Let me say frankly, there never should be a total ban on abortion, completely outlawing it, nor should there be a death penalty for breaking such a law! Lamb’s Harbinger (LH) affirms a woman’s choice to abort, but only in certain circumstances (see below). I also uphold the sanctity and preservation of all life, whenever and wherever possible.
- Lamb’s Harbinger 100% affirms sex education should be taught alongside the value of selfless love and keeping covenant. To be plain, don’t have sex, unless you can responsibly provide for all the potential results of it (positive or negative) and unless you have a demonstrably equally committed and selflessly loving partner, who is willing and able to do the same. No reasonable person views abortion as a matter of convenience! When abortion is treated as such, it is indeed murderous (a premeditated elimination of the natural course of life due to selfish motivation/intent).
- Lamb’s Harbinger 100% affirms the use of contraceptives. However, just as sex education should be taught, alongside the value of selfless love and keeping covenant, contraceptives should not be abused as a means for “protection” or “safe sex,” in the cases of promiscuity, philandering and hookup culture. Contraceptives are most ideally used for family planning and for health within the context of fully committed relationship.
- Lamb’s Harbinger is Graded Pro-life, regarding abortion. According to a Christian approach of ethics, called graded absolutism or contextual absolutism, it is sometimes necessary to choose a greater good in the face of a dilemma of evils. In the case of abortion, one who is “graded pro-life” will affirm abortion, only when that abortion is performed in the context of the very rare case of endangerment of a mother’s life and/or prolonging the suffering of a fetus or mother in terminal diagnosis cases, which can occur from conception by crime (ex. incest, rape, child prostitution). In these situations, the choice to abort is a merciful one and best determined by the woman at the consultation of her doctor(s) and should be considered an event as natural as biological abortion. An abortion no later than 3 weeks from conception is highly preferred for its ease on the female and the state of fetus development.
- Aborted fetuses do not go to “Hell,” as erroneous theologies like ridiculous Calvinism, or broader Augustinian Original Sin, may assert.
- Lamb’s Harbinger rejects and strongly denounces abortion in cases of fetal non-terminal, congenital disease or deformity (ex. Down’s Syndrome). However, LH affirms the use of all kinds of medical treatment, surgery and the potential of gene therapy to remedy these maladies in individual persons and not on the germ line, embryonic level.
- Lamb’s Harbinger 100% affirms domestic (same country/culture) adoption, which is not a money racket or legalized human trafficking.
- Lamb’s Harbinger rejects and denounces a death penalty for any crime, especially for abortion, in accordance to a consistently pro-life and non-violence ethics. Lamb’s Harbinger likewise denounces and rejects political lobbying and the creation of religious super-pacts by “the Church,” in order to force disbelieving society into norms meant only for believers (those identifying as “in Christ”).
Inherent Biological Information
A zygote (single cell, fertilized egg) contains 46 chromosomes in pairs, enough to comprise an autonomous set of human DNA, at the moment of conception. The unique combination of 23 chromosome pairs, which make up an individual human in sex and other physical traits is concrete at conception, when an measurable exchange happens the moment a sperm penetrates an egg (no spark or light). It can be stated and scientifically upheld that the process of human development has been initiated at conception. Also, it can be said that, given full gestation, the zygote will have become a fully developed, completely unique human being. But, can one argue that a human being is present at conception?
Admittedly, the zygote starts off as one, singular cell. But, the mystery of life is that said cell contains enough inherent and autonomous information in its unique set of DNA to begin interacting with its mother’s biome, sending and receiving chemical, hormonal exchanges, which both initiate and encourage the zygote to split and become a distinctly human, multi-cell organism, multiplying in an orderly and systematized fashion, and—again—if left alone in ideal conditions, will become a fully developed, completely unique human being.
a human being is the immediate product of fertilization. As such he/she is a single-cell embryonic zygote, an organism with 46 chromosomes, the number required of a member of the human species. This human being immediately produces specifically human proteins and enzymes, directs his/her own further growth and development as human, and is a new, genetically unique, newly existing, live human individual. —Diane Irving, Ph.D. https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/wdhbb.html
One has to pause long enough to ask, “where does this inherent information, “programmed” in a freshly and fully synthesized for cleavage [3-10hrs at earliest, 12 hrs at latest ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/9238696)] set of DNA, come from?” [See Stephen C. Meyer]
Also, if the human life is like computer software and physical anatomy is like computer hardware, then which is driving which in the case of a zygote? Philosophically and theologically, it is not inconceivable to think a human soul can fully exist as a kind of “soul infant,” within its newly-fused zygote DNA. However, the proliferation and popularization of such ideas admittedly tend to breed heresies and cults and sectarian splinters… not solve conundrums.
A Question of Consciousness & Personhood
One week after conception, the zygote has become a cluster of cells, which attaches to the uterus wall. If this attachment never happens, the cell cluster does not develop further and a natural abortion occurs. Natural abortions happen most regularly at this stage of gestation (or because of a uterus wall being uninhabitable).
Throughout the fourth and fifth week of pregnancy, the neural tube (what will be the spinal cord), brain and neural pathways develop.
For now, it’s almost conclusively provable that preborn babies can feel pain at 20 weeks gestation, although they respond to touch as early as eight weeks. There is also increasing evidence that unborn babies can feel pain much earlier than 20 weeks — possibly as early as five weeks. (https://www.spuc.org.uk/news/news-stories/2017/april/do-babies-feel-pain-in-the-first-trimester-new-study-shows-incredible-nerve-development)
Coincidently, the facial features also take form around the 4th to 5th week after conception.
Before this time (weeks 1-3 after conception), the fetus has no brain and does not feel pain, and some will therefore argue that consciousness and personhood are not possible. The brain interprets our reality, according to our body’s senses. If there are no senses and no brain to interpret sense, and if there is no reasoning possible, then can one rightly be called a person? On one hand, those who wake from comas and those previously hindered by a stroke or other limiting disability have said their personhood was never absent, when their body could not rightly provide expression to their emotions and/or thoughts. On the other hand, one must ask if those same individuals already possessed a developed brain/neural system. A fetus (less than 4 weeks from conception) does not possess brain or nerves of any kind.
Until science can pinpoint and concretely answer the question of consciousness and resulting personhood, as these relate to the brain, one should practice caution in defining personhood too loosely. It is better to be conservative (Biologos) until then; but according to new Harvard research, humanity may not have to wait long for the answer.