Is the Bible pro-abortion?

Did God allow the Israelites to have abortions in the Old Testament?

By Joel Chacko

The Gospel is innately pro-life and pro-eternal life. In Genesis, after Cain murders Abel, God tells Cain that Abel's blood cries from the ground to Him. In the 10 commandments given to the Israelites through Moses, God makes it very clear that every murder is evil in the eyes of the Lord. Numbers 5:11-31 mentions the ordeal of bitter water, which is claimed by many people today as a passage supporting abortion, but this is false, as it is a Hebrew ritual to find out if a woman has committed adultery, who is made to drink bitter water (a little mud added to the water, which is clearly not an abortifacient), and it literally says that if her thigh does not waste away and if her abdomen does not swell (in other words, if she is able to conceive after the ordeal), then she is not guilty. The husband could not do anything in this entire process, and the intention behind ordeals was to put everything into God's hands, and these were performed in the presence of the priest. The passage does not presuppose that the woman is pregnant, thus the argument that it encourages abortion is clearly baseless.

When the Psalmist wrote, "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 am fully aware of that" (Psalms 139: 13-14), he was well aware of God's infinite love and value for human life. When we humans fail to recognise the worth of human life in our brethren in the womb, this same Bible asks us in the most straightforward manner, "Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?" (Job 31:15)

As Christians, we celebrate the birth of the Saviour every year worldwide, and it should be even more fascinating for us to know that God put Christ in Mary's womb in a similar situation that could be used to justify abortion in today's world. Mary was an unwed mother, and Mary's life was in danger as she could be stoned to death for the charge of adultery, not to forget that the Holy family was extremely poor. These are three different reasons in one story that are today used as justifications to kill the unborn. Thus, the Christmas story is a pro-life story.

And let us not exclude the unborn when pondering over Jesus' words, "The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40)

The Catholic faith has forever rested on three pillars,

  1. Sacred Tradition

  2. Sacred Scripture

  3. Magisterium of the Church

And each of these pillars have strongly taught from the beginning that God is the author of life and that only He has the power and authority to give and take life. "We are stewards, not owners, of the lives entrusted to us by God" (CCC 2280).