God gave legal personhood status to human beings at birth just as our civil laws today do – giving born women legal status and the right to life over unborn human life – conception to birth – no exceptions.

  1. God never condemned nor condoned legal abortion in the Bible. Given that God spoke to many other important issues – i.e., marriage and divorce, idolatry…it’s very telling that God didn’t speak directly, on point, and in no uncertain terms to the issue of abortion, isn’t it? As much as the anti-abortion community makes of abortion, calling it murder even, it’s unfathomable that the God they invoke over and over again in the abortion debate, would not explicitly condemn abortion.

    But the fact is there’s a reason he did not do that. God’s reason isn’t one that the anti-abortion community is prepared to hear. They cannot accept that for God the official beginning of life isn’t at conception and that God placed more value on an already born human life than a life in the womb from conception to birth.
  2. God recognized the official beginning of human life as being at birth. Genesis 2:7, “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.”

    While the process God used to create Adam and Eve and a baby born today are very different – and with good reason – Adam and Eve being created as the mother and father of all mankind – Adam and Eve and a baby born today do share a common bond in the culmination of their creative processes. They breathe the breath of life through the nostrils.

    By God’s own desire and design human beings born today don’t breathe the breath of life through their nostrils until they are born.
  3. Neither God nor Life and Liberty for Women has ever argued that the fetus isn’t alive in the womb, or isn’t a human being – the fetus is a human being it is not a pig - but those facts don’t speak to the official recognition by God of the beginning of life, that is at birth.
  4. In Exodus 21:22-25 God leaves no ambiguity that for him a born woman’s life is paramount to that of an unborn fetus’s life through all nine months of pregnancy.

    Exodus 21:22-25 says, “When men strive together and hurt a woman with child so that there is a miscarriage and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her, shall be fined according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him and he shall pay as the judges determine. If any harm follows then you shall give eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life.” (Revised Standard Version)

    The King James Version says, “…hurt a woman with child so that her fruit depart from her and yet no mischief follows: he shall be surely punished…and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follows, then thou shalt give life for life.”

    The very act of forcing her fruit to depart from her - regardless of whether the woman miscarries or a premature birth results - and the woman suffers no other harm or is killed, the punishment was only a fine for causing her fruit to depart from her.

    No particular time in pregnancy was specified in these verses in any translation. That's significant because a premature birth of a healthy fetus cannot occur in the early stages of pregnancy.

    Further, in Biblical times fetuses born much before 40 weeks gestation wouldn’t have survived – so biblical translations using premature birth are inaccurate and deliberately misleading. It is clear that the law God articulated in these verses is applicable during all stages of pregnancy.

    In fact, the New International Version, which translates the verse to read, “premature birth,” footnotes that verse with these words, “Or she has a miscarriage.” They footnoted it that way because they considered that interpretation to have equal validity or they judged another interpretation was possible and important enough to be represented in a footnote. (Comparative Study Bible – Revised Edition, 1999 by the Zondervan Corporation)

    The verses go on to say: However, if any harm/mischief to the woman followed, then the punishment was an eye for eye, tooth for tooth, and life for life. The word “harm” or “mischief” in these verses refers only to the woman. The phrase “with child” is merely descriptive of the woman. It’s an adjective describing the woman and doesn’t change the object of the word “harm” or “mischief,” that being the woman in both verse 22 and 23.

    Clearly, while the verses in Exodus do not address abortion itself, they do address the legal status of the unborn as it compares to the legal status of the born woman that hosts its existence.

    It becomes clear in Exodus 21:22-25 that God gave legal personhood status to the already born woman but didn’t afford the same legal personhood status to the unborn. If anti-abortion extremists have a problem with that, they need to take it up with God.

WHAT ABOUT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?

What about “Thou shalt not kill/murder” in Exodus 20:13…Deut. 5:17…and Matthew 19:18?

In both the Hebrew and English languages, “murder” and “kill” are used interchangeably.

Both the Revised Standard Version of the Bible and the King James Version use the word kill in Exodus 20:13 and the word murder. In Matthew 19:18 the King James Version uses the word kill. In Deut. 5:17 the Amplified Version uses the word murder in Exodus and Deut. and the word kill in Matthew.

The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – 1995 – does not find a Hebrew translation of the English word “murder.” It gives the Greek translation as “phoneuo” from “phoneus” meaning “to be a murderer – kill, do murder, slay, always of criminal or at least intentional homicide.”

Webster’s New Word College Dictionary makes note in the definition of murder that “kill” is a synonym.

Abortion – the termination or killing of pre-viable human fetal life – under the guidelines of Roe vs. Wade is not a criminal act or murder. Even God subscribes to that view – witness Exodus 21:22-25.

Additionally, Dr. Roy Bowen Ward, a professor of religion at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1996, “Is the Fetus a person? The Bible’s View,” commenting on Matthew 19:18, correctly notes that, “No direct object is supplied for the verb ‘to kill {murder}.” Certainly, the commandment doesn’t indiscriminately refer to killing anything alive. The Israelites were expected to kill animals, both to eat and sacrifice. They were also expected to kill Philistines and other enemies in war. The command not to kill was certainly not ‘pro-life’ in an unqualified way.

