What Does the Bible Say About Abortion?
What Does the Bible Say About Abortion?
There’s been much ado about the overturning of Roe v. Wade. I think it is important to understand a few things about the Supreme Court and what this decision means legally. Then, we’ll cover what the bible says about abortion.
Pursuant to the Supreme Court decision flipping Roe v. Wade originally decided in 1973, abortion is not illegal, contrary to popular commentary. The legality of abortion is up to each state to decide. Some states will or have banned abortion entirely and others will become an abortion ‘sanctuary.’
Essentially, the Court looked at the Roe decision and decided that there is no legal right to abortion afforded to the individual in the Constitution.
It is here we draw a parallels with our bibles and culture. Some pro-abortion types would argue that the constitution is a ‘living document,’ meant to evolve with the culture. Others, originalists, would say no to this. The originalists believe the constitution does not change with the times and it should be interpreted as it was written regardless of the cultural milieu. We can see the same with our bibles.
This isn’t to say that our views and ideas cannot change over time. After all, for much of human history we justified enslaving human beings and we’ve moved beyond that.
But, however, Truth is timeless.
“Thou shalt not murder” means the same thing today as it did when Moses carried those stone tablets down the mountain to the Israelites.
Now, here in America we do not live in a Theocracy, however, our legal system today is rooted in Judeo-Christian values.
Although I believe our democratic system is good, it is not perfect. Thankfully, we Christians have the inerrant word of God and the Holy Spirit to direct us. It is with this knowledge that we recognize the truth we hear from Paul the Apostle:
1 Corinthians 6:12
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful.”
We must, as Christians, use the bible as our source of Truth. There are many things in this world that are not illegal, but we avoid anyway. Abortion is no different. Its legality in the eyes of the government has no influence on God’s view of abortion. And when God’s view and the government’s view are at odds, I would argue, we must always take God’s view.
The Romans 1:18 Problem
Evolution, moral relativism, nihilism, and communism. Though, maybe not in this particular order, it is within these theories we see the birth of a new religion. The Religion Paul outlines for us in the verses above. This religion, among many other practices, does encourage child sacrifice. This is what abortion is.
We find the roots of this religion firmly planted in violation of the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.” It is here where we find the deity of this religion as old as humanity. The deity of self. Since time began, man has been tempted and succumbed to the desire that he can supplant the one true living God with himself. It is here were we find the conscience so numb that one could find himself in the loving embrace of Satan and thereby justify the murderous slaughter of millions of innocent children. Much like drug addiction, Satan need not make overt attempts to murder us. No, we simply kill ourselves and consider it a triumph.
Mankind has deluded itself into believing it can bring about heaven on earth themselves without the creator of both.
For reference consider this fact. When Adolf Hitler committed genocide during World War II, 6 million jews were murdered. Since ‘Roe,’ was enacted into law, 60 million babies have been murdered.
Res Ipsa Loquitur
The bible does not discuss abortion specifically. There is a legal doctrine that comes from a Latin phrase which, I think, encapsulates this issue best:
Res ipsa Loquitur literally means, “The thing speaks for itself.” The bible need not address abortion specifically, because murder is covered thoroughly and completely throughout scripture. I believe we have this very law written on our hearts. From God’s mouth to our ears.
What Does the Bible Say?
Genesis 1:26-27 NKJV
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Let’s start at the beginning. Literally. In the first chapter of Genesis we learn that God created human beings in His image. If we read carefully, there are three different references to us being created in His image. I don’t think it is a stretch to believe this gives us an innate value.
Just think about your own creations, that are not in your image, and how much you value them. Ask any writer about his or her essays, an architect about his buildings, or a painter about his paintings. We can even go a step further. How much do we value our children who are created in our image, which is God’s image? Wrap your brain around that.
At the time of this writing my wife and I are expecting our first child, and I can tell you, I value this ‘unborn’ child’s life over my own. I find myself frequently worrying about her health and well-being. I see her and my wife’s lives as the most precious gifts that should be protected at all costs. No ifs ands or buts. Why do I feel the need to protect a ‘clump of cells?’ I know I’m not unique in this feeling.
Exodus 21:22-25 NKJV
“If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
Here we find God laying out proportionate punishment for crimes. We see God paying special attention to a pregnant woman and her child or children. There is a punishment for a fight resulting in the premature birth of the child. Alternatively, the punishment is severe or essentially equivalent if the child or the mother are harmed. Hence, the frequently cited and oft misunderstood, “…eye for eye, tooth for tooth…” verse.
I think the most obvious observation is that if a fetus or mother is even accidentally killed in a scuffle, the punishment is death. what conclusions can we draw from a situation where a fetus is killed intentionally? Notice God’s particular attention to the preservation of life and consequences for the taking of it, even accidentally.
Further, since the punishment for harming the ‘born,’ mother and ‘unborn’ child, are the same, we can see that the unborn life is indeed a life to be valued the same as its mother.
“For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.”
First, David recognizes that we are, in fact, created beings. From which we can infer, we do, in fact, have a creator. Not only are we created, but we are created with care, love, and attention. We are created with inherent value bestowed upon us by our creator. Clearly David also is recognizing that God knew him and his destiny before he was even born.
Now, for the sake of the argument about abortion, conception is when life begins, at least this is the best place to begin in terms of human understanding. However, clearly God has valued and formed each life before conception. As my Dad used to tell me, “Before you were even a twinkle in your mother’s eye.”
Is it a Life?
We’ve examined a hand full of the arguments for abortion. Really though, it all comes down to life. When does life begin? Since, we won’t convince an atheist that God conceived us before we were conceived, we can simply look to the biology. At the moment of conception a unique genetic code is created. The very thing that exemplifies our personhood. A vast majority of the medical community agrees that life, does indeed, begin at conception.
In sum, we can say that the bible does, in fact, prohibit abortion.
Follow me if you will: Life begins at conception. Abortion is the intentional ending of that life. Intentionally ending a life is murder and murder is prohibited by the 5th Commandment. “Thou shall not murder.”
It’s really that simple.
The sin and evil in this world has made a perversion of God’s design. We kill babies and call it ‘reproductive health care.’ We say things like love is love and affirm sinful homosexual lifestyles mocking the marriage covenant ordained by God. There is a segment of our society working to convince children that they can change their gender using hormones and surgeries. Teenagers are encouraged to sew their oats, avoid marriage, and be ‘dog moms.’ Careers over families and the worship of the state and the self over all else.
We can rejoice today because Roe has been overturned. One of the great abominations in human history has been slowed. But, let us not rest on our laurels. Christian, evil is afoot. Gone are the days of live and let live. We must confront evil with goodness and truth. We must be bold and brave. Ferocious and humble. Honest and kind. We must stand firm in our faith and remember:
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”