On Abortion


Abortion is a sensitive topic, and emotions always run high when it’s discussed. This is my best attempt at placing abortion within it’s proper context within Christian theology, summing up both sides of the issue, and then of course picking a side. I’ll begin with a summary of my beliefs so my bias is upfront – I am anti-abortion but believe in a woman’s right to choose. This is because although I draw the line at conception, I think the fundamental question is not where I draw the line, but who draws the line, and that’s the woman who is pregnant.

Abortion is a very personal issue for me. When my ex-girlfriend was pregnant, there was some back and forth discussion but within a week or so we made the mutual decision to keep the child. We were very excited – telling people, getting ready raise a child together, researching – when we got the bad news, that the child was diagnosed with Trisomy 13, a 100% fatal disease. We got the first indication on a screening test, then after the diagnostic tests confirmed the condition we had to make the decision to terminate the pregnancy at around 20 weeks. Having been through the process, and having held my dead daughter in my arms for hours after the abortion, I feel like I understand both what a serious process abortion is and how psychologically, physically & financially taxing it is on both partners but especially the woman.

I do believe there’s levels to how serious an abortion is – I definitely draw a line between Plan B, early stage chemical abortions, and the mid and late stage abortions. There’s so much nuance and difference between these different types, I think it’s unreasonable to lump them all in together. Before we get into that, let’s look at how abortion fits into Christian theology specifically before we get into general morality, this of course being a Church website.

Right off the bat, I’m going to be disregarding Old Testament law as it relates to abortion, and for my reasoning behind that, please see this separate text.

I suppose logically, the first issue here would be when does life begin? Murdering the innocent is of course already unacceptable in Christianity. So is a person a person before conception, after conception, after birth?

Christ himself seems to require even a little bit more than birth to be considered a “Child of God.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

So for entry into the kingdom of God, you need to not just be born but born again, and as you cannot be born again until you’re born, a fetus cannot enter the kingdom of God according to the process required for those who are born, but of course that doesn’t imply a lack of a separate process. If a baby isn’t born it can never sin, therefore there probably isn’t any requirement for them to be born again, it would be stupid of us to take Christ’s words hyper-literally and out of context, especially as we’re reading a translation.

Regarding the birth of Christ, John the Baptist, and others, of course we have an example of the Holy Spirit knowing the person who will be born from conception. Does the fact that the Holy Spirit has plans and predetermined outcomes for a person before they’re born, even before they’re conceived, imply value as a human before birth? Yes, this means that the Holy Spirit valued at least some unborn humans enough to utilize them for a greater purpose before their birth. Giving John the Baptist an abortion in the womb would have cut off his future the same as him being murdered as a child. Insofar as every human being has an intrinsic value in Christian theology, and the Holy Spirit has incorporated humans into God’s plan before before, cutting off the future of a fetus is a potential violation of God’s plan.

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