This 1550 word post constitutes the first section of seven for the Pamphlet “21st Century Tract”
Induced Abortion is the process of deliberate intervention to terminate pregnancy in a woman. It is ordinarily referred to simply as “abortion” while miscarriage is the usual term for spontaneous abortion.
Today, Abortion is being presented as a woman’s Right i.e. she alone possesses the moral authority to decide to continue or to end her pregnancy. The state of pregnancy occurs within her body and nowhere else. It is therefore a matter of her health, and no-one else’s. Her individual rights are at stake. Any attempt to prevent her having an abortion is to deny a woman her rights and her ability to control what happens to her own body.
The denial of proper medical facilities to women seeking an abortion leaves them with a clear and unenviable choice. Either, have the child against their will – and that will is a result of a range of worries, from her financial and career situation to becoming dependent on a man with whom she is not prepared to settle in permanent relationship. Or else, she must resort to unskilled, or semiskilled persons who carry out such interventions in return for money. This last option can result in serious complications for the woman’s health; some have been known to die, and too many can end up being physically damaged, even unable to have a child at some later date.
The argument for Abortion is powerful, emotional and very practical. It is not to be treated lightly.
That is why nations whose historic tradition was broadly Christian and therefore anti-abortion, began in the 1960s and 1970s to liberalise laws which prohibited abortion.
Britain did so in 1967 when it passed an Abortion Act. This Act granted a de facto right, but not a technical right, to abortion. It was a typically pragmatic approach which recognised the realities around illegal and dangerous, “back street abortions”. It provided for induced abortion by registered medical practitioners where two of them agree that the physical or mental welfare of the woman is at stake. The intention was clear. If a woman was intent upon an abortion, her health should not be put in question, and she should not be obliged to resort to dangerous and illegal amateurs – as happens when abortion is prohibited.
France followed suit with its own law in 1975, while the United States Supreme Court had ruled in 1973 in the case of Roe versus Wade that a woman was at liberty to have an abortion.
But this is not the whole story. Abortion remains for many an immoral and usually unjustifiable act. The question is:-
“Why should that be so ?”
The answer lies in the underlying moral issues in play. Those moral issues reflect the philosophical clash which this tract and this website seek to explain. Indeed, this writer regards induced abortion as the quintessential manifestation of Materialism. As such it exposes the fundamental issues arising from Materialism and throws into relief the contrary philosophy of Philotheism. It also marks the turning point of influence which the two antagonistic philosophies represent. Materialism manifestly became the dominant religious influence in western society when induced abortion was ‘legalised’.
Induced abortion is the deliberate destruction of the developing life in the womb of a woman whose relationship to the developing child is that of the mother. This is scientific and psychological fact.
No life exists before conception – i.e. the point when the male sperm penetrates the female ovum. Life exists after that point, not before, and that life will be according to the type of sperm and egg supplied; it can be no other. The developing life is a life; it is not viable of itself, but it is a life which will become a viable, independent human being – an independence and viability which does not occur until some years after birth.
This is scientific fact. It is also true relationally and psychologically. When the mother wants the child, she refers to it as her baby. When she does not want to continue the pregnancy, the language changes and it invariably becomes a “foetus”.
The facts of the matter, however, remain unchanged. It is the perception which changes. And that perception is predicated on desire, not on the facts. Even so, Materialists argue vehemently that no life exists and that people who talk like this are being “emotional”. Materialists will even contradict the scientific fact that life begins at conception – the beginning of the normal process of 9 months development in the womb before birth.
This is a very serious point and it goes to the heart of the psychology arising from the Materialist view of life.
The Materialist only sees – and therefore only values – the Material ! Atoms, molecules and their various assemblages together are the sum total of our existence. Everything in life is explained in these terms because such terms describe what demonstrably exists. The material, physical world can be tested and proven by scientific means. All else cannot; all else, therefore, does not exist.
But Philotheism maintains, however, that our existence has an unseen and non-material, spiritual dimension. Indeed, that spiritual dimension is prior and superior to the material world we see and touch.
Philotheism therefore both recognises the broader aspects of our existence, and also their vital significance for us.
A human pregnancy is therefore much, much more than the physical state of being pregnant with a bundle of atoms still forming into recognisable human form.
In the first instance, there is the independent identity of a new human being, not just in physical terms of a unique genetic bundle, but of a unique person with inherited characteristics and an independent SOUL granted by our CREATOR.
That this is so accords with our sense of identity as human beings, and with our inter-relationship as human beings in families and ethnic types.
The Materialist views the process of abortion as simply a surgical procedure. That, however, is far from the entire truth of the matter. We have already spoken of the unborn child’s existence as human. That cannot be denied – except by those who refuse to see the comprehensive truth of the matter.
Our fundamental experience of life about us, and the fact that our Creator has made us to be social beings, both these tell us that both relationships and psychology are at work here.
The first is the mother and the developing child in the womb. The psychological consequences of medical termination of a pregnancy should not be underestimated. How many women are scarred psychologically by this experience of induced abortion?
The focus on woman+foetus in the world view of the Materialist fits perfectly the notion of chemicals in the test tube environment called the uterus. From this subliminal notion arises a morality of pure utility with absolutely no room for the perfectly normal human feelings around the event of a pregnancy in the family.
Apart from the fact of a new life emerging, and apart from the fact of a mother’s relationship with her child, there are also wider relationships concerned: the relationship of the father with the mother and the child; the relationship of the respective grandparents – the parents of the mother and of the father – and all their inter-relationships.
The fact of those fundamental relationships between human beings with souls and spirits is totally excluded from the Equation made by the Materialist mindset.
This censorship of the facts about our existence is both typical and symptomatic of the Materialist religion. Yes, it is a religion because it demands human allegiance to its tenets as a moral obligation above all other obligations.
Around the issue of abortion, we see the religous nature and demands of Materialism at work. We see, too, how callous and how dangerous it can be.
The priesthood of Materialism demand that no-one has the right of conscientious objection to involvement in abortion. A doctor or a nurse is required to participate in this “procedure” as if it were just like any other surgical intervention. Christians have lost their jobs or been forced to resign for refusing to participate in what they regard as murder.
Viewed from the perspective of the Philotheist, however, we see that abortion looks too much like a human sacrifice to the SELF god. The woman refuses to accept and fulfil her God given role to bear a child, having become pregnant [normally the result of exercising her initial right to choose to have a sexual relationship].
Materialism demands that a woman reinvent herself as her own god, made in the image of the merely Material world. She can choose to terminate the unborn life or to prolong it. She is god over her own life, and god over her child’s life. She is not answerable to her Creator as the Primary agent of the new child’s existence. She herself is the begining and end of her own existence. She answers only to herself. She does not answer to the father, to the grandparents, nor indeed to her Creator; she answers only to herself.
In the philotheistic worldview, however, she must answer to God who is the Author of the new life in her womb, and who has placed a sense of maternal responsibility in her heart.