Friday, May 17, 2019

Spontaneous abortion and induced abortion

A common argument that abortionists deploy against Christians is the phenomenon of miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. They say God is the greatest abortionist of all, given the number of miscarriages. Therefore, opposing abortion is tantamount to opposing God. I've discussed this before, but I'd like to add some additional considerations:

i) Scripture treats miscarriage as a tragedy. Therefore, the fact that miscarriage occurs in the course of ordinary providence doesn't mean it's good, from a biblical perspective.

ii) In Scripture, the fact that something providentially occurs doesn't automatically mean we have no duty to infer with it. For one thing, we live in a fallen world. Death is a providential event, yet Scripture treats death as evil. Providence by itself is not a reliable guide to our duties.

iii) Miscarriage is one of many natural causes of death. But in general, we don't think the fact that some deaths are due to natural causes is a reason to accept the status quo. Much of medical science is directed at preventing death by natural causes, where possible. Death by disease is natural or providential. That's no different from miscarriage. 

iv) Scripture treats disease as a natural evil, yet Scripture also has cases of miraculous healing. So healing isn't impious. 

v) Insofar as many miscarriages are beyond the ability of medical science (at present) to prevent, there's no duty to prevent them. That doesn't mean there's no obligation to save individuals from gratuitous death, where that's preventable. 

vi) In a fallen world, combatting providential evil can be a good thing. For instance, it cultivates soul-building virtues. God puts some obstacles in our way in order for us to overcome the obstacles. 

vii) There's a sense in which some deaths are morally worse than others. Murder is worse than accidental death. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm also seeing a lot of arguments to the effect of, "if conservatives really wanted to stop abortions they would promote free contraceptives, free pregnancy counselling, etc."

    Now, supporting godly pregnancy/family planning centres is good but the argument doesn't really follow. We don't make a laundry list of demands for other kinds of murder. All that's necessary for conservatives wanting to prevent murder is to enact laws that prevent it.

    Presumably, the left doesn't want black people murdered. Have they then provided free counselling to white supremacists? Free armed escorts for minorities?