It is important to understand how it is that life in the human being begins at the moment of conception. I believe this can be answered very concisely by asking the question: Does God make anything halfway? Once God has created human life at conception by the mother and father the process of life is initiated, and there is no such things as reversing it. The life is in embryonic form, yet it is life and from this form it will grow to be a full man or woman; if not in this life then in heaven. For those who believe in God probably this is enough to say for them to believe, because those who believe in Him know that what God creates and speaks is divine by nature and what is divine is eternal. But let us look further into it.
I recently wrote an article about the time of death in an article on assisted suicide. I see that there are comparisons between the time of death and time of birth. In that article I discussed that the providence of God is ever present and works in all the minutest things of man. Once the baby is conceived it is under the providence of God. It is a sovereign entity that God has given life and freedom to, and which cannot be reversed or taken away (in an internal sense). People have sometimes said to this: “If a person kills the themselves or aborts a baby is that not the providence of God?”. The answer to this is that God’s providence works within freedom; it works by a reciprocal relationship with each person. For God follows his own laws of divine order, of which the primary one is that human freedom is total and real. God knows that man can only become, change, and form by the exercising of his own will. The will, love and affections are the base line of who we are and what we become, and so God works with us to help us overcome evil and become heavenly. But because we are truly free we can reject God himself. This is why Hell exists.
The question people ask about whether aborting a baby is God’s providence or will is similar to what people said to Jesus when he was alive. They jeered him by saying, “If you are the son of God then save Yourself prophet?”. They say this because they are external people thinking in an external way and they don’t believe in him. Jesus could save Himself if He wanted, but he does not. He knows that human beings could only be saved in freedom, and He worked within the laws of freedom the whole time He was here to save humanity. (Besides this He knew that by being killed He would resurrect and in so doing transform the universe and be present to all humanity, but this is another story one can read in the article on the Glorification.) God never wills anything less than love at all times! The whole purpose of life and humanity is for humans to have life and to grow into angels in heaven! The birth of a baby corresponds to creation; does anyone question that once creation started that it would be reversed, not even natural science questions that.
Those who believe abortion is OK are greatly misguided. When Jesus was on the cross and they were killing him He prayed for those doing it and for all humanity saying: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Even while they were killing Him He willed nothing less than love and mercy. The natural men killing him thought they were getting rid of a criminal, but the greatest event of all time was taking place. Because people can abort a baby, certainly doesn’t make it right. God’s will is for us to do spiritual acts while in the world so that we can become heavenly. Every child conceived is utterly precious to God and his Angels, and it is an atrocity for a baby to be killed. To compensate for the atrocity the baby is raised by angels in heaven, from a baby, to a child, and in time grow become a man or woman angel. Everything in the spiritual world is a process as things are, except in heaven it is thousands of times more wonderful.
I will offer two quotes from Swedenborg. The first one shows how it is that from conception the embryonic baby is alive, and receive love from angels attending to them with the greatest care and mercy. He writes this from what angels told Him while he was in heaven.
432. WHAT MAN’S BEGINNING IS FROM CONCEPTION.
What man’s beginning or primitive form is in the womb after conception no one can know, because it cannot be seen; moreover, it is made up of spiritual substance, which is not visible by natural light. Now because there are some in the world who are eager to investigate even the primitive form of man, which is seed from the father, from which conception is effected, and because many of these have fallen into the error of thinking that man is in his fullness from his first, which is the rudiment, and is afterwards perfected by growth, it has been disclosed to me what that rudiment or first is in its form. It has been disclosed to me by angels, to whom it was revealed by the Lord; and because they had made it a part of their wisdom, and it is the joy of their wisdom to communicate to others what they know, permission having been granted, they presented before my eyes in the light of heaven a type of man’s initial form, which was as follows: There appeared as it were a tiny image of a brain with a delicate delineation of something like a face in front, with no appendage. This primitive form in the upper convex part was a structure of contiguous globules or spherules, and each spherule was a joining together of those more minute, and each of these in like manner of those most minute. It was thus of three degrees. In front, in the flat part, a kind of delineation appeared for a face. The convex part was covered round about with a very delicate skin or membrane which was transparent. The convex part, which was a type of the brain in least forms, was also divided into two beds, as it were, just as the brain in its larger form is divided into hemispheres. It was told me that the right bed was the receptacle of love, and the left the receptacle of wisdom; and that by wonderful interweavings these were like consorts and partners. It was further shown in the light of heaven, which fell brightly on it, that the structure of this little brain within, as to position and movement, was in the order and form of heaven, and that its outer structure was in direct opposition to that order and form. After these things were seen and pointed out, the angels said that the two interior degrees, which were in the order and form of heaven, were the receptacles of love and wisdom from the Lord; and that the exterior degree, which was in direct opposition to the order and form of heaven, was the receptacle of hellish love and insanity; for the reason that man, by hereditary corruption, is born into evils of every kind, and these evils reside there in the outermosts; and that this corruption is not removed unless the higher degrees are opened, which, as was said, are the receptacles of love and wisdom from the Lord. And as love and wisdom are very man, for love and wisdom in their essence are the Lord, and this primitive form of man is a receptacle, it follows that in that primitive form there is a continual effort towards the human form, which also it gradually assumes.
In the quote below Swedenborg explains how hard it is for most people to understand that civil life and belief is closely connected to spiritual life, but also, how important and enlightening it is to make this connection. One who understands the spiritual reality will fight for the proper civil law:
Moreover people separate spiritual life from civil life so widely, that they would not dare to draw any idea of the one from the other. That the two correspond, and that spiritual life is represented in civil life, they know not at all, and some do not even allow any comparison; when yet the case really is that no idea can be had of spiritual life except from the things that are in civil life; and therefore if the latter is set aside, the former falls to the ground, until at last it is no longer believed in-as may be plainly evident from the fact that it is no longer believed that spirits and angels associate and converse together as men do, and reason in like manner as men do about what is honorable.