[Gospel+Way Update1] Abortion and the Bible - Gospelway Update for September | Gospel+Way

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Wed Sep 10 14:28:52 PDT 2008

** David E. Pratte
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Bible students,

Abortion and the Bible

Is abortion moral or immoral? Is the unborn life in the mother's womb 
(the "fetus") a separate individual human being, or is it just part of 
the mother's body? Should the decision to abort be left up to a woman 
and her doctor? Is abortion justified if the mother is unmarried or in 
cases of poverty, deformity, handicaps, abuse, incest, or rape? What 
does the Bible teach?

This issue should be of concern to Christians at all times. But election 
years raise a special concern, because God established government to 
protect the innocent from those that would harm them. Christians should 
consider carefully the stands taken by candidates for all federal and 
state offices regarding moral issues such as this.

This is the subject of this month's Bible study article. I encourage you 
to study the article carefully, and I hope you find it helpful. The 
study is included below in ASCII or plain text format. To see the 
article in HTML, please go to our Bible Instruction web site at 
www.gospelway.com/instruct/ (see the section about morality).

We also continue from time to time adding material to our online 
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               Abortion and the Bible


In all the wars fought by the USA, a total of over 1.2 million soldiers 
have died. This study is about the people who have died in a different 
war: the war on the unborn. Since the United States Supreme Court ruled 
in 1973 that unborn babies could legally be killed, between 1 and 1.5 
million unborn babies have been legally killed in this country every 
year. The yellow pages of any phone book list several nearby clinics 
where women can "terminate a pregnancy."

But no human legislature and no human court has final authority over 
what is morally right or wrong. Nazi law and Communist law allowed the 
killing of millions of adults. Was that moral? God is the final 
authority in determining what is morally right or wrong, regardless of 
what any man may say (Isa. 55:8,9; Luke 16:15; 1 Cor. 1:18-25). We must 
obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

The purpose of this study is to consider exactly what the Bible teaches 
about abortion. The Bible is the perfect standard of right and wrong (2 
Tim. 3:16,17; 1 Cor. 14:37; John 12:48). Too much has been said about 
abortion without adequately considering the Bible teaching.

First consider some background information.

Facts about the Development of Unborn Babies

Consider in reverse order the stages of development of a human being 
from conception to adulthood. At each stage, ask yourself if it is 
morally right to kill an innocent person at that stage of development. 
May we kill it if it was conceived out of wedlock, or would live in 
poverty, have a deformity, or even it if was conceived a result of rape?


The adult is fully grown. All body parts are functioning, but growth has 
ended. May we kill it for no wrong that it has done, simply because we 
choose to do so?


At this point all body parts are functioning, but it is still growing. 
May we kill it?


The baby is functioning in all its parts and growing rapidly. It may not 
look much like it will in adulthood, but it is fully a human individual. 
May we kill it?

Four to nine months after conception

The baby is functioning fully in all its body parts and growing rapidly. 
The only difference from after birth is where it lives and how it gets 
its air and food. May we kill it?

Three months after conception

It can move arms and legs (but the mother cannot feel it). All body 
systems are present and operating; nothing new will be added from this 
point. The baby simply grows. Legally it may be killed with practically 
no restrictions during the first three months, and with few restrictions 
afterwards. But why would it be right to kill it now, but wrong a few 
months from now?

Two months after conception

Fingers and toes are clearly distinguishable. Reproductive organs are 
developing. Bones are forming. It is clearly recognizable as human. Six 
weeks after conception brain waves can be measured. May we kill it? Yet 
this is the stage that is most preferred for performing abortions!

One month after conception

All major organs have begun developing: brain and nerves, eyes, lungs, 
stomach and intestines, kidneys, etc. The heart began to beat and 
circulate blood on the 18th day. The baby has its own blood type, which 
is often different from its mother's. Yet the mother may not even know 
she is pregnant.


 From the moment of conception, the unborn baby is a unique individual. 
The genes that determine its physical nature are different from those of 
any other individual, including its mother and father. Its sex is 
determined at conception and obviously may differ from the mother's. 
Each cell in the baby's body is uniquely different from every cell of 
its mother and every other human.

At what point in this progression is it morally right to kill it, when 
it has done no wrong, simply because we choose to? How do you prove it 
is right up to one point but wrong after that point? Human wisdom cannot 
answer. But the Bible has the answer.

(The above information is summarized from "Life before Birth," Life 
magazine, April 30, 1965, and other sources.)

Facts about Methods of Abortion

Here is how these babies are killed as they grow in their mother's womb.

D & C or Dilatation and Curettage Abortion

This method is common during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. A tiny 
hoe-like instrument, the curette, is inserted into the womb through the 
dilated cervix. The abortionist then scrapes the wall of the uterus, 
cutting the baby's body to pieces.

Suction Abortion

This technique, pioneered in Communist China, is common for early 
pregnancies. A powerful suction tube is inserted into the womb; then the 
body of the developing baby is torn to pieces and sucked into a jar. 
Even early in pregnancy body parts are recognizable as arms, legs, etc. 
There is ultra-sound evidence that the baby feels the pain (as in the 
movie "The Silent Scream").

Salt Poisoning

This has been used in advanced pregnancies. A needle is inserted through 
the mother's abdomen, and a strong salt solution is injected into the 
amniotic fluid that surrounds the child. The baby is slowly poisoned and 
burned by the salt it swallows and "breathes." The mother then goes into 
labor and expels a grotesque, shriveled baby. Some babies are born alive 
but deformed.

Hysterotomy or Cesarean Section Abortion

This method is used in the last trimester of pregnancy. The womb is 
entered by surgery. Then the tiny baby is killed and removed.

Prostaglandin Chemical Abortion

Hormone-like compounds are injected into the muscle of the uterus, 
causing it to contract intensely and push out the developing baby. Many 
babies are born alive.

Dilatation & Extraction ("Partial Birth Abortion")

In this late-term method, the doctor uses forceps to remove the baby 
from the womb. The head, however, is too big to be extracted. So the 
abortionist cuts a hole in the base of the skull, suctions out the 
brain, crushes the skull, and then removes the baby. (See Lake County 
Right-to-Life Newsletter, 4&5/93.)

Newer methods include the "morning after" pill, which may allow 
conception and then causes the fertilized egg to be expelled from the 
womb. Note that many so-called "contraceptives" (such as the I.U.D. and 
even some forms of the "pill") may have a similar effect. Ask your 
doctor how a "contraceptive" works before using it.

(The above information is taken from "Abortion: What It Is," A.L.L. 
About Issues, July, 1982, and other sources.)

Question #1: Is the Life in the Womb a Human Individual?

Consider now the Bible teaching about abortion. The fundamental question 
to be answered is whether or not the life conceived in the mother's womb 
is a human person, separate and distinct as an individual from the mother.

Some Important Preliminary Considerations

The life in the mother's womb is definitely human.

There can be no doubt that we are discussing something that is alive. If 
it were not alive, why would we discuss whether or not it is right to 
kill it? The question is what kind of life it is.

