Q: Most pro-lifers say life begins at conception. Why is it not okay to abort even though the Adjuster (and thus the soul) come five years after the baby’s birth?
A: I am not sure that most pro-lifers are against abortion because of the presence of the soul, although I am sure that there are plenty of religionists who hold that position. Many have hazy ideas of the soul; as Urantia Book readers know, the soul is a later acquirement, but this is not yet common knowledge.
It seems to me that the main argument against abortion is the belief that LIFE is present at conception. Those who are against abortion believe that it is LIFE that is being ended, whether a soul is involved or not. And ending a life—even a fetal or embryonic life—is, to many, a form of murder.
But, following your reasoning, I have to ask: is a child’s life meaningless up to the age of of five, simply because that person does not yet possess a Thought Adjuster or a soul…? I do hope that you don’t think that way…The Urantia Book teaches us that these little ones possess potential for eternal lives if they die before the age of reason. Even a fetus or embryo may enjoy that potential. Please consider the following passages from The Urantia Book (bolding is mine)
This gives “individual status” to every newly-born being…
In a later paper, we learn:
This passage clearly indicates that even the unborn are afforded opportunity for eternal life in the Father’s plan of ascension . Such unborn beings are salvaged for future universe service and spiritual advancement-in the Father’s universe, they possess worth and value no matter how insignificant they may seem.
I can’t advise you on the rightness or wrongness of abortion in this reply. Every situation is different, and the motivation for abortion varies from case to case, and must be factored in when assessing the morality of such a choice. However, armed with the information above, one might be hard-pressed to make such a decision lightly or without serious thought.
In “The Ideals of Family Life” we find some interesting commentary upon our modern family; these thoughts also seem pertinent to the discussion of abortion: (again, bolding is mine)
84:7.3 Sex association is natural, but marriage is social and has always been regulated by the mores. The mores (religious, moral, and ethical), together with property, pride, and chivalry, stabilize the institutions of marriage and family. Whenever the mores fluctuate, there is fluctuation in the stability of the home-marriage institution. Marriage is now passing out of the property stage into the personal era. Formerly man protected woman because she was his chattel, and she obeyed for the same reason. Regardless of its merits this system did provide stability. Now, woman is no longer regarded as property, and new mores are emerging designed to stabilize the marriage-home institution:
1. The new role of religion—the teaching that parental experience is essential, the idea of procreating cosmic citizens, the enlarged understanding of the privilege of procreation— giving sons to the Father.
2. The new role of science—procreation is becoming more and more voluntary, subject to man’s control. In ancient times lack of understanding insured the appearance of children in the absence of all desire therefor.
3. The new function of pleasure lures—this introduces a new factor into racial survival; ancient man exposed undesired children to die; moderns refuse to bear them.
4. The enhancement of parental instinct—each generation now tends to eliminate from the reproductive stream of the race those individuals in whom parental instinct is insufficiently strong to insure the procreation of children, the prospective parents of the next generation
The Urantia Book does not give us black-and-white advice about the practice of abortion. Right now, abortion is a constitutional right, and is therefore, one of the accepted mores of American society. However, as you point out, not everyone agrees with this; as well, the present legitimacy of abortion does not automatically make it something to be desired.
I hope the passages above help you to form an opinion that will satisfy your highest ideals.
Thanks again for writing…