Abortion: Logical and Theological Considerations -- By: Keith Moore

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 148:589 (Jan 1991)
Article: Abortion: Logical and Theological Considerations
Author: Keith Moore

Abortion: Logical and Theological Considerations

Keith Moore

Pastor, Grace Church
Randleman, North Carolina

In an issue that is dividing the heart and soul of America, two words that could change the outcome are seldom used. Those words are “unborn baby.” In place of those words, other phrases are used, including “potential life,” “product of conception,” and “mass of protoplasm.” Precise language is crucial, especially when life is at stake.

In the abortion debate, the phrase “unborn baby” must be used to avoid personal and national tragedy. Is “unborn baby” an accurate description? Is it based on solid scientific and biological evidence?

L. B. Arey, in his classic work, Development Anatomy: A Textbook and Laboratory Manual of Embryology, offers this observation:

By the time a baby is eighteen to twenty-five days old, long before the mother is sure that she is pregnant, the heart is already beating. At forty-five days after conception, you can pick up electroencephalographic waves from the baby’s developing brain. At eight weeks, there is a brain. By the ninth and tenth weeks, the thyroid and the adrenal glands are functioning. The baby can squint, swallow, move his tongue and the sex hormones are already present. By twelve weeks the fingerprints on the hands have already formed and except for size, will never change. At thirteen weeks, he has fingernails, he sucks his thumb, and he can recoil from pain.1

Arey then adds,

In the fourth month the growing baby is eight to ten inches long. In the fifth month there is a time of lengthening and strengthening of the developing infant. Skin, hair, and nails grow. Sweat glands arise. Oil

glands excrete. This is the month in which the movements of the infant are felt by his mother. In the sixth month the developing baby responds to light and to sound. He can sleep and awake. He gets hiccups and can hear the beat of his mother’s heart. Survival outside the womb is now possible. In the seventh month the nervous system becomes much more complex, the infant is sixteen inches long and weighs about three pounds. In the eighth and ninth months there is a time of fattening and of continued growth.2

Arey’s book was published in 1965 and in the last 25 years, advances have been made in the survival rate of younger “preemies.”

Keith L. Moore, professor of anatomy at the University of Toronto, states, “Human development is a continuous process that begins when an ovum from a female...

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