From Womb to the Grave: A Biblical Perspective on Abortion

“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 were none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16, ESV).

January 22, 1973 must have put a smirk on the devil’s face. Though none of the human participants may have foreseen, what happened effectively pronounced a death sentence on yet-to-be counted millions. On that date the U.S. Supreme Court issued its notorious Roe v. Wade decision, opening the door to abortion on demand. And since, tens of millions of unborn Americans have been terminated and discarded like a used Kleenex. In a single year, more unborn babies are intentionally killed than all of the soldiers America has lost in battle during the Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, both Gulf Wars—all her wars combined! Add up the total war casualties in American history and the sum will not equal the number of babies whose lives we take in a twelve month period. Abortion is big money, big politics, and an even bigger shame. Abortion has become a festering controversy, and totally without justification, since the Bible is quite plain on God’s perspective of human life. What light does the Bible shed on this subject?

Abortion Takes a Human Life

In making a point on faith, James wrote that “the body apart from the spirit is dead” (James 2:26). This is God’s definition, which overrules any medical or scientific attempt to define death. If death is the separation of human body and spirit, then human life is the union of body and spirit. If what is growing in the womb of a pregnant woman is alive, then, by definition, it is alive by virtue of its having a God-given spirit. The Bible does not draw a qualitative distinction among people based on how old they are. In other words, a man is not more human than a boy; a toddler is not more human than a newborn; a newborn is not more human than the just-conceived. When Mary went to visit a pregnant Elizabeth, “the baby leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41). And, when it came time to name the newborn Savior, “he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb” (Luke 2:21). Jesus was named, not just before he was born, but before he was conceived. What was he at conception, in God’s eyes—just a cluster of cells? We think not. Remember, those two verses were penned by an inspired medical doctor. Speaking of marriage, Jesus said that no man had the right to separate what God joined together (Matthew 19:6). If men have no authority to separate—without cause—a husband and wife, then why do we think we have the right to separate the body and spirit of the unborn by putting them to death?

Abortion Sheds Innocent Blood

Solomon said, “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:16-17). There is no blood more innocent than that of the unborn. And, no society has the right to practice, tolerate, or put its stamp of approval on anything the Lord finds abominable. Notice, God did not say he hates the shedding of any blood—just innocent blood. This is why the same Bible that condemns abortion can uphold capital punishment. Government wields its power by divine authority (cf. Romans 13), including the obligation to take the sword after the wicked.

Abortion Presumes to Put Man in God’s Place

The English Standard Version renders 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.” If God is the maker, does man have the right to assume the role of destroyer? “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5). Who formed Jeremiah in the womb? God did. Jeremiah was already Jeremiah to God, even before he was born. In fact, due to his omniscience, God can speak of the yet-to-be-conceived as already having existence. Thus, God tells Rebekah, “Two nations are in your womb” (Genesis 25:23). Likewise, Levi is described as “still in the loins of his ancestor” (Hebrews 7:10), long before Levi was ever conceived. If Levi was in God’s mind prior to conception, then surely at conception and thereafter he existed in reality—even before birth. Abortion makes man the dealer of life and death, usurping a position to which he has no right.

Abortion Is Ingratitude for God’s Gift

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3). If children are a gift from above, then abortion is a slap in the face to the Giver—a big “thanks, but no thanks,” written in innocent blood. Abortion views the unborn as a burden, a punishment, a curse, a problem, an inconvenience.

Abortion Tries to Eliminate Sin’s Consequence

Abortion on demand is the “get out of jail free” card of a wicked and selfish generation. The crux of the matter is this: we want sin’s pleasure without paying sin’s price. Abortion is most often the culmination of many sins, including lust, fornication, irresponsibility, and lack of love. Contrary to society’s advice, not everyone has the right to sex. Contrary to society’s practice, we are not barnyard animals and God expects every human being to conduct himself on an ethical level above what transpires in the hog pen. There are reasons why God placed sex solely within the confines of scriptural marriage, one of them being the potential of conceiving children. People may delude themselves into thinking they have escaped sin’s consequence by abortion, but it will certainly come back to haunt them in eternity and, most likely, long before then.

Abortion Hardens Hearts

The Lord raised the question, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?” (Isaiah 49:15). Looking at America, the answer is, “yes.” Some are heartless (Romans 1:31). Some are brutal (2 Timothy 3:3). Some have seared their consciences (1 Timothy 4:2). What kind of heart will pay money to snuff out a life growing inside her? What kind of heart encourages the practice? What kind of heart performs the procedure? Does the practice of abortion give a doctor greater respect for life, or less of it? Does abortion cause a young woman’s (or society’s) heart to be more tender or more calloused? Does it demonstrate the compassion of Christ? Paul wrote that older woman were to teach younger women to love their children (Titus 2:4). When tiny bodies are ripped limb from limb—when babies in process of birth are punctured and have their brains suctioned out—do these things fall under the heading of loving the children?

