There’s sort of a running joke online that there’s a chance Jesus could’ve been a raptor. This is because “no where in the Bible does it say Jesus wasn’t a raptor.” Of course, that’s completely silly. The words “Jesus is not a raptor” don’t verbatim appear in the Bible, but we know Jesus was a man from other passages in the Bible, so He couldn’t have been a raptor. It’s a joke because everyone knows that kind of logic shouldn’t be used to form biblical discussions.
When that kind of logic is used for an argument on abortion, though, it’s totally legit.
No where in the Bible does it say “Thou shalt not abort babies.” So that must mean that it’s ok, right?
Also, I can stab every third person I see in the eye, because there’s no specific commandment forbidding that exact action either.
What would you say to that? Probably that both the laws of God and of the land prohibit assault.
So, back to the issue of abortion. The main argument is that since God says “thou shall not murder,” and abortion is killing a baby in the womb, that falls under that category and is a sin. Most people would say, however, that a baby in the womb isn’t necessarily a human with human rights. Let’s see what God has to say about whether a baby in the womb is human.
Jeremiah 1 and Psalm 139 are the obvious examples, so we’ll start with those:
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
declares the Lord.”
Jeremiah 1:4-8 (ESV)
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139 – 13-16 (ESV)
On top of that, the Hebrew law, the one everyone points to as not saying anything specific about abortion, actually makes concessions to prevent people from even causing accidental miscarriages:
When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Basically, if you cause a pregnant woman to miscarry, you pay with your life, the same penalty as murder. Clearly, God sees these babies in the womb as human.
Something else I could point out is the fact that battery was a common method of abortion in some ancient cultures. Basically, men would get together and beat the pregnant woman until she miscarried if she didn’t want to have the baby. This law that God put in meant you were put to death even if you accidentally caused a woman to miscarry. The same penalty has to happen if you’re caught doing it on purpose. Not many people would be willing to risk their life for that. So by making accidental abortion punishable by death, He also includes premeditated abortion as punishable by death.
And people bring up the rape issue all the time, but that exception isn’t listed in the Bible, and it’s purely an emotional argument. Yes, it’s horrible that a rape victim might now have to go through the pains of labour and raise a child she didn’t consent to, but the fault isn’t with the baby, it’s with the rapist father. As Christians, we should view human life from the moment God begins forming it, and we should give that human life all the respect and rights God says to give. Just something to think about.