In the beginning God created only three basic classes of life, each of 
which reproduces after its own kind. (1) He created plants that 
reproduce after their kind because of the power of the seed (Gen. 
1:11,12). (2) He created animals that reproduce after their own kind 
(Gen. 1:20-25). (3) He also created people in God's own image (Gen. 
1:26-30). People are distinct from the animals, they rule the animals, 
and they also reproduce in their own image, after their own kind (Gen. 5:3).

In which of these three categories should a living, unborn baby be 
classed? It cannot be considered plant or animal because plants and 
animals reproduce after their own kind, and it is not the result of 
plant or animal reproduction. It is the result of human reproduction, 
and humans are distinct from the plants and animals. Therefore the life 
in the womb of a human mother must necessarily be human! It is the 
result of human reproduction, and humans beget in their own image; 
hence, what has been begotten must be human.

Note that Genesis 5:3 clearly shows that conception ("begetting") is 
what causes the son or daughter of humans to be in the image of the 
parents. The context refers to specific historic events in which fathers 
"beget" children. This must refer to conception since that is the only 
role the father plays in the forming of a child.

Hence, the life in the mother's womb is human life. The only question 
that remains is this: is it just a part of the mother's body, or is it a 
separate and distinct individual from the mother? If it is just part of 
the mother, like a hand, foot, or appendix, it could be removed without 
committing murder. But if it is a separate individual, then killing it 
constitutes murder. This is the issue we must resolve.

How does the Bible identify a human being or person?

The Bible (King James and other older versions) nowhere uses the terms 
"human" or "human being," but instead uses other equivalent phrases. 
Further, the Bible has no unique word for "person." When this word 
occurs in English translations, it is simply an alternative translation 
for words more commonly translated "man," etc. We cannot determine 
whether the unborn is a human individual simply by searching for the 
terms "human being" or "person," because the Bible generally does not 
use these words in this way.

Instead, the Bible identifies a human person by calling it simply a 
"man," "woman," "child," "son," "daughter," "baby," "infant," etc. When 
used regarding the offspring of a human mother and father, these Bible 
terms refer to a human individual who is separate and distinct from his 
mother and father. You will not find a more technical name than these 
for any human, born or unborn, anywhere in the Bible. If the Bible uses 
these terms for an unborn baby, that will constitute definite proof that 
the unborn is a human individual.

What we need to know, then, is whether or not the Bible refers to the 
unborn baby by terms that imply humanity, just as it does for other humans.

God's Terms for Unborn Human Life

"Children" or "sons" in the womb - Genesis 25:21,22; 2 Kings 19:3; Ruth 1:11

In Genesis 25:21,22, Rebekah conceived twins, and "the children 
struggled together within her." Note the connection between the 
conception and "children." That which was conceived was called 
"children" (Heb. BEN) between the conception and the birth.

In 2 Kings 19:3 (and Isaiah 37:3), Hezekiah compares himself to an 
expectant mother who lacks strength for the labor. He says, "the 
children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them 
forth." The life in the mother's womb is here called "children" (Heb. BEN).

In Ruth 1:11, Naomi's husband and her two sons had died. She explains to 
her two widowed daughters-in-law that she could never provide sons for 
them to marry after the custom of that day. She asks, "Are there still 
sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?" Again the term "sons" 
(Heb. BEN) describes the unborn life.

This Hebrew word (BEN) is the most common Old Testament word for a child 
or son. It has various meanings, including figurative uses. But when 
used for the physical offspring of humans (as in these cases), it 
consistently refers to distinct human individuals. This is the literal 
meaning of the word.

For example, Genesis 25:1-4 names the "children" of Keturah. In Genesis 
3:16 Eve was told she would conceive and "bring forth children." Surely 
this means she would conceive and give birth to human individuals. But 
this same term is used to describe the unborn life in the womb. Why 
doesn't this mean human individuals too? There is no scriptural reason 
to distinguish them. The word means the same in both cases: a human 
individual, separate and distinct as an individual from its parents. It 
is a human individual when it has been "conceived," just the same as it 
is when it has been born. [Cf. 2 Kings 17:31; Ruth 1:1.]

A "male child" is conceived - Job 3:3

Job here distinguishes the day of his birth from the night of his 
conception. He grieves over the "day" he was "born" (v. 3a, cf. v. 4,5), 
then over the "night" he was "conceived" (v. 3b, cf. v. 6,7). On that 
night it could have been said, "A male-child is conceived." That which 
was conceived was a "male-child" ("man child" - ASV) on the very night 
of its conception!

The word for "male-child" (Heb. GEBER) elsewhere means "man," i.e., a 
human individual. See Job 3:23; 4:17; 10:5; Psalms 127:5; 128:4; etc. 
(or consult a concordance). This word inherently, without exception, 
refers to a human individual. Hence, Job is affirming that he was a 
human individual from the very night he was conceived.

"Infants" who never saw light - Job 3:16

Job speaks of babies that die before birth (a "stillborn child" - NKJV) 
as "infants" who never saw light. This is exactly like babies that are 
aborted, but the passage refers to them as "infants" (Heb. OLEL). This 
word always and without exception refers to human individuals (cf. Hosea 
13:16; Psalm 8:2 - "babes"). Joel 2:16 lists "children" (OLEL) as "people."

Hence, babies that die in their mother's womb, like aborted babies, are 
"infants" - human individuals separate and distinct from other human beings.

A "brother" in the womb - Hosea 12:3

Jacob and Esau were twins. While still in the womb, Jacob took his 
"brother" by the heel. The word for "brother" (Heb. ACH) is the primary 
Old Testament word for a brother - a human individual conceived by the 
same mother. Jacob was Esau's "brother" before they were born just the 
same as afterward (Gen. 27:41).

Here is another Bible term for a human individual which is used to refer 
to an unborn baby. Life conceived in your mother's womb, even before it 
is born, is your "brother" or "sister."

A "mother" of an unborn child - Numbers 12:12; Luke 1:43

In Numbers 12:12, when Miriam became leprous, she was described "as one 
dead, whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother's 
womb." So if a woman conceives and the baby dies before it is born - as 
in an abortion - the woman is still called a "mother."

In Luke 1:43, Elizabeth addressed Mary as "the mother of my Lord" before 
Jesus was born, very soon after He was conceived (compare verse 36 to 
verses 56,57).

The word "mother" (Heb. EM; Greek METER) has many uses; but in contexts 
referring to physical human reproduction, it always refers to one who 
has procreated or formed another human individual, a separate and 
distinct individual from the mother herself. (See for example Num. 6:7; 
Gen. 3:20; Luke 1:60; and see a concordance.) There is no exception to 
this meaning in the Bible.

A woman who has conceived, even if the child is not yet born and even if 
it dies before birth, is a "mother." She has produced a human individual.

A "baby" in the mother's womb - Luke 1:41,44

Elizabeth conceived (v24), and the life "in her womb" is called a "babe" 
or "baby" (Greek BREPHOS). This is the second-most-common New Testament 
word for a baby. It is always used, without exception, for that which is 
a human individual separate and distinct from its mother. Jesus, for 
example, is called a "babe" (BREPHOS) lying in a manger (Luke 2:12,16). 
(See Acts 7:19 and a concordance.)

