What about abortion?

Human beings are given great dignity in the Bible. They are those created in God’s image – that is, they are to be like God in caring for the world and emulating his character. It is the fact that we are in God’s image that makes all human life supremely precious - and taking of it sin (except perhaps in enforcing justice).

The key question in terms of abortion is “when is life truly human?” Well, because God’s purpose stands for every human being from conception, so the Bible sees us as human beings from conception too: From that point on, its writers regard themselves as personal, known by God, and intended by him for life. Indeed, we only need to consider it a possibility that we are truly human from conception to regard abortion as wrong, because no-one would perform an act that might possibly be akin to the killing of another human being. Far better then to have the baby and, if really necessary, offer it for adoption.

The inconsistencies surrounding abortion in modern society are huge. Even slight distress at having a baby can be seen as sufficient grounds for abortion, and this has led to a consumerist attitude to childbirth in which we see ourselves, rather than God, as the determiners of when life should or should not be allowed to develop. Moreover, technology enables us to keep children alive who are born before the date when some abortions are still allowed. Thus, we effectively choose to regard children of the same age as human when outside the womb, but not within it. Recent scan images have also shown babies expressing emotion from extremely early, moving some politicians to call for the term when abortions are allowed to be reduced. Yet in doing so, no-one seems to face the implication that in reducing the date we are effectively acknowledging that all children who have been aborted past that date should not have been.

This whole area is an emotive one for all. If you have had an abortion yourself, it is good to remember that God is a God of immense forgiveness, and one who loving heals us from feelings of guilt and regret. It would be worth you talking your situation through with a pastor.

(Genesis 9:6, Psalm 51:5, Psalm 139:13-18)