The patriarch Job considered himself to be a male human being from the time of his conception. As his troubles mounted, he stated: “May the day perish on which I was born, and the night in which it was said, ‘A male child is conceived’” (Job 3:3).
Our study has convinced us that Job was right. Life begins in the human embryo at conception and there is abundant evidence of that life soon afterward.
Three basic things are usually used to determine if life is present: breath, heartbeat, and brain function. Scientific medical evidence is abundant to prove that life is present in the developing human embryo very early in the conception to birth process. The heartbeat begins in the first month of development. Brain waves have been measured in the second month. Within the third month, the baby is breathing fluid and strengthening and developing his lungs. Fingernails are already present by this time. By the fourth month, he has eyelashes. All body systems are present by the second month, and all are working within the third.
Scientifically and medically, there is EVERY reason to believe that there is full life in the developing human fetus long before the time of birth.
More important to us, however, is the Bible evidence of life before birth. Several passages of Scripture indicate what every expectant mother already knows: there is movement in the womb before birth. See Gen. 25:21-22; 38:27-30, and Luke 1:36-44.
Rebekah’s children struggled within the womb. They were alive. Tamar’s children were alive before birth. John the Baptist leaped in his mother’s womb months before the time he came forth into the light of day. Movement proves life.
A second Bible proof of life before birth is that of the growth and development of the child between conception and birth. Mary, the mother of Jesus was described in Matt. 1:18, at the time of her conception, as being “with child,” (KJV). About nine months later, when it came time for her child to be born, she is described as being “GREAT with child,” (Luke 2:5, KJV). The difference, of course, was the growth of the child within her womb. Growth proves that life is present. Living things grow, lifeless things do not.
In Ecc. 11:5, Solomon wrote, “As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes all things.” We may not know HOW the bones grow in the womb of a woman with child, but we do know THAT they grow. And that growth is absolute proof that life is present.
Where There is Life, There is a Spirit
A soul or spirit must be imparted into a body to give it life. See 1 Kings 17:22; John 6:63; Luke 8:55. These and other verses establish the fact that a soul or spirit must be present in order for a human body to be alive. When the soul or spirit departs from a body, physical death is the immediate and certain result, Luke 23:46; Gen. 35:18.
It is important to note that some Bible passages view death from the standpoint of the body, and these verses speak of the soul or spirit departing. See Luke 12:20; James 2:26; Eccl. 12:7, etc. “No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit and no one has power in the day of death...” (Eccl. 8:8). Those passages that refer to death as a “sleep” are viewing death from the standpoint of the body.
The Spirit in the Human Fetus is a Human Spirit
Some have admitted that there is life of some sort in the developing human fetus, but have denied that it is fully human. We note four Bible proofs that the life in the human fetus is human life, therefore the spirit that sustains that life is a human spirit.
First, the flesh of the human fetus is human flesh. It can be scientifically distinguished from the flesh of any other creature. Even from the formation of the first complete cell, the human embryo is distinctly human. The apostle Paul was right on target when he wrote, “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish and another of birds” (1 Cor. 15:39). Since the flesh of the human fetus is human flesh, the life in the human fetus is human life.
Secondly, the blood of the human fetus is human blood. Just as scientists can distinguish human flesh from that of any other being, so also, they can recognize human blood from any other. Again the apostle was correct when he wrote that God “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth...” (Acts 17:26). Though there are different “types” (A, B, O, etc.) and though each “type” can be either positive or negative, the blood of all human beings is on the one human kind — the “one blood” of Acts 17:26. The baby will always have the same KIND of blood as his mother, the human kind. But he will not always have the same “type” as his mother, because it is distinctly his own blood. Almost 1,500 years before the birth of Jesus, God revealed that the life of all flesh is in its blood, Lev. 17:13-14. Since the flesh of the human fetus is human flesh, the blood of the human fetus is human blood, and the life is in the blood, therefore the life in the developing human child is human life.
Thirdly, we note that the parents of the developing child are human. At the time of creation, God put within each form of life to reproduce after its own kind, Gen. 1:11, 21, 24, etc. Since the mother of the fetus is human and the father of the fetus is human, the life in that developing child cannot be anything but human.
Fourthly, we note that Luke, qualified both by his profession as a physician (Col. 4:14), and by Divine inspiration, used the Greek word, BREPHOS in Luke 1:36-44 to describe John the Baptist in his sixth month of development. Later, the same writer used the same Greek word to describe the infants slain at Pharaoh’s command in ancient Egypt, Acts 7:19.
Abortion Destroys Innocent Human Life
There are several types of induced abortion. Some are more gory than others. But they all have one thing in common — they snuff out innocent human life.
Answering a Few Questions
1. What if the mother’s life is in danger? Answer: If the physician can save only one life, he should save that one. If he can save both mother and child, he should do so.
2. What if the mother’s mental health might be endangered by having a child? Answer: How can we know that killing that child will not endanger her mental health? And, what if her husband endangers her mental health? Should he be killed, too?
3. What if the conception is a result of rape? Answer: We sympathize with the mother, but we fail to see how killing her child is a solution. We can understand why a mother, under such circumstances might not want to rear that child and have a constant reminder of the violent crime committed against her, but we suggest that the child be allowed to live and be put up for adoption to parents who will love and welcome him/her into a loving family relationship.
4. What if the child is a product of an incestuous relationship, perhaps destined to be deformed or disabled? Answer: Who are we to decide whether that child’s life will be meaningful? Helen Keller, Beethoven, and thousands of others would certainly challenge our decision that the lives of handicapped individuals are not meaningful.
5. What if the child is unwanted? Answer: He isn’t. He may not be wanted by his biological parents, but throughout this land there are hundreds of qualified individuals on waiting lists, seeking to adopt a child that will be loved and wanted. There are very few children, if any, who war not wanted by someone.
6. Shouldn’t a woman have a right to control her own body? Answer: Yes, and if she will do so, she will not be seeking an abortion. The fact of the matter is, the developing child is attached to her mother, but she is not a part of her mother’s body. The mother’s body was complete before the child was conceived, and will still be complete after the baby is born or aborted. That baby is a distinctly unique individual with her own heart, lungs, brain, blood, etc. Certainly a woman may control her own body, even to the point of deciding not to conceive, but once she has conceived a child in the image of God, she cannot rightly and willingly snuff out that innocent human life.
7. Isn’t abortion just another form of birth control, or, are you against that, too? Answer: We are not opposed to forms of birth control that prevent conception. We must oppose killing those who have already been conceived. Induced abortion is not an acceptable form of birth control.
We have given an abundance of irrefutable proofs that there is full human life in the developing child long before birth. If you doubt that proof, please give life the benefit of that doubt. Please refrain from harming that developing human baby until you can be absolutely certain that she is not a living human being made in the image of Almighty God.
We close with three warnings from God’s word:
Ex. 23:7, “Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked.”
Deut. 27:25, “Cursed is the one who takes a bribe (reward, KJV) to slay the innocent person...”
Joel 3:19, “Egypt shall be a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, because of violence against the people of Judah, for they have shed innocent blood in their land.”