Abortion And The Incarnation -- By: Graham A. D. Scott

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 017:1 (Winter 1974)
Article: Abortion And The Incarnation
Author: Graham A. D. Scott

Abortion And The Incarnation*

Graham A. D. Scott

The world-renowned Strasbourgeois Albert Schweitzer wrote, “There is no historical task which so reveals a man’s true self as the writing of a Life of Jesus.”1 A contributor to the evangelical symposium on the control of human reproduction commented, “By the same token, here in another area of study which also touches deeps of human conviction and experience, it is no less likely that we, as much as the New Testament teaching, are apt to be that which is laid bare.”2 One might therefore accept a paraphrase of Schweitzer’s statement and say that there is no ethical task which so reveals a man’s true self as his treatment of abortion. If we can say this with even a moderate measure of truth, then we must be prepared to be revealed as men and women of mixed motives-as persons made in the image of God and yet fallen short of God’s glory.

1. Abortion: What It Is

Abortion is generally defined as the explusion from the mother’s womb of a living fetus which is incapable of surviving outside the womb. When the fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb, he is called viable and should he enter the world before nine months’ gestation, this entry would be called a premature birth. Six or seven months is usually considered the earliest stage of viability, but babies have been known to survive when aborted as early as five months. The survival rate for five and six month old premature babies is estimated at ten percent. One in ten of such premature babies survives. The longer the fetus can remain in the womb up to the normal nine months’ gestation, the greater his chances of survival.

Abortion can be distinguished into two main types, spontaneous and induced. Spontaneous abortion happens naturally, usually within three months after conception. It occurs because of defective ovum or

*A paper given at the April 26th (1973) meeting of the Canadian Section of the Evangelical Theological Society, in Toronto, by the Rev. Graham A.D. Scott, B.A., B.D., Dr. s Sc. Rel., Minister of Noranda-Rouyn United Church, Noranda, Quebec.

sperm or because of fautly implantation in the wall of the womb. The rate of conceptions ending in spontaneous abortion is estimated variously from ten to fifty percent. Daniel Callahan cites authorities estimating from 10% to 38% ;3 R.F.R. Gardner cites G.W. Comer for a figure of 50%.4

Induced abortion is the deliberate expulsion from th...

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