Tough Questions – Abortion is Not Mentioned in The Bible

I got an e-mail the other day asking me about abortion and the Bible. This is actually a question I have gotten quite a bit; abortion is not mentioned in the Bible, so how can we say it is a sin?

This question is flawed because it is focused on the procedure rather than what abortion actually is. That is one of the fundamental reasons Christians ignore abortion, they look at it as a procedure. We must look past the procedure to the root of what abortion is.

Abortion is the killing of a human person. There are many ways to kill a human person and not all of them are mentioned in the Bible. Using this logic, you could argue that shooting someone with a gun is not mentioned in the Bible; so therefore it is not a sin. Shooting someone with a gun, like abortion, is simply the procedure used to kill that human person.

We all know that killing someone is a sin, “thou shalt not kill” is pretty cut and dry.

As I wrote in the last “tough questions” section, scripture tells us about the beginning of human life. I am sure you have all heard the most popular verse pro-lifers use about God forming us in the womb. Have you read Psalm 51:5? “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” From the moment of conception you have sin. What does sin stain? It stains your soul, not your flesh. You have a soul at the moment of conception.

Lets look at Luke 1:39, At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”

Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist and was about 6 months along in her pregnancy. Mary was only a few days pregnant with Jesus when John the Baptist recognized the personhood of Christ and leapt in the womb. It cannot be any clearer when life begins.

So again it comes back to the core of the pro-life argument, personhood. In reality almost all the tough questions people ask me will be brought back to this principle.

A child in the womb is a human person.

Killing a human person is wrong.

Abortion is killing a human person.

Abortion is wrong.

That was the long answer to the question. The short answer is simple, abortion is mentioned in the Bible, “thou shalt not kill”.


19 responses to “Tough Questions – Abortion is Not Mentioned in The Bible

  • jonathan

    dude, this is an awsome answer to the question. RIGHT ON

  • Papist Ph.D.

    What jonathan said 🙂 Especially effective is your mention of the pre-born John the Baptist’s recognition of the personhood of the pre-born Jesus — only days after conception (indeed, before a woman in our time would even get a positive pregnancy test).

    • RoYal

      Perhaps the largest queotisn is whether gays are made that way, and have any choice in their sexual behavior. Admittedly, our culture tells them to follow their feelings, and hypes any indication of any possible genetic source for the behavior.Trying to figure out if it is a learned behavior or a genetic “defect” pre-assumes that there is something wrong with them, rather than that they are living as God made them. It’s an effective means for those who wish to not accept their fellow man as God made them to neatly avoid doing so— “Sorry, we’re just trying to find out if you’re sick first”.There are also claims, both secular and religious, about people who have altered their sexual preference with outside help. There is no such thing. You can shame someone into suppressing an urge, but you cannot change who or what they are genuinely attracted to. I’m a heterosexual male; There is nothing anyone could say or do that would change my mind about that. Assuming that gay people can be “changed” preassumes that their love is a lesser one than mine, and I think that’s a dangeous road for Christians to travel.Simply put, I suspect the “hate/resist” and the “love/accept” dichotomy is a false dichotomy. No, it’s not. You either believe in accepting your fellow human beings as God made them, or you do not. Jesus was pretty clear on what side of that particular fence he came down on. I notice that the abortion part has been left alone, too….what are your thoughts on that? I believe in a woman’s right to choose. Until there is something inside her that can breathe on its own if exposed to the outside world, then the choice is about her body and what she wishes to do with it. Once that mass inside of her is actually viable as a human being, I believe in protecting it.So I believe in a woman’s right to choose. That does put me at odds with my own church— I’m Catholic too. But what I’ve found is that the Vatican is increasingly out of touch with the wishes of its parishioners on this and many other matters.

  • Concerned in Christ

    Child Sacrifice is mentioned in the bible.

    We’re only talking age here from fetus to infant.

  • Julie P.

