On Wombs and God

by Fr. Charles Irvin

July,1995



The Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights is a group of clerics which declares: “Freedom of Choice is Sacred”. They use the RCAR for their main purpose: to attempt to buttress the abortion movement with theological and religious sounding props.

One of their main claims is that Holy Scripture is silent on the question of abortion, that one cannot find in Sacred Scripture any notion that human life exists prior to birth. Well, it’s a free country and so they can make such a claim…. but it doesn’t make much sense. Consider the following quotes from Sacred Scripture on the issue. Judge for yourself whether or not God’s holy word speaks to us about the status of fetal human life within a woman’s womb.

 

“When men have a fight and hurt a pregnant woman, so that she suffers a miscarriage, but no further injury, the guilty one shall be fined as much as the woman’s husband demands of him… But if injury ensues, you shall give life for life…”
Exodus 21:22-23

“(Samson)… is to be consecrated to God from the womb.”
Judges 13:ff

“If ever I have infringed the rights of slave or maidservant in legal action against me – what shall I do, when God stands up? What shall I say, when he holds his assize? They, no less than I, were created in the womb by the one same God who shaped us all within our mothers.”
Job 31:13-15

“…from my mother’s womb you have been my God.”
Psalm 22:10

“It was you who created my inmost self, and put me together in my mother’s womb; for all these mysteries I thank you: for the wonder of myself, for the wonder of your works. You know me through and through, from having watched my bones take shape when I was being formed in secret, knitted together in the limbo of the womb. You had scrutinized my every action, all were recorded in your book, my days listed and determined, even before the first of them occurred.”
Psalm 139:13-17

Solomon proclaims: “I too am a moral man, the same as all the rest, and a descendant of the first man formed of earth. And in my mother’s womb I was molded into flesh in a ten month’s period — body and blood.”
Wisdom 7:1

“Thus says Yahweh who made you, who formed you from the womb, who is your help: Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.”
Isaiah 44:1-2

“Islands, listen to me, pay attention, remotest peoples. Yahweh called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name… And now Yahweh has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him.”
Isaiah 49:1,5

“The word of the Lord came to me thus: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”
Jeremiah 1:4-5

“May this man be like the towns that Yahweh overthrew without mercy; may he hear alarms in the morning, the war cry in broad daylight since he did not kill me in the womb; my mother would have been my tomb while her womb was swollen with me. Why did I ever come out of the womb
to live in toil and sorrow and to end my days in shame!”
Jeremiah 20:16-18

“In the very womb he supplanted his brother, in maturity he wrestled against God.”
Hosea 12:4

“He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, `Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit.'”
Matthew 1:20-21

The angel Gabriel announces the birth of John the Baptist saying: “He will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb.”
Luke 1:15

“Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, `Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled?'”
Luke 1:39-45

St. Paul makes the same claim as did Isaiah and Jeremiah, stating: “But the time came when he who had set me apart before I was born and called my by his favor…”
Galatians 1:15

 

The RCAR’s claim that choice is sacred recalls to mind the opening passages of Genesis when the serpent, our Ancient Enemy, whispers into the ears of Adam and Eve:

 

“Choose and you will be like God!”

Which is precisely the divine prerogative claimed over the fetus, the right to take its life, a right belonging only to God!.

 


About Charles Irvin

Fr. Charlie was ordained a priest June 3, 1967 and has served as pastor of St. Mary Student Chapel in Ann Arbor, founded Holy Spirit parish in Hamburg, MI, served as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish in Ann Arbor and was pastor of St. Mary parish in Manchester, MI when he entered Senior Priest status in 2001. In 1999 he was appointed Founding Editor of FAITH Magazine which has grown into Faith Catholic Publishing located in Lansing, MI. He is now very active in his “retirement.”