A Look At Fetal Deformity: Handicap No Justification for Abortion or Infanticide
In 1971, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution on abortion which called upon society to affirm “a high view of the sanctity of human life” but to “work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.”
Forty years experience has shown that to only permit abortions for the health of the mother as defined above is equivalent to outlawing abortion, except for when somebody wants one. Although the SBC reaffirmed this position in 1974, by 1980 a pro-life position won out:
“We favor appropriate legislation and/or a constitutional amendment prohibiting abortion except to save the life of the mother”
It wasn’t until 1982 that they decried the withholding of care for “defective newly born infants”.
Chet McDoniel was one of those infants left do die. He was born in 1980 without any arms and very short legs. Though the attending physician left him to die in a crib for newborns, his parents fought for his life and raised him up with the truth that “though you look, you aren’t different”. As a Christian, Chet recognizes that with the images of sonograms regularly shown to parents of unborn children, most babies with the disabilities he has are likely to be destroyed in the womb.
But who makes man the way that he is? It is God. Often Psalm 139:14 is quoted emphasizing that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, but the other verses tell the whole tale. Every part of our development is at the hand of God:
14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
God is not just referring to athletic types or future prom queens when he says we were wondrously made. The confirms that even those we consider handicapped were fashioned by God:
And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
Taking note of someone’s disability or malformity is no excuse to put them to death, on the contrary, God requires taking special care of those who have disabilities:
Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD (Leviticus 19:14).
Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen (Deuteronomy 27:18).
Long before he started killing Jews and Gypsies, Adolph Hitler ordered the deaths of those who had “lives that weren’t worth living” (the handicapped, bed wetters, those soldiers maimed in WWI), but the Christian realizes that in Christ, every life is worth living.
That is why we are Pro-life. No exceptions.
- The Foundation of Abortion Rights Advocacy (rightonlife.org)
- Pat Robertson Attacks Heart of Pro-Life Movement. Says Alzheimer’s Patients are Gone, Gone, Gone. (caffeinatedthought.com)