This well-intentioned but highly-flawed Statement by Geoscience Research Institute ironically misunderstands the biblical account of creation. The unborn consisting of human tissue is not a person. The requisites of a person are the material body and the breath of life. “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7 NIV. Accordingly, personhood begins at birth.
We should not allow science to predominate over the Word of God. Science has allowed us to see pictures of the fetus, analyze the inner workings of a cell, and behold the majesty of the heavens. But scientific knowledge should not be the basis of value judgments that lie outside the domain of science. No matter how awestricken we might be as we behold the wonders of nature, we err in claiming that such wonders are endowed with the image of God and are of infinite value. To accord personhood and human rights to a fetus is essentially an exaltation of nature that is alien to the teachings of Scripture. This exaltation of nature ironically undermines rather than affirms God’s exaltation of His special creation.
Scientific knowledge has lead to the dichotomization of the pregnant woman. She is no longer regarded, as Scripture regards her, as a singular living being, but as a person whose rights are in conflict with the alleged rights of the “person” in her womb. If the woman’s rights come from God, then how can she lose them by becoming pregnant? Her rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” exist whether she is pregnant or not, (as I quote the Declaration of Independence, which is founded on biblical thinking). Accordingly, the interests of the fetus, assuming the fetus has interests, must always be subordinate to the God-given rights of the woman. Yes, God knew Jeremiah before he was born, but He also knew him before he was conceived. This biblical passage speaks to God’s foreknowledge, not to when Jeremiah became a person. Yes, John the Baptist kicked inside the womb, but this story speaks about a supernatural event and does not purport to claim that the unborn possess the consciousness of a living being. In sum, Scripture does not confer personhood upon the unborn.
Certainly, there are ethical issues that a pregnant woman should consider. The Seventh-day Adventist Church can guide, so long as it does not take the position that the unborn is a person.