What Does the Bible Say About Abortion?

A few days ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a law restricting abortions in Louisiana is unconstitutional. This was a landmark decision where Chief Justice John Roberts joined liberal justices in the 5-4 decision in a blow to anti-abortion groups. The same court struck down a similar policy in Texas in 2016. Once again this is a great loss to those who support the “Pro Life Movement” and a great victory to those who support the “Pro Choice Movement”. What becomes challenging in cases like this is that you cannot fight or defend or plead your case using your religious convictions. This means that if you are a Christian, you cannot use the Bible as your starting point or argument.

Most countries where abortion is legalized are secular states. They approve all religions but operate the state and law totally separated from religion. Now, very often, we as citizens of whatever country tend to support the view that seems most expedient for the pregnant woman and/or her immediate family and environment. But then questions arise asking: “What is abortion?” and “What is actually happening when a pregnancy is aborted?” For us as Christians–and law-abiding Christians at that–to attempt to answer these questions and others like them, we need to dig into the Word of God for answers and clarity. We cannot follow the secular route … we need to know, understand and abide by what God says. Once we know this, our personal and individual response must not infringe upon what the country’s law provides for. If we believe the Scriptures and that those in the secular government are Biblically wrong, they will account to God for their actions … and each occasion … not us!

What is abortion? What is termination of a pregnancy? It is the removing of the unborn baby from the mother’s womb (In certain countries, this is irrespective of at which stage the pregnancy is). What is the main reason for aborting the pregnancy? Mostly when there is an unwanted pregnancy, termination is sought. Pregnancy is caused through sexual intercourse. This might be amongst women who are married, the very young, unmarried, because of adultery, prostitution or rape. There are many reasons for abortion, such as the illness of the mother or the unborn baby, mental conditions, possible death of the mother of unborn child, etc. But generally, abortion is due to an unwanted pregnancy because of rebelling against God’s perimeters for sexual intercourse.

Why does God not permit sex outside of marriage? Because the God-designed marriage is shaped around Genesis 2:

Ge 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

It’s a separation from the parents followed by a permanent relationship leading to loving, tender intimacy. Outside of this, the man or the woman could be hurt. Mostly, the woman faces living with the mess of a breakup because of no marriage. I have said it before and I’ll say it again … our close friend says, “Its lust not love” … and he’s right. Where there is no commitment, no protection and no true love, even if there is marriage, it will fail. So, sex outside of marriage is forbidden by God.

Now … when does life commence? When there is a pregnancy, is the pregnancy a fetus or a human being? These are crucial questions when trying to find the answer to the question, “What is abortion?” God speaks through the voice of the Palmist:

Ps 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 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, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

This passage rules out the idea of evolution, for God created … and here reproduction involves God. When God “knit me together in my mother’s womb”, I was … “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Notice the “You, Your” for God and the “I, me, my” for the Psalmist. There is
no thought of “a fetus or a viable fetus”. The “I, me and my” used in the context of the passage talks of life … of a human being!

At times, there are serious implications, such as the pregnant woman might have her life or the baby’s life threatened when it comes to seeing her pregnancy through. In fact, she and her unborn baby might die in the process. Would termination of the pregnancy be permitted here or should both mother and unborn child die? This is a serious ethical issue that we as Christians cannot walk away from. Before any action is taken, the Christian (husband & wife/man & woman) need to seek counseling and much prayer before a decision is taken.

The general Biblical principle is simple. No sex before marriage and no sex outside of marriage. If God is the giver of life, the pregnancy is permitted by God because the pregnancy, from the moment of conception, is a human life with an eternal soul. Biblically, aborting that life amounts to murder!

Dear God, irrespective who I am and what my marital status is, help me to obey Your requirements and trust You to help me to be prayerful throughout all my feelings and desires so that I might reflect Your glory and be a good ambassador of the Lord Jesus in whose name I pray. Amen.

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