When it comes to abortion, one presidential hopeful tried to explain when he believes life begins. Using the Bible, Mayor Pete Buttigieg attempted to argue that life doesn’t begin until the first breath is taken. He also tried to argue that women are the only ones who can decide if and when abortion is appropriate.
Making the statements on a radio show entitled, “The Breakfast Club,” Buttigieg tried to share his perspective on abortion.
“It’s obviously a tough issue for people to think through morally,” he said. “Then again, there’s a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath. Even that is something that we can interpret differently.”
Actually, it isn’t that tough. The Bible is incredibly clear on the importance of children and life. The Psalmist King David wrote, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works and my soul knows it well” (Psalm 139:13-14, ESV).
There is no doubt that life begins in the womb. The ancient Israelites had no ability to see inside the womb like we do today, but King David knew that God was instrumental in creating life. Breath, while playing an important part throughout the Bible, is not the marker for the beginning of life. As the Bible said, “we are fearfully and wonderful made” in the womb before we even take our first breath.
Leonard da Vinci, the most famous and celebrated painter of all time, was also a gifted anatomist and gave humanity its first real glimpse inside the womb. According biographer Walter Isaacson, da Vinci’s sketch of the preborn baby was “designed to dazzle our eyes as much as inform our minds, it captures the human condition with a spiritual beauty that is at once unnerving and ennobling. … We can see ourselves embodied in the wonder of creation: innocent, miraculous, mysterious.”
King David and Isaacson’s writings are a beautiful reminder of the power of life contained within the womb. The Didache, also known as The Teaching of the Twelve and one of the earliest Christian manuscripts other than the New Testament, says specifically, “You shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born.”
Buttigieg goes onto say, “No matter where you think about the cosmic question of how life begins, most Americans can get on the board with the idea of, ‘You might draw the line here. You draw the line there.’ The most important thing is the person who should be drawing the line is the woman making the decision.”
Of course, the host, Charlamagne tha God (a former drug dealer), intercedes with a rather unique take on this idea, “I think that if you’re a man who’s against abortion, you haven’t gotten the wrong woman pregnant. You’ve had some slipups, I’ve had a few.”
There are two competing ideas here: one is that a woman is the only one that should be making the decision about abortion except if there is a so-called “slipup.” The second is that abortion is the solution to a “slipup.” Both of these ideas are contradictory.
On the one hand, it takes two to make a baby. So, it should follow that men should have the right to have a say in what happens to their children. No matter what some feminists and abortion activists say, it is his child too. This played out in a heartbreaking way with a story about a man who begged and pleaded to raise his preborn child with the mother outside an abortion clinic. She ignored him and went through with the abortion.
However, what the radio host is arguing for is that a man should have a say if the woman got pregnant unintentionally and the child is the result possibly of an affair or some other elicit activity. In this situation, the host essentially defines the child as a mistake that should be erased or removed in order to avoid future complications, according to his argument. It’s a terrible perspective to have, and one that is both misogynistic and irresponsible. He states that essentially it is okay for men to abandon their responsibility if the child and/or relationship doesn’t fit in with a specific lifestyle or the relationship itself was a bad decision. And what happens if the woman wants to keep her child? He doesn’t answer that question.
When it comes to life and fatherhood, the Bible is pretty clear. Men are called to raise their children, and life begins in the womb. There are no shortcuts or fancy language that will change that.