What does the Bible say about abortion?

Numbers 5:11-31 is interpreted by some as describing an abortifacient as a test for adulatory.

“What a STUPENDOUS, MARVELOUS, BRILLIANTLY CONCEIVED zygote that is! The abortifacient we administered didn’t lay a glove on it!”

The problem with this is that murder is the unlawful killing, not just killing. Everyone who says abortion is murder is either lying or ignorant. The debate has nothing to do with when life begins. No rational person doesn’t think life begins at conception. The problem is the delusional folks that believe the zygote has a soul a the instant of conception and therefore shouldn’t be killed. Of course so many people against abortion are pro death penalty and okay with war. Abortion is really about making people conform to ones religious and/or misogynistic beliefs.

I’ll add that Genesis 2:7 : “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Man was not a living soul until he had been given the breath of life.

In the “old days” a person was dead when they took their “last breath”. No listening for heart beats or EEG’s for brain function. If there was a question about whether a baby was stillborn or born alive and then died, they took the lungs and put them in a bucket of water. If they lungs sank, the baby was stillborn, no air in the lungs. If the lungs floated, air had gotten into the lungs and the baby was born alive, then died.

No. It’s not.

Life on Earth began probably some three billion years ago. An unfertilized egg and a sperm are both alive. So, for that matter, is a raw carrot, even after it’s been harvested. A year old calf is certainly alive; but the Bible – and for that matter the USA and state governments – clearly give instructions for slaughtering it.

The real debate is: at what point during the development from zygote through embryo through fetus through birth does the life of the potential child outweigh the wishes of the pregnant woman? the ability of the pregnant woman to be able to continue doing her preferred work? the ability of the pregnant woman to do work that’s essential or important to the survival, or the health, of her other children, or her sisters, or her husband, or herself? the physical health of the pregnant woman? the sanity, short or long term, of the pregnant woman? the life of the pregnant woman? (After birth that part of the issue can be resolved by giving the child to somebody else; which then becomes an entirely different issue, with its own complicated questions about who is responsible for providing support, and what kinds of support.)

Now that is a real complicated question to which different people have different answers; different societies have and have had different answers; and different religious groups have and have had different answers; and the same religious group may have different answers at different times. (Interesting cite for an example of that last here.)

But you can’t make the problem go away by trying to redefine it into an argument along the lines of ‘if you admit the zygote is alive, then you must prohibit all abortion!’

But along with the life is in the breath (the Hebrew word for breath also means wind and spirit), but scriptures also say life is in the blood. Which would indicate that the umbilical link would also convey life.

And yet so many are *against *the death penalty (which the Catholic Church now explicitly condemns in its catechism), and not at all okay with war, and may even be actual pacifists. And are free of misogynistic beliefs.

Is it okay for those people to be against abortion?

Sure as long as they don’t enforce it on others

The bible has MANY verses on homosexuality: Romans 1:26-28,1 Timothy 1:8-11,1 Corinthians 6:9-11,Leviticus 18:22…

But few verses on abortion, like Shodan mentioned. Other than a few herbs- which were pretty dangerous and classed as “poisons” - there just werent abortions as we think of them today. Yes, some herbs would cause a miscarriage, which certainly is a type of abortion. “Witch” could also be translated as “poisoner” and anyone who sold poisons was harshly dealt with, one of the few crimes the Romans had the death penalty for.

Poisons included abortifacients however, so in Roman times those that sold abortifacients would be put to death.
There are verses on miscarriages:https://ffrf.org/component/k2/item/25602-abortion-rights

Same goes for the death penalty, right? Be against it all you want, but keep it to yourself – don’t enforce your belief on others.

Which is why many people who are trying to follow them drain the blood from the carcass of the slaughtered calf (or other creature) before eating the meat.

In other words: just because there’s life doesn’t mean the Bible says it’s impermissible to kill it.

(Plus which, of course, secular law’s not supposed to have to follow any specific religious book. Even if the people who do want to follow it can agree on what it says.)

No, abortions were a known thing long before the New Testament was written (and probably before the Old Testament was written).

Pro-life advocates often point out that classical versions of the Hippocratic Oath including explicit prohibitions against performing abortions. And these were written centuries before the Gospels.

So the possibility of having an abortion was well established long before Jesus was around. If he had a stand on the issue, he had the opportunity to say something about it.

Sure, you can impose the death penalty. But the prisoner has to consent.

Not so much, here are the exact words : “*Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion.” * All known abortifacients were poisons.

No healer got in their with tools, that would mean death to the mother pretty much 99% of the time. Some herbalists would administer abortifacients, but they were all poisons to a degree.

It’s just dust from the ground.

Are you perhaps unfamiliar with what a pessary is? It’s a device that is inserted inside the vagina. Which I think qualifies it as a tool that gets in there.

Here is an article on the subject.

The Catholic objection to abortion is long-standing, but the Evangelical and Protestant objection is relatively recent and politically based.

Effective abortifacients that didn’t risk killing the mother weren’t really a thing.

The OP asked about the Bible, not just the Gospels. The Hippocratic Oath was written sometime between the fifth and third centuries BC. That’s certainly before the Gospels, but well after much of the OT.

The Bible makes no references to intentional abortion.

This is incorrect.


is there anything in the Bible that is pro-choice? And lo and behold, there are:
The gruesome priestly purity test to which a wife accused of adultery must submit will cause her to abort the fetus if she is guilty, indicating that the fetus does not possess a right to life (Numbers 5:11-31).

• God enumerated his punishments for disobedience, including “cursed shall be the fruit of your womb” and “you will eat the fruit of your womb,” directly contradicting sanctity-of-life claims (Deuteronomy 28:18,53).

• Elisha’s prophecy for soon-to-be King Hazael said he would attack the Israelites, burn their cities, crush the heads of their babies and rip open their pregnant women (2 Kings 8:12).

• King Menahem of Israel destroyed Tiphsah (also called Tappuah) and the surrounding towns, killing all residents and ripping open pregnant women with the sword (2 Kings 15:16).

• Isaiah prophesied doom for Babylon, including the murder of unborn children: “They will have no pity on the fruit of the womb” (Isaiah 13:18).

• For worshiping idols, God declared that not one of his people would live, not a man, woman or child (not even babies in arms), again confuting assertions about the sanctity of life (Jeremiah 44:7-8).

• God will punish the Israelites by destroying their unborn children, who will die at birth, or perish in the womb, or never even be conceived (Hosea 9:10-16).

• For rebelling against God, Samaria’s people will be killed, their babies will be dashed to death against the ground, and their pregnant women will be ripped open with a sword (Hosea 13:16).

• Jesus did not express any special concern for unborn children during the anticipated end times: “Woe to pregnant women and those who are nursing” (Matthew 24:19).

It is interesting to once again, remind us that the GOP stance on abortion dates only from the 1970s. Before that, divorce was the defining issue. When that stopped drawing in votes, they revved up the abortion debate. An scientific analysis.

Similarly, you see that little or no GOP states will try to revoke gay marriage this election cycle. The Biblical arguments haven’t changed, but it doesn’t draw votes anymore.