Is It a Life or Not a Life?

by Barney Owens

The following is an excerpt from the editorial page of The Cincinnati Enquirer, January 8, 1997. Austin Daly was killed before he could be born, but his death changed Ohio law to recognize that an unborn child is a person, whose killing can be prosecuted for homicide. Now the first attempt to enforce Austinís law in Hamilton County, where it began, could change attitudes and save lives.

...As fate would have it, the first case prosecuted locally is a deadly auto accident involving allegations of criminally dangerous driving - similar to the head-on crash in August 1995, in which a 16-year-old girl, driving a stolen car at high speeds without a license, struck and killed Suzanne Daly and Austin just weeks before Mrs. Daly was due to deliver her son. This time, a grand jury has indicted Tracie Alfieri, 23, of Mount Washington, on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault. In a Nov. 27 crash that a police spokesman described as "road rage," Ms. Alfieri allegedly became angry at the way Rene Andrews merged into traffic, made obscene gestures, tailgated, then cut in front of Ms. Andrewsí car and deliberately slammed on her brakes, forcing Ms. Andrews to swerve into a truck that was parked on the shoulder of I-71.

Ms. Andrews, 29, was seriously injured and is still recovering in long-term care. She was six months pregnant - her unborn child was killed. The article also states:

The law was signed by Gov. George Voinovich in June... It makes it a crime to kill a viable fetus, and allows homicide charges for terminating a pregnancy at any stage (abortions are exempt).


There are a few things which need saying to clear the air for reception of the points that shall follow.

1. There is certainly no wish to minimize the loss incurred by these prospective parents. There is no joy greater than that, unless it is the birth of a healthy child. Their loss is great and their grief is understandable and shared by everyone.

2. There is no intent to decide the case relative to reckless driving, which should not have been done.

3. The present purpose is not to decide the laws which regulate human beings who will not be governed by Godís word. Society must have regulations and there are multitudes who will not obey God, so, by what rules are they to live? Paul showed that God allows the laws of men and ordains them for the purpose of maintaining civilization. Rom 13:1-5. When men disobey or break the laws of those empowered, they can expect punishment. That is not to say that every law must be submitted to by Christians, because men may make laws that are contrary to Godís will; then our choice is clear, "we ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29). But in this case, if the one who has violated the law must suffer, then so be it. Personal responsibility must be accepted.

4. It shall be shown that human laws are often (as in the case before us) inconsistent, contrary to scripture, and logically at odds with common sense, being at odds with one another.

5. We will observe what God thinks of life and our respect for it, as well as what men think of life and their disregard of it.


We might argue this for some time, but I choose to go to the scripture to see what may be learned there from. And the Bible does in a very simple, easy to understand way deal with this matter.

In the first chapter of Luke, we have the story of Maryís conception. She was informed of her cousin, Elisabeth, who had conceived in her old age, "and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren." (vs. 36). Of course, later Elisabeth bore this son who was named John and, because he went forth "baptizing," was known as the "Baptist."

Mary went forth to visit her cousin, whereupon we are told, "And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb." (vs. 41). Then she said to Mary, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, and that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy." (vs. 42-44).

Later on we are informed, "And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her house. Now Elisabethís full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son." (vs. 56-57).

Here are some facts presented for us:

1. Elisabeth was six months pregnant when Mary came to see her. Mary stayed about three months and returned home. It was then that Elisabeth bore a son. Therefore when Mary went to see Elisabeth she had barely conceived of the Holy Ghost.

2. At this time the son within the womb of Elisabeth leaped for joy of the mother-to-be of Jesus. So, the babe who was six months old had lifeówas a life.

3. Within Mary was the "blessed fruit," which was the cause of the joy of the babe within Elisabeth. Fruit or life, if you please. When is there life? Who can doubt that it is at conception. It is "fruit" which is blessed of God, and especially so in this case, since it was the "only begotten fruit (son) of God."


Again, the word of God is clear and easy to understand. On Mars hill the Apostle to the Gentile people declared, God "giveth to all life, and breath, and all things." (Acts 17:25).

Man cannot create life. Man cannot make a living thing. The best man can do is preserve life. The worst man can do is to take life. When men comply with Godís laws of reproduction, then life comes into existence. That which was not now becomes a reality. Mother Eve was correct in her announcement of which we read, "and Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I HAVE GOTTEN A MAN FROM THE LORD." (Gen 4:1).

The people of whom we read in The Cincinnati Enquirer were absolutely right in their assessment of the case in thinking they have lost a life. Their affections were not misplaced. Those who are lacking such affection are unnatural and displeasing to God. Such may profess wisdom, but scripture declares differently, "Professing themselves to be wise, they become fools," Because they are without "natural affection." (Rom 1:22,31).


In these stories, surely the 16 year old girl who drove the stolen car at a high rate of speed, which resulted in the death of an unborn child, would not do the same thing if she could undo her deadly deed. Had she known the result, her course would not have been the same. And the hot-tempered tantrum which caused one driver to force another who had failed to share properly the highway, would likewise alter her affairs, if she only had realized what it would lead to. (I am not trying to take away their responsibility.) But as things stand there is about to be punishment of the severest kind. Should any mercy be shown? You be the judge.

On the other hand. One, or two people, who are well on the road to becoming parents, decide (that is the key word--decide) to seek a doctor or a clinic (known for such activity--promoting it), which will help them disallow the birth of this child. And a doctor with all the skill as his (or her) disposal, INTENTIONALLY destroys that which is living within the womb of the mother. Should there be any mercy shown? You be the judge.


Adolph Hitlerís Nazi Germany was despicable, taking the lives of thousands of Jews; helpless people who came under his power. And there is evidence that he would turn his attention, had he been the victor, next to black people; then, it is anyoneís guess who might have been next. It makes one sick to his stomach.

Who would have thought just a few years ago, that in the United States of America we would have laws that make it legal (as far as the government is concerned), right.., for lives to be aborted just because someone does not want the child? Who would have guessed that the president of this great people would publicly promote such a thing?

And, now we have those who wish doctors to "assist" people in taking their own lives! Will we reach the place where, rather than "assist," doctors will "DECIDE" it is time for someone to do? If indeed, a life may be aborted because there is not money to take care of one after birth, why not destroy an old person who has exhausted funds needed for their care? In the name of COMMON SENSE, people, are we going to wake up?


In Germany they came first for the communists and I didnít speak up, because I wasnít a communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didnít speak up, because I wasnít a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didnít speak up, because I wasnít a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didnít speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and, by that time no one was left to speak up.


And the Lord said unto Cain, where is Abel thy brother? And He said, I know not: Am I my brotherís keeper? (Gen 4:9). Did Cain think the killing of his brother merciful? We need to make our presence known wherever we are. Yes, I am my brotherís keeper. Yes, wholesale abortion is sinful. Yes, to take oneís own life, or that of another by assisting them in death, is wrong..