What Does the Bible Really Say About Abortion?

Diving into a Hairy bit of Religious Discourse

Michael A Gold
10 min readMay 18, 2022

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Before I begin, I know that some will jump right to the comments to say “The Bible should have no place in determining our laws. If that’s your view, then congratulations, I agree with you! The issue that remains is that aside from those who want to use the Bible to justify law, there are also those who, while not trying to restrict abortion legally, still look to their faith for social guidance on this issue. I think it is important from a rhetorical perspective to see just what the Bible says. If you’re still tempted to jump to the comments and say that you think this is a fruitless endeavor because the Bible is fake or God’s not real, or the Bible doesn’t matter, I would submit that this might not be the piece for you, and would recommend that you take a quick walk around the block and maybe touch a little grass before posting your comment. Of course, you may still comment whatever you like.

It’s important to clarify what exactly we’re talking about when we say “Abortion”. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. While miscarriage, which is unintentional, can be referred to as a “spontaneous abortion,” in this situation we are talking about the intentional act of ending a pregnancy before it comes to term. Those who believe that people should be allowed to make their own decisions about whether or not to receive this procedure (regardless of their personal feelings) are called “Pro-Choice” while those who want to ban abortions are called “Pro-Life.” You will sometimes meet someone who claims to be Pro-Life but believes people can make up their own minds about abortion. This is actually a Pro-Choice stance, and this person may or may not understand what the label of Pro-Life communicates.

With the Supreme Court threatening to overturn Roe v. Wade, it’s more important than ever that we get a handle on what exactly abortion is. Is it murder, as some would claim? Is it simply a medical procedure, as others argue? When can we say that life begins, and what impact should that have on this issue at all? I am not a doctor or a legal expert. I’m not a trained philosopher. (If you want to read a hallmark philosophical paper on abortion, go here) So, I can’t give much more than an opinion on when a life begins, and I can’t…

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Michael A Gold

Michael writes about history, religion, and the Bible. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and Netflix account.