The Bible and Abortion: Numerous Scriptures Address the Issue
By Betty Miller
Of all the issues in our culture today, surely abortion is one of the most volatile. Perhaps no other issue has raised so much debate and anguish, plus time spent by various interested parties to educate to public to their views on it. In the midst of such a controversial issue, many simply throw up their hands and vow to stay out of it altogether. In the name of freedom and under the guise of “it isn’t my business” many choose to look the other way from this troubling issue, leaving the decision in the hand of lawmakers, doctors, and pregnant woman. Although there are many different issues concerning abortion, the following is designed to focus on what the Bible says about abortion, and the consequences thereof.
Does God Care about Abortion?
What does God say about abortion? Do the millions of abortions that have taken place in this land bother Him? Is a fetus a “real person” in the eyes of God? If so, where does that leave us? If an unborn life is truly just a mere mass of fetal tissue to God, we should want to know. If He considers the life of the woman more important than her unborn child, we should want to know. And if He does consider that unborn life a “real person,” and just as important as the life of the mother that bears it, we most certainly should want to know. After all, we are all accountable to God not only for our individual lives, but also as a generation and a nation.
Thou Shalt Not Kill and Its Application to Abortion
Throughout the Bible God has plenty to say about the taking of an innocent life. Most people in our nation, though they may not be familiar with all of the Ten Commandments, know that “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is listed there somewhere. The word “kill” in this instance specifically refers to “murder” — a premeditated and deliberate act of taking someone’s life. It is different than other forms of taking a life, which could be accidental, or in self-defense. God has different laws regarding different sorts of death. But He continually opposes and speaks against murder, especially murder of the innocent.
Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land and atonement cannot be made for the land on which the blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. Do not defile the land where you live. Numbers 35:33-34
God’s judgment against the killing of an innocent life grows out of His love for humankind. The crime of murder is not only an offense against the sanctity of life; it is a pollutant upon the very land we live. God wants to spare us of the variety of ways this pollution is manifested. When the land becomes defiled with sin, people cry out “where is God?” yet they refuse to take responsibility for breaking His laws, which were only given to us for our protection and good. Each sin that we commit is not merely an isolated incident, but will set off a chain reaction of other sins if not dealt with. Since the legalization of abortion for instance, child abuse has increased over 1000%. This is the exact opposite of what those who legalized abortion thought it would do since it was assumed that only children who were initially unwanted were abused.
In Psalm 106, God speaks specifically against killing innocent children and babies. He says of His people: “They mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshiped their idols which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughter to demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan and the land was desecrated by their blood.”
Today we may scoff, or wonder in disbelief how anyone, especially someone who claimed to follow God, could sacrifice their child to an idol or a demon. Yet, an idol is anything that we worship before God. Today, children are sacrificed to the idols of selfishness, convenience, “freedom,” and ambition — sacrificed to the very demonic powers that are behind such idols. Times really haven’t changed that much. Human nature hasn’t changed, nor has Satan’s schemes against that which God considered so precious that He died to redeem it–human life. In this day, it has become so critical to understand what the Bible says about abortion.
When Does Life Begin?
One may argue here that they agree that it is wrong to murder, but they still don’t see how a fetus necessarily qualifies as a human being. Perhaps God doesn’t feel the same way about a very young fetus, as He does an older fetus, a newborn, or a 50-year-old. It may be a different issue altogether with Him. Does the Bible say anything specifically about unborn children?
In Exodus 21:22 God gives a specific law regarding social order for the Israelites. He stated that if two men were fighting and hit a pregnant woman, thus causing her to give birth prematurely, they must be fined according to any damage done to the baby. The fine must be paid in relation to the amount of damage inflicted upon the child. If God would make a law specifically referring to the rights of the unborn, then surely the unborn must mean something to Him!
It has been stated, “If the womb had windows, there would be no abortion.” As humans, we are not omnipresent and cannot know the full scope of what each human life is worth. We cannot dwell in the womb with a fetus, nor can we see it as it matures. But God can.
A Scientific View of Abortion
Just 18 days after conception, the baby’s heart begins to beat. At six weeks, brain waves can be measured. At eight weeks, the vital organs are functioning and fingerprints have formed. At nine weeks, the unborn baby is able to feel pain. Over 700,000 abortions each year are performed after this point in the pregnancy. By the beginning of the second month, the unborn child, small as it is, has begun to look distinctly human, though the mother may not even be aware that she is pregnant! By the time the baby is eleven weeks old, he or she breaths (fluid), swallows, digests, sleeps, dreams, wakes, tastes, hears, and feels pain. Babies born prematurely can survive outside the womb as young as 20-25 weeks old. Yet, all that is necessary to make the baby a grown human being is already there from the moment of conception. All it needs is time to mature.
Former Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop stated “We now know when life begins because the test-tube baby proves that life begins with conception. What do you have in the dish? An egg and a sperm. What do you add to it to get a baby? Nothing.” Though it is wee, it is still a real person, just as a crumb of bread is still real bread. No one who has been given the gift of life should dare despise the day of small beginnings. Have we forgotten so quickly that we were once as small?
