Five Bible Verses about Abortion

Are there Bible verses about abortion?  

Is there a more polarizing subject than abortion?  It is such a controversial subject between those advocating legal abortion and those condemning it.  Questions are asked about the viability of a child in the womb.  Does an unborn baby have a soul?  When does life begin?

We could appeal to a wide variety of experts and scholars to look for the answers, but our desire is to go to the Bible and see what God has to say.  What does God think about abortion?  How does God define life?  When does God infuse the body with an eternal soul?

It is important to understand that there are no Bible verses about abortion.  Yet there are many Bible verses which show that life begins at conception.  Life does not begin after birth.  Life is from conception.  

Consider these Bible verses on abortion to see what the God says concerning the issue.

Bible Verses About Abortion:  Law concerning Unborn Children

1.  Exodus 21:22-24:  “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.  But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot”

Exodus 21 is part of the Law of Moses.  Starting with the Ten Commandments given in Exodus 20, God gave the nation of Israel a series of Laws on virtually every aspect of life.  

Suppose that two men are fighting.  In the process of fists swinging, one misses and connects with a woman passing by.  Or suppose that in the process of pushing and shoving, one gets pushed into a woman in the vicinity.  As a result, the woman gets hurt.  And it turns out that she is pregnant.  

These are instructions to the nation of Israel in Old Testament times on how to deal with such a circumstance.  There are two possible outcomes.

  • The woman and/or child is not injured.  If this is the case, the one who accidentally struck the woman will pay a fine as is determined by both the husband and the judge.
  • The woman and/or child is injured.  If this is the case, the one who struck the woman and caused the injury either to the woman or child was to be punished in the same way.  

Notice the phrase, “life for life.”  If the mother or the child lose their life as a result of the fighting between two men, then the life of the one who killed the mother or child would be taken.  

We are not living under the Law of Moses today.  However, from this passage, we get some insight into how God sees a baby in the womb.  The baby in the womb is alive.  If the baby dies as a result of the fighting, it is considered manslaughter and the penalty is the death of the one who caused it.  

Bible Verses About Abortion:  God sees a Child in the Womb as a Person

There is a beautiful passage in Psalm 139 that tells us about God’s involvement in the development of a child in the womb.

2.  Psalm 139.13-16:  “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”

What a beautiful thought!  Even while we are in the womb, God cares for us.  At conception, you and I were nothing buy a blob of cells.  This verse tells us that even at that stage in our development, God “saw my substance, being yet unformed”  (Ps. 139.16).  

God was the One responsible for forming our fingers and toes.  God was the One who developed and grew our respiratory system, our nervous system, our skeletal system, and every other system that makes our life possible.  

If there is ever a Bible verse about abortion in the Bible, it is this passage that affirms that there is life in the womb, and God oversees the development and formation of the body from conception to birth.  

We can also consider Jeremiah 1.5...

3.  Jeremiah 1.5:  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah was one of the most well-known prophets of God who spoke the word of God to the nations.  This passage tells us that God had a plan for his life even before he was born.  

God tells Jeremiah that while he was still in the womb not yet fully formed, God had plans for him to serve as a prophet.  God knew his personality, his ability, and his future even before He “formed you in the womb.”  He had decided that Jeremiah was going to be prophet “before you were born.”  

This passage tells us that God not only saw Jeremiah as a living, viable person while still being unformed, but He knew what Jeremiah was going to do with his life.  

We can also turn to Luke 1.44.

4.  Luke 1.44:  “For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”

In this passage, Elizabeth is pregnant with a baby who was given the name “John”  (Luke 1.13).  Elizabeth comes to the house of Mary who is also pregnant with Jesus  (Luke 1.31).  

When she arrives, the baby leaped in her womb.  Did you notice how the baby in the womb is described?  Elizabeth said that “the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”  John, as an unborn baby living in the womb of Elizabeth experienced joy and expressed that joy by leaping.  

This passage shows us that an unborn baby is not only alive but has emotions.  Even though there are no Bible verses about abortion, it is obvious that babies in the womb are alive.  

We can consider one more passage that may help us understand when the soul is united with the body.  When do babies receive a soul?

5.  James 2.26:  “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

Death is defined in the Bible as a separation of body and spirit.  The body without the spirit is dead.  Can we not also extrapolate from this verse that life is defined as the uniting of soul and body?  If death occurs when the body and soul separate, then life occurs when the body and soul unite.

When God created the first man, when did he become alive?  It was when God breathed into him.  God gave the first man a soul by breathing into him, and it was at that point that he “became a living being”  (Gen. 2.7; 7.22).  

The Bible tells us that life begins at conception.  Even before the body is formed, God recognizes the unborn child as living.  Therefore, it is at conception that a baby is infused with a soul.

The Bible does not address abortion specifically.  There are no Bible verses about abortion.  Yet it is clear from these five passages and others that God sees an unborn baby as alive and with a soul.  


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