"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Early Church and Abortion

Most have heard of Speaker Pelosi's recent theological pontifications. Pelosi declared that Augustine of Hippo wrote that a baby was not entitled to human rights until 3 months in the womb. Jay the Bennett had a couple of good posts already on it (here and here).

What I was wondering is where the heck she got that from? I cannot find any references to Augustine saying such a thing, though someone suggested that it was Thomas Aquinas and not Augustine. Having just completed a study on the Early Church and their view of Sex and Marriage, most believed that the egg was fully contained in the man's contribution to procreation, and thus even having sex during pregnancy or after menapause was prohibited. Abortion was nothing new in the Early Church, and as early as it is mentioned, it is condemned. Witness Clement of Alexandria:

"Our entire life will be spent observing the laws of nature...if we do not kill off with devious instruments the human creature that has been conceived according to divine providence. For women who, in order to conceal their incontinence, make use of death-dealing drugs that completely expel the mortal creature, abort not only the embryo, but also human kindness." -Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor 96

Why reference tradition when it is so slanted against you? Why not claim new revelation like liberals have on homosexuality and women's ordination? Where was she getting this from? Has anyone run across something like what she said in your studies?


M. Jay Bennett said...

I like the pic. Think they'll make a T-shirt out of it? :-)

Aaron said...

Good post. Needed to hear someone's take on this.