Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fetus = Latin for Baby = English

The war against the unborn

The Rev. Randy M. Bourgeois

Published: Friday, January 16, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 16, 2009 at 12:33 p.m.

Gaze into the young and curious eyes of any baby, and if you are like many, will most likely ponder over the question as to why the U.S. has fallen to such sin as aborting its unborn children. What a tragedy to have aborted approximately 50 million unborn children since Jan. 22, 1973, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling.

In a way, the nation’s citizens have dehumanized their unborn children through legalized acts of abortion. Many years ago, I followed a curious interest to understanding why an unborn baby is referred to as a “fetus.”

Consider a popular medical definition of fetus: the unborn offspring from the end of the eighth week after conception (when the major structures have formed) until birth. Up until the eighth week, the developing offspring is called an embryo.”

Have you noticed that in this definition, the words, “when the major structures have formed?” So, according to the medical field, at the stage this living organism is called a “fetus,” all major structures have formed.

To define fetus in Etymology: “Middle English, from Latin, act of bearing young, offspring; akin to Latin fetus newly delivered.” In other words, “fetus” is a Latin word equivalent to our English word — “baby.”

Why would we adopt a Latin word meaning baby to describe what we already know is a baby in formation? It seems that word-use here is used to minimize the defined organism. If the organism in formation were readily called a “baby,” the human mind with emotion would perhaps trigger a different response.

No one wants to think about the killing of babies. To justify aborting unborn babies, the abortionist may be minimizing the identity of the unborn child by calling this developing organism a “fetus,” the Latin word for baby.

Another argument in trying to justify aborting unborn babies is the question to whether or not they feel pain. A summary of a presentation given by Dr. Paul Ranalli on “Pain, Fetal Development, and Partial-birth abortion” on June 27, 1997 states “The fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. This is probably a conservatively late estimate, but it is scientifically solid. Elements of the pain-conveying system (spino-thalamic system) begin to be assembled at 7 weeks; enough development has occurred by 12-14 weeks that some pain perception is likely, and continues to build through the second trimester. By 20 weeks, the spino-thalamic system is fully established and connected.” Clearly, by this presentation, the baby’s life during abortion is not only being eliminated, but painfully destroyed.

What does the Bible have to say about the unborn? Is the unborn a living human being with God’s plan of uniqueness? All through the Bible, the unborn are clearly described as human beings created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26; 2:7). The Bible tells us that John the Baptist was “filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15).

The scripture goes on to say that at the moment Mary announced to Elizabeth that she is called to be the mother of Jesus, the unborn John the Baptist “leaped in his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:41).

Of course, the major issue to the “why abortion” also is the major issue to all the sin crimes in our country. The abortion problem begins with a rebellion that says, “I will do as I please for pleasure. I reject the limits prescribed by God in favor of personal satisfaction.” And that is the essence of wrong values of which we are speaking. The root of all wrong value systems is a rebellious attitude toward God.

Nevertheless, if you have been involved in the aborting of a baby — know that there is total forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Call upon the Lord God to enter your life through faith in his son for forgiveness of sin, and to issue you power to make right choices for life.

The Rev. Randy M. Bourgeois is pastor of First Baptist Church of Raceland. He can be reached at Columns represent the opinion of the columnist, not necessarily this newspaper.

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