Is abortion in the Bible? You need to know when a fetus is alive
An unplanned pregnancy can be scary for a woman. And the truth is that six thousand years ago, the abortion pill or the medical equipment used to terminate a pregnancy didn’t exist, and neither did contraceptives—no condoms, no IUDs. No gynecologists. In fact, the words “abortion” or “unwanted pregnancy” aren’t mentioned in the old or new testament. And no person in the Bible had an abortion, that we know of.
The complex question “when does life begin?” may sway you either for or against abortion being morally wrong. For example, if life begins at six weeks and a woman terminates her pregnancy at five weeks, she hasn’t harmed anyone. However, if life begins at conception, then abortion at any stage is sinful.
Or is it?
Of course, the pro-choice and pro-life groups don’t agree on a stage in pregnancy development when a fetus is “alive” or becomes a person. Still, everyone agrees on one thing:
Whether you stop a pregnancy at three weeks or nine weeks…
You end a life.
In other words, if you didn’t intervene at any stage—early or late—you’d have a baby in about nine months. A human.
Is abortion in the Bible? No. The Bible doesn’t address abortion. Neither Moses, Jesus, or the disciples discuss unwanted pregnancy or terminating a pregnancy. However, the Bible says: “You must not kill.” One passage of scripture in the old testament, Exodus 21, discusses the punishment of a man who strikes a pregnant woman by accident during a brawl, resulting in injury. If harm comes to a woman or her baby, the law of lex talionis, “life for life, eye for eye,” must be applied. Therefore, if the baby died, the man who accidentally caused the miscarriage would be put to death.
“If men fight with each other and injure a pregnant woman so that she gives birth prematurely [and the baby lives], yet there is no further injury, the one who hurt her must be punished with a fine [paid] to the woman’s husband, as much as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall require [as a penalty] life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” Exodus 21:22-25
Today, if a person accidentally injured a pregnant woman resulting in miscarriage, and she can prove it in court, the person would still be fined. But at least not put to death!
Does God care about a fetus?
After only three days after fertilization, a young embryo will contain approximately six to 10 cells. And by the sixth day, the cluster of cells, called a blastocyst, implants into the uterus wall. To condone abortion, some scientists and doctors claim a fetus isn’t a person until it reaches a certain stage in pregnancy development. In other words, they believe “life” doesn’t enter a fetus until later in pregnancy. In contrast, others insist a fetus is a person or baby at conception, i.e., at fertilization, when the sperm fertilizes the egg, roughly 24 hours after intercourse.
You have 46 chromosomes. A human zygote, a fertilized egg cell from sperm, also has 46 chromosomes.
Psalm 139:15 confirms that God knows who a person is going to be before their body is fully developed in their mother’s womb: “Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
So science confirms God’s word… a fetus is absolutely a person.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
The pro-choice group interprets Exodus 21 differently
They argue that Exodus 21 proves that the unborn was seen as “property” in the old testament and not as a person, and the man responsible for causing a miscarriage would only need to pay a fine if the woman’s baby died. If you read Exodus 21 in the amplified version of the Bible, the passage clearly refers to any harm coming to a pregnant woman AND her baby. After all, the passage is about a pregnant woman being struck by accident. However, the pro-choice group interprets this passage as, if the woman gives birth prematurely due to being struck by accident, and the baby dies, the man who caused the miscarriage only needs to pay a fine.
The below passage is from Exodus 21 in the King James Version. How do you interpret the text?
“Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman’s husband demands and the judges approve. But if there is further injury, the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.” Exodus 21:22-25
And the ambiguity can be emphasized depending on which version of the Bible you read.
|Pro-life interpretation of Exodus 21||Pro-choice interpretation of Exodus 21|
|Used to show the unborn as equally as important as the born.||Used to prove the unborn are not seen as a person yet.|
|If either harm comes to the mother or the baby, the punishment must match the injury, i.e., a life for a life, etc.||If the mother gives birth prematurely due to being struck by accident, and the baby dies, the man only needs to pay a fine.|
If the “life for life, eye for eye” law had to be applied if the baby died due to the woman being struck, this would point to the value of the unborn in God’s eyes.
