The Biblical Case Against Abortion
by Andrew Hess
In response to last week’s post “Praying for Those Who Fight for Abortion,” some commenters suggested the Bible doesn’t give us a definitive word on abortion. They raised the question of whether a fetus is really a person. One commenter brought up the fact that many Christians even support a woman’s right to choose. This simply is not a biblical position. Here are a few of the strongest biblical reasons God prohibits abortion.
1. The Bible describes God as active in creating human beings from the moment of conception, as Psalm 139 says:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (Psalm 139:13-16).
This Psalm describes God’s active, creative work within the womb. Conception and pregnancy are not merely complicated biological processes, but a work God has designed and is presently involved in. The Psalmist worships God as active Creator every time a person is conceived. If you are pregnant, God is knitting together a person in your womb.
2. Jesus Christ was incarnated through conception. It is fascinating that Jesus Christ first came to this world as a zygote. He could have arrived as a baby, child or even as a fully grown adult, but God ordained that He would come through conception. Jesus Christ existed as a zygote, embryo and fetus before He was born. When Jesus’ mother visited Elizabeth, the unborn John the Baptist leapt in her womb. In a fascinating scene, the unborn Jesus causes the unborn John to act in a way that sparked His mother Elisabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, to cry out:
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Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy (Luke 1:42-44).
Elizabeth describes the unborn Jesus as her Lord. Not only was He already a person, He was already her Lord. Charles Scobie said it well, “The Bible depicts the fetus as the work of God and the object of his knowledge, love, and care, and hence its destruction must be considered contrary to the will of God.”
3. God demonstrates personal knowledge and calling of the unborn. The Lord says to the Prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (1:5). Before he was born, God knew Jeremiah, consecrated him and appointed him as a prophet of the nations. God set apart Jeremiah from the womb. For God, who a person will become is never something that remains to be seen. God knows who a person will be and what a person will do. It follows, then, that a person is a person as soon as God knows them; at conception and not a second later…
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