Men and women have had different views on abortion since early times. The issue of abortion has long been associated with religion and remains a complex, contentious and highly charged topic.The Bible is the main source of Christian principles, knowledge and moral teachings. Sources drawn from across biblical literature have long been used to support opposing views on the morality of abortion. Although there is no explicit commandment in the Bible that states “Thou Shalt Not Abort,” some references do indicate that it is wrong in the eyes of God.
Exegesis on Biblical Texts
Jewish and Christian religious traditions have long used the exegetical process to interpret the Bible and have applied it to the abortion debate in the attempts to provide an answer to the question of whether or not abortion is wrong according to the Bible. One primary passage from the New Testament that is used to support the idea that abortion is forbidden by the Bible is found in Psalm 139:13-16. In this passage, the psalmist praises God for forming him in the womb and for knowing him even before birth. This text can be interpreted as giving the fetus a personhood, and suggests that abortion goes against the will of God.
Non Exegetical Texts
In the Old Testament book of Exodus, there are two passages that may be interpreted to mean that the Bible forbids abortion. The first passage is from Exodus 21:22-25 and states that if a pregnant woman is injured in a fight and the baby is injured or is born prematurely, the punishment for the perpetrator should be death. This passage suggests that the unborn fetus is valued as a human life and thus abortion would be considered wrong in God’s eyes. The second passage, in Deuteronomy, states that a woman who injures a person and causes the death of the fetus must be punished as if she had killed a living person.
Different religious interpretations of the Bible may lead to different conclusions regarding the morality of abortion. Some Christian denominations view abortion as absolutely forbidden, while some allow it in certain cases such as when the mother’s life is in danger. Protestant denominations, including Lutherans and Anglicans, are more likely to view abortion as permissible in certain cases, while more conservative denominations such as the Baptists, Pentecostalists, Seventh-day Adventists, and Roman Catholics tend to oppose abortion as a violation of the commandments of God.
Modern Religious Views on Abortion
Modern religious views on abortion are largely influenced by the development of medical technology, the expansion of rights in the late twentieth century, and the effect of the feminist movement.These movements have pushed for a reinterpretation of the Bible and have argued for modern frameworks of morality which take into account the changing needs of society and the medical advancements that have taken place. These religious frameworks have consequently become more permissive in their outlook on abortion and are now more likely to view it as an acceptable solution in certain cases, such as to save the mother’s life or to terminate a pregnancy that results from rape or incest.
While some religious denominations regard abortion as a moral issue and deem it wrong, other denominations and individual believers within them view it as permissible in certain cases. This makes the Bible, and the views derived from it, appear contradictory. On the one hand, references to unborn life in the Bible suggest that it should be valued and protected, while, on the other hand, other references from scattered passages permit and even encourage abortion in certain cases, such as when the mother’s life is in danger or when the life of the unborn is threatened by a disease.
Lack of a Universal Perspective
Overall, the Bible does not provide any single universal perspective on the morality of abortion, leaving individuals and religious denominations to interpret its passages in their own way. Moreover, the interpretation of the Bible can be open to a wide range of diverse opinions, allowing different faith systems to draw different conclusions. Therefore, whether or not abortion is viewed as wrong according to the Bible is largely dependent on individual interpretation and is ultimately up to personal interpretation and moral judgement.
Recent Changes in Attitude
Recently, there has been a shift in attitudes towards abortion. With the rise of the Pro-Choice movement, there has been a greater acceptance of the right to choose to have an abortion.These changes in attitude have been driven largely by the development of new medical treatments and greater understanding of the complexities of the situation.Increasingly, women are being seen as having a right to make decisions about their own bodies and many now view abortion as a responsible, moral choice.
Social and Legal Aspects
In addition to the moral questions, there are also social, legal and political issues that need to be considered.Since abortion is technically a transgression of the law in most countries, legal measures must be taken to ensure that it is done under safe and regulated circumstances.Moreover, society must consistently challenge the argument that abortion is wrong or unnatural, by continuing to advocate for the rights and health of women.
Impact on Women’s Rights
The debate on the morality of abortion has long revolved around women’s choices and rights.Women should not be subjected to legal sanctions or social judgment for decisions that are made in the best interests of their own health and wellbeing.Irrespective of whether abortion is morally right or wrong, it is unquestionably an important issue in relation to women’s rights and their control over their own bodies.
Influence of Religion
It is evident that religion has had a significant influence on the debate surrounding abortion and continues to do so. Different Christian denominations interpret the Bible in vastly different ways, and this has shaped the manner in which they view the act of abortion.At a time when abortion is increasingly becoming more socially and politically acceptable, religious beliefs remain an important factor in influencing opinions and setting the moral boundaries of society.
Pressure from Society
Women are also often under immense pressure from society to conform to certain norms and decisions regarding reproductive health. This includes pressure from family, peers and even religious leaders. These pressures can be overwhelming, and in some cases can contribute to an individual’s decision as to whether or not to have an abortion.
The debate on whether or not the Bible says abortion is wrong has significant implications for public policy. There are numerous issues to consider, such as access to healthcare, women’s autonomy and reproductive rights, the impact of religion on public policy, and the role of the law in regulating abortion. These questions must be carefully weighed against the moral teachings within religious texts in order to arrive at a balanced solution.