When I read “if no further injury results” after giving birth prematurely, I refer that to both a mother AND her baby, as the passage is about a pregnant woman and not an unpregnant woman. The scripture doesn’t elaborate on whether the “further injury” is to a mother OR a mother and her baby. It only states, “if there is further injury,” the man must pay a fine if a woman gives birth prematurely.
Would you consider a 7-month pregnant woman losing her baby as an “injury”? Of course!
If the woman gives birth prematurely, as a result of being struck, and no harm comes to her or the baby, the man who struck her must still pay a fine.
The big controversy: When is a fetus a person?
Science proves life begins when cells begin to multiply, and this starts from conception.
According to Marjorie England, author of Life Before Birth, human development starts at fertilization: “Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte, and together they form a zygote.”
And according to Keith Moore, author of, Essentials of Human Embryology, a fetus is a person after fertilization: “Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception).”
Why is abortion not addressed in the Bible?
According to WHO, there are 55 million abortions performed every year. So why doesn’t God give multiple scripture references on abortion?
A baby isn’t a colossal problem to God, and neither is provision—money to care for the baby. God gives us instructions on how to make money and recession-proof our income. But astoundingly, most people consider the Bible to be myth or fallacy. Also, God told Adam to be fruitful and multiply, so killing the fruit of your womb would be contrary to his original word. Moreover, the most likely reason for God not addressing abortion is that he sees children as a blessing. Finally, God told man to be fruitful in marriage. In Biblical times you had to be married to be intimate. So if you were married and your husband provided for you, why wouldn’t you want a child?
If you had mentioned the word “abortion” 6,000 years ago, women wouldn’t have known what you were referring to. And if abortion was addressed before there were abortion clinics or medical equipment to perform safe abortions, women who didn’t want a baby would’ve butchered themselves to end a pregnancy.
Still, it’s unusual that abortion isn’t addressed in the Bible, as there were likely many women who didn’t want to have a fourth or fifth child. Bearing in mind, they had no contraception.
The Didache does mention abortion
Also known as The Lord’s Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations, the Didache is an interesting teaching… but not inspired by God. It was written between AD 80 to AD 100, and the second commandment of the Didache states: “Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not corrupt boys; do not fornicate; do not steal; do not practice magic; do not go in for sorcery; do not murder a child by abortion or kill a new-born infant.”
The Didache is not seen as God’s word, but it’s interesting to note that abortion was mentioned 80 to 100 years after the death of Christ, and yet the Bible is silent on abortion.
Do you want to end your pregnancy?
Have you already imagined a disastrous future if you keep your baby, one with suffering, money problems, and pain? If you stop your pregnancy at four weeks or 16 weeks, you end a life. And we know taking a life is the same as killing.
Abortion isn’t an unforgivable sin, but consequences will follow. “As God does nothing without faith, Satan does nothing without sin,” says Pastor Vlad Savchuk in his teaching 10 Open Doors to Demons. “It’s usually disobedience that opens the door to demonic activity,” continues Pastor Savchuk.
Ultimately, sin attracts evil. James 4:7 states: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
How do you resist satan?
You repent and let go of sin.
How do you embrace him?
You live a sinful life.
If satan runs away when you resist him, what does he do when you embrace him?
He moves into your house.
So if abortion is a sin and you terminate your pregnancy… you’ll have a thief in your house.
And the new testament confirms this is what happens when you sin. According to John 5:14, sin opens a door and allows satan to hit you with tragedy: “Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. So stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
Sin allows satan to wreak havoc in your life.
The bottom line?
Does God condone abortion? The scriptures don’t address when life begins or discuss any example of unwanted pregnancy in the Bible. So if you were to ask God, based on what he said in Psalm 139, if abortion is wrong, what do you think he’ll say?
“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; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14
Does God consider a fetus ‘alive’?
God never doesn’t know the right answer.