In my “Introduction to Ethics” class, the topic for the night was abortion. As the discussion progressed, people all around me were saying that an abortion is good to do under any situation (rape, too young, the woman’s choice) and I argued my point on that abortion is murder. I stated that the Bible had claimed to that statement also. The teacher then told me that I have to prove to him and the class that the Bible says abortion is murder. Can you help me with verses, or anything I could possibly use to make my point valid?
Glad you asked!
The perspective that abortion is murder depends on two points: 1) The Bible condemns murder (taking the life of another human being), and 2) The unborn baby is a person—a human being.
Point #1: What is murder?
Exodus 20:13, usually translated “Thou shalt not kill,” one of the Ten Commandments, actually means “Thou shalt not murder.” (There is a difference. Taking the life of another person in war, for example, is not the same thing as murder.)
Point #2: The humanity of the unborn
1. Both Hebrew and Greek (the languages of the Bible) do not make a distinction between pre-born and born babies. Whether they live inside or outside the womb is not important as to their value or personhood.
2. For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in
my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know
that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I
was made in the secret place. When I was woven
together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my
unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written
in Your book before one of them came to be. (Ps. 139:13-16)
This portion of scripture is written about the unborn baby.
3. The Lord called me from the womb;
from the body of my mother He named me. (Is. 49:1)
The prophet Isaiah says he received God’s calling and naming while still in the womb.
4. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5)
The psalmist states that he was a spiritual being from the point of conception. This isn’t saying that he sinned while in the womb, but that he recognizes that from the earliest part of life, he was a sinner.
5. 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)
Jeremiah declares that God knew him, consecrated him (set him apart), and appointed him a prophet before he was even conceived! From God’s perspective, Jeremiah’s humanity began even before conception.
6. At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town
in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s
home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the
Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among
women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I
so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As
soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in
my womb leaped for joy. (Luke 1:39-44)
The unborn John the Baptist had a physical reaction to the presence of Mary and ESPECIALLY her unborn Child. At this point, Jesus was probably only a week- or two-old embryo. (Scripture tells us that as soon as the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary about God’s plan for the Holy Spirit to overshadow her and conceive the Messiah in her and she consented, she hurried to see Elizabeth, who lived about 70 or so miles from Nazareth.)
I believe that these verses indicate that abortion is murder, but all you can do is offer the light they provide. Some people who don’t want to believe that abortion is murder or that an unborn baby is anything more than a “potential human being” can and will refuse to accept it. (Remember what the Word says in Jeremiah 17:9—”The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”) Your job is to pray for God to open the eyes of the hearts of the others in your class, humbly offer the truth, and leave the results to God.
Hope this helps!