Hence, before he was born, John was a "baby" in his mother's womb - a 
living human being.

A woman conceived a "son" - Luke 1:36

Again, the life conceived in Elizabeth's womb, before it was born, is 
called "a son."

The word "son" (Greek HUIOS) also has various meanings. But in contexts 
that refer to the physical offspring of humans, the word always and 
without exception refers to that which is a human individual separate 
and distinct as an individual from its parents. It is the most common 
New Testament word for a "son" (see Matt. 1:21,23,25; Luke 1:13,31; 2:7; 

Compare John's conception to his birth:

Luke 1:36 - Elizabeth "conceived a son."
Luke 1:57 - Elizabeth "brought forth a son."

These verses refer to the same mother and the same son in the same 
context. One verse describes the conception and the other describes the 
birth, but both call the child a "son." Surely the word means the same 
in both cases. If John was a human being when he had been born, then he 
was a human being from the time of his conception.

Sons and daughters begotten in the father's likeness - Genesis 5:1-3

Adam begot a son in his own likeness or image (v3). The term "beget" 
(Heb. YALAD) has various meanings, literal and figurative. When used for 
the father's role in the literal, historical event of human procreation, 
it always refers to conception or fertilization since this is the only 
role the father has in the birth of the child.

But that which is begotten is in the likeness or image of the father. So 
humans reproduce after their own kind, and what has been conceived is in 
the image of the father as a result of the conception and from the time 
of the conception. But what was the son in the image of? He was in the 
image of "man" (ADAM - vv. 1,2). This is the second-most-common word for 
man in the Old Testament, and is the same word used for man at creation 
in Gen. 1:26f. The son is in the image of "man" from conception on!

Further, God made man and woman in the likeness of God (v1). Then the 
man begot sons and daughters in his image. Therefore the sons and 
daughters must be in the image of God just as the parents are, and this 
is the result of conception. Hence, that which man begets is itself man, 
in the image of God from conception on!

"Her fruit depart" / "life for life" - Exodus 21:22-25

Men fight and "hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart" (KJV, 
ASV). The life in the mother's womb is her "fruit" (Heb. YELED). This 
word is elsewhere translated "child," "boy," "son," or "young man." It 
is the second-most-common Old Testament word for "child." It is so used 
for Moses in Exodus 2:3-10 (cf. Ex. 1:17,18; Gen. 21:8; Ruth 4:16; 
etc.). Exodus 21:22 is the only place where this word is translated 

When referring to human offspring, this word without exception refers to 
that which is a human individual, a separate and distinct individual 
from its parents. Hence, this passage gives us another case where the 
life in the mother's womb is described as a human being.

(Note that other Hebrew words are translated "fruit" in the KJV, clearly 
referring to human beings - Deut. 28:4,11,18,53; 30:9; Psa. 132:11; etc. 
Hence, the KJV is not denying the humanity of the unborn in Ex. 21:22-25).

When we return to this passage later, we will learn that it requires 
punishment for a man who causes an expectant mother to give birth 
prematurely. If the baby is born dead or injured, the man should have 
inflicted on him the same harm he caused to the baby, even "life for life."

The Hebrew word for "life" in both cases is NEPHESH, which has many 
meanings, but its most common translations are "soul" (428 times), then 
"life" (119 times) then "person" (30 times). This expression, then, 
means that the unborn baby has "life" in exactly the same sense as does 
the man who caused the harm, i.e. human life. Further, the "life" is 
contrasted to eye, hand, foot, etc. - body parts. Hence, the baby is not 
just a body part! He has "life." The unborn baby is a human being just 
as much as the man is!

Observations about the Passages

That which has been conceived and lives in the mother's womb from 
conception on is referred to by God as a "child," a "son" or "daughter," 
an "infant," a "baby," a "man-child," etc. The woman in whose womb it 
lives is a "mother." No human being anywhere in the Bible is identified 
by terms that are more distinctly human than these terms; yet God 
repeatedly chose these terms to describe unborn life. God makes no 
distinction between born and unborn life. He uses exactly the same terms 
for both. To Him they are the same, therefore we should view them as 
having the same nature.

Remember that we established from the beginning that the life in the 
mother's womb is human life. The only question to be settled was whether 
it is a distinct individual from its mother or just part of the mother's 
body. Consider the force of the evidence we have now examined:

Where does the Bible ever refer to parts of the mother's body as her 
"child," "son," "baby," etc.?

Hands, feet, eyes, fingers, etc., are parts of a mother's body, but they 
are never referred to by the terms that are used for unborn babies. Nor 
is a woman ever called a "mother" just because she has these body parts.

Why is this so? Because "child," "son," "baby," etc., are terms that 
clearly imply a separate human individual, not just a part of the 
mother's body. God's choice of terms distinguishes the unborn baby from 
the mother's body. The unborn is a separate individual, not just part of 
the mother.

Contrast God's terms to the terms used by people who defend abortion.

Abortion defenders universally refuse to use Bible language when 
referring to an unborn baby. They call it a "fetus" or "the product of 
conception" or "an unwanted pregnancy" or "foreign tissue." Never, never 
will they call it a "baby," a "child," an "infant," nor will they ever 
refer to the pregnant woman as a "mother." In fact, workers in abortion 
clinics are trained to avoid these terms (Rutherford Institute, Spring, 

Why do abortion defenders refuse to use the terms that God uses for the 
unborn baby (1 Peter 4:11)? Because they refuse to admit it has the 
nature that God believes it has! This is a deliberate effort to disguise 
the humanity of the unborn child. The very fact that these folks refuse 
to use terms like "baby," "child," "son," "infant," etc., proves that 
they know these terms imply a separate human individual. Abortion 
defenders do not speak as God speaks, because they do not believe what 
God believes!

Consider the parallel to the distinct individuals in the Godhead.

Some folks claim that God the Father and Jesus are the same individual, 
not separate individuals. We refer them to the many passages that 
mention Jesus as the Son of God the Father. A person cannot be his own 
father or his own son. A father and his son make two separate 
individuals (cf. John 8:16-18).

Likewise we know that, when a woman has given birth to a son, she and 
her son are two separate individuals. A mother cannot be the same person 
as her son.

But we have now learned that, when a woman has conceived, the life in 
her womb is her "son" (or "daughter") and she is its "mother." If God 
the Father is a separate individual from Jesus Christ His Son, and if a 
mother is a separate individual from a son to whom she has given birth, 
then in the very same way a mother must be a separate individual from 
the son or daughter in her womb.

Bible believers must conclude that the child who has been conceived and 
lives in its mother's womb is a separate and distinct individual from 
its parents - a living human being. May we then deliberately kill this 
human being?

Question #2: How Should We Treat an Unborn Child?

The Scriptures have established that the unborn life in the mother's 
womb is a human individual from conception on. Therefore, we will not 
hesitate to refer to it as a human being or person. How then should we 
treat this unborn life? May we deliberately kill it? Surely we must be 
guided by exactly the same rules or principles we should follow in our 
treatment of any other "child" or "baby." What are these rules?

