To Those who call Abortion, Murder

2 Kings 17:17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. Some claim that abortion is murder. To restate this, there are some who claim is that there are rooms all over America, where individuals are murdering innocent children with the consent of their mothers.To date, between fifty and sixty million innocent children have been murdered. I am not making this claim, let us be clear about that. But for those who do, I would like to consider the ramifications of such a statement.

  1. Given that at least life, if not human life, begins at conception.
  2. Given that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these rights is the right to life.
  3. Given that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
  4. Given that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, but not of course for light and transient causes.
  5. Given that the willing approval and complicity in the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent children over thirty years and the failure of the present form of government to secure and defend their right to life is no light and transient cause.
  6. Given arguments 3, 4 & 5, and given that this country has no King, the fact is that each individual citizen is sovereign, and cannot be compelled to acknowledge government authority but must freely and willingly cede individual authority to the government.
  7. Given that the ninth amendment to the Constitution says that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” means that we still have the right to alter or abolish governments that become destructive of our rights as expressed in the Declaration.
  8. Given that the present political reality or the actual form of government currently in existence in no way negates the written constitution and the form of government it describes.
  9. Given that a government of laws is preferable to a government of men and that citizens have a reasonable expectation that they that their elected leaders uphold, defend and abide by the written constitution and laws.
  10. Given that the innocent children who have been killed were our neighbors.
  11. Given that we have an obligation to love our neighbors.

It seems to me that, while a man has no obligation to risk his life to save the life of another, someone who has spent a considerable amount of time in martial training, recreation and service, would suffer shame and dishonor before his comrades if he did not immediately act to defend and protect the life of an innocent child or adult if it were in his power to do so. For example, if I am in Walgreens and someone comes in to rob, kills a store clerk with a shotgun, and then points it at another store clerk, I certainly have the right to hide underneath the cosmetics counter until he leaves. Or, being trained, I could draw my gun and attempt to “stop” him. It was the unprincipled Falstaff who said “the better part of valor is discretion.” He said this to put a more attractive spin on his cowardice. THEREFORE

  1. If abortion is murder it would be a just and honorable thing to do anything that was in one’s power to stop it, including using deadly force.
  2. If abortion is murder, the government of the United States by its willing approval and facilitation of such mass murder, has become unworthy and has lost its right to govern and should be properly overthrown by any means including revolution; its officers judged and executed for their crimes against the unborn, and a new government established.
  3. If abortion is murder those in opposition to this claim should be declared accessories to murder, viewed as enemies of the revolution, and dealt with as such by revolutionary courts, or by military action.

POSSIBLE OBJECTIONS If the fetus is to be viewed as life, but not full fledged human life, none of the above arguments will apply. Orthodox Jewry has never interpreted the scriptures to say that the fetus be accorded the full and complete rights of a human being, giving precedence to the life of the mother until such time as the head of the child emerged from the womb, Orthodox Jewry has never recognized the fetus as having life at all until forty days had passed from the moment of conception. Jewish law not being written in stone, (except of course for the Ten Commandments) the time lines may be properly adjusted due to the increased knowledge we have of obstetrics, life then being determined to begin at the time that the fetus is able to survive outside of the womb, a time line that appears to be every day growing shorter. It appears that the general consensus of the medical and legal professions is moving toward agreement that abortion should not be permitted in these cases. But otherwise, the argument might still be reasonably made that while physical life may begin at conception, the soul may not manifest itself immediately.

Unlike Catholicism, in Judaism the fetus isn’t a legal person until it’s born, so abortion can’t be murder. (This isn’t even as different from Catholicism as it seems. The Catholic Church itself didn’t insist that life began at conception until 1869. Before that, the Church tolerated abortions through the 40th day of pregnancy.)… in the case of a threat to the mother’s life, Jewish law requires you to save her rather than the fetus. (Catholics save the fetus, on the grounds that the mother bas been baptized and will go to heaven, whereas the fetus has not and is condemned to limbo, if not to hell.[1],[2]

Calvinists would have no reason to favor mother or fetus, according to the doctrine of sovereign election. But for the Jews, once the child emerges it has equal rights with the mother and neither one may be sacrificed to save the other. Before that the mother’s fully developed, realized life takes precedence.

Every part of human life – even a doubtful, partial human life – has infinite value. This applies to a fetus as well.

