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THEO 303 (Su '15) T06 - Abortion

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Hartmut Scherer

on 24 May 2015

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Transcript of THEO 303 (Su '15) T06 - Abortion

Sources and Image Credit
Adapted chapter 8 of McQuilkin, Robertson,
An Introduction to Biblical Ethics
(Tyndale, 1995) and Feinberg, John S. and Paul D. Feinberg,
Ethics for a Brave New World
(Crossway Books, 1993), 47ff for this presentation.
Why have abortion rates fallen?
Foundational teaching of the Bible
Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.” (ESV)
Self defense
- the clearest validation is, if life is in danger of
physical harm
suffering for Christ
America's shrinking access to abortion
2 conditions need to be fulfilled:
- it needs to be done deliberately
- adds verbal abuse (James 3:5-6)
- the Bible does not allow this action
- harm by omitting to do good (James 4:17)
suggested action
crime-oriented aggression
choose non-resistance
choose resistance
an egg is fertilized by sperm, but never implants in the woman’s womb
characterized by external intervention into the reproductive process with a view to terminating pregnancy
- baby's right to live
- a woman’s right to exercise
freedom of choice
Views on the nature of personhood
Biological, Genetic or Structural View of Personhood
- personhood is grounded in biological
- since species-specific DNA strands, identifying the
fertilized egg as human, are present at conception,
a human person with rights is present at
Developmental, Sociological, Psychological and Interactive View of Personhood
- human value is "an achievement rather than an
- human value is achieved in social interaction
right to life
Judith Jarvis Thomson
Conflict of Rights
right to control one's body
right of the mother is preferred - WHY?
minimally decent Samaritan
helps when it involves no cost to him or her
good Samaritan
goes out of his or her way to help one in need, even at great cost to oneself
obligatory (duty)
Baruch Brody
- duty to save or preserve another’s life
- duty not to take a person’s life
The real duty for the mother is not to take a life
- God's word clearly teaches that no one may shed
another person’s innocent blood
- unborn children are fashioned in the image of God
and it is the duty of the state to protect the
- Christians should exhort one another to reject
abortion as an answer to unwanted pregnancy
- Christians should provide compassionate
alternatives within a biblical framework
- Christians should respect the sanctity of human
life from conception until natural death
Full transcript