Abortion: Biblical view and what the church says about it

Tochi Juliet
By Tochi Juliet

Abortion has been a controversial issue in this 21st century, especially with the advent of Liberal activists trying to legalise abortion. Here are what the church says about abortion and the scriptural backings.

Different groups recently have been agitating for the legalisation of abortion. While it has been legalised in certain parts of the world, many other regions are still against it. The church too has a say in the issue from the Biblical point of view.


Abortion, according to Wikipedia, is the ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus.

Abortion has been a controversial issue in this 21st century, especially with the advent of Liberal activists trying to legalise abortion.

Let's look at some countries like the US. Abortion is legal throughout the United States and its territories, although restrictions and accessibility vary from state to state.

In 2019 several US, states passed laws which effectively ban abortion, and others have taken steps to restrict abortion access unless in a severe case drastically.

The church's stance on the issue of Abortion.

Many churches oppose abortion as it is seen in the light of murder. However, this article will dwell solely on what the Catholic church says about abortion.

The Catholic church will be used as a part to represent the whole.

The Catholic Church opposes all forms of abortion procedures whose direct purpose is to destroy zygote, blastocyst, embryo or fetus since it holds that "human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception".

The church believes that from the first moment of its existence, a human being must be recognised as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

Liberal activists leading "legalise abortion" campaign in the US

In an emergency case when the foetus needs evacuation lest the woman's life will be in danger, some religious institutions preach abortion as the best option.

There are some conditions that if the foetus isn't aborted might end up endangering the mother's life; medical advice in such condition might approve abortion- some religious institutions welcome the idea.

However, in the Catholic church, Pope Francis said that abortion was always unacceptable, regardless of whether a foetus is fatally ill or has pathological disorders.

“Is it legitimate to take out a human life to solve a problem?” Francis asked attendees at a Vatican conference on the issue, repeating one of his most contentious remarks on the issue. “Is it permissible to contract a hitman to solve a problem?

A decision to abort based on medical information about an ill fetus amounted to 'inhuman eugenics,' and denied families the chance to welcome the weakest of children.

Human life is sacred and inviolable, and the use of prenatal diagnosis for selective purposes should be discouraged with strength.”

Many of the nation’s largest mainline Protestant denominations – including the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)and the Methodists – also support abortion rights, although several of these churches temper this support with the call for some limits on when a woman can terminate her pregnancy.

For instance, while the Episcopal Church opposes statutory limits on abortion, it teaches that “it should be used only in extreme situations.”

The Southern Baptist Convention, also opposes abortion, although it does allow an exception in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.

Arguments on the biblical view of Abortion

Questions have been raised if abortion is in the bible. Is it part of God's commandment or what does the bible say about abortion.

Some argue that The word "abortion" does not appear in any translation of the bible! They say out of more than 600 laws of Moses, none comments on abortion.

This group uses Exodus 21:22-25 to back up their claim. In this passage, one Mosaic law about miscarriage specifically contradicts the claim that the bible is antiabortion, clearly stating that miscarriage does not involve the death of a human being.

If a woman has a miscarriage as the result of a fight, the man who caused it should be fined. If the woman dies, however, the culprit must be killed:

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 to as the woman's husband will lay upon him, and he shall pay as the judges determine.

"And if any mischief follows, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for a tooth . . ."--Ex. 21:22-25

They believe The bible orders the death penalty for the murder of a human being, but not for the expulsion of a fetus.

For this group, life begins at birth- when a baby draws its first breath. The bible defines life as "breath" in several significant passages, including the story of Adam's creation in Genesis 2:7, when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Jewish law traditionally considers that personhood begins at birth.

Protest over the anti-abortion law in the US. The activists largely consisting of women believe the womb is theirs and they have the right to allow the embryo live or do away with it.

What the Bible says about Abortion

However, for one to understand the teachings of God concerning abortion in the Scripture, it takes an in-depth study of the Bible.

The Bible says that God is the giver of life. God took the dark and formless nothingness and made all things, including man.

From dust, God created the first man. “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).  From nothing, He gave humanity life.

Do not commit murder was one of the ten commandments and it is worthy of note that unborn babies are humans too.

An object cannot move without applying power. Life cannot happen without the power of God, breathing it into existence. “This is what God the Lord says — the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it” (Isaiah 42:5).

Science says that at nineteen days, a heart starts to beat, and at forty days, the heart output is almost twenty per cent of an adult.

In God’s eyes, an unborn child is entirely a human being. Scripture also contends life begins before birth and refers to the unborn and born interchangeably.

“God knew him as fully human before his birth. Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

King David wrote about how God knew him fully before he was born. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb ...Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13, 16).

An illustration with a bible passage that shows the scriptural backings against abortion

All lives are precious, and God plans all children.

In Scripture from Genesis through the birth of Christ, God has planned the births of the men and women necessary to fulfil His plan.

Abraham and Sarah were beyond childbearing age, but three visiting men said otherwise and heralded the birth of Isaac. (Genesis 18:1-2) Isaac became the father of Jacob who fathered the twelve tribes of Israel.

The prophet Elisha foretold the birth of a son to the woman who cared for him sacrificially. “ ‘About this time next year,’ Elisha said, ‘you will hold a son in your arms.’ ... But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her” (2 Kings 4:16, 17).

Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were too old to have children, until a day when an angel arrived to tell Zechariah he would have a son. “But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John’ ” (Luke 1:13). Zechariah’s son became John the Baptist who obediently baptised Jesus.

Bible study tools have this to say and I will.end in that note ''Amid an unplanned pregnancy, parents sometimes see only the present circumstances, but God knows the future only He can see, and He has plans for every child. Jeremiah 29:11says, “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, not to harm you, but to give hope and a future.”

He has a purpose for each of us. He knows the plans for every child, and that hope and future are thwarted when parents choose abortion.''