The Fetus

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Artwork by Elhanan ben-Avraham

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5

“Fetus” is just another term to mean a baby human but, as in any war, you must dehumanize people to kill them.

A certain orthodox Jewish friend of mine insisted that Judaism and the Torah itself permits abortion. He cited Maimonides and the halacha based upon a portion in the Torah, Exodus 22: “And should men quarrel and hit a pregnant woman, and she miscarries but there is no fatality, he shall surely be punished, when the woman’s husband makes demands of him, and he shall give restitution according to the judges.” I replied that in that case the baby was aborted by unintended accident, whereas abortion today is a premediated act of destroying another’s life. He replied that it is not viewed as a loss of life, but only property damage, like if someone crashed into your car. I prayed that he might live long enough to discern the difference between a crashed car and an aborted baby

But he insisted that a fetus is not a baby any more than an acorn is an oak tree, or a bag of concrete is the Empire State Building. I replied that a bag of concrete is not the Empire State Building, but once it is mixed and poured it is on its way to being just that according to the blueprint. A sperm or an egg is not a baby or a person, but a developing child in the womb is. He claimed that it is not shown anywhere in Tanach, Talmud, or Mishna, where abortion is banned, and the only place it is mentioned, the punishment was that of property damage, not murder or even manslaughter. He insisted that If the Torah, in dealing with various crimes, pronounced abortion murder, it or the Talmud would say so. Or at least the Prophets would. Furthermore, he claims that his books on Physiology, or Pathophysiology, show the difference between a fetus and a baby. My reply was this:

And these verses from the Torah:

-“That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.”

-“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.”

-“And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon.”

-“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as a prophet to the nations”- Jeremiah 1:5

If the innocent and defenceless child lying in its mother’s womb does not qualify as innocent blood, then nothing does. The womb in Hebrew is rechem, from the word for mercy, rachamim, which is also part of God’s Name: El rachum v’hanun. It is the place of mercy, to be off limits to the sword that the pro-abortionist advocates. Yeshua said “blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (rahamim),” and presumably the converse is true as well.  When some human life is declared as less than human, then all human life drops in value, and we should not be surprised at the increase in lethal crime and mass murders.

But my point about the term fetus for a human baby in the womb is like my brother, who fought in Korea, told me how they referred to the Chinese enemy as “Gooks” so that they could just mow them down in their approaching ‘human waves’, and saw their dead bodies as “dead monkeys.”  Whereas when he came across a dead American soldier he saw a man, even though after taking a wallet from a dead Gook, he saw the man’s wife and children, which made him stop and think.

Had abortion been permitted by the Torah, surely an unmarried young woman from the Galilee found pregnant would have been obliged to obtain one – and the Messiah would never have been born.