What does the Bible have to say about Abortion?

imagesThe Bible does not specifically state a position on abortion; however, one cannot say that the Bible does not outline a position on the personhood and moral standing of an unborn fetus. The Sixth Commandment says that one should not take an innocent life (Ex 20:13). Abortion interferes with the development of a human and thus, God’s plan for that human (SR, 127).

The Bible mentions an unborn fetus many times. Scripture uses the words “born” and “conceived” interchangeably (Job 3:3). Thus, it suggests that one is a person at the point of conception. In other parts of the Bible, the Hebrew term for boy is used to refer to an adult man (Ex 10:11, Deut 22:5, Judg 5:30). Thus, an adult man is a person in the same way that the conceived individual is a person. Further, God is involved in forming an unborn child and has knowledge of that child (Psalm 139:13). The Bible defines a fetus as a person from the point of conception.

Since the Bible does not outline a position on the practice of abortion, one must look at the morality of the action. First, one must consider if the choice brings glory to God. Scripture says that the father of a righteous child has great joy (Prov 23:24). The Lord is glorified when His law is upheld, and abortion violates the Sixth Commandment. Second, one must consider if they are acting out of love for God and for neighbor. Taking an innocent life does not uphold the standard of biblical love. Lastly, one must consider the moral norms. Scholars cannot clearly define the point of personhood accurately outside of the moment of conception. Thus, the moral norms of the sixth commandment and rights to life apply. The Bible defines the fetus as a person from the moment of conception, and abortion therefore kills an innocent child.

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