Is abortion murder?

Yes, according to the Bible and based on secular reasoning, abortion is murder. Much of the pro-life/pro-choice argument in the United States centers around the debate of whether or not the fetus is considered a human being. Many abortion advocates may not consider the fetus a human being, but God does, even before the first trimester (Psalms 139:13-16). Admittedly, not much exists in scripture specifically regarding abortion issues. Even so, man must consider that the dividing cells of tissue in the first few weeks of development within the womb, whether cognizant or not, are being formed by God (Exodus 4:11, Deuteronomy 32:6, Job 31:15, Psalm, 94:9, 119:73, Isaiah 43:7, 44:2, 24).

        "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:13-16)

Within the first trimester of fetal development, between 23-25 days, the heart begins to beat. Between 27-29 days, the blood is circulating. God said that the life of every creature is its blood (Leviticus 17:14, Deuteronomy 12:23). When Cain slew Abel, the LORD said to Cain, "Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground" (Genesis 4:10). There were strict warnings against bloodshed of the innocent in the Old Testament, whether animal or human (Genesis 9:6, Leviticus 17:4, Numbers 35:33, Deuteronomy 19:10-13, 21:1-9, 1 Kings 2:5-6, 31-33, 2 Kings 24:3-4, Ezekiel 18:10-13). Unholy bloodshed of sacrificial animals usually resulted in a cutting off of the offender from the tribe, whereas bloodshed of another person resulting in death was punishable by death. Of the seven detestable things the LORD hates according to Proverbs 6:16-19, one of them is hands that shed innocent blood. "Precious is the blood of the weak in his sight" (Psalm 72:14). Jeremiah's admonition to the rulers and citizens of Judah to do what is just and right included, "Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place" (Jeremiah 22:3). The shedding of innocent blood had dire consequences.

"See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer." (Isaiah 26:21)

"I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring upon you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger." (Ezekiel 16:38, 23:45)

"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O city that brings on herself doom by shedding blood in her midst and defiles herself by making idols, you have become guilty because of the blood you have shed and have become defiled by the idols you have made. You have brought your days to a close, and the end of your years has come. Therefore I will make you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughingstock to all the countries. Those who are near and those who are far away will mock you, O infamous city, full of turmoil. See how each of the princes of Israel who are in you uses his power to shed blood. In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the alien and mistreated the fatherless and the widow. You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths. In you are slanderous men bent on shedding blood; in you are those who eat at the mountain shrines and commit lewd acts. In you are those who dishonor their fathers' bed; in you are those who violate women during their period, when they are ceremonially unclean. In you one man commits a detestable offense with his neighbor's wife, another shamefully defiles his daughter-in-law, and another violates his sister, his own father's daughter. In you men accept bribes to shed blood; you make usury and excessive interest and make unjust gain from your neighbors by extortion. And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will surely strike my hands together at the unjust gain you have made and at the blood you have shed in your midst. Will your courage endure or your hands be strong in the day I deal with you? I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it. I will disperse you among the nations and scatter you through the countries; and I will put an end to your uncleanness. When you have been defiled in the eyes of the nations, you will know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 22:3-16)

        "Sureley the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things. No one calls for justice; no one pleads his case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil. They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider's web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched. Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands. Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways. The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace." (Isaiah 59:1-8)

Matthew 10:30 and Luke 12:7 record Jesus as saying the hairs on your head are numbered -- the follicles of which begin developing during the tenth week of the formation of the fetus, between the first and second trimester. Job 3 and Ecclesiastes 6:3 suggest that the plight of a stillborn child is better than the fate of the individuals in question, however, they each conclude that in the end they all go to the same resting place. Psalm 51:5 claims that the author was sinful at birth, even at conception. Jeremiah 1:5 states that the LORD knew the prophet before he was formed in the womb and set him apart before birth. Isaiah 49:1 says, "Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name."

Exodus 21:22-25 says that if men are fighting and they cause a woman to miscarry, then life is to be paid for life. Some may argue that it is the life of the mother which is at stake and not the baby but that the life of the baby is worth whatever the father deems. "If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise." (NIV) The Hebrew word in this passage for premature birth is yasa, meaning to come forth, which indicates a live birth. The NIV, NASB, NLT, ESV, and Amplified Bible support this translation. If so, then the death of the child should result in the law of retaliation upon the life of the one(s) who caused it. The usual Hebrew words for miscarriage are nepel (Job 3:16, Ecclesiastes 6:3-4, and Psalms 58:8) and sakal (Genesis 31:38, Exodus 23:26, Job 21:10, and Hosea 9:14). Reference John Piper and Greg Koukl.

