Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines abortion as “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.” It is interesting to note that the same dictionary defines death as “the end of life.” Combining these two definitions, it would be fair to say that an abortion can be considered as “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the end of the life of an embryo or fetus.”
There has been much in the news lately about the decision of the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade. While emotions are “riding high” on either side, all need to remember the Supreme Court did not ban abortions. The Court simply decided the United States Constitution does not provide anyone with the right to an abortion. In so doing, the Court sent the issue back to the individual states to decide.
It’s easy for a person to come to his, or her, own opinion about the acceptability of having an abortion. With that in mind, it would benefit all of us to consider what the Bible, the inspired Word of God, has to say about abortion. (While I am unaware of any Biblical translations that use the word “abortion,” the Bible nonetheless teaches principles that allow us to come to a reasonable and fair conclusion concerning the acceptability, or unacceptability, of abortions.)
First, consider the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:7. In describing the aging process of man and man’s eventual death, Solomon wrote, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Notice that man’s spirit comes from God, the creator of all life. Anyone’s life is very special to God! Ending another person’s life is no frivolous matter!
But what about a fetus? Is a fetus a human being? Does a fetus deserve to be protected just as any other person’s life should be? There are numerous passages from the Bible that affirm that a “fetus in the womb” is a human being with a spirit and, as such, is deserving of protection. For now, let’s consider just two.
The first is from Ecclesiastes 11:5. “As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.” Solomon, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote that the development of a fetus in the womb is an activity, or work, of God. Also, notice the phrase, “spirit comes to the bones in the womb.” God gives a spirit to a person while that person is yet in his mother’s womb!
Our second text is from Exodus 21:22-25. “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.”
This passage is discussing what takes place when a pregnant woman is accidentally injured. Two men are fighting and accidentally injure a pregnant bystander, resulting in the premature birth of her child. If neither the mother nor baby is harmed, the Law of Moses stipulated that the person who caused the injury to pay a fine. But if the fighting resulted in the injury, or death, of the child, the Law of Moses stipulated an equal punishment. The person who caused the injury and resultant death was to be executed. This passage clearly, undoubtedly, unequivocally and without hesitation considers this preborn infant to be a human being.
The above passage calls for the execution of the guilty party in case of an accident. Imagine how God must feel concerning those involved in the willful and intentional act of murdering the unborn! One of the things the scriptures note as an abomination to God is hands that shed innocent blood. Proverbs 6:17. You’ll never find anyone more innocent than an unborn child in his, or hers, mother’s womb.
Life clearly begins at conception and is deserving of every means of protection we can provide!