What Does the Bible Say About Abortion? What About the Early Christians?

Author: Various

What Does the Bible Say About Abortion? What About the Early Christians?

There is no direct mention of the word abortion in the Bible.

"There are many indications that the idea of abortion was totally alien to the Jewish mentality. The attitude of the Jews toward barrenness as a curse, the regard for fertility as one of God's greatest blessings, the mandate to increase and multiply, the hope of the Jewish maiden that she might bear the Messiah, all militated against any easy attitude toward self-induced abortion, or even any deliberate abortion. All the available evidence points to a wholesome acceptance of and respect for the life which God was making "in his own image," even though it was not yet completed."___ "Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective"


"This is what the Lord says- He who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you" --Isaiah 44:2

"For You created my innermost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." --Psalm 139:13-14

"Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." --Psalm 51:5

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him." --Psalm 127:3

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless...Rescue the weak and needy." --Psalm 82:3-4

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest." --Jesus Christ (John 10:10)

"Rescue those being led away to death." --Proverbs 24:11 (NIV)

Talking about John the Baptist, "and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb." --Luke 1:15(NIV) There is no record of the Holy Spirit ever filling anything but a person.

"Before I was born the Lord called me..." "And now the Lord says-He who formed me in the womb to be His servant..." --Isaiah 49:1,5

The apostle Paul says "But when God, who set me apart from my mother's womb and called me by His grace..." --Galatians 1:15(NIV)

"If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall surely be punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life..." - -Exodus 21:22-25, King James Version.

"Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One form us both within our mothers?" --Job 31:15 (NIV)

"Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to strike down an innocent person." -- Deu 27:25 (NAS)

"..do not shed innocent blood..." --Jeremiah 7:6 (NIV)


God's View of Abortion

As the sexual morals of today's society have changed, more and more teens and unwed mothers have seriously considered aborting their babies.

What is the Bible's View on Abortion?

To answer that question, we must first consider who the creator of all life is. Let us look at the following scriptures:

"For in him we live, and move, and have our being as certain also of your own poets have said. For we are also his offspring." (Acts 17:28 King James Version)

"For with thee is the fountain of life in thy light shall we see light." (Psalms 36:9)

From reading these two scriptures, we see that the giver of all life is God. Yes, it is obvious that if God creates a living being he would be displeased at its ungrateful destruction. But does God view an unborn child as a living thing, or is it only after it is born that it becomes life? Lets go back to the Bible:

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

"And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life." (Exodus 21:22-23)

There we read that if some men were fighting and they caused injury to a pregnant woman, they were to be punished. If they caused her to lose her child, they were to be put to death. From this law that God gave Israel, we see that God not only viewed an unborn child as a living person, but that anybody responsible for its death was accountable for murder. How does God view the willful taking of a human life? Again, let's turn to the Bible:

"Thou shalt not kill." (Exodus 20:13)

"Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." (1 John 3:15)

How straightforward God's commandment is to his people. He simply said not to kill. In 1 John, God let us know that a murderer has no hope of a future.

From reading the bible we can come to the conclusion that God views the unborn human child as a living person and the willful taking of that life is murder.


What does God have to say?

These tiny packages of humanity, are they really people?

Well, God seems to think they are.

"Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, `Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.'" (Jer. 1:4-5)

God knew Jeremiah when he was in his mothers belly; God sactified him and ordained him to be a prophet. If by abortion, the baby should have been killed, it would have been Jeremiah who was killed. Jeremiah's mother would not have known his name, but God had already named him. His mother would not have known he was potentially a mighty prophet of God, but God had so planned it, and would have felt the loss.

The Bible tells us that John the Baptist was "filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother's womb." (Luke1:15) God sent His angel to Zacharias to tell him his wife would bear a son, and even told him what his name was to be. He was told that "many will rejoice at his birth-for he will be great in the sight of the Lord." (Luke 1:11-17)

It seems like God knew John quiet well and that He had a distinct purpose for his life on earth... a purpose for him and him alone to fulfill.

Last but certainly not least, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary, "Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High... and his Kingdom will have no end." (Luke 1:31-33) And so you see, God doesn't wait until a baby moves or becomes completely ready for life outside of his mother, before He knows it, loves it, and recognizes it as a tiny human being...so why shouldn't we do the same!

"For Thou didst form my inward parts; though dist weave me in my mother's womb...My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret... Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in They book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them." - Psalm 139:13-16


The Didache is probably the oldest patristic document written between 80 and 90 AD. Its full title originally was, "The Lord's Instuction to the Gentiles Through the Twelve Apostles." Intended for the instruction of converts to Christianity.




1. There are two Ways: a Way of Life and a Way of Death, and the difference between these two Ways is great.

The Way of Life is this: "Thou shalt love first the Lord thy Creator, and secondly thy neighbour as thyself; and thou shalt do nothing to any man that thou wouldst not wish to be done to thyself."

What you may learn from these words is to bless them that curse you, to pray for your enemies, and to fast for your persecutors. For where is the merit in loving only those who return your love? Even the heathens do as much as that. But if you love those who hate you, you will have nobody to be your enemy.

Beware of the carnal appetites of the body. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other one to him as well, and perfection will be yours. Should anyone compel you to go a mile, go another one with him. If someone takes away your coat, let him have your shirt too. If someone seizes anything belonging to you, do not ask for it back again (you could not get it, anyway). Give to everyone that asks, without looking for any repayment, for it is the Father's pleasure that we should share His gracious bounty with all men. A giver who gives freely, as the commandment directs, is blessed; no fault can be found with him. But woe to the taker; for though he cannot be blamed for taking if he was in need, yet if he was not, an account will be required of him as to why he took it, and for what purpose, and he will be taken into custody and examined about his action, and he will not get out until he has paid the last penny. The old saying is in point here: "Let your alms grow damp with sweat in your hand, until you know who it is you are giving them to.

2. The second commandment in the Teaching means: Commit no murder, adultery, sodomy, fornication, or theft. Practise no magic, sorcery, ABORTION(emphasis not in original), or infanticide. See that you do not covet anything your neighbour possesses, and never be guilty of perjury, false witness, slander, or malice. Do not equivocate in thought or speech, for a double tongue is a deadly snare; the words you speak should not be false or empty phrases, but fraught with purposeful action. You are not to be avaricious or extortionate, and you must resist any temptation to hypocrisy, spitefulness, or superiority. You are to have no malicious designs on a neighbour. You are to cherish no feelings of hatred for anybody; some you are to reprove, some to pray for, and some again to love more than your own life.

Copyright (c) 1996 EWTN