Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Does the Bible forbid abortion?

Posted in abortion, Bible by Kathy on September 7, 2009

There are some religious people who claim to believe the Bible (or at least the Old Testament), and say that abortion is not wrong, is not murder, is justifiable, is not prohibited by the Bible, etc. They will usually “argue from silence” and note that abortion as such is never mentioned, much less prohibited. Or they’ll take the passage in the Law of Moses that talks about if a pregnant woman is struck and “her fruit pass from her”, that it is not a murder charge — there is no taking of the striker’s life for causing the fetal demise — they assume that “her fruit pass from her” is a miscarriage, and the “evil” that may happen afterward is maternal injury. Others will note that this passage could easily (and, they say, more properly) mean that this is talking about a preterm birth in which the baby lives, and the “evil” that happens afterwards could be either maternal or neonatal injury. Obviously, in those days, there was precious little that could be done to save preterm babies, so it could easily mean that if the baby was big and old enough to survive, then the person that struck the woman and caused the premature birth would only receive a mild sentence for endangering the pregnant woman and by extension her fetus/neonate; but if the baby could not survive and/or the mother was injured or killed, then the person would pay with his life, if a life was taken, or he would pay some sort of restitution for the injury.

That’s about the sum total of so-called “Biblical support” for abortion that I’ve seen. If there are others that I’ve missed that you’ve heard of, feel free to add them.

Most Christians that try to answer this question or argument basically give the explanation I outlined in the first paragraph, in response to the “her fruit” passage; and say things like, “Of course abortion as such isn’t mentioned — it’s obviously murder, so wouldn’t need to be specially mentioned, any more than a specific type of rape or child molestation would need to be mentioned, other than a general prohibition against any sort of sexual conduct outside of marriage.”

While I agree with this, it doesn’t go far enough, because all the opponent has to say is, “The fetus is not a person and therefore cannot be murdered. It is not obviously murder.” Then the two people just end up in a stalemate.

The line of reasoning I’m about to put forth will only work for people who believe the Bible. The others will find some carnal excuse to continue to support abortion.

In the creation story, God created Adam and Eve in His image, and also the animals, and said that they each would reproduce “after their kind.” [Kinds are not necessarily “species” as we define them, but probably could be a “family” or “genus” as we classify them. All dog types, including domestic dogs of all breeds, wolves, foxes, dingos, etc. would have been originally one “kind,” which speciated after the flood.] But, using species that are familiar to us, it’s obvious that dogs produce other dogs — they don’t give birth to cats; cats give birth to cats; mice give birth to other mice; cows don’t give birth to horses; humans give birth to humans, etc.

Later on in Genesis (perhaps even a few different times, plus other times in Exodus), capital punishment for murder is not just allowed but even required. Gen. 9:6 is one such passage. But more than just being a law given, this verse also contains the reasoning for the law: namely, “for in the image of God created He man.”

To kill a man is to kill God in effigy, which is why the murderer is required to lose his own life. He has, one might argue, made the ultimate insult to God. This is also, I would argue, why Satan loves murder so much. He would love to kill and/or dethrone God; but since he can’t, he will do as much as he can — and this includes killing men himself (perhaps by subtly encouraging them to do self-destructive things, including suicide, promiscuous behavior [becoming infected with lethal diseases such as AIDS], addictions to drugs and alcohol, etc.), and inciting them to kill each other — on a large scale like the Holocaust, or on a small scale like drive-by shootings. Also by abortion.

Because, as I said before, man produces after his kind. This has been proven by genetics — at conception, the male and female gametes come together, and their genes mix to produce a genetically new human. If that “conceptus” is taken and analyzed, it would show that it was definitely human, even though it was only a one-celled creature. It is also most certainly alive, biologically speaking, so to kill this life would be to kill a genetically unique human. To kill a man, a human, one of the human kind, one of the creatures made “in the image of God,” is to commit murder.

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