Abortion is a subject that arouses deep emotions, with people coming up with valid arguments for and against. But what does the Bible say about abortion?
The short answer is 'nothing'. What we can do is extract principles and try to apply them.
In both Old and New Testaments 'thou shalt not kill' was the rule. That is, you must not kill anyone for your own selfish reasons. [There were occasions where it was right to kill those who were disobeying God's laws.]
The question then arises: 'is a fetus a person?' If yes, then we must not kill for selfish reasons. If no, then an abortion is not killing.
Does God regard the fetus as a person?
There is a law in Exodus 21 that states that if a man injures a pregnant woman so that she has a miscarriage, the man must pay her husband compensation. He is not considered a murderer or charged with manslaughter.
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, (Exodus 21:22,23)
This shows that God did not regard the fetus as a person.
So it would seem that abortion is not murder.
However, there is a difference between an accidental miscarriage and a deliberate one. There is a difference between losing a wanted child and getting rid of an unwanted child. So are we allowed to have an abortion just to suit ourselves?
Abortion is usually required by single women having ignored God's law that sex is for married couples, with children raised in a loving environment. Abortion is a way out of facing the consequences of irresponsible actions.
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2)
So we have to take a step back and ask ourselves, are we willing to take the responsibility for our actions? God expects us to.
If we want to please God then we have to try to do what pleases Him:
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:21,22)
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:3)
Jesus said:'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' (Matthew 22:39) If we really love others we will not do anything to harm them. We will not do anything that puts them into a situation where they are having to make difficult decisions, like whether or not to have an abortion. If we really love our neighbour as ourselves, we will not seek to take his/her life.
It is clear from the Bible that, while an unborn fetus is not the same as a live human being, he or she can still be part of God's plan.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made...Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them (Psalm 139:13,14,16).
And it is also clear that God does have a plan - including life and death - for each of us.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; (Ecclesiastes 3:1,2)
It is not for us to interfere with God's timetable. He decides our time to be born and our time to die.
But what about those distressing cases where a mother finds that a pregnancy will endanger her life, or an innocent victim finds herself pregnant as a result of rape? There are no "black and white" rules in the Bible for anyone to impose upon another. But the same principles we saw above is still true - trusting that God has a plan for each individual life. If we seek to find God's plan, He has promised to lead us.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 29:13-14)
Different individuals will handle such circumstances in different ways. But a woman (or man) who desires to honor God in their decisions will keep in mind His principles and diligently seek His will.
The best way to draw nearer to God and seek His will is through His revealed word, the Bible. We have a FREE Bible course which we hope can help you to read and understand your Bible for guidance on this and other life decisions.
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We thank our brothers and sisters of the Glasgow Kelvin Christadelphian Ecclesia for the material on this site.