Bereavement Leave After an Abortion?


According to KATU-TV2 in Portland, Oregon, city leaders there have decided to be the first city in our country to offer bereavement leaves for employees after they have an abortion.

The City Council unanimously approved the new policy, allowing employees to take off three days of work as "bereavement leave" following an abortion or any type of pregnancy loss. This would seem to admit that a "baby" has died in such a "loss" and the parents deserve time to grieve.

Could this acknowledgment be a step for the radically-leftist politicians in Portland toward celebrating human life?

Celebrating the Human Person

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Scientists may study the stages of maturation and development of a pre-born human. They may analyze certain chemical processes and changes or monitor the electrical activity of the developing brain. But with all of this knowledge, there is no clear consensus among scientists as to when this growing mass of cells, with individually unique genes, becomes a human person.

Is a human baby a person from the moment of conception, at the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterine lining, somewhere during its prenatal development, at a point of viability outside of the womb, at the moment of birth or somewhere in between?

Those who have no biblical background are at the mercy of secular ethicists and political pundits who wish to justify their personal bioethics. If the zygote (with 23 chromosomes from a human male and 23 from a human female) is human, then abortion of the pre-born human is human homicide; no matter the number of weeks of pregnancy or the stage or status along the human continuum from the initial multiplying of the cells of a zygote to a maturing human fetus, to where it could exist outside the mother's womb.

Abortion is not just a "termination of a pregnancy" but human euthanasia, no matter what compelling rationale or altruistic agenda is used to justify it.

What Does the Bible Say?

Scientific studies are helpful but moral questions need to begin with the Bible. If the Bible is found to speak to the issues, it needs to be paramount to our understanding and choices—not peripheral.

Consider the implications of these biblical passages:

- Psalm 139:13-16 (MEV)—where the use of personal pronouns in these verses indicate that there was a person present before the psalmist's birth

- Jeremiah 1:4-5—shows that there is a continuity between a child that is conceived and a child that is born.

- Psalm 51:5—only "humanness" occurring at the time of conception would allow David to possess a sinful nature at that time.

- John 16:21—Jesus indicates that the birthing process brings a human being from inside to outside the womb.

- Luke 1:39-44 (ESV)—Mary's cousin, Elizabeth, said that at the sound of Mary's greeting "the baby in my womb leaped for joy."

Ethical Dilemmas

What about your own ethical positions on these matters? Right and wrong are not determined by what is easy or popular. Consider these medical and ethical dilemmas:

- At what stage of human gestation ("egg to embryo") is abortion the murder of a pre-born, human child?

- Does human personhood begin at fertilization, heartbeat, implantation in the uterus, before birth or at a certain number of days after birth?

- When—after birth—is the taking of the life of a human being [as a baby, toddler, teen or senior citizen] MURDER? Why?

- Are there exceptions? What about rape? Unwanted pregnancy? Wrong gender?

Cultural opinions and practices may change but Scriptures do not. Is your position firmly fixed by Scripture? Or could you be led to change your ethical beliefs by the opinions of others?

To be pro-life and believe that unborn human life should not be treated as less valuable than any human life outside the womb is challenging in these cancel-culture days. To believe and say so only makes logical sense if you believe it should apply to every life, young and old, all the time and not just when it is politically acceptable or only when it comes to your own personal life or family.

Follow "the Science and Data."

Brittany Clingen Carl, vice president of Illinois Right to Life, has written about this at

"Scientific and technologic advancements in the fields of embryology and neonatology have made clear to laypeople what pro-life leaders have been saying for decades: A fertilized egg, complete with its unique and distinct set of DNA from the moment of conception, is a human being...and just as deserving of rights, protection, and care as any person fighting for his or her life in a Covid-19 hospital ward."

Almost every day, governors stand at a podium and call on their constituents to cooperate with their edicts and make tremendous sacrifices to "protect human lives." Yet the majority of these state executives will sign legislation to allow and encourage the daily killing of hundreds of innocent, pre-born children in their states via abortion.

Not only is abortion a moral tragedy; it is a strategic tragedy as well. These anti-life politicians and adherents have, by now, short-circuited tens of millions of potential citizens, voters and taxpayers who could have productively replaced the aging "surplus population" to borrow a phrase from Scrooge.

Those who tout "science and data" as our way out of this novel-coronavirus crisis and those who share this life-ending, political ideology are, as Brittany Carl says, "complicit in ending more lives than Covid-19 ever will."

Gary Curtis is a retired minister and Bible teacher. He served Foursquare churches in Illinois and California for over 50 years, including being part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way in Van Nuys, California for 27 years (1988-2015). Now retired, Gary and his wife have been married for more than 50 years and live in southern California. They have two married daughters and five grandchildren.

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