cord. It’s the same oxygen they would later take in via their lungs.
The only difference is the delivery system.
This is all so basic that I feel foolish having to point it out, but when you’re dealing with oxygen deprived liberals, there’s no other way.
Then there’s John the Baptist who is said to have “leaped” in his mother’s “womb” (Luke 1:41) when he heard that Mary was with child. Again, we are dealing with self-consciousness. Self-consciousness and the act of “leaping” require oxygen.
What about a passage like Exodus 21:22-25, which the anonymous Daily Kos writer references? Does this case law consider a “fetus” less than human?:
“If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”
Some translations use the word “miscarriage,” for example, the 1977 translation of the New American Standard Version. The 1995 updated translation now reads “so that she gives birth prematurely.” That’s better, but it does not capture the literal meaning of the Hebrew which actually states “so that her children [yeled] come out.” The Hebrew yeled is used elsewhere for children already born. For example, in Exodus 2:6 we read, “When Pharaoh’s daughter opened [the basket], she saw the child [yeled], and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children [yeled].’” Since in the Exodus case these are “children that come out,” they are persons, not body parts like an appendix or a kidney.
In addition, the verb yatza (“come or go out”) refers to a live birth, not a miscarriage (Gen. 25:25-26; 38:28–30; Jer. 1:5; 20:18).
“Harm” or “injury” has reference to both the mother and the children since the Hebrew word yeled is used, as we’ve seen in other contexts, for children already born. The mother and the baby or babies are given equal status before the law.
The text does not say, “yet there is no further injury to the mother” (Ex. 21:22). “Further injury” refers to the mother and child. If it is first established that yeled means “child,” which it does, then the case laws referring to persons, whether children or adults, must be applied. If the harm does not lead to the death of either the mother or the child, then a fine is paid to compensate the injured, either mother or the children who “come out” prematurely (21:18–19). If either the mother or the child is harmed in any way, the lex talionis applies.
In biblical terms, an unborn child is regarded as a human being that deserves the full protection of the law as summarized in the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder.” There is no need for a commandment that states “You shall not abort,” since killing a preborn would be covered under “you shall not murder.”