“In the tiny, almost invisible thirty two cell blastocyst–in that one gram or so of tissue–there is a physical potential and moral destiny unparalleled in our universe. Next to it, a gram of plutonium is a triviality: plutonium cannot compose a symphony, cannot cure cancer, cannot plan our course to the stars”. -Bernard Nathanson, M.D. and former abortionist-
A Spiritual View of What the Bible Says about Abortion
God said to the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). God knew this man before he was born. As he was forming in his mother’s womb God gave him his personality, talents, and temperament. If his mother had gotten an abortion, the “fetal tissue” she aborted would have been a real person named Jeremiah; a mighty prophet of God and the gift of God’s voice to the nations, though she would never have known.
The Lord hath called me from the womb: from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. Isaiah 49:1
Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us within our mothers? Job 31:15
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. Psalm 139:13-14
The above verses are only a sampling of the many Biblical references we find to life inside the mother’s womb. From them, it is clear that life begins when God creates it, not at some later point in time when it has grown to look like a newborn. God does not judge things according to their stage of development the way humans tend to. According to the above passages, even the tiniest embryo is the subject of His love and care. God sees each of our lives in the realm of our total existence, whether we are yet unborn, a young woman in the prime of her life, or an old man on his deathbed. He is patient with all of us, longing to bring each one of us into His maturity.
Do We Look Like God?
To destroy innocent human life is a crime against God, and a rejection of the truth that we were made in His image. Everything in the universe belongs to Him anyway. Psalm 24:1: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world and ALL who live in it.” Our own lives are a precious gift given to us, but ultimately we belong to God! We are His possessions; we have merely been granted stewardship over our lives, talents, money, time, the earth we live on and the things we “own.” Though children pass through us they are not ours, anymore that we are property of our parents. Each of us has been given the gift of life and freedom, for which we are responsible and accountable to God. None of us has the right to deny that same gift to an unborn person. It is an honor to carry that powerful force of another life within our very bodies– a life made in the very image of God! (Genesis 5:1-2)
God is no respecter of persons. If He knew Jeremiah in the womb, He knew you too. Do you believe that God lovingly fashioned you and loves you dearly? Do you believe that He has had a plan for your life from the beginning of time? A plan that none other can fulfill in quite the same way you can? That you came to this earth “trailing clouds of glory?” Or do you believe in your heart that you were a mere “accident” and that God has no personal concern for you or your life? Is it easier to believe that you are just a highly evolved animal? An animal (especially an undeveloped one) may certainly be easier to dispose of. It seems somehow even “natural,” as the laws of nature lend themselves to the survival of the strong and the equipped. Yet it seems doubtful that even an animal would come up with a way to deliberately kill its unborn offspring.
Even the jackals offer their breasts to nurse their young, but my people have become heartless like ostriches in the desert. Lamentations 4:3
Oh, let us turn from our heartlessness and defend the sanctity of human life! Out of respect for God, let us offer mercy and compassion to every life around us, born or unborn. Let us be givers of life instead of takers of life.
Am I My Brother’s Keeper?
Every 20 seconds another baby is aborted in this country, yet very few seem to notice. Statistically, one out of every three of us will die by abortion, and we will never know what we lost in those lives. Our country goes along its way leaving lawmakers to decide how the carnage should continue. We’ve bought into the lie that those we dispose of are not real people. It is the same old lie that was used to keep slavery legal, and to exterminate masses of peoples in holocausts all over the world. We should be able to see through it by now, but as usual, most of us let circumstances and the current cultural climate dictate to us what is acceptable or not. Yet God tells us to: “Rescue those being led away to death, hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say ‘But we knew nothing of this,’ does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” (Proverbs 24:11).
In our society today, we face a myriad of social problems as a result of our hypocrisy. Most of us have had to become somewhat double-minded just to keep a vestige of sanity. We put warnings on cigarettes and alcohol, that their consumption is dangerous to an unborn child. Yet we deem it perfectly legal, even “responsible” for a mother to have a doctor poison that same child inside her, or rip it to shreds with a surgical instrument. We might charge a man who kills a pregnant woman with a double homicide, yet what if that woman was on her way to the abortion clinic to dispose of her baby anyway? Do we then charge him with a single homicide? Why do 21 states have legislation to delay a death sentence imposed against a pregnant woman who is guilty of a crime, until after she delivers her baby? If we really believed what we said about the unborn child being a mere blob of tissue, it would seem that no one would mind if that baby died along with the mother in the electric chair.
We wonder how respectable college kids can throw their newborn baby into a dumpster, yet what are we supposed to think? We’re the ones who told them that it is irresponsible to raise a child at their young age and that an “unwanted child” (which is a fallacy) is better off dead. They are not to blame as much as the media, the lawmakers, the abortion counselors, the doctors, and the voters. When a woman can have an abortion on a nine month old unborn child, and yet a week later be tried for murder if she disposed of the child outside the womb (which at that point, would seem to be a much easier and practical way to dispose of the baby) what are the young people of this nation supposed to think? Do we really have to wonder at the lack of respect for human life that we see around us?
