Willie Parker is not the first abortionist to use the Bible to try to justify killing babies in the womb, but he probably has received the most positive attention for it.
Parker is an abortionist who works in Alabama and Georgia. He also loves the media spotlight, and frequently claims he performs abortions because he is a Christian. He once described his abortion practice as a “ministry.”
In an interview with Quartzthis week, Parker claimed the Bible does not mention abortion, therefore it must be ok. He also said God gives women the free will to choose whether to have abortions.
The article praises Parker and calls him a hero for killing unborn babies. It never questions his faulty theology or asks for scriptural references to back up Parker’s claims.
According to the interview:
For Parker, the moral and religious arguments against abortion are misguided at best:
The will of God, he says, manifests itself in human’s free will.
That extends to the freedom to choose whether or not to take part in the reproductive process, a divine freedom accorded to women as it is to men, regardless of their biologies.
Later, Parker added:
“In the world of the Bible, bearing many children was a woman’s most important job,” writes Parker. Yet “in that ancient cultural context, however, abortion is never mentioned…The death of a fetus is regarded as a loss but not a capital crime.
Throughout Jewish scripture, a fetus becomes human when —and only when—its head emerges from the birth canal.”
The New Testament doesn’t mention abortion at all. Thus, for Parker, the idea that life begins with the mere meeting of sperm and egg is offensive to God.
There are huge, gaping holes in Parker’s understanding of the Bible.
First, God does not give human beings free will to simply do what ever they want to without consequences. Free will does not mean that people have the ability to determine what is right and wrong for themselves, as Parker seemed to indicate. It means that God decides what is right and wrong and people have the choice to follow or not follow God’s order.
The second problem with Parker’s argument is that, without citing any scriptural references, he claimed a baby is not a valuable human being until his/her head exits the birth canal – a position that could be used to justify partial-birth abortions and abortions for any reason up until birth.
Parker’s position sounds eerily similar to another infamous abortionist’s – Kermit Gosnell.
Gosnell told documentary filmmaker David Altroggethat the Bible says life begins when a baby takes his/her first breath outside the womb, and referred to a line from Genesis about God breathing life into Adam, the first man. A former Philadelphia abortionist and convicted murderer of three newborn babies, Gosnell used the scripture reference to defend killing babies.
Parker also said the Bible does not mention abortion, so it must be ok.
He is only correct in a small way. The Bible does not specifically use the word “abortion,” but it does forbid the killing of innocent human lives. And throughout the Bible, babies in the womb are treated as valuable human beings.
Scriptural references to babies in the womb include:
But when Rebecca also had conceived at once of Isaac our father. For when the children were not yet born, nor had done any good or evil (that the purpose of God according to election might stand) . . .” (Romans 9:10-11)
“Truly children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3) “You knit me in my mother’s womb . . . nor was my frame unknown to you when I was made in secret” (Psalm 139:13,15) “God… from my mother’s womb had set me apart and called me through his grace” (St. Paul to the Galatians 1:15)
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.’” (Luke 1:41-44)
Scripture says that innocent human lives should be protected, not destroyed. God commands “Thou shalt not murder” in Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17.
Thousands of years after the Bible was written, science confirmed its teachings: Babies in the womb are unique, living human beings from the moment of conception.