Stewardship: Love, Train, and Protect a Child.

In Matthew 5:21,22, Jesus not only condemned murder, He also condemned 
the underlying attitude that leads people to commit murder. He forbade 
hatred and disrespect for the worth of a human being (cf. 1 John 3:15).

This same problem is what leads to abortion: people do not appreciate 
the value and worth of the unborn human being. They speak of "unwanted 
children," and they argue that, if the mother does not "want" to have 
the child, she may kill it. Aside from passages that specifically 
mention killing, the Bible condemns abortion by condemning the attitude 
that leads to it.

God says we should appreciate our children - Psalm 127:3-5; 128:3-5.

Children should be viewed as a blessing, a source of happiness and joy 
to their parents. ("Children" is from the Hebrew word BEN, the same word 
referring to the unborn child in Genesis 25:21,22; etc.) Unborn babies 
are children, and parents should appreciate children as a blessing from 
God. (See also Psalm 113:9.)

People who have a scriptural attitude will never kill unborn babies 
because they will never want to. Abortion is the grossest form of 
ingratitude for a blessing given by God.

God says we should raise our children according to His will - Proverbs 
22:6; Ephesians 6:4.

God has made the parents stewards of their children. A steward is a 
person who has been entrusted with something that belongs to someone 
else. He is responsible to care for it and use it to accomplish the 
purpose of the one to whom it belongs. He will be condemned and punished 
by the owner or master if he abuses or misuses that which has been 
entrusted to him (Luke 12:42-46; Matt. 25:14-30; 1 Cor. 4:2).

An unborn child is a particular blessing that has been given into our 
care, just as surely as is a child that has been born. We have the same 
God-given duty toward an unborn child as we do toward one that has been 

What is our duty toward a child, born or unborn? We should care for it 
and provide for it (cf. Matt. 7:7-11; 1 Tim. 5:8; 2 Cor. 12:14). Above 
all, we should train our children to learn God's will and serve Him 
(Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4). If we kill them, we defeat God's purpose for 
their lives. How can we "train up" and "bring up" those whom we have 

Abortion is the grossest form of child abuse and the most extreme 
perversion of parental responsibility. God will not fail to hold us 

God says we should love and protect our children - Titus 2:4.

Mothers are commanded to love their children. But an unborn baby is a 
"child," and a woman who has conceived is a mother even before the baby 
is born. Note that a mother is to love both her child and her husband 
(Titus 2:4). Which one may she kill?

Love for others is the second greatest command in the Bible (Matt. 
22:37-39). The Bible tells us how we should act toward those we love (1 
Cor. 13:4-7). This teaching definitely does not allow us to kill others 
(Rom. 13:8-10).

1 Thessalonians 2:7 - A mother should be gentle and cherish her child. 
Simple observation shows that God designed the mother's womb so an 
unborn baby will be protected, provided for, and kept safe. It is 
contrary to God's design to attack and kill an unborn baby.

If you would not want someone to kill you, then you should not kill an 
unborn baby (Matthew 7:12). Indeed, Jesus considers the treatment we 
give children to be the very treatment we give Him (Matthew 18:5). Our 
eternal destiny depends on how we treat others (Matt. 25:34-46). Since 
the unborn baby is a "child," we must treat it in harmony with these 

God says people "without natural affection" (KJV, ASV) are worthy of 
death - Romans 1:31,32; 2 Timothy 3:3.

This phrase is also translated "heartless," "unloving," and "callous." 
Vine's dictionary says it includes those who are without "love of 
kindred, especially of parents for children."

The desire of a mother to see her child live is so much a natural 
characteristic of motherly love that Solomon used it to determine who 
was the true mother of a child (1 Kings 3:26,27). Mothers who have 
miscarriages naturally tend to grieve deeply. To them the child that 
died was very real. Clearly, natural affection should include love for 
the unborn child.

Nevertheless, there are those who are condemned before God because they 
are "without" this "natural affection." There is no better term than 
this to describe one who would deliberately kill the innocent human 
being conceived within her.

Please observe that we have now established that abortion is wrong even 
without (thus far) examining passages specifically dealing with murder, 
killing, etc. We will see shortly that abortion fits the Bible 
definition of murder; but even if it did not, it would still be sinful 
for other reasons. Abortion is wrong because it is unloving, it destroys 
a God-given blessing, and it constitutes gross abuse of our stewardship 
to raise our children as God directs.

Furthermore, we have now learned the key to solving the problem of 
abortion: if parents would learn to love, appreciate, and fulfill their 
responsibilities toward their children, they would not want to kill 
them. Pro-abortion groups (like the Planned Parenthood Federation) are 
absolutely right when they affirm that every child has a right to be 
loved and wanted. But they are dead wrong when they say that the 
solution is to let mothers murder unwanted and unloved children. On the 
contrary, the solution is to teach mothers their responsibility to love, 
appreciate, and care for their children, born or unborn.

Respect for Life: Do Not Kill an Innocent Child.

General passages

Many passages teach us not to deliberately kill innocent human beings 
(this is often described as shedding of blood; cf. Gen. 37:21,22; Lev. 
17:11,12,14). Here are just a few of these passages:

Exodus 23:7 - Do not kill the innocent and righteous.

Proverbs 6:16,17 - God hates hands that shed innocent blood.

Revelation 21:8; 22:15 - Murderers will be outside the holy city in the 
lake of fire.

Matthew 15:19,20 - Murder is a sin that proceeds from the heart and 
defiles he who commits it.

Romans 13:8-10 - If you love your neighbor, you will not kill. (Cf. Ex. 
20:13; Deut. 5:17; James 2:11.)

In addition, there are a number of specific passages that deserve our 

(See also Gen. 4:8-11; Jer. 7:5-7; 22:3; Joel 3:19; Hos. 4:1,2; Lev. 
24:17,21; Ex. 21:12-15; 1 John 3:15; 1 Pet. 4:15.)

Shedding the blood of God's children - Psalm 106:37,38; Ezekiel 16:20,21

The land was polluted with blood because people shed the innocent blood 
of their "sons and daughters." But unborn babies are "sons and 
daughters"; they are "children." What then is the condition of our land 
when over one million "sons and daughters" have been legally killed 
every year since 1973?

And note that God considers these to be His children (Ezekiel 16:20,21). 
They belong to Him, and have simply been put in our care. What right do 
we have to slay God's children?

("Sons" in Psalms 106:37,38 and "children" in Ezek. 16:21 come from the 
Hebrew word BEN, also used for unborn babies in Genesis 25:21,22, etc.)

"Do not sin against the child" - Genesis 42:22; 37:20-22

When Joseph's brothers wanted to slay him, Reuben said, "Let us not take 
his life," and "Do not sin against the boy (child - KJV)." Hence, 
killing a child is sinning against it, but an unborn baby is a "child." 
(The word for "boy" or "child" in Gen. 42:22 is YELED, the same word 
used for the unborn baby in Ex. 21:22-25.)

