You may be surprised but the word “abortion” does not appear in the Bible. Yet, God’s Word has plenty to say that relates directly to abortion. Here’s the reason: God’s Word is about life (John 10:10). In a successful abortion at least one life is always destroyed—and many more lives are affected. These are lives—these are people—created by God for His purpose. Physical life is destroyed by abortion. Spiritual life is also greatly damaged by abortion. While the Church is compelled to speak up for life—and the value of all human life at whatever age or condition—the Church also needs to restore people spiritually, through God’s Word, who are heartbroken and who, in many cases, feel what they have done is “unforgiveable.” Christ died for all sin and all receive the benefit of His death, which is forgiveness, through repentance and sorrow for sin (Psalm 51:1-4, 17).
There are few objections to the notion that it is wrong to murder a person. Murder is the unlawful taking of someone’s life, while killing is the lawful taking of someone’s life. For just a small sample of the Biblical passages forbidding murder, we can look at the following Scripture references: Genesis 9:6; Matthew 15:19; 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; John 8:44; Acts 3:14; and Romans 1:28-29; 13:9.
It is this premise which is disputed by many in our culture today. However, the Bible clearly teaches that the unborn is a person due to the following reasons.
First, the unborn possesses personal attributes such as sin and joy. In Psalm 51:5, David says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” In Luke 1:44, “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.”
Second, the Bible also uses personal pronouns to describe unborn children. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “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.” Matthew 1:20-21 states, “But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’”
Third, regarding the conception of Jesus, Matthew 1:20 says, “But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.’” The fact that the angel tells Joseph that “the Child who has been conceived” is “of the Holy Spirit” indicates that Jesus certainly was a person at the moment of conception.
Fourth, the unborn are called children. Luke 1:41 states, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (1:44).”
Fifth, perhaps the strongest argument against abortion from Scripture is the fact that the same punishment is applicable to someone who kills or injures an unborn child as for one who kills or injures an adult. Exodus 21:22-23 states, “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life . . . .” This strongly indicates that the Mosaic Law viewed the unborn as persons worthy of the same protection and rights as adults.
Sixth, the unborn are even called by God before birth. Almost echoing the prophetic commission of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, Isaiah 49:1 says, “Listen to me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar, the LORD called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He named me.”
Seventh, the unborn are known personally and intimately by God in the same way He would know any other person. Describing David, Psalm 139:15-16 says, “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written; the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Describing the prophet Jeremiah, Jeremiah 1:5 says, “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.
The Bible definitely teaches that the unborn are persons because the unborn possess personal attributes, and are described by personal pronouns. Jesus is called a Child at conception; the unborn are called children; they are protected by the same punishment as for adults; they are called by God before birth; and are known personally by God just like any other person. Since abortion is murdering a person, abortion is morally wrong according to the Word of God (Genesis 9:6; Romans 1:28-29).