For example: If anti-abortion extremists can pluck the verse out of the Bible that says, “Thou shalt not kill/commit murder” and indiscriminately apply it to abortion, that verse can be just as easily plucked from the Bible and indiscriminately applied to say the death penalty or to war.

However, says the anti-abortion community, thou shalt not kill/commit murder can’t be applied to the death penalty or war because in other verses in the Bible, God condoned killing/murder in such circumstances.

If that’s true then obviously other verses must be consulted to determine what is included or excluded from the command “thou shalt not kill/murder.”

Where are the verses that will make the case to either include or exclude abortion from that command, especially considering God never spoke specifically, on point, and in no uncertain terms to the issue of abortion? Those verses would be Genesis 2:7 and Exodus 21:22-25.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THESE BIBLE VERSES?
ASKS THE ANTI-ABORTION COMMUNITY

The anti-abortion community also twists many Bible verses into pretzels and takes out of context Scripture all in an effort to prove, at the most, that God did speak to condemn abortion in the Bible, and at the least, God wouldn’t condone it because of certain references to unborn life. One of the most important things to remember when consulting Biblical Scripture is that CONTEXT IS EVERTYTHING.

  1. Psalm 139:13-15: “For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst weave me together in my mother’s womb…my frame was not hidden from thee when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.”

    Context is everything and neither abortion nor personhood is not under discussion in these passages. These verses are simply saying that God was his creator and therefore knew him before he was born. Dr. Paul D. Simmons, “Personhood, the Bible, and the Abortion Debate” said, “It is not the intention or purpose of the text to deal with the question of whether the fetus is a person.” Dr. Roy Bowen Ward says, “The psalmist of the 139th Psalm has been accused by his enemies (v. 19) and he closes with a plea to God to search him to see if there is any wickedness in him (vv. 23.24). But before making that plea, the psalmist proclaims that God already knows him and his innocence, and his words even before he speaks them (v. 4); God will always be with him, even in the grave. This passage really says no more than that God was his creator and therefore knew him before he was born, as is the point in Isaiah 49:5.”
  2. Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you and before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations.”

    Again, in this passage God was not addressing the topics of abortion or personhood. Since those topics were not under discussion in this passage they cannot be used to suggest God condemned abortion. Dr. Paul D. Simmons says, “The passage deals with Jeremiah’s calling as a prophet. He is establishing his credentials as one who has been called and appointed by God. His emphatic declaration is that God brought him into being for this very purpose. Thus, the passage is highly personal and specific. It’s not a rational discourse on how God creates people or whether every fetus should be counted as a person. Jeremiah declared that God knew him, formed him and consecrated him; he is making no similar claim for everyone.”
  3. Luke 1:41-42: “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. And she spoke out with a loud voice and said ‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

    Once again, neither abortion nor fetal personhood is under discussion here. Anti-abortion persons say this passage is saying that fetuses are persons; that God gave unborn human life personhood status. They look to the words, “the babe leaped,” to prove their assertion. Dr. Paul D. Simmons, says, “It is faulty biblical interpretation to generalize from this passage to the personhood of every fetus. Such an approach confuses the intention and meaning of the text with a contemporary debate entirely foreign to the mind of the writer of the passage.”
  4. Psalms 100:3: “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.”

    This passage is not discussing abortion or personhood just like the passages above are not discussing abortion or personhood. This passage reaffirms that God designed the conception, gestation, and birth process, nothing less and nothing more. As discussed above, though God designed those processes, he was not, and is not, opposed to abortion.

GOD COMMITTED THE DELIBERATE ACT OF ABORTION

In Hosea 9:14 (Revised Standard Version), to punish Israel for their impiety and idolatry, God gave them “miscarrying wombs.”

The Hebrew word for gave is “Nathan” – to give, cause, commit (The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, 1995 page 97-Hebrew Section).

In this verse the Hebrew word for “miscarrying,” is the word shakol which is translated: “to miscarry, i.e., suffer abortion. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance 1995, page 141 Hebrew section).

Miscarriage involves a spontaneous action or one with no external cause – while abortion involves a deliberate action – an action involving an external cause. In this case the external cause was God himself.

CONCLUSION

Does God condemn Roe vs. Wade? No, God does not condemn Roe vs. Wade. God does not condemn abortion as murder. Our civil laws give born human life legal personhood status – not unborn human life – absolutely in line with God’s laws. Roe vs. Wade does not criminalize the killing of pre-viable human life just as God did not.

While God did not criminalize the killing of VIABLE unborn human life – Roe vs. Wade allows states to do so – with the only exceptions being for the protection of the health and life of the woman.

Going no further than God in the criminalization, or not, of the killing of unborn human life – assures us that God does not condemn Roe vs. Wade.

There is a reason why God never spoke on point to either condemn or condone abortion. There’s a reason why, despite anti-abortion desperate attempts to assign various unrelated Biblical verses to prove otherwise, the Bible is silent on abortion. It all comes back to when GOD BELIEVES life begins; when GOD DETERMINED – in his own mind - life begins and that is at birth not at conception as the anti-abortion community wrongly claims. There is no Biblical justification for overturning Roe vs. Wade and criminalizing abortion again in this country.