For more information about abortion issues, visit the following websites:

"As early as 3-7 days after conception, a tiny human is implanted in it's mother's uterus, and by the 18th day, the heart begins to beat. Prior to this, at the moment of fertilization, the cell produced contains the genetic makeup for every detail of human development: from your child's sex, hair and eye color, height, to skin tone, making the child a being in preparation. This is evidence enough that a fetus is a human being."

Abortion and the Bible

"Few topics have divided Americans as much as the legalization of abortion. Everyone seems to be either pro-life or pro-"choice." Many viewpoints centered on law, medicine, and philosophy have been offered, but neither side convinces the other. There is one viewpoint which must define this issue. This viewpoint is the behavior God demands of us, His children. God's requirements- His Holy Word- are written in The Holy Bible. Abortion advocates argue that the word "abortion" is not found in The Bible, implying that we are, therefore, free to make our own rules about abortion. Does the absence of the word "abortion" in The Bible mean that God's laws do not apply to abortion? Of course not!"

"Abortion is the deliberate killing of the weakest and most defenseless among us. Unfortunately, for the last few decades, the practice has been recognized as a fundamental human right by the highest court of the land. Many people are fervent supporters of abortion. Their reasons for support are varied. However, I believe that support for abortion is not possible for those who understand our dignity as human persons under God. We were made by God, and it is from Him that we derive our worth."

"Our mission is simple. We have brought together quality information on the abortion debate from many different sources and made it available to the world in one abortion megasite. We believe these facts point to an obvious conclusion. You are free to accept or reject this conclusion. We simply ask that whatever you do, do it on the basis of fact."


"There are many questions commonly asked to pro-life advocates about why they are pro-life... If you are pro-choice, you may be asking these questions right now. If you are pro-life and have ever been involved in an abortion debate, you have probably heard these arguments before."


"Abortion is deliberately intending the termination of pregnancy via death of the unborn, whether as an end or a means to an end. Any act that deliberately intends the death of an innocent human being, who has been created in the image of God, is intrinsically evil."

Abortion is Prolife

"Abortion is an inalienable right. Abortion is not a violation of any right, because there is no such thing as the freedom to live inside (or outside) of another human being as a parasite, i.e., against the will of that person... Abortion is not murder, because a fetus is not an actual human being-it is a potential human being, i.e. it is a part of the woman. The concept murder only applies to the initiation of physical force used to destroy an actual human being, such as when "pro-life" terrorists bomb abortion clinics... A right is a moral sanction to freedom of action in a social context. Rights only apply to human beings, because only human beings survive by the use of reason (unlike cows, trees, bacteria-and fetuses)."


"Includes everything schools, government, and abortion clinics are afraid to tell or show you. Warning: Must be at least twelve years old to visit this site."

The Alan Guttmacher Institute

"The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) is a nonprofit organization focused on sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis and public education... The Institute's mission is to protect the reproductive choices of all women and men in the United States and throughout the world. It is to support their ability to obtain the information and services needed to achieve their full human rights, safeguard their health and exercise their individual responsibilities in regard to sexual behavior and relationships, reproduction and family formation." -- Abortion

"Of all the issues in our culture today, surely abortion is one of the most volatile. Perhaps no other issue has raised so much debate and anguish, plus time and monies spent by various interested parties to educate to public to their views on it. In the midst of such a controversial issue, many simply throw up their hands and vow to stay out of it altogether. In the name of freedom and under the guise of "it isn't my business" many choose to look the other way from this troubling issue, leaving the decision in the hand of lawmakers, doctors, and pregnant woman. Although there are many different issues concerning abortion, the following is designed to focus on what the Bible says about abortion, and the consequences thereof."

Casey's Critical Thinking -- Is Abortion Biblical?

"Is abortion biblical? No. On the contrary, it is an abomination in the sight of the God who commands us to:
Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.(Psalm 82:3-4)
Let us defend the unborn, because no matter what society might say, "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." (Psalm 127:3)"

Catholic Answers: Abortion

"The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as a grave evil. Christian writers from the first-century author of the Didache to Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae ("The Gospel of Life") have maintained that the Bible forbids abortion, just as it forbids murder. This tract will provide some examples of this consistent witness from the writings of the Fathers of the Church."

Center for Reproductive Rights

"A non-profit legal advocacy organization dedicated to promoting and defending women’s reproductive rights worldwide... Reproductive rights, the foundation for women's self-determination over their bodies and sexual lives, are critical to women's equality and to ensuring global progress towards just and democratic societies. They are fundamental human rights that cannot be denied in the name of religion, culture or politics."

