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THE DOUBTER'S GUIDE: SPIRITUALITY FOR THE SKEPTICAL MIND
ABORTION: WHAT DOES THE BIBLE REALLY SAY?













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BIBLICAL ABORTION: 
















We all hear the Bible vehemently and absolutely condemns human abortion of any kind.  So where can this condemnation be found in the Bible? 
 
The sole passage hinting at any proscription about the unborn (Gen. 38:10)  tells of a man,Onan, struck dead for spilling his semen on the ground instead of impregnating his childless, widowed sister-in-law (an ancient Hebrew custom for continuing the family line).  But even this scene concerned inapppropriate masturbation, not abortion as we know it.
 
Otherwise, the nearest we get to support for the pro-life stance is are passages encouraging birth-giving when it is advantageous and the times are right.
 
For instance the first couple were told to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:28) for an obvious reason: No other humans populated the earth at that time!  And when things were going great, the reward for obeying God's covanent was:"No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren  in your land.  I will fulfill the numbers of your years."(Exod. 23:26)  Also the Hebrews were told to again multiply their sons and daughters when readying themselves to prosper after exile. (Jer. 29:6)   
 
However, most all Biblical passages directly addressing abortion itself actually endorse terminating human life when conditions are unfavorable.  For instance God was claimed to actually close all wombs in the palace of Negeb when the king was with Abraham's wife. (Gen.20:17-18)  
 
During Job's hard times we find him wishing he were aborted or miscarriaged: "Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire... Or why was it not a hidden untimely birth as infants who never see the light... Why is it to him who is given in misery, and life to the bitter soul? (Job 20:14-18)
 
The prophet, Jeremiah, fares no better: "Cursed be the day I was born. [And cursed be he who] did not kill me in my womb...that my mother may been my grave. (Jer. 20:14-18)  And even in the New Testment we find: "Rejoice O one who does not bear.  Break forth and shout, ye who are not in labor.  For the desolate has more children than she who has a husband." (Gal.4:27 )                                                                                                               
 
The children of Israel's enemies were thought of even more harshly: "Now go attack Amaleck and..... kill both man and women, infant and nursing child..."(1 Sam 15:3)  "Let them be like snails that dissolve like slime, like untimely births that never see the sun."(Ps. 58:1-8)  "Happy he shall be who takes your little children and dashes them against a rock." (Ps. 137:9)   "Give them a miscarrying womb and dried out breasts." Hos. 9:14) 
 
Also, a woman's life was considered more precious than that of her unborn child.  The writer of Exodus states that if someone caused a woman's miscarriage against her will he had to pay a fine.  But if the injury caused the woman's death, the perpetrator would be put to death as well. (Exod. 21:22-25)
 
As for when the soul first enters the embryo: "As you do not know when the spirit first comes into the child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything." (Eccles. 11:15)
 
 
SO WHAT DOES THE BIBLE 
TEACH  ABOUT ABORTION?
 
First of all do not do not abort frivolously or selfishly (as implied in the story of Onan).  Secondly, it is certainly good to bear and breed children when necessary and when conditions are favorable.  But woe unto the bearing of children unwanted or in severe poverty and desolation. 
 
The Bible also states an endangered woman's life should take precedence over that of an unborn child.  And finally, who are they who usurp God's wisdom by arbitrarily declaring when the embryo's soul enters the womb?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
















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