Monday, October 10, 2011

When is a person a person? Mississippi Personhood Initiative will define that

The 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision at the Supreme Court held that a "person has a right to abortion up until viability. The Roe decision defined "viable" as the baby being "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid," adding that viability "is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks." In effect, the Court laid its laurels on the Constitution's 14th amendment concept of personal liberty (for the mother). By default the baby had no rights to personal liberty until it was "viable." (my interpretation).

'Viability' also goes to personhood. If a baby cannot live on its own outside the womb, it is not really a person. Dehumanizing a child was a stroke of genius for the abortion proponents, lawyers, and judges, because if a person is not a person, you are not murdering him. Though the Court sought to be precise, leaving wiggle room of that month between the 24th week and 28th week shows just how foolish it is that humans attempt to define the creation, growth, and viability of life. Only God can do that.

Mississippi wants to change the definition of a person through a proposed Constitutional amendment.

Ina proposal to change the State's constitution, the Personhood Initiative seeks to define someone as a person from the moment of conception. "The amendment seeks to define a "person" as beginning at the point of "fertilization," and Mississippi could become the first state to successfully adopt it. Both major party candidates for governor and attorney general are backing the effort, as well as other state officials and candidates."

Opponents immediately challenged the initiative all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court, but "The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that the proposed amendment can be on the ballot in November." Opponents say "This is not about pro-life or pro-choice. It's not about abortion," said Stan Flint of Mississippians for Healthy Families. "It's about allowing politicians to reach into personal family decisions."

However, the Government already reaches into families for personal decisions by deciding on a point that a baby changes from a non-human to a human, defining that a baby is human (viable) after 28 weeks, as Roe V Wade asserted. In the MI Clarion Ledger article, opponents say "But some medical and legal experts say the initiative could have unintended consequences that reach beyond outlawing abortion. "Part of the concern is that it's not entirely clear what will happen if this passes," said Mississippi College School of Law professor Jonathan Will, who leads MC's Bioethics and Health Law Center."

Of course, where were the thoughtful sober and grave legalists when Roe V Wade changed the law for all the United States and attempted to determine human life's 'viability', 40 years ago? And with the advancement of science, viability has dropped from 28 weeks to in some recent cases, 23 weeks.

The battle in Mississippi is heating up. Depending on how the November 8 proposal to amend the Constitution vote goes, "The measure could appear on ballots in up to 16 states next year, including Arkansas, Florida, Ohio and Oklahoma."

Man is blinded by his sin nature and thus is foolish concerning the things of God, until and unless he is saved by faith in Jesus the Savior. At that time the blinders fall off, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (Ez 36:26) At that time a person lives his or her life according to the standards God laid down in the bible. However, even those people who are not born again are still responsible for their actions and their crimes against God. Ignorance of God's standards is no excuse.

So what does the bible have to say about it? The Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM) points out:

"The Bible does not specifically mention the word abortion, but it has a number of significant things to say about unborn children. These Biblical statements indicate that the unborn are persons. Therefore, abortion is wrong since it is killing a human being. A simplified form of our argument is the following:

Premise #1: It is wrong to murder a person.
Premise #2: The unborn is a person.
Conclusion: Therefore, it is wrong to murder the unborn.

Premise #1: It is wrong to murder a person.

There are few objections to the notion that it is wrong to murder a person. Murder is the unlawful taking of someone’s life, while killing is the lawful taking of someone’s life. For just a small sample of the Biblical passages forbidding murder, see Gen. 9:6; Mt. 15:19; 19:18; Mk. 10:19; Lk. 18:20; Jn. 8:44; Acts 3:14; and Rom. 1:28-29; 13:9.

Premise #2: The unborn is a person.

It is this premise which is disputed by many in our culture today. However, the Bible clearly teaches that the unborn is a person due to the following reasons.

Possession of Personal Attributes

First, the unborn possesses personal attributes such as sin and joy. In Psalm 51:5, David says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” In Luke 1:44, “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.”

Described by Personal Pronouns

Second, the Bible also uses personal pronouns to describe unborn children. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Matthew 1:20-21 states, “But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’”

Jesus: A Baby at Conception

Third, regarding the conception of Jesus, Matthew 1:20 says, “But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.’” The fact that the angel tells Joseph that “the Child who has been conceived” is “of the Holy Spirit” indicates that Jesus certainly was a person at the moment of conception."

Called Children

Fourth, the unborn are called children. Luke 1:41 states, “When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (1:44).”

Protected by the same Punishment as for Adults

Fifth, perhaps the strongest argument against abortion from Scripture is the fact that the same punishment is applicable to someone who kills or injures an unborn child as for one who kills or injures an adult. Exodus 21:22-23 states, “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 . . . .” This strongly indicates that the Mosaic Law viewed the unborn as persons worthy of the same protection and rights as adults.

Called by God before Birth

Sixth, the unborn are even called by God before birth. Almost echoing the prophetic commission of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, Isaiah 49:1 says, “Listen to me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar, the LORD called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He named me.”

Known Personally by God just like any other Person

Seventh, the unborn are known personally and intimately by God in the same way He would know any other person. Describing David, Psalm 139:15-16 says, “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written; the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Describing the prophet Jeremiah, Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Conclusion

The Bible definitely teaches that the unborn are persons because the unborn possess personal attributes, are described by personal pronouns, Jesus is called a child at conception, the unborn are called children, are protected by the same punishment as for adults, are called by God before birth, and are known personally by God just like any other person. Since abortion is murdering a person, abortion is morally wrong (Gen. 9:6; Rom. 1:28-29)."

----end CARM apologetics-------

Please pray for discernment and God's will about the Personhood Initiative. I believe the bible shows us that a person is a person immediately upon conception. I believe that God's will is for us to know Him and abide by His standards and morals. I believe killing an unborn child is morally wrong. I pray that the people of Mississippi and other states make this stand as well through voting for the Personhood Initiative.


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