October 14: C. Everett Koop

This Day in Presbyterian History:

To Spare a Mother’s Life is a Myth of Abortion

The statement of the medical doctor blew the lid off of one of the more famous grounds of abortion.  He said, “protection of the life of the mother as an exercise of abortion is a smoke screen. In my thirty-six years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instances where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life. If toward the end of the pregnancy complications would arise that threaten the mother’s life, the doctor will induce labor or perform a Caesarean section.  His intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger. To spare a mother’s life is a myth of abortion.”

Who said this?  None other than C. Everett Koop, who served for two terms  under President Ronald Reagan as Surgeon General of the United States in the nineteen eighties (1982 – 1989). C. Everett Koop was pro-life in his views of life in the womb.

Born in  Brooklyn, New York on October 14, 1916, “Chick” Koop, as he was known by his friends, certainly had the education to make him the top doctor in the country.  Educated at Dartmouth College in his undergraduate years, he went on to receive degree after degree at the top medical hospitals in the country.  In addition, he received forty-one honorary  doctorates.

While in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he joined Tenth Presbyterian Church, serving as a ruling elder of that P.C.A. congregation. He cooperated with Francis Schaeffer in producing the “How Then Shall We Live” series, which informed American Christians of their duty to be salt and light in the midst of a corrupting and darksome  culture.

As of this writing, he lives up in New Hampshire.

Words to live by:  If you check on the world-wide web, you can find some other statements by Dr. Koop dealing with the issues which define our world, such as euthanasia, which he decries that medicine cannot be considered our healer and our killer at the same time.  We can thank God that he was raised up for such a time and age as this, when sound biblical conclusions needed to be raised in a culture which devalues life.

Through the Scriptures: Malachi 1 – 4

Through the Standards: The tests of church purity

WCF 25:4
“This catholic Church has been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. And particular Churches, what are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.”

For further study : The papers of Dr. C. Everett Koop are preserved at the National Library of Medicine. And additional, smaller collection pertaining mostly to several of Dr. Koop’s published works, can be found at Wheaton College.

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