Slaying all the children - Matthew 2:16

Herod is considered wicked because he slew the male children in 
Bethlehem. Luke 2:12,16 calls such children "babes." But Luke 1:41,44 
also calls unborn children "babes," so how can it be acceptable to kill 
them? (The word for "babes" is BREPHOS both in Luke 2:12,16 and in Luke 
1:41,44. Matt. 2:16 has a different Greek word.)

Dashing the children to pieces - Hosea 13:16; 2 Kings 8:12

Elisha wept because the Syrians would slay the Israelites, dashing their 
children (cf. Hosea 13:16 - their infants shall be dashed to pieces). 
When children or infants are dashed to pieces, it is a great tragedy to 
any nation. Yet unborn babies are children or infants, and in our nation 
they are dashed to pieces by the millions! (The Hebrew word for 
"children" or "infants" is OLEL, the same word used for the unborn in 
Job 3:16; cf. Isa. 13:16; Jer. 44:7; 9:21)

Casting out babies that they might not live - Exodus 1:16-18; Acts 7:19 

Pharaoh commanded that Israelite children be killed as soon as they were 
born. Exodus says they killed the "sons" or "male children," but all 
these same terms are used for unborn babies. Would it have been 
acceptable for Pharaoh to have had abortions performed to kill the 
babies? Is it any less wicked if people today do it?

Note, however, that God blessed the midwives who refused to kill these 
children at birth (Ex. 1:15-22). Likewise, God will bless us when we put 
an end to the murder of our unborn.

(Acts 7:19 refers to this event referring to the "babes" using the Greek 
word BREPHOS used for the unborn baby in Luke 1:41,44. The Hebrew words 
for "sons" and "male children" in Ex. 1:16-17 are BEN and YELED, used 
for unborn babies in Gen. 25:21-22 and Ex. 21:22-25.)

Slaying an innocent person - Deuteronomy 27:25

"Cursed is the one who takes a bribe (reward - KJV) to slay an innocent 
person." What clearer description could be given for people who operate 
abortion clinics? (The word for "person" is NEPHESH and is used for 
unborn babies translated "life" in Exodus 21:22-25.)

Shedding the blood of man made in the image of god - Genesis 9:2-6

Though we may kill plants and animals, we are forbidden to shed man's 
blood because man is "in the image of God." Note again how God 
distinguishes "man" from plants and animals, just as we discussed 
regarding the creation account.

Where do unborn babies fit in this passage? They are not plants or 
animals, because living things reproduce after their own kind. They are 
the result of human reproduction, therefore they are humans in the image 
of God from the time they are conceived (Gen. 5:1-4). Killing an unborn 
baby is forbidden because it is taking the life of a human in God's 
image. ("Life" in Gen. 9:5 is NEPHESH, also used for the unborn baby's 
"life" in Ex. 21:22-25.)

"Her fruit depart" - Exodus 21:22-25 (KJV)

We earlier showed that "fruit" here means child or baby. "Depart" (Heb. 
YATSA) generally means to go out or go forth. In contexts referring to 
departing from a mother's womb, it means to be born (study Gen. 
25:25,26; Job 1:21; Jer. 1:5; 20:18; etc.). It does not imply that the 
baby is born dead any more than does our word "born."

Hence, "her fruit depart" simply means "her child goes forth" 
(Interlinear Hebrew-English Bible) or "her child is born" (LXX). The 
NKJV translates: "she gives birth prematurely." This of itself says 
nothing about the condition of the baby. (Some people assume that the 
expression means a miscarriage or stillbirth. The NASB mistranslates the 
verse this way, but the footnote gives the literal meaning: "Lit. her 
children come out"!)

So the baby is born. What then? It depends on whether or not "harm" has 
been done. Harm to whom? The Interlinear Hebrew-English Bible says: "And 
when men fight, and they strike a pregnant woman, and her children [sic] 
goes forth, and there is no injury; surely he shall be fined ... But if 
injury occurs, you shall give life for life ..." Clearly the concern is 
not just for whether the mother has been harmed, but also for the 
condition of the child that is born.

So, if the baby is born prematurely, but there is no injury (to either 
child or mother), then the man is fined for the trouble he caused (v22). 
If there is injury to child or mother, then the man should receive the 
same kind of injury he caused, including "life for life" (vv 23-25). 
Hence, the unborn baby has "life" just as the man does, and the law said 
anyone who killed that unborn baby should be punished the same as if he 
had killed any other human (cf. Ex. 21:12-15; Rom. 1:29,32; Rev. 21:8).

Some people reject this explanation, because they say it would be too 
harsh to kill a man for killing an unborn baby, especially when he 
didn't mean to. Yet everyone agrees that the man would be killed if the 
mother died as a result of this act, so why is the punishment too harsh 
if the baby dies? (See also vv 16,17.)

This is an Old Testament law. Yet the passage proves that the unborn 
baby has "life" exactly like all other humans, and this "life" is 
inherent in the nature of the child. These truths would not change in 
the New Testament.

Furthermore, the loosest possible view is that the passage requires a 
fine for killing the unborn baby. This view would not disprove the 
humanity of the baby, since not all killing of humans was punishable by 
death (see vv. 20,21). Yet it still proves the act is a sin of some 
kind, else why should the man pay a fine? So even the loosest view of 
this passage proves that abortion is wrong. The correct meaning, 
however, is that killing the unborn was killing a human individual.

Authority for killing

The Bible shows that one must have authority or sanction from God in 
order to take any form of life. We may kill plants and animals because 
God expressly gives us this right (Gen. 1:29; 9:2,3; Acts 10:9-16; etc.) 
However, we must not kill innocent humans without express approval 
(although man is not held guilty if the killing was accidental - Num. 
35:9-31; Deut. 19:1-13).

We have shown conclusively that it is just as wrong to kill an unborn 
baby as it is to kill any other human being. Yet if anyone still thinks 
we have not proved our case, before he approves of abortion he must show 
convincing evidence that killing unborn babies is acceptable to God. It 
is not enough just to dismiss our case; the one who defends abortion 
must establish his case by positive evidence from Scripture! If he 
cannot do so, then to participate in the practice would be acting 
without Divine authority, which is also sinful (Rom. 14:23; Col. 3:17; 2 
John 9-11; etc.). So long as any doubt remains, we must not kill that 
innocent human life (Romans 14:23).

The relationship of abortion to humanistic unbelief - Romans 1:29,32.

People who commit murder (or who consent with those who do) are worthy 
of death spiritually. Those who approve such acts have rejected faith in 
God (vv 28,29). They exalt their own wisdom, but are actually extremely 
foolish (vv 21,22). They become involved in religious and sexual 
perversions, including homosexuality and immorality of all kinds (vv 23-32).

This shows the root reasons why people defend such practices as 
abortion, homosexuality, etc. They reject Divine creation (vv 20,21) and 
conclude that man evolved from lower animals. They no longer have a real 
conviction about the true God, so they explain away God's moral laws and 
disregard the fact that man was made in God's image.

We should not be surprised, then, that the groups that most vocally 
defend abortion are generally the same groups that defend evolution, 
homosexuality, etc. For example, the Humanist Manifestos defend atheism 
and evolution, and they also defend abortion, homosexuality, premarital 
sex, etc. Similar statements can be made about such groups as the 
American Civil Liberties Union, the National Education Association, the 
National Council of Churches, the National Organization of Women, the 
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, etc.

