OCCM Webinar: Abortion – The Sanctity of Life by Fr. Asmerom Hagos

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Joly Fahim | 31 December 2020

Joly is a graduate student studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Houston. In this post, she summarizes the OCCM webinar led by Fr. Asmerom Hagos, which discussed abortion and the sanctity of life.

OCCM Webinar: Abortion – The Sanctity of Life by Fr. Asmerom Hagos 

  1. The Sanctity of Life 
    1. Human life is sacred, holy, and precious and therefore must be protected 
      1. In Genesis 1:26-27, we find that God said let us make mankind in His image and likeness, so that they may rule over all the creatures, evidently showing that humans were precious to God 
      2. We find that God also formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into man the Breath of Life. Our livelihood, the very reason we are called living being, stems for the Lord’s precious breath of life in us  
    2. God has a plan for each of us 
      1. In Jeremiah 1:4-5, God says “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you.” Just as God knew Jeremiah the prophet prior to his creation, our Lord knows each of the unborn infants 
  2. The Personhood of the Unborn 
    1. Feast of the Conception of St. John the Baptist 
      1. In Luke 1 :5, the angel tells Zacharias that his wife Elizabeth will have a son and indicates that his name will be John, evidently showing our uniqueness in the eye of God, addressing each of us by name 
    2. The Move for Joy 
      1. When Elizabeth heard the voice of St. Mary, the baby made a sudden move for joy, indicating the livelihood of the child and his spiritual connection to his creator, even in the developmental stages 
      2. In Luke 1:41 and in Luke 2:11-12, when God was talking about Elizabeth’s unborn child and St. Mary’s child respectively, both babies were referred to using the Greek word brephos, despite Elizabeth’s child being unborn while St. Mary’s child was born. In God’s eyes, both cases are living creatures who glorify Him. The discrimination between living and non-living depending on the trimester does not apply
  3. Whose body is it?
    1. The actual individuals involved are: 
      1. Mother 
      2. Father 
      3. Baby 
      4. Doctor 
    2. However, our body is the dwelling place of God 
      1. In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, it says “Do you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” then later says “…for we are the temple of the living God; as God said ‘I will live in them, and move them, and that temple you are.'” Both of these verses not only establish us as temples of God, but also establishes that our actual physical bodies belongs to our creator and exist for His glorification 
    3. It is not a woman’s right to decide what to do with the child 
      1. Besides terminating a life precious to God, individuals argue that the child is a part of the woman’s body and therefore she is free to do with it what she pleases. Biologically, this is untrue. The fetus is a genetically unique organism and is therefore genetically different from the parents. As far as organisms are concerned, they are two different and equal organisms
  4. Church Beliefs 
    1. Life begins at conception 
      1. The fetus is regarded as a living being that is genetically different, although entirely dependent on the mother 
      2. As a result, the fetus has the right to life and dignity 
    2. There is no right to end a life 
      1. As established earlier, our Lord’s breath of life, making us living beings, is the same breath of life in unborn children 
      2. As seen from biblical evidence, these living beings have a spiritual connection to their creator and are made to glorify Him 
      3. Biologically, since the mother and the child are two separate organisms, the mother cannot regard the child as part of her own body, although it should be noted that the mother cannot harm her own body either 
    3. An Exception 
      1. The only exception is if the child harms the mother’s health, a situation which, due to medical advances, is currently very rare 
    4. Human Life must be Protected 
      1. In Proverbs 24:11-12, we are told to rescue those being led away to death and hold back those staggering toward slaughter. In Proverbs 6:16-17, God says that there are seven things that are an abomination to him, one of which is shedding innocent blood. As such, unborn life must be protected 
  5. How can YOU help? 
    1. Pray 
      1. At the end of the day, this is a spiritual battle, and we need to make it evident that seeking Him will result in forgiveness because He is gracious 
    2. Get involved in the pro-life movement 
      1. You can vote for pro-life candidates, or against judges and legislators who are pro-choice 
      2. Volunteer for organizations that assist single or young parents. Supporting these individuals can be a factor in their salvation