Can abortion ever be justified?
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The Bible says nothing about abortion. Any ‘law’ on the subject of abortion must be extrapolated from other laws.
The Law of Moses.
The closest we get is a law dealing with a child miscarried by, or born prematurely of, a woman accidently injured in a fight.In the case of murder (not manslaughter)
Exodus 21:12 He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.
In the case of a pregnant woman being injured and in consequence giving birth prematurely, the intent of the law hinges somewhat on how the translation from the Hebrew is made.
King James version: Exodus 21:22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life
In this translation it seems that the child is presumed dead and the penalty depends upon whether the woman subsequently dies.
Septuagint Version: Exodus 21:22 And if two men strive and smite a woman with child, and her child be born imperfectly formed, he shall be forced to pay a penalty: as the woman’s husband may lay upon him, he shall pay with a valuation.23 But if it be perfectly formed, he shall give life for life,
In this translation it seems that the child is presumed dead and the penalty depends on how far the foetus had developed.
New King James Version Exodus 21:22 "If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.23 "But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life
In this translation it seems that the child is born alive and the penalty depends on whether the premature child or the woman dies.
If the death of the woman was the intended subject of this law then it would be covered by the previous laws on murder and manslaughter. It seems reasonable to suppose that the law is concerned with the death of the unborn child. The mischief or harm must relate to that resulting from the child being born prematurely (that is- aborted).
Whether the Septuagint version is correct in taking the development of the foetus into account cannot be determined with certainty. We need more than one scripture passage in support and we don’t have another.
Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
We must conclude that there is insufficient evidence to show that the Law of Moses classes induced miscarriage as murder.
The Law of Christ
Having said the above, a Christian is not under the Law of Moses.There are two laws which apply to those who have been baptised into Christ.
Mark 12:30...thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
On these two commandments, Christians must base all decisions taken their lives.Neither of these commandments seems to me to be compatible with abortion.Children are intended to be a blessing from God.
Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Psalm 128:1 Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.
For those in Christ who see the hand of God in their life and recognise that children are a gift of God, abortion is not an option that would ever be contemplated.
For the majority of people who are not in Christ and do not believe in God, abortion is just another evil that they do to avoid the consequences of other evils.
It is not part of a Christian’s duty to legislate upon whether non-believers should abort their children.Christians are to be in this world but not of it. Their duty to their fellow man is live their lives in Christ as an example to others.Sexual relations outside of marriage are classed as fornication which if continued in will exclude from the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived... neither fornicators...10 ... shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
1 Corinthians 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
If the child has been conceived outside of marriage, forgiveness is available if we repent and change our lifestyle.
In pregnancy, God places into our hands the life of a child. He entrusts us with the child’s nurture and upbringing.
Psalms 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
The children of a baptised believer are holy in the sight of God.
1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
They are to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
If the father is absent the task falls to the mother.Women are commanded to love their children.
Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children
They have a long term commitment to bring their children to a knowledge of Christ, that they might ultimately enter the kingdom of God.
Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Timothy is an example of a child brought up in the right way.
2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
We should receive children as Christ instructs us.
Mark 9:36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
If we are pregnant we are to receive the child as a gift of God and not turn away from the consequences. We are to put our trust in him for a positive outcome.
Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
I hope you have found this helpful.