View Full Version : Abortion and the Bible

07-03-2014, 04:36 AM
So I started with THIS (http://www.thechristianleftblog.org/tcl-blog/the-bible-tells-us-when-a-fetus-becomes-a-living-being) article, and then managed to read a whole host of similar ones. It basically talks about how the Bible doesn't really mention abortion (aside from in Numbers where if a man think his wife has committed adultery he can have the child aborted), and how the Jewish people and early Christians had nothing against abortion.

Do people have thoughts on this?

My problem is that my view on abortion comes from my understanding of science, not of the Bible. I never believed that abortion is wrong 'because the Bible says so', I always believed it on not being able to find any clear line between alive and pre-alive other than conception. So the idea that the Bible doesn't tell people not to have abortions doesn't really change my view.

Also, given the medical differences between our time and biblical times, it makes sense not to talk about abortion in the Bible. If they said that abortion was wrong, then all women who miscarried could be put to death as they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between miscarriage and abortion. Miscarriage and stillbirths would have been more common back then when medical advances couldn't intervene.

I know this topic has probably been discussed lots already on the board, but I'd like some discussion specifically about what the Bible says on the matter, and whether that should impact our views on abortion.

07-03-2014, 11:52 AM
I don't think the Bible has to specifically mention abortion to know that I believe abortion is against the Bible. The Bible talks about God knowing us in the womb, knowing us from the moment of conception, stitching us together in the womb, knowing his plans for us from the very beginning -- and I can't reconcile that knowledge, that definition of us as humans from conception, with abortion. If we are a life in God's eyes from that moment, if he has plans for us from that moment, if he knows us and puts us together from that moment, then we are precious to him from that moment.

It doesn't matter to me if the Bible doesn't specifically mention abortion. It does mention how precious human life is to God and how he wants us to treat that life, and I can make the connection easily enough.

07-03-2014, 01:43 PM
I agree with what Snooch said. Also, the sixth commandment tells us, "Thou shall not kill." The Bible talks about God knowing us before He formed us. I believe all life comes from God and that life begins at conception. My belief is that abortion is murder, which breaks the sixth commandment.

I have a very strong opinion on this subject, but I'm trying to keep it short and simple. :)

07-05-2014, 10:53 AM
Am I really showing that I have no commitment to the Bible when I say that women dying through backstreet abortions is wrong? Is it possible to believe in the authority of scripture and still want to reduce harm?

07-05-2014, 11:35 AM
Am I really showing that I have no commitment to the Bible when I say that women dying through backstreet abortions is wrong? Is it possible to believe in the authority of scripture and still want to reduce harm?


I'm pro-choice, so maybe that colors my view. But I see abortion being made illegal causing so many huge problems. Would miscarriages be investigated? How many women will go to extreme measures to have an abortion? How should illegal abortions be punished? Should those women be sent to jail? Even those that were victims or rape or incest? What about women who mentally can not handle the prospect of carrying a baby that has no chance of survival outside of the womb? What about all those babies that would be born to homes that can not provide for them?

I've also found that the most staunch pro-life people (I'm not saying this about anyone here) are also the ones least likely to support the social services that these women would need to raise these babies.

I also believe that making abortions illegal would place the government in a place over my rights over my body that I am not comfortable with. Would certain types of birth control then be outlawed? How would they prove that a woman had a miscarriage as opposed to an abortion?

For me it is not a black and white issue, and just because I am pro-choice does not mean I am not pro-life. And I may get reamed for that, but oh well. I think abortions are heartbreaking and sad, I do not think they are "right" but it is my belief that making them illegal would cause so much more harm.

07-05-2014, 06:19 PM
Although my beliefs differ from many, I'm always open to hearing others' opinions..so please know that I am speaking about my feelings and not belittling anyone here for their beliefs...I feel God creates all life, and although some of the circumstances are sad and certainly not ideal, He is ultimately in control. I don't feel like it's anyone's right to kill a human being just because of the circumstances. God says thou shall not murder...not though shall not murder except for difficult pregnancy situations.

I totally get the heartbreak of rape and incest (personally). It's a wretched thing to go through, but it's not a baby's fault. Women going to back alley places to have abortions is just as sad and gut wrenching, but she has no business doing it.

I'll be honest, I don't have a solution for how punishment, etc. should be dealt. The whole abortion issue breaks my heart...for the millions of dead babies and ALL their mothers, fathers, and family members. We aren't legally allowed to just walk up to someone and kill them...yet we are allowed to kill an innocent child...my brain doesn't wrap around it.

I work at a pregnancy center that supports women in tough situations that have chosen to keep their baby..and we also give counseling/support to those suffering after an abortion. I couldn't ask for a more rewarding job..or a more heartbreaking one.