However, there can be certain factors which may create an exception. For example, when partial life threatens a full life. The Talmud discusses a case where doctors say that if the mother continues with the pregnancy, she will die. In such a case, we kill the fetus in order to save the mother. Why? Because when the partial life of the fetus is weighed against the full life of the mother, we give precedence to saving the full life.

Each case must be decided individually by a rabbi well-versed in Jewish law.[3]

Judaism does not believe in the Christian concept of ensoulment, that at the time of conception the soul enters the embryo making that new life equivalent with a born person. In the earliest stages of pregnancy, up to 40 days post-conception, the fetus is considered “mere fluid” (Mishnah Niddah 3:7). However, after 40 days the fetus is considered formed and a woman who miscarries or aborts has to undergo the ritual cleansing process (mikveh) just as she would if a living child were born (Mishnah Kritot 1:3-6). In the Talmud Arakin 7a-b, the passage indicates it is permissible to desecrate the Shabbat to save the life of an unborn child. Further, while a traditional Jew is forbidden from carrying a knife on the Shabbat, a Jewish surgeon may do so, and use it, to save an unborn child’s life.

There are many passages in the Torah and Haftorah indicating a connection between the unborn child and the adult, a continuum in the life cycle that began prior to birth. Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one fashion us in the womb? (Job 31:15). Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you: I ordered you a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5). There is a preordained destiny that G-d intended for the prophet, crafted even before his birth. Also, the Biblical account of Rebecca’s unusual pregnancy connects fetal life with future events. In Parashas Toldos, the following verses relate the struggle between Jacob and Esau that began in the womb, foreshadowing their future rivalries and the conflicts between two nations:

The children agitated within her, and she said, “If so, why am I thus?” And she went to inquire of Hashem. And Hashem said to her: “Two nations are in your womb; two regimes from your insides shall be separated; the might shall pass from one regime to the other, and the elder shall serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:22-23).

The Stone edition of the Torah provides explanations on the above verses: “Jacob and Esau represented cosmic forces in Creation, forces that transcended the normal course of personality development, and that existed even before birth. Thus, the turmoil within her was due to the irreconcilable conflict between the two nations that was already taking shape.”

From the Soncino Books of the Bible; The Psalms: The entire passage from Psalm 139:13-18 provides intricate details of G-d’s handiwork in human creation. “For thou hast made my reins; (kidneys, internal organs) Thou hast knit me together in my mother’s womb” (v. 13). “My frame (skeleton) was not hidden from Thee, When I was made in secret (in the womb), And curiously wrought (embroidered, referring to the veins and arteries) in the lowest parts of the earth” (v. 15). “Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance (the embryo), And in Thy book they were all written” (v. 16). The Book referred to in Verse 16 is the “doctrine of predestination. G-d has a book in which is recorded against each person, from the embryonic stage, the number of days which would be lived.” (Commentaries and verses from the Soncino Books of the Bible, London: The Soncino Press, 1985, p. 453-454.)

It is clear that Hashem, our G-d, wanted to establish an association between fetal life and the destinies of individuals and events. Why else would so many textual passages continually refer to the unborn child in such detail? G-d could have easily begun the conflict between Jacob and Esau after their birth, yet He chose not to. The Torah portion indicates that the conflict began in Rebecca’s womb. Throughout Scriptural text, there is that same recurring theme of predestination; life before birth ordaining fate. [4]

If a fetus at conception has the same status as a full term baby, certain conclusions must inevitably follow:

  1. The fetus can never be justifiably aborted to save the life of the mother because its permission can not be secured.
  2. Every miscarriage should receive a formal burial.
  3. The fetus can never be justifiably aborted because of rape.
  4. Surrogate mothers must be provided for all multiple fertilized eggs created for the purposes of in vitro fertilization for couples unable to have children normally, or the practice prohibited.
  5. IUD’s for the prevention of pregnancy must never be used because they prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the womb.
  6. Both the abortionist and the mother should be subject to the death penalty.

REGARDING EXODUS 21

I think that it is incorrect to regard the incident recounted in Exodus 21 as an induced abortion.

“If men strive, and hurt a women with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life” (Ex.21:22-23).

Why are the words “if any mischief follow” used? Could not the writer have said “the child comes out and is alive” or the “child comes out and is dead”? No, what I observe here that what we are talking about is not a miscarriage, but a premature, live birth. I read it as follows:

“If her fruit depart from her (the child is born alive but prematurely) and no mischief follow” (the child remains healthy and lives) he shall be surely punished, (but not killed) according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.. If any mischief follow (the child born alive subsequently dies) then thou shalt give life for life (The man will pay with his life.)