ChristianAnswers.Net -- Life Before Birth

"The abortion debate rests on the moral status of the unborn: if the unborn are fully human, then nearly every abortion performed is tantamount to murder. Most "pro-choice" advocates argue, however, that although the unborn entity is human (belonging to the species Homo sapiens), it is not a person and hence not fully human."

Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

"Desperate for a biblical basis for their beliefs, some antiabortionists cite obscure passages, usually metaphors or poetic phrasing, such as: "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Psalm 51:5 This is sexist, but does nothing other than to invoke original sin. It says nothing about abortion. The Commandments, Moses, Jesus and Paul ignored every chance to condemn abortion. If abortion was an important concern, why didn't the bible say so?"

National Abortion Federation

If current rates continue, it is estimated that nearly half of all women of reproductive age in America today will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45.
Calculating abortion rates, older teenagers and young adults have the highest abortion rates, while women younger than 15 and older than 35 have the lowest.
Married women are about one sixth as likely as unmarried women to resolve unintended pregnancies through abortion.
One-sixth of abortion patients describe themselves as born-again or Evangelical Christians; while 25% of U.S. women are Catholic, nearly one third of abortion patients say they are Catholics.
Most women base their decision on several factors, the most common being lack of money and/or unreadiness to start or expand their families due to existing responsibilities.
About 16,000 women each year have abortions because they have become pregnant as a result of rape or incest.

The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League

"Pro-choice means respecting and supporting the right of every woman to make personal choices regarding pregnancy, childbearing, and abortion. It is not which choice she makes, but rather that she is free to make the choice that is right for her... The pro-choice movement encompasses a broad range of women's reproductive rights. We not only believe women should be able to make their own decision about abortion, we work to reduce the need for abortion through increased access to family planning and comprehensive sex education."

National Right to Life

"The life of a baby begins long before he or she is born. A new individual human being begins at fertilization, when the sperm and ovum meet to form a single cell. If the baby's life is not interrupted, he or she will someday become an adult man or woman. Worldwide, millions of unborn babies are killed each year. In the United States over 40 million unborn babies have been killed in the 29 years since abortion was legalized and more than 1.3 million are killed each year."

New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Abortion

"Abortion (from the Latin word aboriri, "to perish") may be briefly defined as "the loss of a fetal life." In it the fetus dies while yet within the generative organs of the mother, or it is ejected or extracted from them before it is viable; that is, before it is sufficiently developed to continue its life by itself. The term abortion is also applied, though less properly, to cases in which the child is become viable, but does not survive the delivery. In this article we shall take the word in its widest meaning, and treat of abortion as occurring at any time between conception and safe delivery."

Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health

"Older physicians made the decision to provide abortions because they witnessed women die of botched and self-induced abortions. For them abortion provision is a public health necessity. For younger physicians, in whose lifetimes abortion has always been legal, the decision seems to be based more on the assumption of a political viewpoint: They believe in a woman's right to choose. This is a result, in part, of the politicization of abortion specifically, and reproductive health care generally. These developments have been accompanied by an increase in harassment and deadly violence against physicians, marginalizing them within the medical profession and isolating them in their communities. As a result, fewer younger physicians are becoming providers."

Planned Parenthood

"It is a policy of Planned Parenthood Federation of America to ensure that women have the right to seek and obtain medically safe, legal abortions under dignified conditions and at reasonable cost."

"This web site is an inter-faith group staffed by individuals who have diverse beliefs about these topics. Almost all other sites on the Internet are either strongly pro-life or pro-choice. Some are seriously lacking in objectivity and accuracy. Some distort data; others ignore information that contradicts their views. We try to present both sides to all topics clearly, completely, objectively and accurately."

The Visible Embryo

"This spiral represents the 23 stages occurring in the first trimester of pregnancy and every two weeks of the second and third trimesters. Use the spiral to navigate through the 40 weeks of pregnancy and preview the unique changes in each stage of human development."

Why Abortion is Biblical

"...In reality there is merely overwhelming evidence that most people don't take time to read their own Bibles. People will listen to their pastors and to Christian radio broadcasters. They will skim through easy-to-read pamphlets and perhaps look up the one or two verses printed therein, but they don't actually read their Bibles and make up their own minds on issues such as abortion. They merely listen to others who quote a verse to support a view they heard from someone else. By definition, most Christians, rather than reading for themselves, follow the beliefs of a Culture of Christianity -- and many of the Culture's beliefs are based on one or two verses of the Bible, often taken out of context."

        "As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things." (Ecclesiastes 11:5)
        "You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'He did not make me?' Can the pot say of the potter, 'He knows nothing?' " (Isaiah 29:16)
[ Home | Search | Links | Glossary | Copyright | E-mail ]