Monday, August 27, 2012

The Biblical Case Against Abortion

A little while back I posted some quotes from several early church fathers where they clearly condemned abortion. I also expounded on one of those quotes on my other blog. Here I want to make the biblical case against abortion.

While the Bible does not explicitly deal with abortion, it does condemn the murder of human people and recognizes unborn children as such, seeing continuity between before and after birth.

1. The Bible condemns murder, and does so because man is made in the image of God:
"You shall not murder."
(Exodus 20:13)

"Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image."
(Genesis 9:6)
2. The Bible presents unborn children as people having individual relationships with God (sometimes with personal faith), and with each other:
"...and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, 'If it is thus, why is this happening to me?' So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her,
'Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.'
When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob."
(Genesis 25:21b-26)

"On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother's womb you have been my God."
(Psalm 22:10)

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me."
(Psalm 51:5)

"Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
you are he who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually of you."
(Psalm 71:6)

"...he [John] will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb."
(Luke 1:15)

"And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit...'For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.'"
(Luke 1:41, 44)

3. Because unborn children are thus human persons with souls, the law of God provides legal protection of unborn children:
"When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."
(Exodus 21:22-25)
In this passage even the non-intentional causing of a premature birth without injury involved is punished with a fine. If there is injury caused, then there should be civil punishment fitting to the damage (life for life, etc...). Obviously the intentional practice of causing the death of the unborn child would be very strictly punished according to biblical law. 

Some argue that the harm referred to is harm to the woman and that a miscarriage is being discussed. But the word for miscarriage is not used here, nor do the words used indicate such a meaning, and the harm is not specified to the woman, but harm to either woman or child seems to be meant. But even if they are right, the passage still shows that in an accidental case of causing miscarriage (i.e. manslaughter) there is a fine. If it was an intentional causing of the death of the unborn child, more than a fine would be expected as the civil penalty.

4. Other considerations include:

God makes and cares for the unborn baby in a personal way (e.g. Psalms 139:13-16).

The person of Jesus Christ took on human nature (added to his person) and lived His human life from conception onwards (Matthew 1:18-23, Luke 1:31-35).

Thus, the unborn child is a human person, and the child being unborn does not exempt the intentional killing of the unborn child from being murder, which is contrary to God's law and is sin. It should be resisted by individuals, families, churches, and civil governments, with their proper authority, lest our land continue to be defiled by this sin.

5. One more point. Killing children, born and unborn, is not only a sin, but a judgement upon a people:
"Samaria shall bear her guilt,
because she has rebelled against her God;
they shall fall by the sword;
their little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
and their pregnant women ripped open."
(Hosea 13:16)
See also: Deuteronomy 28:53-57, Isaiah 13:16, Nahum 3:10, Psalm 137:8-9

Thus, not only ought we to oppose abortion, but we also ought to repent of our sins, and of our nation's sins, relying on God's grace and salvation.


Anonymous said...

Accurate and solid. I like when you post on these kinds of things.

Also, Hosea 9:11-16.

David Harris said...

I like this post. Every single word is very true. Thanks for allocating some true words about the Biblical case against abortion.
quotes on abortion