[41] When is abortion murder?

President Bill Clinton asks the following question in his book: My Life...

"Everyone knows life begins biologically at conception. No one knows when biology turns into humanity. Most abortions that don't involve the life or health of the mother are chosen by scared young women and girls who don't know what else to do. It is hard to apply the criminal law to acts that a substantial portion of the citizenry doesn't believe should be labeled crimes."

But there is one who knows when biology turns into humanity, when a body becomes a soul. That same one has commanded us not to kill, and since under the law of Moses a man who even accidentally hit a pregnant woman and caused a miscarriage was to be stoned, it would be negligent of God not to include in the scriptures a way of determining at what point the embryo or foetus becomes a soul, having a human spirit within it. 

22 And in case men should struggle with each other and they really hurt a pregnant woman and her children do come out but no fatal accident occurs, he is to have damages imposed upon him without fail according to what the owner of the woman may lay upon him; and he must give it through the justices.
23 But if a fatal accident should occur, then you must give soul for soul (Exodus 21).

Now the way that Bill Clinton and most other politicians have gone about solving this problem is by consulting doctors, biologists and opinion pollsters. The way that George Bush and a few other politicians have gone about solving this problem is by consulting blind religious leaders. What we are going to do is consult God directly, and cut out every middle man. We will do this by looking at his book, knowing in faith that a loving God would not leave us in the dark as regards matters involving the life and death of our kids.

At first sight, a read of Exodus 21 would indicate that all abortion is murder. But the scripture says you must give soul for soul and we know that a soul is a body with a spirit within it - I9. So actually Exodus 21 is saying that abortion is murder once the embryo or foetus has become a soul. So Bill Clinton, the President who is represented by the media as being less religious than George Bush, has actually quoted the Law of Moses directly, not because he knew that Law, but because he knows a bit about people and about fairness and about common sense (and about women).

So where do we start our search for the soul of a baby? Well, consider this...

21 When Reuben heard this he tried to deliver him out of their hand. So he said: Let us not strike his soul fatally.
22 And Reuben went on to say to them: Do not spill blood. Pitch him into this waterpit which is in the wilderness and do not lay a violent hand upon him. His purpose was to deliver him out of their hand in order to return him to his father (Genesis 37).

So striking a soul fatally, is spilling blood. If you kill a soul, if you spill blood in this way, you become bloodguilty...

19 Oh that you, Oh God, would slay the wicked one! Then even the bloodguilty men will certainly depart from me (Psalm 139). 

But how can you be bloodguilty for killing an embryo before it develops any blood? How do you spill the blood of a bloodless embryo? Evidently you cannot. So there is no bloodguilt for murder before the embryo develops a blood supply. If you visit www.pregnancy.org or www.babycentre.co.uk you will discover that the heart starts to pump blood around the embryo in week 5. These weeks are measured from the last menstruation that actually occurred. So this is week 3 after conception. So before week 5, abortion is not murder. The heartbeat becomes regular and the 4 chambers of the heart are formed in week 6 and the brain starts growing, presumably thanks to the blood supply. So week 6 looks like a good candidate for the week in which the embryo becomes a soul at this point. But the spirit of a human being is determined not by the body but by the head. The body is merely a vehicle for the head. So once the heart is pumping blood around the brain, then we have a human soul. But there is more to consider...

7 And Jehovah God proceeded to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man came to be a living soul (Genesis 2).

The first time you read this you imagine yourself in a Sci-Fi movie with God creating the body of Adam fully formed as a man and then lifting his limp lifeless flesh up onto its feet and blowing into its nostrils at which point the body comes to life, wakes up and says: I am carbon unit 3 of 7.

But we know that it did not happen like that. We know that Adam was created in the same manner that Jesus was - I6. So God formed Adam in the womb of his surrogate mother by in vivo fertilisation - Intro17. Then later, in the womb, he blew the spirit of life into his nostrils. But you cannot blow life into a baby's nostrils before the baby has developed any nostrils. So when does the human embryo develop nostrils? Well the answer is that they start being formed in the 6th week, but they are fully formed in the 9th/10th week www.pregnancy.org

To summarize the above...

11 For the soul of the flesh is in the blood, and I myself have put it upon the altar for you to make atonement for your souls, because it is the blood that makes atonement by the soul [in it] (Leviticus 17).

So before the foetus develops a blood supply, it has no soul. It is obvious that one cannot be held bloodguilty for killing an organism which has no blood. This is why Gabriel said to Mary:

Through which also the holy [thing] being generated will be called, Son of God. (Luke 1:35).

At conception the embryo is a 'thing' neuter in the Greek. It has no soul, no spirit exists in it.

But there is much more to consider - see joining [J13]