Evil prevails when good men, in the name of freedom, do nothing. 1 Peter 2:16: “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.” Very few of us would argue that crack cocaine, or rape should be legal simply because people are going to do it anyway, yet that is the argument that is applied to abortion. As a nation, our morals and ethics vacillate between honor and convenience, integrity and greed. This double-mindedness has become a cancer eating away at the very heart of our nation.
History will speak of our abortion as a mark of the absolute decadence of our era. There will come a time when we will look back on abortion with the same shame we do now towards our evil treatment of the American Indians, and the blight of slavery. We wonder why history continues to repeat itself. It is because evil starts in little ways–it starts as a seemingly innocent thought in the heart of man. Sin always seems practical, necessary, or even “cute” in its initial stages. It is only in hindsight that we can see just how atrocious those massive exterminations were and how they went against the very core of what the United States was supposed to be. Yet, we have no right to condemn previous generations for the same deeds we commit today. Then, as now, the masses simply went along with whatever was the popular opinion. In regard to slavery, it was even argued that the government didn’t have a right to tell people whether they could own slaves or not… That it was a personal choice to be made and that freedom of choice is what our country is all about. Only in that case they forgot the rights of one whole people group. Sound familiar?
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord said. “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground which opened it’s mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.” Genesis 4:9-11
As a nation, we must repent for the heartlessness we have displayed to the most helpless members of our culture. Though God is merciful, He is also just. He cannot ignore the cries of the blood that has soaked our ground and stained our hands. We are bringing ourselves under a curse, but do not have the eyes to see it. We only see the fruit of that curse and we wonder what went wrong. Like Cain, our ears have become deafened to the cries of those we have murdered.
True Freedom Comes from Following the Bible’s Teachings
There are too many of us who prefer to let the media do our thinking for us. Should we disagree, many of us are too intimidated to ever speak out with conviction. As we let time go by, our godly convictions begin to slip away and we become numb. Eventually, we may even support that which we had earlier condemned. This is called the “searing of a conscience.” It happened in Hitler’s Germany and it is happening today. How can we bring a dead conscience back to life? How can we know the difference between right and wrong? As was just established, we cannot merely “listen to our heart” and follow what seems best at the time. Some of the most horrifying deeds in history have been done by those who were following whatever moral code was most convenient at the time. Freedom is not doing whatever suits our fancy at the moment. That will only bring slavery and sorrow to our souls. True freedom is having the power to know what is right and to choose accordingly. But how can we choose, if we do not know? How can we obtain true freedom?
You shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you free. John 8:32
We must cleanse our minds by the washing with the water through the WORD. Ephesians 5:26
God’s WORD is the Bible — ancient, yet ageless and seething with life. It will literally clean our thinking and bring life to our sin-deadened minds so we can see what He sees and feel what He feels. It will reveal our very thoughts to ourselves.
For the WORD of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Respect for God, His creation, and His Holy WORD, is the only way we will ever find true freedom.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7
Wisdom and compassion cannot be found outside of God for He is wisdom and He is love. Long before heaven and earth were made, and long after they disappear, His WORD will still remain. On the Day of Judgement, abortion and every other atrocity we have tried to justify will be shown for the evil it is. We must seek God now, while we have the time to do it! Today is the day of salvation.
It is not too late to repent and turn our hearts back to the Lord. We can bring healing and life to this land that we love if we will humble ourselves before God’s mighty right hand.
If my people, who are called by my name, and humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
God Loves You!
If you are planning an abortion, please reconsider. Though your situation may seem hopeless, God will work something beautiful in your life if you trust and obey Him. Choosing to “remove” your problem will only create new ones. Michah 6:7: “Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” You will have to bear the guilt of your abortion or else harden your heart to not feel guilty. God loves both you and your child very much, and if you feel incapable of raising him or her, there are thousands of couples who have waited years for the chance to adopt a baby. Though it may be difficult to give it away, you will have given it the greatest gift of all–life. As Mother Theresa put it so simply “love means to be willing to give until it hurts.” Give your child to a family that will truly love it. You can make the dreams of a childless couple come true… and you can bless the heart of God.
If you have already had an abortion, please do not feel that this was written only to bring you under guilt and condemnation. What is done is done and cannot be changed. God has your child in heaven with Him, and longs to forgive you if you ask Him to. Once God forgives a sin, He literally forgets it, and DOES NOT HOLD IT AGAINST YOU ANY LONGER! Please do not hold against yourself what God has forgotten. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I, even I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:18, 25). Receive His love, for He loves you just as much as the child you lost. He already took your sin and bore it upon Himself so you would not have to bear the punishment, which would be eternal separation from Him. He knows the agony you’ve gone through better than any other, for He was there too, with you. Open your life to Him and let Him give you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of the spirit of despair. He will make you into an oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display his splendor (Isaiah 61:3).
In conclusion, the words of God ring out as clearly now as they did over 3,000 years ago:
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your children may live, and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him. Deuteronomy 30:19-20
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Topic: What the Bible Says About Abortion – The Bible and Abortion
Related Topics: What The Bible Says about Sex Before Marriage; Choices (How They Create Our Future); Scripture Prayer for Fear and Anxiety; Forgiveness; Repentance; Healing; Scripture Prayer for Healing