Following Scripture On Abortion and A Pro-Life Summer

What does the Bible say to pro-life issues and principles around abortion?

Any day now, a ruling from the Supreme Court could change one of the most important decisions that affects abortion and the “sanctity of life” movement in America. On May 3, 2022, a document was leaked from the SCOTUS deliberation process where Justice Alito quoted as perhaps writing for the majority in stating, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled…” If Roe v. Wade, a decision from 1973 that made abortion legal in all 50 states, should be overruled this summer, how should Christians and the Church respond?

Since the leaked document, conversation and hysteria have reached loud decibels in our civic discourse. Many people would argue that Christians should stay out of political issues, and that the Scriptures have nothing to say about abortion.

Recently, progressive Jewish writer Jeffrey Salkin wrote in Religious News Services that Americans must keep religion out of the abortion debate. Asking “Should religion influence abortion policy?”, Salkin argues that theological claims should not become laws for a nation.

Other people would argue that Christians ought to be silent about “sanctity of life” for the unborn due to biblical silence. Not once, across the sixty-six books of the Bible – is the word “abortion” mentioned, and the fact that Jesus and the prophets never talk about this issue is proof that God does not have a final opinion for people to follow.

But is that really true? Does God’s Word really not have anything to say about abortion? The rest of this article will show the overwhelmingly clear Scripture passages that address these important topics.

By showing these Bible verses, we don’t pretend that there are no questions left. Christians of good will can still debate important issues: should laws be left in state’s jurisdiction? How should the medical community regulate doctors who violate the Hippocratic oath? How can we love our neighbors who are devastated or fearful if Roe is overturned (a subject for a future article)? What needs to change in adoption policies?

Despite these questions, the following Scriptures make it clear: we serve the God of the living, who calls us to love our unborn neighbors. Read these verses, followed by a brief explanation, and tell us what questions you still have, or what impression sacred Scripture left on you!

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Genesis 1:27

         [27] So God created man in his own image,
                 in the image of God he created him;
                 male and female he created them.
Every person is created in God’s image, regardless if they are in the womb or out. People’s rights and dignity come from being in His image, not if their mother chooses to give them life, or if they are in the womb or out.

Exodus 20:13

[13] “You shall not murder.”
The Bible allows for manslaughter, accidental death, or capital punishment. Murder is the taking of innocent life with intent, and unborn children do not deserve to be killed.

Exodus 21:22–25

[22] “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. [23] But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, [24] eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, [25] burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
If a woman gives birth prematurely due to a fight or scuffle, there is a fine to pay. But if the unborn child is harmed, then it is life for life. Here, God’s Word shows that equity and justice demand the unborn be given full human rights, equal in worth to an adult.

Job 31:15

         [15] Did not he who made me in the womb make him?
And did not one fashion us in the womb?
Life in the womb comes from God who made us there, not a woman’s choice, or a man’s sexual virility.

Psalm 22:9–10

         [9] Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
                you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
        [10] On you was I cast from my birth,
                and from my mother’s womb you have been my God
God has a relationship with us before we can even understand. Even in the womb, He is our God, and we do not have the right to kill an innocent person with whom God has a relationship.

Psalm 127:3

         [3] Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
                 the fruit of the womb a reward.
Children – regardless if they are wanted or planned – are not a burden or inconvenience. They are God’s blessing!

Psalm 139:13

         [13] For you formed my inward parts;
           you knitted me together in my mother’s womb
         [14] I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
         Wonderful are your works;
                 my soul knows it very well.
         [15] My frame was not hidden from you,
         when I was being made in secret,
                 intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
         [16] 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.
What God has so intricately designed in the womb should not be destroyed by human abortion.

Proverbs 6:16–17

         [16] There are six things that the LORD hates,
                 seven that are an abomination to him:
        [17] haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
                 and hands that shed innocent blood…
Many political groups say they want to fight for the innocent, for the “least of these.” There is no group on earth more innocent than the unborn, and the Lord hates those who kill the innocent.

Isaiah 49:1

         [1] Listen to me, O coastlands,
                 and give attention, you peoples from afar.
         The LORD called me from the womb,
                 from the body of my mother he named my name.
God already knows our name before our parents have given it! We dare not kill an unborn child with whom God is calling and knowing.

Jeremiah 1:5

         [5] “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.”
Before Jeremiah was born, God knew him. This unborn baby was known and consecrated by God, and to kill an unborn is to desecrate God’s work.

Jeremiah 20:16–17

         [16] Let that man be like the cities
                 that the LORD overthrew without pity;
         let him hear a cry in the morning
                 and an alarm at noon,
         [17] because he did not kill me in the womb;
                 so my mother would have been my grave,
                 and her womb forever great.
Though the word “abortion” does not appear in the Bible, the Scriptures are aware of the idea. A womb – where life begins – should not be a grave, and the idea of being killed in the womb is a biblical curse.

Matthew 25:40

[40] And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ … [45] Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
Jesus commands us to care for “the least of these,” judging our actions by how we treat those who can do nothing for us. If there is any class of people who ought to be protected, it is the “least of these,” which surely includes the unborn.

Luke 1:15, 41, 44

[15] for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb… [41] And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit… [44] For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
These verses are about John the Baptist before he was born. In the womb, he was not a clump of cells for a woman’s choice, but was filled with the Spirit, and could respond to general stimulation (voice), as well as spiritual stimulation (joy in the presence of the Messiah).

Galatians 5:14

[14] For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Aren’t you glad your mother didn’t abort you?! Love your unborn neighbor the way you wish to be loved!

About blund

Brian J. Lund is minister of Word & Sacrament at Zion Evangelical & Reformed Church. You can follow him at his website or @BrianJLund.
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