The question is “what does the Bible say about abortion?” And the answer is that the Bible says very little about abortion. But the Bible has a lot to say about people, about human beings, about persons.
We All Have Infinite Value; Eternal Value
The best place to start is in Genesis Chapter 1 verse 27. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” So, that is a critical, critical verse and a critical principle. That men and women are equally made in the image of God. And men and women have equal value, and they have infinite value.
We read in Genesis Chapter 2 verse 7 that God breathed the breath of life into Man. That’s why we have souls and we have spirits. So, what that means is that we are different from the animals. We are entirely distinct. Unlike the animal kingdom, it is only of men and women that God says, “you are made in my image. In my likeness”. Which means that men and women have infinite value; eternal value.
God Knew Us Before We Were Born
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
The second thing that we pick up from the Bible is that God knew us before we were born. God knew us, in fact, from before the foundation of the world. But there’s a continuum in the Bible between the unborn baby and the born baby.
So, let me pick up just one of the passages, Psalm 139, which is a wonderful, wonderful passage. “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 should 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.”
So the Bible has a continuum between the unborn child and the born child. There seems to be no real difference. In fact, in the Hebrew, in the Old Testament, the word ‘yeled‘ is used for the unborn child and the born child. And in the Greek in the New Testament the word ‘brephos‘ is used for the unborn child and the born child.
the Bible has a continuum between the unborn child and the born child. There seems to be no real difference.
The Unborn Child is a Person
So, what that tells us is that the Bible regards the unborn child – who is alive: the unborn child breathes and sleeps, and eats, and moves. The unborn child is a child, is a person. A person made in the image of God.
And therefore, we as Christians, we are deeply grieved when in our secular world people discard the notion that unborn children are precious and made in the image of God – and therefore ought to be protected. The unborn child is probably the most unprotected child on the planet. The unborn child is probably the most abused child on the planet. And we as Christians, because we value human beings made in the image of God, we ought to have a great commitment to the unborn child. So that the unborn child can also have life and come to personally know the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Objections to the Biblical View on Abortion
There are at least 3 objections as we come to the topic of abortion. The first is this question:
“Is the unborn child a person or not?”
Now, I have already covered that by looking at Genesis Chapter 1 verse 26 and looking at Psalm 139. But we would argue that the unborn child is a person. A separate person. That’s why there’s an umbilical cord. That’s why there’s a placenta, because the mother and the unborn child are two separate persons.
The second objection that is often raised is:
“Doesn’t a woman have a right over her own body?”
Now, I understand why that question is raised. Because many women have had their bodies abused, and used. But the objection is quite right – a woman does have a right over her own body. My argument would be there is another little body inside of her, and doesn’t that little body have equal rights?
The third objection would be that someone may say:
“I’m opposed to abortion except in the case of rape.”
Let me say that I think it’s the most terrible, terrible crime that can be committed against any woman, against any person. It horrifies me. And yet we do have to ask the question. Are you not punishing the two innocent parties by having an abortion? The mother and the child. They are the innocent parties. And by having an abortion, you do not de-rape the mother. You do not de-traumatise the mother. You are adding another trauma. And surely that is a person. However the person was conceived, made in the image of God.
The Need for Compassion, Not Judgement
So, we as Christians and as the Christian Church, need to have great compassion for young ladies or women who fall pregnant. We are not to be judgmental. We are to care for them, we are to love them. They may be in a difficult position. And we need to love them so much that we help them keep that baby.
We need to love them so much that we help them keep that baby.
Possibly the baby needs to be adopted. And within the African extended family as Conrad wrote in an article some months ago, there’s a wonderful support system for adopting children. Just naturally, normally, within the extended African family.
So we as Christians need to encourage that. And we then need to show great love for the girl who has chosen not to have an abortion. And great love also for the girl who has chosen to have an abortion.
But we do believe that all human beings, however young or old, however handicapped or deformed, are made in the image of God and are precious in His sight.