Abortion Is Sanitized Child Sacrifice

Old Testament Israel grew so wicked they embraced the practice of child sacrifice. “And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind” (Jeremiah 7:31). Americans don’t sacrifice children on the pagan altar of Baal; instead, we sacrifice our children on the altar of convenience, selfishness, and irresponsibility. And we’ve sanitized the process for minimum damage to our own psyches. There are no screams to hear, no blood to clean up, no bodies to bury, no faces to forget. In the sterile operating room, calculated murder is carried out as though a tumor were being removed.

Abortion Opens the Floodgate

Once a society rationalizes and accepts the killing of the unborn, there is no sustainable argument to be made against killing other people. If the sanctity of human life is not respected across the board—if it does not extend to the helpless on the unborn end of the spectrum—then, it does not extend to the helpless at the other end. Euthanasia (so-called “mercy killing”) is inevitable. And, why not kill the crippled, paralyzed, deformed, or anyone else whose quality of life does not measure up to our evolving standard? Why not kill those who are an economic burden on society, even if they are healthy? If not, why? We kill unwanted babies, don’t we? And, why not knock off those who disagree with us politically? If all life is not sacred, then no life is sacred.

Abortion Is Biblically Unauthorized

For anyone who respects the Bible, this is conclusive in itself. In light of Colossians 3:17, all we say and do is to be done by Jesus’ authority (i.e. authorized in his New Testament). Yet, there is not the slightest hint of divinely sanctioned abortion, either by statement, example or implication in Scripture. In fact, abortion is no more authorized by God than polygamy, pornography, or praying toward Mecca.

It was Ronald Reagan who observed, “Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.” How telling that is. Everyone who has ever attended a “pro-choice” rally has already been born. They take the gift of life they were given and now exert their energy trying to deny it to the next generation. If the blood of a single murdered individual, Abel, cried out to God from the ground (Genesis 4:10), then what must be the sound in God’s ears of countless millions slaughtered for convenience and profit? During his suffering, Job reached the point he wished he had not been born. “Why did you bring me out from the womb? Would that I had died before any eye had seen me and were as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave” (Job 10:18-19). Such is abortion: an untimely journey from the womb to the grave. 

8 thoughts on “From Womb to the Grave: A Biblical Perspective on Abortion

  1. John Patti says:

    Fantastic, I added it to the page below as a link, in detail to the page shortly thereafter.

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Abortion_and_the_Bible#External_links

  2. Mike Riley says:

    Weylan,

    Great article – great biblical points! I’ve added your article as a link to my article blog:

    http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2006/02/15/a-shameful-anniversary/

  3. [...] Deaver has an excellent article on abortion posted on his blog. In this article Weylan details what we can learn from the Bible about the [...]

  4. John Williams says:

    Thanks for preparing this excellent discussion of why voluntary abortion is contrary to God’s law and Biblical teaching. The only weak part of the article is the statement that “abortion is no more authorized by God than polygamy….” The problem with that statement is that there are at least some respects in which the Bible indicates approval or at least tolerance of polygamy (see, e.g., http://www.truthbearer.org/books/history-and-philosophy-of-marriage/4/). In contrast, there is no such evidence of tolerance (much less approval) for abortion. Don’t misunderstand — I neither practice nor preach polygamy. I am happily married to one woman and have no interest in complicating my life. Nevertheless, I do believe in being honest about what the scriptures actually say, as compared with what our cultural biases would dictate. And the historical record is very clear to the effect that monogamy as practiced in Western civilization is a Roman concept, unsupported by any teaching by the Savior or the apostles. Accordingly, I would suggest that we not weaken the case against abortion by dragging the much more debatable subject of polygamy into it.

    • Thanks for the comments, John. I would disagree with your assessment that comparing abortion to polygamy weakens the case against abortion. Of course, abortion and polygamy are not identical in consequence (the prior takes a human life, but not the latter), but they are alike in that neither is an authorized practice in the New Testament.

      It is true that many practiced polygamy in the Old Testament. But, it is not correct to say that “monogamy as practiced in Western civilization is a Roman concept, unsupported by any teaching by the Savior or the apostles.” I would take issue with that statement and appeal to passages like Matthew 19:4-9; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:2; etc. The New Testament evidence is clearly in favor of monogamy and opposed to polygamy. If the New Testament lends no authorization to polygamy, then I believe it is sound reasoning to liken the practice to abortion for the same reason. And, a lack of divine sanction would, by itself, make either practice wrong.

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