As outlined earlier, the Jews did not, and do not judge a child in a womb to be a full person, and so their interpretation would not be that the woman gave birth to a stillborn (or aborted) fetus in this passage. Rather she gives birth to a live child, a legal person, who subsequently dies, and therefore it is considered murder.

But another question arises. Why was this not judged an accidental death? Today, surely it would be called manslaughter and the perpetrator would not be subject to the death penalty.In the Old Testament a man who accidentally kills another is subject to exile, not death.

Deuteronomy 19:5-7 5 As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbor, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:

Here we have an example of some one getting hit in the head with an ax and dying. These two people were neighbors and they did not hate each other. God says the person cutting the wood is not to be killed because there was no hate between them and this was an accident. The person cutting the wood had no intention of killing his friend. A person that kills someone on accident that they did not hate is to flee to a city of refuge and live.

6 Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past. 7 Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee.

The avenger of the blood is the closest living relative of the person that was killed. In the case of accidental death, the person that killed the other is not to die because they did not hate the one they killed. They are not worthy of death. [5]

So why is the man condemned to die in Exodus 21? At first glance this seems like a case of accidental death. But I must conclude that this case is additionally viewed as a case of death caused by depraved indifference. The men fighting did not consider that a pregnant woman was present and they should have considered her safety. So their negligence resulting in the death of a person (the child born alive) is murder and not accidental.

I think it is also important to note that throughout the history of the world and more specifically the United States, abortion has only been declared to be be murder in a few short lived and isolated cases. At all other times it has been generally viewed as a misdemeanor, and rarely enforced as such at that.

CONCLUSION If one is going make the claim that abortion is murder, one must acknowledge the political arguments that logically follow from that claim. Exodus 21 does not logically speak to abortion. The callous termination of millions upon millions of pregnancies for the sake of convenience shows a wanton disregard for the sanctity of life created by the Living God. and a rebellious, prideful, futile, attempt to frustrate His plan. It is subject to the judgment of God under the same spirit of judgment that Jesus outlines in the Sermon on the Mount.

Matt 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” NIV

But just as someone who is angry with his brother is not subject to an earthly sentence of death by a criminal court, so a mother who aborts her non-viable fetus is not subject to an earthly death sentence, even if she may be subject to God’s eternal judgment for counting her fetus’ life of little worth. It therefore follows that earthly governments that permit abortion doctors who perform abortions, and the women that have them, should not have to fear for the safety of their lives from honorable men, but may yet expect the censure and disapproval of their acts to be demonstrated socially, politically and economically. Still it should be that they may also expect to receive the gentle and humble witness of those who believe all life, and especially human life, should be counted of inestimable value.


[1]What Do Orthodox Jews Think About Abortion and Why?http://www.slate.com/id/1005956/

[2] The Catholic Church has since denied the existence of purgatory and limbo which had never

actually been part of its official doctrine.

[3] Ask the Rabbi -http://aish.com/rabbi/ATR_browse.asp?l=a&offset=1

[4] Is Judaism A Pro-Life Religion? http://www.jewsforlife.org/Judaism-pro-life-message.cfm

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About Louis William Rose

“I stand for Liberty. What I do for Liberty I do not do for profit or fame. I seek no office other than the office of parliamentarian, and no reward other than for myself and my fellow men and women to live in a free country.” Louis William Rose is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians, he lectures on the subject of parliamentary procedure and political process. He serves as parliamentarian for various organizations. A political philosopher, poet, singer, and writer, his articles have been published on-line and in pro-liberty papers in Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, and Montana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of North Florida, graduating summa cum laude in 2004. Mr. Rose is an outspoken supporter of the basic rights of man, especially freedom of speech, association, religion, individual rights to personal defense and property, and of republican, constitutional forms of government. Mr. Rose is an outspoken supporter of the basic rights of man, especially freedom of speech, association, religion, individual rights to personal defense and property, and of republican, constitutional forms of government. He is married to the lovely Jamy Sue Rose, an award winning nature photographer and a Florida Master Naturalist and guide. He has two sons, Edward, a local businessman, and Alexander, a successful real estate professional here in Jacksonville.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Essays, Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Political Theory, Social Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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