    Right on, Bryan! And of course, there is so much more to support your case. I also have dealt with this quite a bit… from atheists and Christians alike. There are a lot of things the Bible doesn’t mention by name…. doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer in the Bible about it! Love this post! Also, love how you used a bit of logic there at the end 😉

  • Michelle

    Love this, Bryan~ thank you :o) I do take HUGE issue with the assertion that the act of conception is a sin, and therefore children at the time of conception are stained with sin. The act of procreation between man and wife is sacred and not sinful, and infants are completely innocent. Especially before they even enter this world! If the manner of conception of the child was, in fact, sinful in some way, that sin is on the head of those who committed it, not on the soul of an innocent child. To sin is a willful act~ a choice to rebel against God. Infants do not have this ability. That does not make them any less of a person, or any less real before birth. We are to “become as little children”(Matt. 18:3)~ I don’t imagine God would ask us to take on the qualities of something sinful in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven. That Pslam was a song of David~ not doctrine pertaining to all men. Context is of immense importance when quoting scripture and we need to be careful ~especially in using it in arguments such as these. However, the rest of this post was wonderfully put~ I don’t know how anyone could argue with the simple, common sense truth of it. But somehow, they always do ;o)

    • Randi

      In Psalm 51:5 Bryan (and everyone else who knows what they’re talking about) is not referring to the marital act (sex) as a sin that comes on the head of the conceived child. Original sin is the sinful nature we have as fallen human beings, which comes to us from the very beginnings of humanity, from the Fall of Man….and it has nothing to do with the fact that our parents had sex to conceive us (which, as the Church teaches, is NOT in itself sinful within the sacrament of marriage, and is a gift from Heaven).

  • Michelle

    Randi~ Bryan said “From the moment of conception you have sin” and that is false. As I said before, sin is a willful act of rebellion against God. An embryo cannot sin. Are we “hot wired” as human beings to sin? Do we have carnal/fallen natures by virtue of the fact that we are born into this life as mortals? Yes. Are we “sinners” if we have committed no sin? No. My little boys are not “stained” by sins I have committed~ before they were conceived or after. They are not sinners because I sinned. Sin is a personal transgression of the Law. Please read Ezekiel 18 (yes, I do know my scriptures, Randi~ no need to get personal ;o)) Then read Mark 9: 36-37; Mark 10: 13-16 etc etc…I don’t believe God contradicts Himself. The Pslams were poems and songs~ the Pslam in question is David lamenting over his greivous sins (and I believe his mother was a concubine? But I may be wrong on that one~ I’ll have to check) He was not talking about “Adamic sin”~ but I do realize there are some who believe in that, and if that is the case here, we’ll have to agree to disagree. To use that passage in the Psalms as an argument against abortion doesn’t make sense IMHO. I like this summation: ” This exaggeration is needed because King David exalts the holiness and righteousness of God on one hand while he brings himself down as a rotten, dirty sinner whose sinfulness penetrates deep into the inner recesses of his being. Nothing is good in him. To further exaggerate his own sinfulness, he even goes back to his own mother – that his mother was sinful or that inside the womb, David was already a sinner. The exaggeration is needed because it is generally believed that the fetus and even children are sinless. Even in the Abrahamic and Mosaical covenants, a child is innocent until the 8th day when he is obligated to be circumcised or else suffer some physical penalty. Note also that when King David commented on the death of his first child with Bathsheba, he said, “But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” (2 Sam. 12:23)” Again, context is of utmost importance~ especially when basing such an important argument, in whole or in part, upon it.

  • Joshua Edmonds

    In my mind, the Bible make sit pretty clear that through Adam, all flesh has received sin.

    Romans 3:19-23 says: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

    That tells me that there is no flesh in creation that is free from sin. That we must, by nature, be sinful. The rest of the chapter goes on to explain that it is ONLY by the grace of God and through the redemptive act of Jesus’ sacrifice that we can, through FAITH in Him alone, be forgiven of sin and redeemed.