Remember, however, that right and wrong are ultimately determined, not 
by people, but by God Who will judge each of us for our lives (2 Cor. 
5:10; Matt. 25:31-46).

A note regarding the spirit of the unborn baby

Please note that we have proved that abortion is wrong without 
discussing the issue of whether or not the baby possesses a spirit. When 
God uses terms to describe the unborn baby and then uses the very same 
terms to describe what we are forbidden to kill, that proves we should 
not kill an unborn baby! The unborn baby is a human individual, so we 
may no more kill it than we may kill any other human individual. Further 
evidence about the spirit is not needed.

However, as an interesting side issue it follows as a corollary that the 
unborn baby has a spirit, simply because every living human body has a 
spirit. Regarding a human body, James 2:26 says that the spirit and 
biological life are present simultaneously or absent simultaneously. You 
can't have one without the other. If the body did not have a spirit, it 
would be "dead." If the body is alive, the spirit must be present.

There is no exception for any human body in the Bible. A body without 
spirit cannot be alive, just as faith without works cannot be alive. The 
unborn baby has a human body that is alive; therefore it has a spirit.

But again, we need not prove the presence of the spirit to know that 
abortion is wrong. Matthew 10:28 and Luke 12:4,5 describe killing as 
deliberately ending the biologic life of a human "body." Killing the 
body is as far as man can go, because he cannot harm the spirit. Hence, 
to prove that abortion is murder, we need only to prove that the unborn 
baby has a human body which is biologically alive. We have already 
proved this. Therefore, abortion is murder.

The unborn is described in terms that mean human individuals. It fits 
the definition of what the Bible says we must not kill. Nothing more is 

Question #3: Why Do Mothers Obtain Abortions?

The Bible teaches that abortion violates God's will. Defenders of 
abortion, however, usually try to open the door by emotional appeals to 
traumatic cases. If these exceptions are granted, they proceed to argue 
for abortion on demand.

A close examination of the reasons for abortion, however, will actually 
strengthen the general conclusion that abortion should be avoided. 
Consider the following reasons for abortion.

Conception Outside Wedlock

Abortion defenders use rape and the mother's health to argue for lax 
abortion laws, but these cases are a microscopic proportion of all 

Fact: More than 3/4 of all abortions occur because the mother is not 
married to the baby's father!

In any year, women who are divorced, separated, widowed, or 
never-married account for at least 75% of all abortions. According to 
the US Centers for Disease Control in 2002, 82% of all abortions were 
performed on unmarried women ("Abortion Surveillance --- United States, 
2002," www.cdc.com).

These figures, however, are deceptively low because: (1) many married 
women abort babies conceived as a result of adultery; (2) many unmarried 
women claim to be married to cover up fornication.

Clearly, the vast majority of abortions occur so women can escape 
embarrassment and inconvenience resulting from fornication.

So, the Bible solution to most abortion is: "flee fornication" (1 
Corinthians 6:18).

The Bible repeatedly states that the sexual relationship is honorable 
within marriage but condemned outside marriage (Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 
6:9-11; 7:2-5; Rev. 21:8; Gal. 5:19-21; etc.)

Yet, abortion defenders are usually the same people who excuse sexual 
immorality. They almost never rebuke fornication. They promote sex 
education programs based on contraception, not abstinence. They claim 
they object to "imposing morality" on others, then proceed to impose 
legal abortion on society, including millions of unborn babies!

Incredible amounts of time, money, and effort are spent for clinics, 
referral agencies, sex education, and political and legal maneuvers to 
promote abortion. If these efforts were instead spent to promote 
premarital chastity and marital fidelity, the need for abortion could be 
substantially reduced.

What about the unmarried women who will still conceive?

Deuteronomy 24:16 says: "The fathers shall not be put to death for the 
children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: 
every man shall be put to death for his own sin." Justice is one of the 
weightier matters of the law (Matt. 23:23). May we kill an innocent baby 
after it is born, because its parents sinned? No, and killing an unborn 
baby for his parents' sin is likewise a miscarriage of justice.

In 2 Samuel 11 and 12, David committed adultery with Bathsheeba, and she 
conceived. To cover up the sin, David had Bathsheeba's husband killed, 
then he married her. Today people would simply have the baby killed 
before it was born! Why is it wrong to cover up by killing the innocent 
husband, but acceptable to cover up by killing the innocent baby?

Throughout history sinners have killed innocent people in an attempt to 
hide their own guilt. Cain killed Abel. Sinners killed Jesus, Stephen, 
and the apostles. Criminals kill witnesses. And today fornicators kill 
unborn children.

We oppose abortion, not because we want the mother to be punished for 
her sins, but because we don't want the baby to be killed for the 
mother's sin. "The way of the transgressor is hard" (Prov. 13:15). 
Fornication is wrong. But it simply compounds the error to allow the 
guilty parents to escape the consequences of their sin by killing an 
innocent person. Two wrongs do not make a right!

Guilt for fornication cannot be removed by killing the innocent baby 
(Prov. 28:13). The only way to remove guilt is to repent, confess, 
forsake sin, and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ (Mark 
16:15,16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Hebrews 7:25; 5:9; Matthew 11:29,30).

Desire to Avoid Inconvenience or Responsibility

Many parents are simply unwilling to care for the baby they conceived. 
They may not want to spend the necessary time or money. They may think 
they are not "ready" for children or they already have enough children. 
Maybe the child will interfere with the mother's career. Maybe a child 
born later in life will be an unwanted burden. Some even get abortions 
if the baby is not the sex they want!

In such cases, some argue that the mother should have the "right to 
choose" not to give birth to the baby: hence, "abortion on demand."

Again, we must remember that the unborn baby is a human individual.

Inconvenience or responsibility that a person causes, no more justifies 
killing him before he is born than it does after he is born. We have no 
right to kill a child, parent, spouse, or any other person simply 
because we do not want to care for them.

It is a principle of Biblical and civil law that the rights of one 
individual end when they infringe on the rights of another individual. 
For example, I have the right to drive a car, but I do not have the 
right to drive your car without your permission.

Likewise, a woman does have a right to avoid being pregnant - as long as 
she is not yet pregnant! After she has conceived, however, the rights of 
another person must be considered: the baby within her. To kill that 
other person would be sinful. (Note: even if the baby was just a part of 
the mother's body - which it isn't - still the Bible denies that "a 
woman has the right to do what she wants with her body." Study 1 Cor. 
6:19,20; Rom. 12:1,2; 6:12-19.)

We must learn to accept the responsibilities that follow our choices.

One of the biggest problems in society is people who want freedom 
without responsibility. Certain acts automatically demand 
responsibility. To avoid the responsibilities, we may choose to avoid 
the act; but we are not free to participate in the act and still avoid 
the responsibilities.

For example, a man may choose not to drive a car. But if he chooses to 
drive, then he automatically obligates himself to drive according to the 
traffic laws. People who want the privilege of driving without obeying 
the laws are irresponsible, illegal, and immoral.

