Today we continue our series of bulletin articles looking at why abortion is wrong. This week I want to show that abortion is wrong because the Bible understands an embryo is a person.

In a number of places in the Old Testament, the Biblical authors describe the formation of the body in the womb.  And each time they do so, they refer to it not as a mass of tissue without personhood, but they assert that it is a person that is inside the womb: For example, David describes what is going on in the womb in Psalm 139: ‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body (Psalm 139:13-16)’. Clearly David does not understand that he came into existence at a point after birth. No. He is there inside the womb.

Job also sees himself and his servants as people in the womb: ‘If I have denied justice to my menservants and maidservants when they had a grievance against me, what will I do when God confronts me?…Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?’ (Job 31:13-15).

Moreover, God speaks of Jeremiah as a person in the womb: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’ (Jeremiah 1:5). When did Jeremiah become a prophet? As an embryo in the womb.

Finally, David again speaks of himself as a person from conception: ‘Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me’ (Psalm 51:5). If what is the womb at conception is not a person, how is it sinful?  A rock can’t be sinful.  But an embryo can because it is a person.

Therefore to abort an embryo is to kill a person. But is the abortion of a person an unforgivable sin? No. Through repentance of your sin and trust in Jesus’ death for your sins you can be forgiven for any sin, including the wrongful termination of another human.

Do you recognise that abortion is wrong because the Bible speaks of embryos as people?

Joel Radford