by Jeremy Northrop
Project: According to the Bible, is abortion the taking of a human life and is it doctrinally right to have an abortion?
Materials: A mind that is willing to study and research the Bible.
- In order to give a correct answer to the project, we must first find an answer to the question: Is it doctrinally correct to take a human life?
- Then we must search in order to find out if unborn fetuses are considered a living being according to the Bible.
- Then, in order to be fair, we must come to a conclusion of whether or not there are any exceptions to the rule, what the exceptions are, and if unborn fetuses are human life then are they among those exceptions.
- If they are a human life and if it is right to take human life then there is no problem in having an abortion. Or if they are among the exceptions, then it is right to have an abortion.
- At the opposite end of the spectrum: if abortion is the taking of human life and it is not justified to take human life, then abortion is wrong. Likewise, if it does not rank among one of the exceptions (if there are any) then abortion is wrong.
- To the final end, there are two questions at hand in this situation:
- Is it biblically right to take a human life?
- Is the unborn fetus considered a human life in the Bible?
Text, Analysis, and Statements:
- Matthew writes: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matthew 5:21). Here we see that under New Testament law it is both unlawful and wrong to take human life. This matter should be left in the hands of the creator.
- We do, however, read in Romans 13:3-4, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Here, we read specifically that the nation has the right to perform capital punishment. The quote “he beareth not the sword in vain” is clear. Paul, being inspired of God, gives the nation the right to bear the sword. A sword is used for nothing other than the taking of human life. No one would hunt food with a sword. Therefore, we can see what is taught: Capitol punishment is permissible under New Testament law.
- Please Note: When condemning capitol punishment, one will inevitably use the word “murder.” However, for whatever else it is, capitol punishment is not murder. Explanation is in order at this point: When studying the subject of capitol punishment in relationship to murder, one must be sure to find a proper definition of murder. Murder by definition is the taking of an innocent life. A criminal is far from innocent. Therefore, capitol punishment is not murder and the argument is not valid. In relationship to this, we can see that if the unborn fetus is in fact a living being, then abortion is murder because it is the taking of an innocent life. This point becomes more clear when we look at what Solomon wrote:
- “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
- The God of heaven does not allow murder because it is the taking of an innocent life. Capitol punishment gives a nation the right to take a guilty life.
- On to the second question at hand: Is the unborn fetus considered a living human being according to the Bible?
First let us look at a what the Psalmist wrote:
- “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalms 139:13-16).
- The conclusion here is clear: If the unborn fetus is not a life but rather a part of the woman’s body, then why did David acknowledge existence in the womb of his mother. This verse would show us that the unborn fetus is in fact a living being.
- Also, Luke said something that can apply: “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy” Luke 1:44. In this passage, Mary acknowledges the baby in her womb. This statement is clear. Mary makes a definite distinction between her and the babe in her womb. She also said the babe leaped for joy. Joy is an emotion only experienced by human beings. This shows the unborn fetus is a living human being. Since it is a living human being, and taking innocent life is wrong, then abortion must be wrong.
- One might counteract that statement by saying, “It is not a human life because it cannot live outside of the womb.” This statement is absurd. That person is correct in saying that the premature fetus cannot live outside the womb. But, if the inability to live on its own disqualifies it as being a human being, then it would seem that we have the right to discontinue the existence of a common child. After all a child is not able to survive on its own. A child needs someone to help it to survive. If a person were to leave a child out in the wilderness all by itself for an extended
period of time, that child would die. It is not until you have reached a certain age of maturity (physically and mentally) that any given human being can survive on its own. A human being of a young age needs someone to care for it, to give it food, to love it, and to provide for it the
necessities of life. That child is in essence dependent upon someone else to offer these necessities in order that it may survive. Nonetheless, the young child is considered a human being. Consider another situation: A person is in a car accident. His condition is critical. He is rushed to the hospital and immediately put on life support. He is dependent upon life support. Do doctors have the right to discontinue the life support machine? By all means NO! The machine will help that person to heal and that person will soon be able to live on his own. We do not have the right to discontinue the life of a dependent being. In order to be consistent, it would seem that the same situation must apply to the fetus. That little human being may not be able to survive outside the womb at such a premature state, it is nevertheless a living human being. Dependent or independent, it is still a living human being.
- Even science confirms that the beginning of life is at conception. The sperm of the male and the egg of a female are united in sexual intercourse— a new life has begun. The sperm of the male has 23 chromosomes as does the egg of the female. When these chromosomes are united to make a total of 46, all traits of this new person is determined. The DNA code of these 46 chromosomes has been established and the traits of the new person will not change. The traits are things such as eye color, skin color, sex, features, ect. These traits will never change. They will only develop and grow with the child. If all of a person’s traits are established at the point of conception, then life would seem to begin at conception. The saying “Pro-choice before conception, Pro-life after” is a wise attitude. Life does in fact begin at conception! After all, conception means “BEGINNING.”
- The fetus of an unborn child is life according to the Bible. The life that exists inside the mother’s womb has done nothing wrong. It is in fact innocent. According to the Bible, murder is wrong. Murder is the taking of an innocent life. Therefore, to the final end: It is clear that abortion is wrong.
Conclusion: Abortion is wrong! There is no way around this bold and decisive fact. If one is going to base his/her personal beliefs on the Bible and all of its contents, then that person cannot ignore the facts that abortion is wrong. Yet, in all of the evil of this action, it is still done. The doctors of America take the lives of 1,500,000 unborn children every year and that number is growing at an accelerated rate.
In closing, a statement that is touching but true: One half of all patients that enter into an abortion clinic do not survive.
Abortion Right or Wrong? by Jeremy Northrop © 1995