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In ancient times, the Jews treated abortion as murder, as stated by Josephus in his book, Against Apion, Book II, par. 25,
“The law, moreover, enjoins us to bring up all our offspring and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing humankind; if any one, therefore, proceeds to such fornication, or murder, he cannot be clean.”
The book of Enoch (69:12) also reflects the same view in its discourse on the fallen angels. It tells us that abortion was specifically the inspiration of the fallen angel named Kasdeja.
12. And the fifth was named Kâsdejâ: this is he who showed the children of men all the wicked smitings of spirits and demons, and the smitings of the embryo in the womb, that it may pass away, and [the smitings of the soul] the bites of the serpent, and the smitings which befall through the noontide heat, the son of the serpent named Tabââ‘ĕt.
This shows that drugs had been used for perhaps thousands of years to induce miscarriages, which is an abortion. It is not a new practice by any means.
The New Testament does not specifically mention the term abortion, but its very silence suggests that the Jewish view carried over into the early church. We see this reflected in a number of early church writings, and no one in the early church approved of abortion. The Didache (65 A.D.) was the first manual of church customs and practices. It says in chapter 2, par. 2,
"Thou shalt do no murder; thou shalt not commit adultery"; thou shalt not commit sodomy; thou shalt not commit fornication; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not use magic; thou shalt not use philtres [love potion; magic potion; drug]; thou shalt not procure abortion, nor commit infanticide; "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods".
The so-called Epistle of Barnabas 19:5 (115-135 A.D.) quotes it almost exactly:
“Thou shalt not doubt whether a thing shall be or not be. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain. Thou shalt love thy neighbor more than thine own soul. Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion, nor again shalt thou kill it when it is born. Thou shalt not withhold thy hand from thy son or daughter, but from their youth thou shalt teach them the fear of God.”
The early/mid-second century Epistle to Diognetus is a letter contrasting the pagan lifestyle to that of the Christians. In chapter 5, we read,
“They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring.”
The second-century apocryphal Apocalypse of Peter is written in the name of Peter, but it is universally known that Peter himself was long dead when it was written. It was written to describe the writer’s view of divine judgment in a burning hell. In fact, it is one of the earliest writers to hold such a view describing hell as a pagan Greek would have described purgatory. Apocalypse of Peter, chapter 25 reads,
25. And near that place I saw another strait place into which the gore and the filth of those who were being punished ran down and became there as it were a lake: and there sat women having the gore up to their necks, and over against them sat many children who were born to them out of due time, crying; and there came forth from them sparks of fire and smote the women in the eyes: and these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion.
For our purpose, we note that this view of abortionists was consistent with virtually all of the early church writers, though it is unique (in that time period) in its description of hell.
Later in the second century, a Christian apologist from Athens named Athenagoras wrote in A Plea for the Christians, chapter 35,
"And when we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very fœtus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God's care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it."
(An apologist is not one who is apologizing for some misdeed. An apology is a refutation of other men’s accusations. In this case, Athenagoras was defending Christian practices against false accusations.)
Tertullian, a third-century Roman lawyer and Latin theologian, explained in his Apology, chapter 9:
“How many [of you pagan Greeks], I say, of both sorts might I deservedly charge with infant-murder? And not only so, but among the different kinds of death, for choosing some of the cruelest for their own children, such as drowning, or starving with cold or hunger, or exposing to the mercy of dogs, dying by the sword being too sweet a death for children, and such as a man would choose to fall by sooner than by any other ways of violence.
“But Christians now are so far from homicide, that with them it is utterly unlawful to make away a child in the womb, when nature is in deliberation about the man; for to kill a child before it is born is to commit murder by way of advance; and there is no difference whether you destroy a child in its formation, or after it is formed and delivered. For we Christians look upon him as a man, who is one in embryo; for he is in being, like the fruit in blossom, and in a little time would have been a perfect man, had nature met with no disturbance.”
It is clear that the early church writers stood unanimously against abortion. This is also why traditional Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians have condemned abortions since the first century. It is only more recently that the liberal wing of the Roman Church has tried to make abortion an act of righteousness.
Yet The Didache was written in 65 A.D. while the Apostle John was yet alive. In fact, Peter and Paul were both executed in 67, as I showed in my book on Church History, Vol. 1, chapter 22. We do not know who actually wrote this teaching, but it could hardly have been written without the approval of John himself, as at that time he was probably the only survivor among the original twelve apostles.
We must conclude, then, that the apostles themselves agreed that abortion was murder in the eyes of God.
Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are part of the liberal branch of the Roman Catholic Church, which supports abortion as a right rather than as an act of murder. Some church officials dare to fight back, such as the archbishop of San Francisco, which is Nancy Pelosi’s district.
“The conservative Catholic archbishop of San Francisco said Friday that he will no longer allow U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to receive Communion because of her support for abortion rights.
“Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in he sent Pelosi a letter April 7 expressing his concerns after she vowed to codify the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion into law because of the Texas law banning most abortions that will take effect if the high court overturns Roe. Cordileone also said Pelosi never responded.
In 2019 a Roman Catholic priest in South Carolina denied communion to Joe Biden.
"Former Vice President Joe Biden was denied communion Sunday at a Catholic church in South Carolina over his support for abortion rights.
"Father Robert Morey, the pastor at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, told the Florence Morning News that he had denied Biden communion because 'any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching'.”
Pope Francis, however, has yet to even criticize either Biden or Pelosi for their promotion of abortion. This seems to indicate a tacit approval of their beliefs and policies.