Abortion and the Incarnation of Jesus
I just finished reading a book by Michael J. Gorman on abortion--Abortion & the Early Church: Christian, Jewish & Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World. You can read my full review here. It's a small (101 pages) but excellent introduction to early Christian attitudes on abortion and its relationship with Jewish and Pagan views on the same subject. One point that Gorman made near the end of his book struck me as a point I had not yet considered on the abortion issue. He sees in the incarnation of Jesus further Biblical support for the pro-life view that human life begins at conception:
"The Scriptural affirmation that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit is not without significance (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35). For Jesus to become incarnate, to become truly human, entailed his participation in the full range of human experience--from conception through death." Jesus' humility in the Incarnation sanctified and dignified not only humanity as a whole but also the unborn child.Michael J. Gorman, Abortion & the Early Church, page 97.
For Christians, this should be a significant point. Afterall, Jesus did not have to incarnate at conception. He could have appeared on earth as an adult -- as Marcion insisted occurred. He could have appeared as a baby or a child. That he chose to do so at conception, and go through all the phases of human development is a powerful indication of the value God places on the unborn.