This past Saturday, January 22, marked the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in the infamous Roe vs. Wade case. That ruling legalized abortion in America. As it so happens, yesterday I dropped off some items our church had donated to our local Tri-County Pregnancy Center. These two occurrences have brought the issue of abortion front and center to my mind.
The number of babies reported as aborted in America now stands at over 53 million. Please stop right now and read that sentence again. The Nazis killed 6 million Jews in World War II, and history rightly labeled it a holocaust. It makes you wonder what we should call 53 million forced deaths. Tragedy? That’s too soft. Atrocity? That’s a little closer. Barbarity? Now you’re getting warmer. Savagery? That might be about as accurate as we can come.
And the plain fact is that the death toll actually stands at more than 53 million. I say that because it is common knowledge that abortion is oftentimes a “cash” business, and in such businesses the books aren’t always, shall we say, exact. Why pay the I.R.S. when you can cheat, right? Before she became a Christian, Carol Everett was the head of multiple abortion clinics, and she freely admits that her clinics routinely kept two sets of books – one for herself and one for the I.R.S. In light of such typical operating procedure, there’s simply no way of calculating a truly accurate number of the abortions that have been performed in America.
But it’s not my purpose here to try and figure out the exact number of babies that have been lost since Roe vs. Wade. It’s also not my purpose to bring politics into the discussion. No, what I really want to do with this post is take the Bible and explain just what it teaches about abortion. So, if you have a problem with what I say, your problem will be with God’s written word, not with me. Keep that in mind as we go along.
Now, I want to ask and answer three questions, and question #1 is:
According to the Bible, when does life actually begin?
The answer is: at the moment of conception in the womb. As proof of this, I’ll cite five passages and ask you to read them carefully, with an open mind.
- Psalm 139:13-16: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb…My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed…”
- Psalm 22:10: “…From My mother’s womb You have been My God.”
- Isaiah 49:1: “…The Lord has called me from the womb. From the matrix (inward parts) of My mother He has made mention of my name.”
- Job 10:8-12: “Your hands have made me and fashioned me, an intricate unity; yet You would not destroy me. Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay. And will You turn me into dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk, and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews? You have granted me life and favor, and your care has preserved my spirit.”
- Jeremiah 1:4-5: “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…'”
Alright, now, question #2 is:
According to the Bible, is a mother’s life ever more important than her child’s life?
The answer is: no. While the Bible contains seemingly countless passages that sing the praises of selflessness, love, sacrifice, motherhood, and concern for others, I think a good singular proof text here is Genesis 35:16-20. That passage tells the story of how Jacob’s beloved wife Rachel died giving birth to their son Benjamin. What’s interesting is that despite Rachel’s great importance in the life of Jacob, to say nothing of her importance in the unfolding of the history recorded in Genesis, God let her die and her baby live. That right there ought to tell us something about His mind on this question.
And then, question #3 is:
According to the Bible, does an unborn child have the same standing with God an adult has?
The answer here is, yes, and the passage is Exodus 21:22-25. I understand that these verses are specifically a part of God’s Old Testament law for Israel, and we don’t live under that law, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t glean truth from it. As you read these verses, pay careful attention to how God rates the health of a baby in a womb on legal par with someone who injures it. The verses say:
“If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
Well, now that I’ve asked these three questions and provided their answers, I’d like to think that I’ve said enough to convince you of what the Bible teaches about abortion. But, just for further proof, here are a few more “quick hits.” Hopefully, you’ll find these instructive too:
1. A man and a woman can have sex, but only God can create life. Thus, He is the only one who should have any say over how that life is ended.
2. The argument that a deformed fetus can be aborted without repercussion is not a valid one because in Exodus 4:11 God says to Moses, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?”
3. In Job 3:11, Job asks, “Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?” Think about it, you have to be alive to begin with in order to die at birth.
4. In Genesis 25:23, God refers to Jacob and Esau as two nations even as they were still fetuses in Rebekah’s womb.
5. A Christian woman has no right to say, “My body is my own, and I’ll do what I want to with it.” Why not? It’s because 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says to Christians: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
6. Psalm 106:34-43; Deuteronomy 12:31; 2 Kings 17:17; and Ezekiel 16:20-21 describe how the people of Israel learned the idolatrous ways of the people of Canaan and ended up sacrificing their sons and daughters to idols, which in reality was sacrificing them to demons. God called these sacrifices the shedding of innocent blood, and His wrath was kindled against Israel as He began to abhor His own people. Should we Americans not expect Him to respond to us the same way in the wake of the millions of innocent babies we have aborted? Keep in mind that Proverbs 6:16-19 says that God hates “hands that shed innocent blood.”
7. Christians simply do not have the option of remaining silent on the issue of abortion. Proverbs 31:8-9 says: “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
Now, in closing, let me be sure to say something to any man or woman who has been the cause of an abortion: GOD STILL LOVES YOU. Abortion is not the unpardonable sin, and there is a full and blessed life that can be lived even after an abortion. You need to understand that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses and forgives all sin. Heaven isn’t divided into the camps of mothers and fathers who aborted their children and mothers and fathers who didn’t. For that matter, neither is hell.
Furthermore, while we’ve seen that the Bible has a lot to say about abortion, it has even more to say about the forgiveness that is offered to all in Jesus Christ. That forgiveness certainly extends to the sin of abortion, and Jesus is more than willing to shower it upon you if you will place your belief in Him as Savior (John 3:16). So, I assure you that the purpose of this post has not been to demoralize you by clubbing you over the head with the Bible. What it’s been is an attempt to provide a faithful and fairly thorough analysis of what God’s written word teaches on a highly controversial subject.