The headline says it all … "Israel's Abortion Law Now Among World's Most Liberal."1
On January 5, 2014, the Israeli Cabinet approved a healthcare package for Israeli citizens that includes free abortions for women ages 20 to 33. No medical reasons are necessary for government funding, which is estimated to total $4.6 million.2
The new provision happens to coincide with two landmark dates in January for pro-life and pro-choice camps, namely, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday and the 41st anniversary of the highly controversial Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.
At the core of much of the volatile discourse is the following question …
Is the Fetus a Human Being?
Yes. A human being is defined as a member of the species Homo sapiens. Each individual human being has its own genetic code (DNA) that is singularly unique and is established at the time of conception. The DNA of a human fetus is distinct not only from animals, fowl, and fish, but also from the mother's DNA.
"Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh,
animals have another, birds another and fish another."
(1 Corinthians 15:39 NIV 2011)
The eminent geneticist, Professor Jerome LeJeune, M.D., Ph.D., at the Rene Descartes University of Paris Faculty of Medicine stated:
"If a fertilized egg is not by itself a full human being, it could never become a man, because something would have to be added to it, and we know that does not happen."3
The Hippocratic Oath is a code of ethical values that has governed the medical profession since ancient times. A profession that has the power to kill as well as the "power to cure" demands a set of moral commitments that are non-negotiable.
Even within pagan cultures was an innate conviction that abortion was wrong, as evidenced by "the Oath of Hippocrates," which prohibits abortion. This oath, which has dominated western civilization since at least 400 BC to recent years, reads in part:
"The regimen I adopt shall be for the benefit of my patients according to my ability and judgment, and not for their hurt or for any wrong. I will give no deadly drug to any, though it be asked of me, nor will I counsel such, and especially I will not aid a woman to procure abortion."
The personhood of the unborn child is clearly demonstrated by John the Baptist, who "leaped for joy" while still in the womb.
John's mother, Elizabeth, exclaimed to Mary … "As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy" (Luke 1:44 NIV 2011).
God is actively involved at the earliest point of a person's development, even before the unborn looks like a baby, and He already has plans for the person He is forming in the womb.
The Psalmist David said to God … "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16 NIV 2011).
Scripture further states …
"Before I [God] formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart … " (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV 2011).
Dr. Yonatan Halevy, who heads Israel's Health Ministry commission, asserts "we should supply the means to end the pregnancy properly" when it is "undesired or inadvertent." God, the Source of physical and spiritual life, places His imprint of intrinsic value upon each and every developing human being in the womb and stands vehemently opposed to the tragic violence associated with abortion.
*Material adapted from June Hunt, Abortion: Not a Choice But a Child, Biblical Counseling Keys Library (Dallas: Hope for the Heart, 2008).