In the United States alone, over 3000 babies are aborted every day. The vast majority of these terminated pregnancies are due to “convenience” issues of the child’s parents. They didn’t want a child at this point in their lives, so they simply chose to eliminate the problem. About 4 of every 10 women will have an abortion in their lifetime. What about cases of rape or when the mother’s health is in danger? Are abortions appropriate in these cases? These questions illustrate how controversial this subject has become in today’s society. This guide is designed to help you learn God’s mind on the matter.
Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines - “abortion” - as “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus….” The issue of abortion has to do with the morality of a person’s choice to “terminate” the pregnancy, not a miscarriage that happens naturally. Abortion stops the natural process of human maturation within the mother’s uterus (or womb). The purpose of abortion is to empty the mother’s womb which results in the death of the tiny human being in its development.
When Does a Human Life Begin?
A major area of debate about abortion is whether the fetus is human. Let’s see what the Word of God reveals concerning this question.
MATTHEW 1:18: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.”
JOHN 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father….”
1. When did God become flesh? Was it at conception? Was it at birth? Was it at a point in time between conception and birth?
COMMENT: The Holy Spirit carried the divine nature, so Jesus was God in the flesh from conception when the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary. Just as Jesus was God from conception, a human being begins life at his conception. The “miracle of life” certainly is a miracle. A human being is formed from 2 single cells fusing together in a female. The cells divide and differentiate forming tissues and organs. After only 18 days of growth, a heartbeat can be detected. After 21 days, the eyes, spine and digestive system become visible. After 40 days, brain waves can be detected. At 8 weeks, the toes and fingers are formed. At just 18 weeks, the baby can move on it’s own. Abortions are performed even after all of these things have occurred.
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.”
2. What does this verse reveal about the unborn having human feelings and emotions?
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.”
3. How early in our lives does God know us? When does He devise a purpose for us?
EXODUS 21:22: “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely … he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.”
1. For the ancient, Israelites, what was the penalty for accidentally causing the “termination” of a pregnancy?
2. What does this judgment reveal about God’s desire to protect pre-born children?
3. How does this situation compare and contrast with abortion?
EXODUS 20:13: “You shall not murder.”
4. Do you think this commandment applies to unborn human beings? Why?
5. Are other commandments broken by choosing to have an abortion? If so, which one(s)?
MARK 9:42: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.”
6. How does God feel toward those who harm His new, young believers?
7. If God says those who bring spiritual harm to His fleshly children are worthy of capital punishment, by analogy what do you think would be His attitude toward those who end the life of children in the womb?
Those who favor the legality of abortion assert that a woman has the right to complete authority over her body. If a woman is carrying a child inside her, and she doesn’t want him there, then the woman, so they say, has the right to remove him — that is, abort him.
Job 31:15 Job 31:15Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?
American King James Version×: “Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?”
1. Who is said to be at work in the womb?
PSALM 127:3: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
2. To whom does the psalmist give credit for his children?
GENESIS 29:31: “When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.”
GENESIS 30:2,22: “And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, ‘Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?’ (22) Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.”
3. What role does God have in every child conceived? Are children totally the result of the desire of their parents?
4. Do children from conception belong to God or his human parents? Consider Ezekiel 18:4 Ezekiel 18:4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.
American King James Version×.
5. Is the growing child in the womb a part of his mother’s body or a separate person?
COMMENT: From the time of conception the human embryo is distinct from his mother. The mother’s body would reject the fetus as foreign tissue and abort the baby except for the existence of the placenta, which separates the child from his mother while in her womb. If the life growing in the mother doesn’t belong to her, what right does she have to take innocent life?
1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
6. Explain why we don’t have the absolute right to do whatever we wish with our bodies.
GALATIANS 6:7: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
7. Who is accountable for the consequences of our actions?
COMMENT: Many people will argue that the decision to have a baby is up to the parents… and they are right! The decision is theirs. But once they decide to have an intimate relationship, the decision has been made and if a child is conceived, parents become stewards of their child. They must be prepared to accept the consequences of their decisions. Unfortunately, many people do not take appropriate responsibility for their actions. A lot of people who are against abortion will still support special cases when the mother has been raped or when her life is endangered by the pregnancy. But an abortion is still ending the life of a human being. In the case of rape, the baby can be given up for adoption after birth, or can still be raised by the mother with the support of her family and friends. In the case of the mother’s life being in danger, we must realize that God allows things to happen for a purpose, and we should not cut off His plan in progress by taking matters into our own hands. A great deal of prayer and a close relationship with God can ensure wise decision making for such matters.
8.What are the emotional/spiritual effects of having an abortion?
1. How do your peers view the issue of abortion?
2. When does a human being begin life?
3. What is God’s will concerning the lives of all human beings from conception?
4. How does God view abortion?