    Romans 5:10-18 goes further: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

    This passage communicates that even those who didn’t sin under the law were condemned because of the rebellion of Adam. It’s by one man (Adam) that sin entered and delivered all flesh into condemnation, and it is by one man (Jesus) that flesh is delivered from sin and into redemption.

    1 John 1:7-10 contines the subject: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

    This even takes the issue further to explain that it is because we are sinners that we are enabled to be forgiven of sin. And if we say that there are some without sin, then we make Jesus a liar and his death pointless. At that rate, we could just kill everyone before the “age of accountability” and everyone would go to heaven.

    Sin is inherent in us by the very nature of our flesh.

    That is also why Jesus’ birth was so important. He was born through a holy conception, without the stain of original sin. If every child were sinless until the age of 8, then Jesus could have been born by Joseph and it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But because He would have been born into sin as a fleshly decendant of Adam, He had to be conceived by the Holy Spirit, without sin.

    Thus, from the moment of conception, sin is inherent. I think that is scriptural and is a repercussion of Adam’s rebellion.

  • Michelle

    Well, Pslam 51 does not (thankfully) comprise the entirety of scripture (not to mention it is the lamentation of a sinful man)~ so if you’d like to back that up with scriptural references, we can have a real discussion, but merely saying I’m “wrong” with nothing to back it isn’t really convincing. I provided references for you~ do you have any to prove your claim? And how does your claim even begin to affect the abortion debate? I am not attacking you personally, Bryan~as I said, your post was wonderful in general. But to have the debate, means to have it~ not quote something and call it doctrine and apply it to such a serioius topic as the one we both care so deeply about.

  • Angela

    Abortion is not a sin. If two men hit a women who having a baby and the man hits and she lose her offspring let the man pay a fined of the women dies then let him be killed. This is the law from exdous so tell where a abortion is a not sin. It clear that the fetsu as not right is the punishment is just a fined. Also the one where god is talking to a fetsu in the womb said a form you from the womb and make you the phopert of the nation. This show god knew people who he choosen

    • Abraham

      Angela, you’re referring to Exodus 21:22. If your interpretation were even correct, are slaves then also not human because of verse 32?
      The correct interpretation is that the man should pay a fine if the child is born prematurely. But if the child or the mother dies, the man should be put to death, life for life. So even that verse indicates that God sees an unborn child as just as human and valuable as an adult, and that causing it to die is murder.
      See e.g. http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5700

  • Alan Aversa

    The Greek word φαρμακεία (pharmakeia) can mean “abortifacient,” so Scripture certainly prohibits chemical abortions and potentially abortifacient contraceptives. In the following verses, the Rheims translation translates it as “witchcrafts” or “sorceries.” St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate uses “veneficium.” E.g.:

    Ga 5:19-21: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, Idolatry, witchcrafts {φαρμακία}, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, Envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God.”

    Rv 9:21: “Neither did they penance from their murders, nor from their sorceries {φαρμάκων}, nor from their fornication, nor from their thefts.”

    Rv 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers {φαρμακοῖς}, and idolaters, and all liars, they shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

    Rv 22:15: “Without are dogs, and sorcerers {φαρμακοὶ}, and unchaste, and murderers, and servers of idols, and every one that loveth and maketh a lie.”

  • SAMMY

    TO THE COMENT ABORTON IN NOT IN THE BIBLE THOU SHALL NOT KILL IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ABORTION IS KILLING!!!!!!!!!!!! IDOIT

  • Cid

    Tho shall not kill does include abortion but if republicans apply the removal of social security, medicare and programs to help the poor ,sick and children that are born into poverty will also cause people to die. Even during the republican debate it was said that if you do not plan or are not insured and you get sick…well you should die they said.

    • bryankemper

      That is just crap. No one think people should just die. If you use that logic then everyone should just get every single health related thing paid for by the government so they never die. Big difference socialized medicine and direct killing of innocent people by abortion.

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