In modern society, most Christians are bombarded with a plethora of information on various social issues. Abortion rights are a polarizing social issue with strong opinions and emotions on both sides. Believers need to understand and maintain a biblical position on abortion and not be confused by arguments that focus on social instead of moral issues.
The enemy’s deception is crafty. If abortion were not the issue at stake, most of us would agree that the government should not be involved in women’s health decisions. The abortion debate is so polarizing precisely because it revolves around a woman’s right to decide what happens to her body. Thus, abortion has become a personal rights issue instead of a moral issue with another human being’s life hanging in the balance.
The debate does not address what happens to the unborn child’s body during an abortion. If the public was adequately educated about what happens to the baby during an abortion, this author believes many women would change their minds.
Societies across history have agreed that murder is wrong. Today, with few exceptions, there is also agreement that when babies are born, they should be loved and kept safe. In the U.S., if a baby suffers abuse after birth, the parent risks governmental termination of parental rights.
Ironically, there are few protections afforded unborn babies, despite a plethora of scientific evidence and several U.S. Health and Human Services administrations defining life as beginning at conception. It should be noted that unborn babies have their own unique DNA, that video has captured footage of unborn babies hiding from abortion instruments, and that scientists have confirmed through numerous studies that unborn babies feel pain. A Princeton University webpage has an entire page of scientific research devoted to the scientific opinion that life begins when a human egg is fertilized by human sperm (https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html). Download the Fact Sheet HERE.
While there is undoubtedly substantial scientific evidence to prove that life begins at conception and abortion ends the life of a human being, the evidence is ignored so that women’s individual rights can be protected at all costs.
It becomes a values-based dilemma, weighing a woman’s right to determine what happens to her body against the right of an unborn baby to be able to live. Many Christians are swayed by the deceptive arguments and values dilemma and identify as “pro-choice.”
As believers, our responsibility is to seek God’s Word to inform us of what is right and adhere to it. Scripture is used to argue both sides of the abortion debate, which is why a biblical position on abortion requires more than pulling Scripture out of context to use in a debate. In addition to examining individual Scriptures, the biblical context includes understanding God’s character and His holistic instruction throughout the Bible. Let’s begin the process of identifying a genuinely biblical position on abortion.
When we go to God’s Word, we recognize its authority, understand its divine origin, and that, as believers, we must conform to its truth. The Christian is not at liberty to pick or choose Scriptures which Scriptures they agree with and want to obey. As we develop a biblical position on abortion, we begin with the value of the unborn baby’s life. Numerous passages in the Old and New Testament confirm unique personhood and value prior to birth.
King David affirms in Psalm 139:13-16 that God lovingly created and knew him before his birth:
“For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.”
The prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah confirm God’s call on their lives before their births. God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5, ESV.
Isaiah proclaims in Isaiah 49:1, “Listen to me, O coastlands; pay attention, you peoples from far away! The Lord called me before I was born; while I was in my mother’s womb, He named me.”
Luke, the physician, chronicles the fact that John the Baptist recognized Jesus while both were still in their mothers’ wombs, causing his mother Elizabeth to proclaim miraculously,
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:41-45 ESV.
The Apostle Paul confirms that he was set apart for ministry before his birth, “But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace….” Galatians 1:15 ESV
Because God’s Word tells us that life begins in the womb and that murder is wrong, a loving Scriptural response is crucial.
God’s Word is clear in both Old and New Testament passages that God’s plans for human beings begin before they are born! God uniquely creates them for His purposes. If we can agree that there is biblical precedent for the existence of human life before birth, we then move forward to what God’s Word says about taking human life.
The Bible is certainly not silent on taking another human being’s life, and the principle is evident in many Old and New Testament passages. When the Ark finally landed, God blessed Noah and his sons. He gave them instructions, including, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” Genesis 9:6 (ESV).
When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses at Mount Sinai, one of the ten was the commandment not to murder (Ex. 20:13). Deuteronomy 5:17 repeats the commandment.
Jesus affirms the Old Testament commandment when the rich young ruler asks which commandments to keep. “Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 19:18-19 ESV.
The apostle John affirms murder as a sin, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” 1 John 3:15 ESV.
The above Old and New Testament Scriptures articulate God’s value of human life before babies are born and His commandment against taking human life. God is the Creator and Giver of human life. A biblical position on abortion must align with God’s values above human or societal values.
Most of us know a few of the millions of wounded women who carry the horrible burden of guilt for ending their unborn child’s life. Studies have shown much higher suicide rates and psychological hospital admissions for women who have had abortions. They need to be lovingly led to seek God’s forgiveness and restoration. Abortion is not an unforgivable sin. King David committed murder and was forgiven (2 Samuel 11:14).
Christians are called to stand firm with a biblical position on abortion. We know the character of God and the truth of His Word. We are also called to love and compassion. Now is the time to reach out and support frightened women experiencing crisis pregnancies. If we say abortion is wrong, we must support women choosing to give their baby the gift of life. Loving, praying, providing practical support, and connecting them with an adoption agency are all steps believers should take to support the mother and the unborn child.
To share the facts about unborn babies’ personhood and right to life, download the Fact Sheet HERE.