Does The Bible Condemn Abortion


The discussion around abortion has long been a contentious one, with advocates on both sides of the argument presenting different viewpoints. The Bible is a source with complex historical, ethical and sociological components that often comes into the discussion in various ways. It is important to consider what the Bible has to say about abortion and to evaluate different points of view to gain a richer understanding.

What the Bible Says

The Bible does not explicitly mention the term ‘abortion’, but numerous passages allude to it, indicating that, while it may not be explicitly condemned, it is certainly not condoned either. The Bible has tended to be interpreted most commonly as holding to a pro-life stance, with individual biblical themes such as the sanctity of life, the fear of God, and care and love of a neighbor being interpreted as prohibiting abortion.
For example, Exodus 20:13 states ‘You shall not murder’, with murder understood to cover abortions as well. Ezekiel 18:20 also states ‘The person who sins will die’, indicating that an unlawful abortion could also be deemed as sinning and result in divine punishment of some kind. In addition, Psalm 139:13 states that ‘You knit me in my mother’s womb’, depicting a description of a baby’s fetus being connected to a divine presence.

Theological Perspectives

Theologian scholars often interpret the Bible as holding a firmly pro-life stance, and many actively advocate against abortion in a religious context. This position is built upon the notion that life is given by God, and is therefore considered to be sacred. Advocates of this position also often cite Exodus 21:22 as a reference to the guilt of someone who inflicts harm on a pregnant woman and causes the miscarriage of a fetus.
The Catholic Church has particularly rough stances against abortion, and it is often speculated that this comes from what can be interpreted from the Bible. In Roman Catholicism, abortion is seen as immoral as life is considered to be a divinely given gift from God, and thus should not be taken away from someone before it naturally runs its course.

Social Theology

Social theologians argue that the Bible offers a nuanced perspective on abortion, with a variety of cases and opinions discussed. The Bible accounts for the likelihood that some children may have been born prematurely due to unintended miscarriage or illness, and therefore treated without the care and devotion that surely God would have wanted for them. This is evidenced in the Bible narrative of Moses, who was abandoned in a river amid fear of infanticide by Pharaoh.
In conclusion, while the Bible can certainly be interpreted as holding a predominantly pro-life stance, it also accounts for the variety of circumstances that contribute to abortion: either in a way of its allowance, or in its expression of compassion towards those who may have had an abortion forced upon them by an oppressive power.

Family Planning Perspectives

Many Christian theologians propose that women should be able to choose to use contraception and family planning as a part of moral decision-making. This is reflected in the story of Onan from the Bible, suggesting that family planning may not be seen as a form of selfishness or immorality in the eyes of God.
Family planning can prove to be a valuable approach to reducing rates of abortion by enabling women the choice to have children at a more suitable time and under more favorable circumstances, which in turn can improve their overall quality of life. Moreover, access to contraception and family planning can ensure that women can protect their bodies and their health by having fewer children and spacing them out more evenly.

Biblical Moral Discernment

Supporting the argument of family planning, biblical moral discernment is the concept of making ethical decisions based on the teachings of the Bible. Bible-based principles indicate a range of standards of living and behaviors that go beyond merely avoiding specific sins or taboos, and yet can be difficult for individuals to determine what the appropriate moral behavior for certain situations and scenarios would be.
Essentially, biblical moral discernment encourages individuals to go through a process of meditation and self-reflection in order to determine whether a particular moral decision, such as whether or not to abort, is in line with biblical teachings, or must be dismissed as unacceptable.


The Bible does indicate a pro-life stance on abortion, however its interpretation is often nuanced and open to various interpretations. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to evaluate their own ethical alignment with the Bible’s teachings, and to be guided by the Bible when making decisions about abortion.

Medical Ethics Perspective

From a medical ethical standpoint, many physicians and healthcare providers feel that abortion should be allowed only in very specific cases, such as in instances of rape, incest, fetal abnormality, or when the pregnant person’s life is in danger. Some health care providers even argue that abortion should be removed as an option and replaced with other alternatives, such as adoption.
It is often argued that the medical community should take into account the broader social context when making decisions about abortion, such as the availability of resources for women and families affected by abortion. For example, access to family planning resources and other forms of financial and social support can help reduce the number of unintended or unwanted pregnancies, and can ultimately contribute to fewer abortions overall.

Psychological Perspective

For many individuals, abortion is a very personal and difficult decision. Mental health experts recognize that abortion can be a form of moral distress, as it involves assessing the moral implications of one’s actions. This can result in feelings of guilt, depression, and stress, even if it is ethically justified.
Psychological professionals suggest that individuals should consider a wide range of emotions and thoughts when making an abortion decision. Talking to a therapist or counselor can be an important first step to help individuals assess their feelings and make an educated decision. It is also essential to have access to resources and support, such as counselors, support groups, and medical professionals, in order to provide individuals with a safe space to discuss their feelings and explore their options.

Legal Considerations

The legal implications of abortion are complex and vary from country to country. In some countries, abortion is legal with or without restrictions, while in others it is criminalized entirely or is only legal under certain circumstances. It is important to consider the legal framework of the country in which the abortion is being considered before making any decisions. Furthermore, it is also essential to have access to medically-trained professionals who understand the legal framework and can provide advice on the available options.

Spiritual Considerations

In some religious contexts, abortion may be viewed as a spiritual matter, and those considering abortion may seek spiritual guidance before making a decision. Spiritual caring professionals can provide individuals with a safe space to explore the spiritual implications of abortion and evaluate different spiritual perspectives.
Spiritual care professionals can also provide insight into how individuals might make moral decisions in accordance with their faith. In addition, it is also important for individuals considering abortion to understand the various spiritual components of the decision-making process and evaluate how the decision might affect their spiritual life.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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