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January 28, 2021
The Benefits of Marriage
February 24, 2021

Definition of Personhood

January 23 was the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Since that day in 1973, when nine men in black robes forced abortion upon the nation; a staggering 62 million preborn babies have been killed. The battle for the lives of the unborn is one that is worth fighting, and now that Biden is the president, that battle just got tougher.

On many fronts, the battle for life is being is advancing. Technology has revealed that abortion does not remove a blob of cells but a living person. The improved ultrasound allows women to see their babies. When they look at those living images on that screen, this is what they see: At four weeks, the baby’s heart is beating. By week eight, the baby begins moving and is about the thumb’s size, and every organ is now present. When the baby is three months old, he is about 3 inches long and can swallow and respond to skin stimulation. At four months’ nostrils and toenails become visible. The baby may suck her thumb, turn somersaults, and has a firm grip. She is now able to experience pain. Around six months, the baby can hear. The child sleeps and wakes, nestling in his favorite positions to sleep, and stretches upon waking up. At eight months, her skin becomes pink and smooth. The pupils of her eyes respond to light. Fingernails reach to the tip of the finger. By now, she is getting cramped.

How shocking that with all this new insight gained from technology, the pro-choice movement still wants to end the baby’s life even up to birth. The mother’s choice is what matters, they say, but what about the choice of the child. What about the rights of the baby? Do they not matter? Almost everyone now admits this is a living creature but is it really a person, they ask? What constitutes personhood? Shouldn’t the baby be wanted? Some consider the baby to be a leech unless there is a mother who welcomes the child. What a criterion for life? All of us who are alive should be glad that our mothers wanted us.

The definition of personhood should not hinge on whether we offer value or not. This utilitarian view can be arbitrarily assigned to anyone or any age. A biblical description of person hood is that all life belongs to God. The Psalmist David wrote about the wonder of a baby in the womb:

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
(Psalms 139:13-18)

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