Friday, September 26, 2008

My LDS abortion argument

I was thrilled with Elder Russell M. Nelson's article in this month's Ensign on abortion.

My elation was a bit deflated, however, as I visited some of the other LDS online discussion groups and read some rather nit-picky justifications being made in defense of the practice, or debating the situations that might make it excusable to snuff out an innocent life. When exactly does life begin? When does the Spirit enter the body? What about if this or that? I find it astounding when I hear Latter-Day Saints debating the finite details of abortion. As if the matter would finally be settled if God would just reveal the exact moment when life begins. He has! D&C 56:9

Just as we (meaning members of The Church, under the guidance of a living prophet) do not condone the practice of euthenasia for the terminally ill because we believe it is wrong to confer the power to end life upon doctors; it is the same principle with abortion. Just because the Supreme Court of the United States decreed it legal, does not make it allowable in God’s court.

To me, this means that the question of when life begins is moot. Once a man and a woman have CHOSEN (and that’s the key, here) to commit the act of creating life, whether intentionally or not–-it is the only means by which life can be created-–they are bound to the consequences of that choice. There is now the possibility for a new life to begin; a life which should be respected and given it’s agency to choose as well. Who are we to take upon ourselves the authority of God to determine who gets a chance to live and who does not?


SJ Cooper said...

Amen!! I too have been astounded at so called Latterday Saints' defense of abortion. I believe we all too often forget about the " and like unto it" part of Thou shalt not kill.

Carissa said...

I agree with your general post. I'm sure you are aware, though, that even the church does not say women are bound in ALL cases to the consequences of pregnancy. Their official position is that there are possible exceptions (which are not automatically justified) in certain rare cases.

I think it's interesting that the church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion. Why do you suppose that is? (Especially in light of their spending large amounts of money and energy with the marriage legislation)

Melinda Turner said...

Elder Nelson addresses the "possible exceptions" for abortion in his article.

ec said...

I believe we as LDS members should be personally against abortion, but we must step back and remember that every man has his agency.

We have no right to take any freedom of choice from another person (even when we disagree with it ourselves). If you think about Satan's plan, it was that we would be forced into choosing the right. Our Father was wise enough to realize that Satan's plan would not work.

In all things we should be as pro-Freedom as God is. He does not prevent us from doing anything.


Melinda said...

ec -- thanks for your comment. I must respectfully disagree. A person's agency in this issue has already been exercised in the act of creating the new life. The pregnancy is no longer a "choice", but a natural consequence of the choice which has already been made. At this point there are know 2 sets of freedoms to be concerned with. That of the mother and that of the utterly defenseless human being she has created. As a society, I believe we have a responsibility to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. Is it legal (or moral) to kill a child? A mentally disabled person? To commit suicide? Of course not. Why would it be any different for an unborn person?

Using your logic, we should not have laws at all, because we wouldn't want to prevent anyone from using their agency. But that is ridiculous. God has laws. He gives us commandments. He will not prevent us from disobedience, but He certainly will allow us to suffer the consequences of such, as well as exact punishment.

ec said...

I used to share your same view that we needed 'moral' laws, but I don't believe that is in harmony with the gospel (especially laws at a national level).

By your logic, there would be a law against divorce as well:

Once a man and a woman have CHOSEN (and that’s the key, here) to commit the act of getting married, whether intentionally or not–-it is the only means by which a marriage agreement can be created-–they are bound to the consequences of that choice.

Please don't misunderstand me, I have three children (with another on the way) and cannot in anyway fathom how someone could choose abortion as an option. At the same time, I have the same opinion of drug and alcohol abuse and suicide, but I cannot support a law that would restrict someone's agency to make that decision.

Let freedom ring!

Melinda said...

I appreciate your response. I enjoy a well-informed discussion of issues. :)

However, I don't think the divorce analogy applies to the abortion issue. Here's why: The two individuals involved in a marriage are both able to exercise their agency to remain married or to divorce. They are both able to choose and accept the natural consequences of that choice. In the case of abortion, however, two individuals use their agency to create a third individual. Who are we to say that the third individual has no agency about whether it lives or dies? That is the same as if I choose to end any person's life. We have laws to punish me if I make a choice to inflict harm upon another person.

ALL laws are based on 'morals'. We, as a society, decide what our moral values are and require a punishment for individuals who violate those laws.

I'm no proponent of federal laws/power by any means. I believe such laws should be determined by the individual states. But there are certain liberties guaranteed to all Americans under the Constitution, such as life and the protection thereof. The founders designed it to protect the people from one another, foreign enemies and from their government itself.

Where are the Constitutional rights for the unborn?