Is abortion murder or is it an acceptable form of birth control and family planning? What about the sanctity of human life-no matter how elementary and new that life may be-as a creation in the very image of God? Is abortion an amoral matter of individual choice or is it a moral perversion, a sin, a crime against God and humanity and thus worthy of judgment? When does life begin? Is the baby an individual person separate from its mother, or just a blob of tissue, an extension of the host organism?

In varying degrees, these are questions with which the early church fathers wrestled. While it may surprise modern readers to learn that abortion is not a distinctly twentieth-century phenomenon, they may be surprised even further to learn that the church leaders who dealt with this issue came to virtually the same conclusions that Bible based Christianity has arrived at today.

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