Likewise, a man may choose not to marry (1 Cor. 7:27,28). But if he 
chooses to marry, he automatically becomes responsible to love and 
provide for his wife (1 Tim. 5:8; Eph. 5:25-29). Far too many people 
want the privileges of marriage without the responsibilities that go 
with it.

Likewise, if a man and woman choose to enjoy the sexual union, they 
automatically assume the responsibility to care for any child that may 
result (Eph. 6:4; 1 Tim. 5:8; Prov. 22:6; etc.). So if a woman wants to 
avoid pregnancy, the time to exercise that choice is before she has a 
sexual relationship. When a couple chooses to engage in sexual relations 
but then kills the baby they conceived, their actions are irresponsible, 
immoral, and ought to be illegal. It is gross inconsistency to say that 
a woman has a "right to choose" not to be pregnant, even after she chose 
to participate in the act that made her pregnant!

Young people, remember: The way to avoid the consequences of an act is 
to avoid the act! If you do not have the scriptural right to become 
parents, or if you are not willing to become parents, then do not 
participate in the act that God designed for reproduction! Furthermore, 
do not participate in sexually suggestive activities that may overwhelm 
your emotions. Participating in sexual relations makes you a debtor to 
raise any child that results. If you don't want the debt, then avoid the 
act that may make you a debtor!

Inferior Quality of Life

Pro-abortionists ignore the fact that the unborn baby is a human being, 
but emphasize instead "quality and dignity" of life. They say abortion 
is justified if the baby might be deformed, poor, abused, or neglected. 
These are real problems, but is abortion the right solution?

(Note that people often defend abortion as an act of mercy to the child, 
when their real concern is to avoid inconvenience for the parents. If 
so, then we are back to the previous case.)

What human being can decide when another human's life is so inferior 
that we have the right to kill him?

"Quality" and "dignity" of life are relative terms. Who gets to decide, 
and where do you draw the line, especially regarding an unborn child who 
has no voice in the decision? Once you justify the killing of innocent 
humans, where do you stop? Consider some examples.

* Should we kill an unborn child that might be deformed?

Based on medical techniques such as amniocentesis and ultrasound, 
parents are sometimes advised to abort an unborn baby who might have a 
birth defect.

But where do you draw the line? The techniques are often inaccurate, and 
they cannot tell how bad the deformity will be. Many normal babies have 
been aborted as a result. How great must be the probability and how 
extreme must be the deformity to justify killing? Further, the vast 
majority of handicapped people prefer to live rather than die. 
Handicapped children are often a beautiful blessing to their parents. 
How do we know ahead of time that the "quality of life" truly justifies 

* Should we kill an unborn baby that might suffer poverty?

If so, how poor must the family be? Might their circumstances improve in 
the future? Might other people help with the financial burden? Are all 
poor people miserable? Some of the greatest people in the history of the 
world were born into poverty. Should they have all been aborted?

* Should we kill an unborn baby that might be neglected or abused?

How can we be sure it will be abused or neglected? How badly abused and 
neglected must it be to justify killing it? Again, neglect and abuse are 
sins of the parents. Why kill the child for the parents' sins (Deut. 
24:16)? Why not instead teach the parents to love and care for the 
child, and if they will not do so, why not have the government punish 
the parents (Rom. 13:1-7)?

To really oppose child abuse you must oppose abortion: it is the 
ultimate child abuse!

The Bible says innocent humans should not be deliberately killed. When 
we leave this absolute standard, no stopping place can be convincingly 
defended. We are a ship at sea in a storm with no rudder, chart, or 

Does inferior quality of life also justify killing after birth?

Abortion is the first step toward mercy killing ("euthanasia"). If we 
can kill an unborn baby because it might be deformed, poor, etc., then 
why not kill all humans who have those problems? What is the difference 
in moral principle? Further, before the baby is born, we don't really 
know it will have these problems, so why not wait till after it is born? 
Then we can decide on the basis of better information whether or not to 
murder it!

The fact is that the killing of born babies is already a reality! 
Hospital attendants across the country are reporting deformed babies 
that were set aside to die without food or attention.

And why not also kill the insane, elderly, and chronically ill? This too 
is being defended. The Humanist Manifestos defend the right to abortion 
(page 18) and the right to euthanasia and suicide (page 19). Organized 
movements are promoting mercy killing. Doctors make headlines for 
"assisted suicides." Various states are considering laws to grant 
doctors the right to kill terminally ill patients.

And all of this has been practiced before ... in Nazi Germany! That 
brings us to genocide or the "holocaust." If we can kill people because 
we think they have an inferior quality of life or are a burden on 
others, how can we condemn the Nazis who killed millions of Jews (along 
with the unborn, deformed, elderly, etc.) whom they considered to be 
inferior and a burden on society? And what about the Communists who have 
killed millions of "Capitalists" for the same reason? Millions of 
Christians have been martyred because others thought they were unfit to 

The quality of life argument is just a way of saying we have decided 
some people are unfit to live. What do you say when someone decides you 
are the one who is unfit to live? Matthew 7:12.

All these people are just Humanists who accept the logical consequences 
of evolution. If men are just animals, not in the image of God, there 
are any number of "reasons" why we should put them out of their misery, 
just like we do animals. But if there is a God who created man in His 
own image and who forbids the killing of innocent humans, then abortion, 
euthanasia, and genocide are all immoral for the same reasons.

How should we treat people who are handicapped or in misery, poverty, etc.?

* Do not do violence to troubled people, but protect and assist them.

Psalm 37:14 - It is wicked to do violence to the "poor and needy." Yet 
abortion and euthanasia defenders say to kill them!

Job 29:15,16 - Job was eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, and a father 
to the needy. Don't kill them; help them!

Matthew 25:34-46 - Our eternal destiny depends on whether or not we aid 
the sick, needy, disadvantaged, and unfortunate. The way we treat these 
people is the way we treat Jesus Christ.

(See also Gal. 6:2; Luke 14:12-14; Psalm 82:3,4; Jer. 22:3; Deut. 
15:7,8,11; Isa. 1:17.)

* Have faith that God can help people endure any problem they may face.

1 Corinthians 10:13 - God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our 
ability. He will always make a way of escape, so we can endure the hardship.

Philippians 4:10-13 - Paul said he had learned to be content, even in 
prison. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Instead of using problems as an excuse for murder, we should trust in 
God's help. People, who justify killing to escape problems, simply 
display their lack of faith in God.

(See also Rom. 8:31-39; James 5:10,11; Psalm 46:1; 34:19.)

* Understand that spiritual matters outweigh the physical, and physical 
problems can produce spiritual benefits.

Proverbs 28:6 - A poor man with integrity is better than a perverse rich 

Matthew 18:8 - It is better to receive eternal life maimed and lame than 
to be physically whole and receive eternal punishment.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 - God chose not to remove Paul's physical thorn in 
the flesh, because it made him a better person spiritually. Many people 
can testify to the blessings they have received as a result of physical 
hardships. (See also 1 Peter 1:6,7; Rom. 8:28; 5:3-5.)

