The Beginning of Life & Abortion

Examining the Challenges and Complexities of Upholding the Sanctity of Life from a Christian Worldview


What does the Bible say about abortion?

Related Scripture

Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female”

Exodus 21:22-25: “When men get in a fight and hit a pregnant woman so that her children are born prematurely but there is no injury, the one who hit her must be fined as the woman’s husband demands from him, and he must pay according to judicial assessment. If there is an injury, then you must give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, bruise for bruise, wound for wound.”

Psalm 139:13-16: “For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.”

Psalm 127:3: “Children are indeed a heritage from the Lord, offspring, a reward.”

Isaiah 44:24: “This is what the Lord, your Redeemer who formed you from the womb, says: I am the Lord, who made everything; who stretched out the heavens by myself; who alone spread out the earth.”

Jeremiah 1:5: “I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Ephesians 1:7: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”

How should Christians think about abortion?

The Christian approaches the issue of abortion as one whose life is lived in light of the Scripture (see the previous section). We seek to follow a call to selflessness and sacrifice for others. We believe in the need to protect the vulnerable. Justin Taylor connects these basic threads of the Christian faith to a more robust analysis of the issue of abortion in the audio below.

  • Justin Taylor – How Should We Think About Abortion?Runtime: 45 min

  • Rosaria Butterfield – How Psalm 102 Changed My Mind on Abortion

Why do women choose abortion?

It is important to understand the reasons people choose to have an abortion in order to cultivate a heart that genuinely cares for them. The Guttmacher Institute found that the three most common reasons are:

  1. Concern for or responsibility to other individuals
  2. The inability to afford raising a child
  3. Belief that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents.

These reasons are real-life challenges. They are legitimate challenges that women face every day, and they are issues that the church must step in and address. We must view these women through a lens of grace just as God sees us. Let’s work toward a time when women see Christians as a people group who will rally around them and provide a life for both them and the unborn child.

We cannot ignore the fact that women have turned to organizations like Planned Parenthood because they often do not feel comfortable going to the church for help. Churches must evaluate why women in their community don’t feel comfortable seeking them out, but rather turn to other alternatives. Many times, women fear churches as places of judgement and shame when they need help and support the most.

  • Charmaine Yoest

Reflection Questions
  1. Can you identify any underlying attitudes of judgement or disgust toward women who have chosen abortion in your own heart?
  2. Who are women in your life that might be at risk of choosing abortion that you can step in and care for?
  3. Is your church the kind of community that women could turn to in order to receive help without feeling condemnation or shame? If not, how can you help your church get there?

  • Garrett Kell explains what he would say to someone who has had an abortion.

  • Andrew Wood helps us understand how we ought to think about women who are seeking abortions.

  • Garrett Kell - Finding Forgiveness After AbortionRuntime: 14 min

How should I talk about the value of life?

Many times, the rhetoric of those who support life can become caustic and unattractive to those who may be considering an abortion or hold a pro-choice outlook. The value of healthy discussion and helpful questions are all the more important in the midst of cultures that don’t adopt a Christian worldview. The video below is an excellent example of the right kind of dialogue with those who hold a post-Christian worldview. Joe Carter’s analysis of Gray’s method of developing common ground with her audience adds significant insights into how believers can extend positive discussion in this difficult area.

  • Stephanie Gray - Abortion From Controversy to Civility

    A Socratic discussion on the topic of abortion at Google.

What does it mean to be holistically pro-life?

How do we live as Christians in an abortion culture? Russell Moore argues from Hebrews 2:9–18 that we can only do so by keeping the cross of Christ at the forefront. Karen Swallow Prior highlights the need to address issues related to end of life care. Several of the additional resources bring out other nuances of a holistic approach that values life. As you interact with these resources, consider ways you may fail to be consistent in valuing life and seek a change of heart by the power of the Spirit.

  • Russell Moore

  • Karen Swallow Prior

Reflection Questions
  1. What are some tangible ways in your life you can care for the “least of these”?
  2. What are specific ways the church can minister to women who might be at risk of choosing abortion?
  3. How might it look different for you to approach this issue as a fight for people instead of just against abortion?
  4. How have you seen the story of adoption played out in your spiritual life?

  • Sharen Ford

  • How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Can Help Change the Public’s Perception about Abortion

    Roland Warren

What if I don’t feel called to adopt?

In his book, Adopted for Life, Russell Moore said, “The most important step in orphan care is to keep biological families together.” Adoption or foster care is an alternative once a biological family has been broken. There are many ways, other than adoption, to fight against broken families that anyone can be involved in, such as providing for single mothers or mentoring families in crisis situations.

Not all Christians are called to adopt, but we should all care for orphans. First John 3:17-18 says, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”  The pro-life movement has done a good job of spreading the truth that abortion is wrong, so now let’s start showing people by our actions that Christians are ready to stand in the place of abortion and be the solution to difficult pregnancies.  Let’s support mothers and provide for children regardless of whether abortion policies change or not.

  • David Platt

Reflection Questions
  1. What does the Great Commission mean to you personally in how you serve the least of these?
  2. If you do not feel called to adopt, how can you contribute in a meaningful way to orphan care in your community?
  3. Are there adoptive families that you know whom you could serve, encourage or support?