by John W. Ritenbaugh
Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.
"Viability," a term related to earlier abortion arguments, has again been thrust into the forefront by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's recent opinion regarding Pennsylvania's abortion law. She wrote, "First is a recognition of the right of the woman to choose to have an abortion before viability. . . . Second is a confirmation of the state's power to restrict abortions after fetal viability."
"Viable" is defined by Webster's as "capable of living; capable of growing and developing." Taken at face value, the application of viability by the pro-abortion side has been arbitrary. Whatever term one uses, everyone agrees that what is in the mother's womb is alive. And, as long as it continues in that environment, it remains alive. It will, in almost every case, develop to full term, be born and pronounced as human.
However, the abortionist refuses to label what is in the womb as human. He will use the term "unviable tissue mass." But he knows that if development continues unhindered, he will soon be holding a human being in his arms for which he will be responsible.
The truth is that "unviable tissue mass" is a human in an early stage of development in the environment required for it at that time. It is being cared for by the mother. When it reaches the stage of development for birth, it moves into a new environment but still must be cared for or further development ceases and death occurs.
None of us can survive without the life-sustaining environment in which we live and develop. If one goes into outer space, one must take enough of his environment with him to survive, or one will not be viable for very long! The "unviable tissue mass" is a human in a different stage of development than the born but in the environment it needs at that time. Furthermore, a human embryo or fetus will never develop into a cat or a duck or anything other than a human!
An abortionist will not call it murder to terminate an embryo or fetus' development, but God does. In Exodus 21:22-23, He says:
If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no lasting harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any lasting harm follows, then you shall give life for life.
Without doubt, death is "lasting harm." These verses illustrate the accidental miscarriage of the unborn. If the miscarried baby dies, although no harm was intended against it, the judgment is manslaughter, and the accused can become a victim of the avenger of blood (Genesis 9:6; Numbers 35:9-34; Deuteronomy 19:4-13; Joshua 20). How much more valid is the judgment of murder if the unborn is the intended victim?
The Bible shows that the unborn "unviable tissue mass" is human. God's viewpoint is clear: Willful killing of the unborn—abortion—is murder.