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Note: How we view origins also affects how we approach abortion.  If origins of the universe, the earth, and life are more acurately rooted in metaphysical naturalistic explanations, then that worldview can also be applied to the question of when human life begins or originates.  ~ Biomed  

 

 

 

God is the Greatest Abortionist

 

John Shook, Ph.D.  ~  April 27, 2011

 

             

If there is a God, does this God choose life?

 

Not really. For example, God is the world’s greatest abortionist, and God evidently hates babies.

 

How many embryos and fetuses never make it to birth?  How many babies die in natural childbirth?  How many infants die before reaching age five?  The statistics are not good.  The most hazardous journey of life is the first few months. According to the calculations of Gregory Paul (see his published articles here), who used the best figures from embryology and neonatal doctors, as few as one-quarter of all conceptions avoid reabsorption or miscarriage, and of those fetuses that do make it to full-term, another large percentage die during natural childbirth.  It’s obvious that embryos are not well-designed for making it to infancy.

 

The female body was not well-designed for childbirth, either, since the ratio of fetal skull size to female hip size doesn’t make for great odds for the mother.  Every year, more than half a million women die in pregnancy or childbirth.  Natural evolution, not religion, explains the tough compromises forced on the human body, and why few embryos make it to infancy and so many mothers die in the process.

 

Although the odds of a fertilized egg making it to a live birth are less than 1 in 5, another hazardous journey through infancy lies ahead.  Before modern medicine, around 20% of children in England and the United States died before the age of five, and that number was much higher in pre-industrial societies.  For most of the existence of our human species, over the past one hundred thousand years or so, probably only around half of all born babies reached the age of five.

 

All these poor odds add up to the fact that for most of human existence there had to be 10 pregnancies or more to guarantee the life of a single five year old child. But that’s because humanity came into existence through natural evolution. And for those who think that God used natural evolution to create us, they need to wake up to the way that God could not be anything like the loving person who believers want to worship.

 

And worship and prayer does nothing to help these terrible odds against life.  Only in modern industrialized countries using secular scientific medicine do we see infant mortality rates dramatically reduced.  However, it remains generally true that countries with higher rates of religious faith have higher rates of infant mortality.  Is that part of God’s plan too?

 

Printed in full. Original article:  Link

 

 

 

‘It’s a BA-by!’

 

Richard T. Hull

 

What follows is a fictional account of three conversations between a secular ethicist (whose wife happens to be a scientist) and a Roman Catholic abortion protester. While the characters are also fictional, the protester’s arguments reflect current Roman Catholic doctrine regarding the issues involved.—Eds.

 

Randall Terry had brought Project Rescue to Buffalo some years earlier, in 1992, organizing a series of demonstrations against abortion clinics, and had been met by pro- choice advocates such as Buffalo United for Choice. That controversy, and the subsequent assassination of Dr. Barnett Slepian in 1998 in his Amherst home by James Kopp, was long past. The current generation of college students knew little of those tense days. Occasional demonstrations still occurred outside clinics, but they lacked the violence and cacophony of the earlier times.

 

As I was teaching a bioethics course at the University at Buffalo, I went down to the site of one of the ongoing demonstrations to gather “color” for my course and to see if I could engage any of the demonstrators in useful dialogue.

 

I’d long been puzzled by what seemed to me a disconnect between prolife rhetoric about abortion and what I knew of the scientific facts. I’m married to a scientist whose specialty is reproductive physiology, and she has been the source of my education, such as it is, on the subject of reproduction—not only as my wife and the mother of my son, but also as my teacher.

 

So I was eager to find a prolife advocate who was knowledgeable about that position’s arguments with whom I could engage in some kind of probing exploration of its presuppositions. This group of demonstrators, I hoped, would yield such a discussant.

 

When I arrived at the site, a small park across the street from an ob/gyn clinic, seven demonstrators were marching in a rough circle in the parking lot, carrying various placards with pictures of aborted fetuses and slogans such as “Abortion Is Murder!”

 

One lady, dressed in a flower-print dress, a hat, white gloves, and crew socks and sneakers, caught my interest. She joined the others in chanting several slogans: “It’s a BA-by!” “Stem cells are murder!” “Abortion is murder!”

 

I watched for fifteen minutes or so, and then the group appeared to break for a rest. The lady moved away from the others to sit on a park bench and take some sips from a bottle of water. She looked a bit tired. I decided to ask her some questions and slowly approached her so as not to be alarming.

 

“’Scuse me, but could I ask you a few questions?” Not waiting for a reply, I went on. “I was listening to your slogan of ‘It’s a BA-by!’ and I wanted to ask you about it.”

 

She patted the bench next to her, indicating that I could sit.

 

“I’ve been studying some material at the university on human reproduction,” I began, “and also religious material from some Catholic publications. I’m puzzled about some things and thought that you might be able to help me understand them better. I teach medical ethics at the university to undergraduates, and I am always looking for greater clarity on the issues we cover.”

 

She brightened. “I’d be happy to talk to you, although I don’t know whether I can convince you of anything.”

 

I said, “Well, I’m really looking for information and understanding. Any convincing will have to wait until I’m better equipped to be convinced!”

 

She said, “Well, what do you want to know?”

 

“Let me see if I can state your position accurately for starters,” I began. “If I can do that, maybe I can clarify what puzzles me about it.”

 

She asked, “Are you Catholic?”

 

I said, “No, but I do read a lot of Catholic publications. They are interesting and raise a lot of questions in my mind.”

 

“Well, go ahead then,” she said. “I’ll see if you understand the Catholic view.”

 

I began. “Let’s see if I understand things as you see them. You think that fertilization of the woman’s egg occurs at the instant the sperm penetrates it and that this is the moment at which the unique, individual soul first becomes associated with the body, the point when a single, genetically unique individual human being comes into existence.”

 

She said, “Correct so far! The baby exists from the moment of conception.”

 

I continued. “I’ll get to conception in a moment. This product of fertilization, you hold, is identical with the infant that would be born if the natural course of gestation were not interrupted. Right?”

 

She nodded vigorously.

 

“So, anything ‘numerically’ identical with a human infant is itself that human being, whatever its apparent differences. Even though this is a one-celled thing, because it has a soul that will direct the development of the pre-embryo throughout gestation and continue in the body throughout the individual’s life and because it is genetically identical with the baby that would be born in nine months if nothing interrupts the pregnancy, it is that baby. That’s what you mean by the slogan you keep repeating: ‘It’s a BA-by!’ Correct?”

 

She smiled. “You understand me better than my husband!” she said.

 

I went on. “Now, from these claims you conclude that (1) abortion at any time during pregnancy kills a human being; (2) contraceptive measures that prevent the fertilized ovum’s implantation involve serious child abuse that results in the child’s death; and (3) creating fertilized ova as sources for stem cells involves the creation of human beings to be exploited and ultimately destroyed. Am I correct in drawing those conclusions from the earlier statements that we agreed you believe?”

 

She drew herself up. “Those are all facts about abortion and contraception and embryonic stem cells that Father Tom has explained over and over in his homilies.”

 

I said, “Good! Now that I have the basics of your view right, let me tell you what happened to me when I compared this conservative view with the scientific facts that my wife has been teaching me. Because it seems to me that some of the scientific facts clash with these beliefs of yours.”

 

Continued in original article  ----  Link   (hint - look for "I said, 'Good!.... left hand margin or the (1), (2), and (3) characters two paragraphs above the ending here)

 

Also, see article on abortion, conception and chimerism:  Link