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 Issues | Ethics | Abortion

Abortion - Biblical

Biblical passages having a bearing on the issue.

God is the creator of human life

The Bible states very clearly that God is the creator of human life both of the human race in general and of individuals in particular.

‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them’ (Genesis 1:27).

‘The Lord God formed the 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).

‘Know that the Lord is God. It is he, who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture’ (Psalm 100: 3).

‘You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit’ (Job 10:12).

Human life is a gift from God

God is a loving God who is full of ‘grace’, shown by ‘giving’ his begotten son, Jesus Christ, to save us from sins (John 3:16). Life is valuable because God loves it.

Life is a ‘gift’ from God as Job said at his bereaving of his sons, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21).

Human life is precious to his creator and should be treated with humility by its procreator (“pro” being Latin for “on behalf of”).

The nature of life

There is a great debate between pro-choice and pro-life groups as to when human life begins. The importance of this question is whether human life is being destroyed in abortion or embryo research.

‘The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb…” (Genesis 25:23). This incident and the statement by God shows that the separate personalities and destines of the unborn children in the womb are known to God.

‘If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. Bur if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise’ (Exodus 21:22-25). These verses show that the violence to the foetus is an offence even though it is an accident. Abortion could be an even more serious offence in God’s sight because it is voluntary.

‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be’ (Psalm 139:13-16). This passage clearly tells us God creates a child in the womb (the same meaning as ‘depths of the earth’) with his knowledge, care and protection. The child in the womb is an unborn person that needed human protection. Therefore, abortion at any time after conception means the death of an unborn child.

‘You gave me life and showed me kindness, and to your providence watched over my spirit… Why then you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me. If only I had never come into being, or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!’ (Job 10:12, 18 and 19) Job was in agony and cried out to God, however, in the midst of his suffering, he acknowledged his life from the womb to the grave was given by God. He was already a human being (with his spirit) in the womb, not just a cluster of cells.

‘At that time <when the angel announced she was to bear Jesus> Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit’ (Luke 1:39-41). Mary was no more than a week of two pregnant (Luke1:31 says that Mary was not yet pregnant, and she went to Elizabeth immediately) while Elizabeth was in her sixth month pregnancy. John was described as a baby (Greek: brephos), the same word used to describe a baby out of the womb. He recognised the presence of Jesus in Mary’s womb and responded. It shows that the two distinctive persons were in their mother’s womb developing. The first fourteen days should be discounted as ‘non-being’ at all.

Pro-choice groups often argue that embryos are only ‘potential humans’ and therefore such embryos do not need to be respected, or deemed to have the same rights as the mother. In fact from the Biblical evidence embryos like the rest of us, are humans with much potential.


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