Abortion is the intentional taking of the life of a child who is still living in the womb of her mother. Does the Bible have anything to say about this procedure? Even though abortion is not explicitly mentioned, there are basic principles taught in the Bible that lead us to conclude that abortion is immoral.
Here is the simplest form of the pro-life argument:
Premise 1: Intentionally killing an innocent human being is always morally wrong.
Premise 2: Abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human being (except when the child’s death is not desired but results from saving the mother’s life).
Conclusion: Therefore, abortion is morally wrong (except as noted above).
Biblical support of premise 1 is found in Exodus 20:13: “You shall not murder.” This is a blanket ban on the killing of all innocent human life. But why does God consider the killing of innocent human life to be wrong at all? Why are humans special?
Genesis 9:6 explains: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God He made man.” Only human beings are made in the image of God. Images of gods in the ancient world were supposed to symbolize and represent, in a very real way, the presence of the deity. Therefore, to kill an image-bearer was to kill that god’s representative, which was symbolic of killing the god himself. Whenever we kill an innocent human being, we are, in a symbolic sense, killing God.
The abortion proponent may argue, though, that the unborn human embryo or fetus is not a human being, and can therefore be killed. Biologically, we know this is false because once the sperm fertilizes the egg at conception, human life begins. There is simply no dispute about this among scientists.
The biblical writers seem to also have the same understanding, even though they did not comprehend the biological details that we do today. For example, Psalm 139:13-16 affirms that God is intimately involved in the development of the human embryo and fetus in the mother’s womb. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” There is no hint in the Bible that human life begins only at birth, which is what the abortion proponent would need to prove his case.
Since the two premises of the argument above are true, the conclusion of the argument, that abortion is morally wrong, necessarily follows.