Abortion & the Bible - Part 1
By: Gary Hutchens
Among the issues raging in our culture right now is that of abortion. In 1973 the United States Supreme Court ruled that abortion is a legal right under the U.S. constitution. That ruling has stood for these past forty-nine years. Just a few weeks ago, the current United States Supreme Court struck down that earlier ruling.
The original ruling, titled Roe v. Wade, set off a firestorm across the nation. Movements quickly formed on both sides of the issue. Those supporting the ruling adopted a basic statement that attempted to portray abortion in a sympathetic image- “A Woman’s Right To Choose.” That statement was refined to say, “A Woman’s Right To Choose What She Does With Her Own Body.” But the choice under consideration was always abortion. The underlying contradiction is their purposeful silence on the fact that abortion terminates the life of another body, that within the womb of the mother to be.
Those opposing abortion based their opposition on moral grounds, focusing on the life of the baby within the womb. They emphasized the sanctity of life, including that within the womb. Protests, marches, demonstrations, debates and legal challenges to the court’s ruling have been unending ever since Roe v. Wade.
The current Supreme Court’s reversal of the 1973 ruling has set off a new firestorm. This time it’s the proponents of abortion rights who are protesting, marching, demonstrating, debating and pushing legal challenges.
True moral principles come from God and are communicated to mankind through God’s word, the Bible. Well, does the Bible say anything on the subject of abortion?
As promoted, some could say marketed, in our present culture, largely as a birth control measure, abortion is not specifically addressed in scripture. Probably because such a practice would not have been a matter for consideration in the culture of that day. But the Bible certainly speaks to the principle of abortion in a more general frame of context.
Purposeful murder has always been condemned by God. The Ten Commandments are directly state, “You shall not murder.” (Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17). The New Testament scriptures are equally direct (Matt. 5:21; 19:18; Mk. 10:19; Lk. 18:20; Rom. 1:29; 13:9; Gal. 5:21; Jas. 2:11; Rev. 21:8). Is it proper to frame abortion as murder? Abortion advocates would shout, “Absolutely not!” while those opposed to abortion would shout equally loudly, “Absolutely yes!”
Here’s an obvious contradiction in principle. A number of states have laws on the books that hold a person who murders a pregnant woman, thus causing the baby within her womb to also die, responsible for the death of both the mother and the child. If the criminal violates the life of the child in murdering the mother to be, how can the deliberate act of abortion be reasoned as simply an act performed upon a woman’s body? The two positions cannot harmoniously co-exist. They are both violent acts (abortion is a violent act upon the child) that stop a beating heart, ending an already existing life.
That the baby has not yet been delivered does not change the fact that life is already apparent within that mother’s womb. Just ask her if she’s felt her baby kick and squirm within her. Try telling a grieving mother who has lost her baby within her womb that her baby was not really a baby. We’ll continue to consider this issue in the next article...
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Gary L. Hutchens