07-06-2014, 03:28 PM
Regarding abortion and the Bible: I think the author of the article you linked to makes some good points. For instance, I don't think passages such Jeremiah 1 and Psalm 139 ("I formed you in the womb") are as staunchly "pro-life" as some people will make them out to be. I think they can lead some Christians to pro-life beliefs and I think it's fine to discuss that as a possible meaning. But I think some Christians take it too far when they point to these passages and basically say, "see, you have to be pro-life if you claim to be a Christian."

That being said, I think the author ends up doing the same thing he accuses those Christians of doing when he goes on to talk about passages such as Genesis 2, Job 33 and Ezekiel 37 ("breath of life" passages, which the author says indicate that you become "alive" when you take your first breath). That could mean what he says, and again, I think it's fine to discuss that as a possible meaning. But I think he takes it too far when he basically declares that to be the absolute, final biblical word on the subject of when life starts. To me, that sounds more like a figure of speech used to describe something practically un-describable (God giving life). I don't really see how that's a stronger or weaker argument than the ones based off of Jeremiah 1 and Psalm 139. They're all worth discussing, but I don't think anyone can come to an absolute, definitive answer based on these passages alone.

I think he misinterprets Exodus 21:22 completely. The passage says (NASB), "If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life . . ." The author seems to equate giving "birth prematurely" with "miscarriage." I think there's a difference. I think if this verse in Exodus meant to refer to miscarriage, it would have used the word miscarriage, as it does in other passages. Giving birth prematurely does not always result in the child dying. So I think this passage is better interpreted as referring to either the mother or the child when it says "any further injury" and "life for life." Therefore, to me, this appears to be a more strongly pro-life passage than pro-choice. Although I don't think it's clear enough to be definitively either one, I certainly don't think it can be used to prove God doesn't consider unborn children to be living beings.

And regarding Numbers 5, um what? The author states that Numbers 5:22 says, "May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries." I checked five different translations (NASB, ESV, KJV, NKJV and Wycliffe) and they all say "make your abdomen swell and your thigh waste away" or some similar wording. The Complete Jewish Bible says "make your private parts shrivel up." The Common English Bible was the only that said anything about a womb miscarrying. I'm not a Hebrew scholar so I can't be 100% sure what the "correct" interpretation is, but in any case, it certainly doesn't appear to be as "clearly stated" as the author implies.

So, in summary, I don't think the Bible is clear on when life begins. So, like you, Scary, I came to my beliefs more from science than from the Bible.

But, I'm on the fence about what should be done about it in terms of the law. On the one hand, in principle, I think it should be illegal because I believe the government's first and foremost responsibility is the protection of life. The bodily autonomy argument just doesn't seem logical to me. It's a classic human rights issue to me, where one person's rights end when they start to impinge on someone else's. One person's right to life trumps the other's right to anything-less-than-life (therefore, abortion should be acceptable in the case of risk to the mother's life).

On the other hand, I think Kellee and others have made very good points about the solution not being as black-and-white as it seems. What if outlawing abortion would just send every woman seeking one to a back alley facility where they're ten times more likely to get maimed or even killed? If a pro-life law, which I believe would be right in principle, would result in more loss of life in practice, then I don't think such a law would be the solution.

But . . . would the illegalization of abortion result in more loss of life? Would most or even many women who would seek a legal abortion also seek an illegal one or would the law really influence that decision? For that matter, are legal abortions even that much safer than illegal ones typically are? Would 21st century illegal abortion clinics really look the same as the ones we hear about in the horror stories from the 50's and 60's?

I honestly don't know the answers to those questions, which is why I'm on the fence about it. I hear the arguments about it and rarely do I see any solid evidence from either side. I haven't done a ton of in-depth research on my own, so the evidence could be there and I just haven't seen it yet. But, I think those are the questions we would need to take a good long hard look at before making any decisions about the law. Honestly, I don't think either side of this debate is doing much honest, open-minded research (I'm talking about the lobbyists, activists and politicians, not so much the lay people like most of us here who probably won't be changing any laws anytime soon). It seems to me like everyone has their own beliefs, those beliefs have become an agenda and no one's really interested in modifying their agenda.

In the meantime, I think one of the best ways to prevent abortions at this point is through ministries like pregnancy clinics that Jesus-is-the-1 is involved with. I volunteered at one of these for a couple years and I think they can be very effective ministries, when they're run with love and compassion (which I think most are). Clinics like the one I volunteered at weren't taking any choices away; they were just presenting more options. They vary in their scope of services. The one I was at provided a pregnancy test, pregnancy confirmation, state insurance application, life skills classes (everything from breastfeeding to budgeting), referrals (OB/GYN's, pediatricians, PCP's, counseling services, churches, young mothers' homes, other types of assistance, etc.), ultrasounds, prenatal vitamins and probably a few other things that I'm forgetting since it's been seven years since I was there. In my opinion, more support for these kinds of places would go so much farther than a law outlawing abortion would.