The Bible doesn’t teach specifically on abortion, so Christians may have a variety of opinions and responses to this very sensitive topic. However, some passages do cause many Christians to feel uneasy about legalised abortion. For example, Psalm 139 says:
“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 know that full well. 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; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139: 13-16)
One of the central questions in the abortion debate is when a foetus becomes a person – a life worth protecting. This passage seems to suggest that God is involved in creating that person even as they are developing in the womb. In fact, because God is eternal (outside of time) he can see every day of that person’s life already! The passage refers to the foetus as one of God’s own works, “fearfully and wonderfully made”. For many Christians, this is enough to suggest that from God’s perspective a foetus is a person, even from the moment of conception.
More broadly, the Bible talks about life as being a gift from God. In Genesis 2 it says God gave life to the first human by “breathing into his nostrils the breath of life”. In the book of Job it says “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind”. Many Christians feel that God is the only one with the authority to decide when to give life and when to take it away. Life, from this perspective, is precious and sacred –hence the phrase ‘sanctity of life’.
It’s important to note, however, that it’s not as simple as ‘pro life’ vs ‘pro choice’. Christians believe that God gave us free will to make our own decisions. They also believe in showing compassion to those in difficult situations, such as someone facing an unplanned pregnancy. While some ‘pro life’ campaigners seem to focus only on the life of the child and can be very dispassionate, Christian organisations do exist to support women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. They will endeavour to guide them through their options and seek a positive outcome for everyone involved (including the baby, where possible) while respecting the choices of the adults.