Is there a “Christian” position on abortion? Some churches think it’s their job to advocate for a woman’s “right” to abort her child. Others equivocate or avoid the issue. And many churches, including the church body I serve, clearly condemn abortion as the wrongful taking of a human life- i.e. murder. (The exception to that is cases like when a baby starts growing in the fallopian tubes rather than the uterus. In this case the baby can’t survive, and is taken out in order to avoid a hemorrhage which would kill the mother and the baby when the growing baby bursts the fallopian tube. In this case, unlike most abortions, the purpose of the operation is not to end the life of the baby that is growing inside its mother.)

What does the Bible say? Just like most people do today when they aren’t planning on killing the child that is growing inside its mother, the Bible calls that child a “baby”. The same word “baby” is used for John the Baptist when he was still growing inside his mother (Luke 1:44), Jesus right after he had been born (Luke 2:12), and the little ones that people were bringing to Jesus to have him touch them and bless them (Luke 18:15). A baby, whether born or unborn, is a human being. The wrongful taking of a human life is murder. There are cases of taking a human life that the Bible does not call murder: for example, when an agent of government executes someone for a serious crime; or soldiers or officers use deadly force to protect citizens from those who would wrongfully harm them or take their lives. But an abortion is not a case like that. So in short- abortion is the wrongful taking of a human life, which is murder- and murder is a sin.

But there’s more that needs to be said. God calls Christians to act in Christian love towards all people, including both unborn babies, and those who are tempted to kill them, and those who sadly have had their babies killed, or killed the babies of other people for payment as part of their job, or in the misguided belief they were helping the mothers of those babies.

What is Chrisitan love toward these various people? For unborn babies in danger of being abortedit is to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8 NIV) in the hopes of preventing their murder. It is also to help take care of them and provide loving homes for them once they, God-willing, have been born. Christian love for mothers who may be tempted to get an abortion because of difficult life circumstances, or the father of that child pressuring them, is both to inform them what they are really being pressured or tempted to do, in the hopes they won’t go through with it. It is also to give them and their babies help in the difficult circumstances they are in. Christian love toward those who have had an abortion, or advised or performed an abortion, is not only to confront them with the fact that what they did is sin; it is also- if and when they realize it is sin- to point them to “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29 NIV),”- Jesus, who paid for all their sins by his innocent sufferings and death on the cross, that they may trust in him, and know and have his forgiveness and love and healing, and in the end, eternal life. And it is not to be boastful that “at least we haven’t done that sin”, but humbly join them in praising God that he gave us a Savior that we, too, desperately needed, to have him pay for all our sins.