Seeing the World Through the Word
All living things possess DNA- Deoxyribonucleic acid – the building blocks of life. The purpose and design of DNA has entered the collective awareness and dialogue of Americans. We have become more aware of our distinct genetic individuality since science- particularly the human genome project has yielded a map of the human genetic structure. We have even succeeded in mapping the genetic structure of the banana, insects, and some small animals. We now know in greater detail what we have known for years, that all living creatures, including human beings, possess DNA and have a distinct genetic makeup. With the exception of twins no two human beings share the same genetic structure.
Over thirty years ago Roe vs. Wade, a monumental court battle, set a precedent within American society. The decision of this battle resulted in the legalization of the systematic elimination, often meriting no greater reason than the parent’s choice to do so, of unborn human beings. The fundamental basis of this choice being the woman’s right to choose what she does with her body. Her body, which has a unique genetic code unlike any other human being this planet has ever or will ever see, has been the focus and the core of this issue. Should a scientist recover and analyze a sample of her DNA a woman’s – a mothers – identity as a human being would be conclusively determined. Her DNA, her genetic makeup is distinct from that of a monkey, a mouse, a plant or a banana. She is a human. Her DNA yields this proof. Additionally, as stated before, there is none like her – nor will there ever be. Not even a child conceived and born to her.
If a scientist were to recover a sample of DNA from a human embryo or a fetus – the earliest forms we all as humans take after conception – which is being carried in the womb of a woman, the embryo’s/fetus’ – the child’s – identity as a human being would be conclusively determined. The child’s DNA, his/her genetic makeup, is distinct from that of a monkey, a mouse, a plant, a banana, even his or her own mother in whose womb he/she dwells.
Separate But Equal
There are trillions of cells in each of our bodies each of which, excluding reproductive cells, contains an individuals entire genome. Each of our cells is unique to us and is a genetic blue print of what and who we are first as a human being and further as an individual person. If a scientist were to recover a sample of DNA from our leg and compare that sample to a recovered sample from our arm there would be an exact match. Whenever the sampled DNA is recovered from the same body and compared there will always be an exact match. There is no variance in the genetic structure within the bounds of any single human body. As alluded to above the reproductive cells – sperm and eggs – possess only half the genetic information as other cells within the human body.
The uniqueness of Gods design of the reproductive system and process allows for the father to contribute half of the genetic material to the conception of a child while the other half is contributed by the mother. Via this process there is a merger of two distinct and unique sets of genetic material. The conceived being, within the woman’s womb, which results from Gods designed process of reproduction, possess’ a genetic makeup distinct to him/her just as all human beings have throughout the ages, do today, and will into the future. Thus should a scientist recover a sample of DNA from the conceived child within the womb of a woman and compare that DNA to the DNA recovered from any part of the woman’s body there would not be an exact match.
There would be enough genetic similarities to prove a genetic relation to the mother, and equally as well as to the father. However the genetic structure of the DNA recovered from the conceived child would be distinctly his or her own. The child is in his or her earliest forms of bodily development, the genetic foundation first being laid to differentiate him or her from all living things then further from all other human beings – including father and mother. The conceived child who is in his/her earliest stages of development, is simply undergoing a process we all have experienced as our individual genetic material matured into a more complex form prepared for life outside the womb. Though not complete, still human. DNA proves this.
We can ask ourselves if the poor child born without legs, or arms or is deficient -not complete- in some other physical way is less human than a “complete”, fully formed, human being. If a scientist were to analyze the DNA of this deficient child, the results would indicate that he/she is equally as human as a fully formed child. The analysis of the DNA of an unborn -not yet fully formed- child would yield the same results. He/she has a body, though not fully formed, yet genetically distinct from every other human on the planet, including his/her mother.
Fathers and mothers are given the responsibility by God to work together to teach, nurture, nourish, love and protect their child throughout his/her life. This process begins while the child is in the womb. The child is a distinct and vulnerable human being living within the womb of his/her mother just as God designed. He/she is not an extension of the mother’s body, DNA proves this. Gods words to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” We see in this biblical record of the expression of God to Jeremiah that God, our Creator, acknowledges our existence as a human being worthy of His attention prior to our birth. These words from our Creator enlighten us to the fact that to God even the unborn have great value.
Finally, in considering the question of abortion – whose right, whose body? The focus of this issue has historically been the woman’s body and what she can choose to do with it. But as we can clearly see the body most directly affected -that which is aborted- is not hers at all. We all have a distinct and individual body – the father, the mother, and the unborn child. Abortions primary and direct affect is on the body of the unborn. Therefore abortion is not the right of the woman for the body aborted is not her body.
Deuteronomy 5:17: “Thou shalt not kill.”
Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.