1 Samuel 16:7; Luke 12:15 - God does not judge men according to outward 
appearance, but He looks on the heart. A man's life consists not of the 
abundance of things he possesses.

A fatal error of the "quality of life" argument is that it invariably 
measures "quality of life" in terms of physical circumstances. Instead, 
true quality of life is determined by ones character and service to God. 
This cannot be measured by any medical technique!

The "quality of life" argument is based on a false and perverted 
standard of human worth. The Bible, however, does not just forbid doing 
violence to innocent people. It also shows how to deal with the problems 
life brings.

(See also Prov. 15:16,17; 16:8; 1 Tim. 6:6-10; James 2:5.)

Conception as a Result of Rape

This case is difficult because everyone sympathizes with the woman who 
has been forced against her will. Bad as rape is, it is harder still to 
think the victim must then give birth to a baby she conceived against 
her will. All this, however, is human reasoning and emotion. We must 
remember that God's ways are higher than ours, and we must submit our 
will to His (Isa. 55:8,9; Jer. 10:23; Prov. 14:12; 1 Cor. 1:18-25; Luke 

Consider these facts:

The case we are considering occurs very rarely.

Rape itself is not rare, unfortunately; but it rarely leads to 
conception. Consider the following statistics for conceptions from rape 
in major cities: Chicago - no cases in 9 years; Buffalo - no cases in 30 
years; St. Paul - no cases in 10 years (3500 rapes); Philadelphia - no 
cases in 19 1/2 years. One survey polled doctors who had delivered a 
total of 19,000 births, but not one of these doctors had ever delivered 
a baby conceived as a result of rape. (U.S. Congressional Record, 
7/25/83; Handbook on Abortion, by Dr. and Mrs. J. C. Wilke, pp 38,39).

The percentage of abortions that occur as a result of real rape is 
infinitesimal. If, however, rape were considered a justifiable cause for 
obtaining an abortion, we could be sure that many women would falsely 
claim they were raped, just to get an abortion!

If a raped woman does conceive, we must remember that the life within 
her is still an innocent human being.

It is still wrong to kill the baby because the father sinned - 
Deuteronomy 24:16. Every passage we have studied that condemns killing 
innocent humans would still apply in this case. What if we discover 
after it has been born that it was conceived as a result of rape? Could 
we kill it?

True, the consequence is that the woman must give birth to the child. 
Unfortunately, in this life innocent people often suffer the 
consequences of wrongs done by evil people. Drunken drivers kill or 
injure innocent people. Thieves steal from innocent people. The Bible 
contains many such examples (Acts 2:23; 1 Peter 4:12-16; John 15:18-20; 
2 Cor. 11:23-26; 1 Thess. 3:2-4).

But none of this justifies harming other innocent people. Joseph was 
sold into slavery by his brothers, but did not use this to justify doing 
wrong to others (Gen. chaps. 37,39-41). Jesus suffered at the hands of 
wicked men, but He did not wrong others because of it. We should imitate 
His example (1 Pet. 2:19-24). We must do good even when we have been 
wronged (Rom. 12:17-21).

And remember 1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13. God will provide 
what we need to do His will. Again, we should comfort and help one 
another and trust in God for strength. Two wrongs still do not make a 
right. And above all, nothing here changes the Bible principles we have 
studied. Remember, the real reason people want legal abortion is to 
cover up fornication or to avoid inconvenience to the parents!

Danger to the Life of the Mother

The principles we have already discussed would adequately deal with 
abortion for the comfort, general health, or emotional well being of the 
mother. But what if the mother herself would die if the pregnancy continues?

Medically speaking, such cases simply do not occur.

"Thousands of physicians across the United States, each of whom has 
cared for hundreds of mothers and infants during their respective years 
of practice, state firmly they have never in those thousands of 
pregnancies seen a single instance where the life of the infant had to 
be sacrificed to save the mother, nor have they seen a situation where a 
mother has been lost for failure of a physician to perform an abortion 
... abortion is never necessary, because competent physicians, using the 
latest medical and surgical techniques, can preserve the lives of both 
the mother and the child" - Dr. John Grady (Family Review, Spring, 1981).

"Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through 
pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer 
or leukemia and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less 
save, life" - Alan Guttmacher of Planned Parenthood, 1954 (via Allen Co. 
R.T.L. News, 10/81).

Dr. Joseph DiZoglio questioned a number of doctors who did abortions 
(including one who did 15-20,000): "...all said they have never 
performed an abortion that was absolutely for medical reasons ... Never 
means never - not one case" - (Allen Co. R.T.L. News, 10/81).

"...the reasons for therapeutic abortion (to save the mother's life) 
have disappeared" -Dr. John Hand, (ibid.)

"Abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother" - Dr. 
Joseph P. Donnelly (ibid.).

"Medical reasons for provoking abortion are just about non-existent. In 
fact, no basis on pure medical grounds ever really stands up" - Dr. 
Bernard Pisani, Family Review, 1981.

The life-of-the-mother argument is the abortionists' last resort, but 
their "battering ram" is a wet noodle! The problem simply does not 
exist, so why should we compromise Bible principle?

In any such considerations, decisions must always be made remembering 
that the unborn is a human being.

Difficult decisions should treat the unborn as fully human as if it had 
been born. Even if exceptions did exist, they would still just be 
exceptions. The exception is not the rule. The rule is to be determined 
by Bible principles, not by alleged exceptions.

In cases of doubt, remember Romans 14:23 and have faith in God to help 
with our needs in answer to prayer.


The Bible teaches that the baby who has been conceived and lives in its 
mother's womb is a living human being, a separate and distinct person 
from its parents. Therefore, it has just as much right to live as any 
other human being. To deliberately kill it would be just as wrong as 
killing any other innocent human being.

Abortion is wrong, therefore, because it is a failure to love, 
appreciate, and care for a human baby. It is also wrong because it 
constitutes the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.

The Bible provides the necessary steps to solve the abortion "dilemma" 
for those who are willing to respect its teachings:

(1) Flee fornication.

(2) Learn to love, appreciate, and care for the baby.

(3) Learn to trust God for the strength to face any hardships life 
brings. Study His word, pray, and seek help from other Christians.

(4) Help others who have needs or problems caused by the birth of a baby.

(5) Speak out in defense of life. Seek to deliver those who are about to 
be slain (Prov. 24:11,12). Do not compromise with sin, but reprove it 
(Eph. 5:11; 2 Tim. 4:2-4; Prov. 28:4; Gal. 6:1, etc.).

What should a woman do if she has aborted a baby and now realizes she 
did wrong? She does not need to spend the rest of her life with the 
burden of unforgiven guilt. The Bible says abortion is wrong, but it 
also gives something else that humanistic beliefs cannot give: a source 
of true forgiveness for guilt. God will forgive if we will come to Him 
according to His conditions. Read and obey these passages: Rom. 1:16; 
6:3,4; 10:9,10; Mark 16:16; Acts 17:30; 2:38; 22:16.


(C) Copyright 1984, 1994, 1999, 2008, David E. Pratte

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