Is Abortion Always Murder?

by Pastor Matthew Norville, Sr

It is no secret that we, Bible-believing Christians, believe that abortion is the sin of murder. But is abortion the sin of murder in every case?

Firstly, we need to define what “murder” is.

“Murder” is defined as, “the intentional killing of a person who does not deserve to die.” This would include:

  1. “first degree murder” (also known as “murder 1”)—the premeditated killing of a person.

  2. “second degree murder” (also known as “murder 2”)—the killing of someone on a spur of the moment decision.

This would NOT include “manslaughter”—the accidental killing of a person.

This would NOT include killing someone in “self-defense,” because the person who is trying to harm or kill someone unjustly, deserves to die.

This would NOT include killing people in a war, who are on the side of a wrong cause, because people in a war, who are on the side of a wrong cause, deserve to die.

This would NOT include killing people who justly received the death penalty for some wrong that they had done.

What is right and what is wrong, what is just and what is unjust, and who does deserve to die and who does not deserve to die, is all defined in the Bible, God's Word.

Secondly, we need to show from the Word of God that children in the womb are just that—“children” or “people” or “persons.” They are referred to as “babies” or “children” or “people” or “persons” in the Scriptures.

Genesis 25:21–22 says, “and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her….”

Judges 13:5 says, “the child shall be a Nazirite unto God from the womb….”

Ruth 1:11 says, “And Naomi said, ‘Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? Are there yet any more sons in my womb…?’”

Job 1:21 says, “[Job] said, ‘Naked came I out of my mother's womb….’”

Job 31:15 says, “Did not He that made me in the womb make him? And did not One fashion us in the womb?”

Psalm 22:9 says, “But thou art He that took me out of the womb….”

Psalm 71:6 says, “By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art He that took me out of my mother's bowels….”

Psalm 139:13 says, “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.”

Ecclesiastes 11:5 says, “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child….”

Isaiah 44:2 says, “Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb….”

Isaiah 49:1 says, “The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath He made mention of my name.”

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Hosea 12:3 says, “He took his brother by the heel in the womb….”

Luke 1:15 says, “he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.”

Luke 1:41 says, “And it came to pass, that, when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe (baby) leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.”

Luke 2:21 says, “He was conceived in the womb.”

Romans 9:11 says, “For the children, being not yet born….”

Galatians 1:15 says, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me….”

We also know from the Word of God that a person becomes a person when they are created at conception.

In II Samuel 11:5 it says,

“And the woman (Bathsheba) conceived, and sent and told David, and said, ‘I am with child.’”

We see here that Bathsheba was “with child” when she conceived.

In Luke 1:36 the angel, Gabriel, said to Mary,

“And, behold, thy cousin, Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age….”

This Scripture says that John the Baptist was “a son” from the time of his conception. And since it says “thy cousin, Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son…,” it means that Mary was going to have “a son” (Jesus) conceived on the inside of herself also.

It should also be pointed out that the Son of God, Jesus, has always existed along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. When He was implanted by the Holy Spirit into Mary's womb, He did not cease to exist for nine months until He was born!

Since the Word of God is abundantly clear on this subject, it doesn't really matter how much progress science and technology have made in determining or “seeing” (with a tiny camera) how far the baby has developed in the womb. How much the baby has developed has nothing to do with determining if they are a person or not.

Thirdly, children in the womb have not done anything worthy of death.

Romans 9:11 says,

“For the children, being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil….”

This is how we know that abortion, the killing of this person inside the womb, is the sin of murder.

Some people say, “Since the sixth commandment says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ (Exodus 20:13), then it is wrong to kill anything—even bugs and plants.” But the ten commandments are talking about do's and don'ts in relation to God and people—not animals, bugs, or plants!

In Matthew 19:18, Jesus, quoting the sixth commandment, said, “Thou shalt do no murder.” Thus, Jesus clarified—as if it needed any clarification—that the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” is referring to the unjust killing of people.

Now to our question: Is abortion always murder? This brings up several questions:

  1. Is abortion murder if the girl or woman became pregnant because of consensual incest?

  2. Is abortion murder if the girl or woman became pregnant because of rape?

  3. Is abortion murder if, in a doctor's opinion, the pregnant mother will die if she doesn't kill her child first?

In the question of consensual incest, the answer is yes, it is murder. (Consensual here would mean between two consenting adults or between two consenting children. If one was an adult and the other was a child, it would be rape.) And because it was a consensual relationship, God would expect them to keep the child and raise it. (However, the father and the mother of the child would not be married to each other.)

In the question of rape, the answer is also yes, it is murder. Even though it was rape, it is still murder to kill the unborn child. Rape is a horrible thing. It is one of the most horrible things a person can experience on earth. Sometimes one of the consequences of getting raped is becoming pregnant. The fact that a child has now been brought into this world—and if a girl or woman is pregnant, a child has already been created and brought into this world, whether they have been born yet or not—is sometimes one of the consequences of rape. Murdering an innocent child is not the solution.

However, this does not mean that the child would have to be kept after they are born, and then raised by the rape victim. The child can be given up for adoption. But some victims of rape have chosen to raise the child.

In the question of in a doctor's opinion the pregnant mother will die if she doesn't kill her child first, the answer is again yes, it is murder. A medical doctor is just a man who is offering his opinion. He doesn't really know whether or not the pregnant woman will die if she doesn't have an abortion. And even if several doctors consensually agree, that still doesn't mean that they are correct. There have been numerous cases where doctors have told pregnant women that they needed to have an abortion or else they would die, and the women refused to have abortions, and they didn't die. Doctors are just fallible men.

As a mother (And if a girl or woman is pregnant, she is already a mother.), a girl or woman should lay down her life for her child whether the child has been born yet or not. This means that a girl or woman should NOT have an abortion to “supposedly” save her own life. Instead, she should turn to God, and pray, and ask her brothers and sisters in Christ to pray so that she and her baby will be O.K. And the doctors should do everything they possibly can to save both the mother and the child.

It should also be mentioned here that human embryos, whether they are in a laboratory, a woman's womb, or wherever, are complete human beings—spirit, soul, and body. (That is why when a girl or woman is pregnant she is said to be “with child.” There is a child in her womb. It is not called “with embryo” or “with fetus” or “with tissue.”) And to kill (abort) one of these people is also murder.

When a person comes into existence at conception, a zygote, or zygocyte, is formed by the union of two gametes: the sperm cell, or male gamete, and the ovum, or female gamete. It is at this point that God creates this person—spirit, soul, and body. This person never existed before this point. God does not have spirits and souls of babies in Heaven that He implants into zygotes at conception. God creates each person at conception. This is one of the scientific and natural laws that God set up when He created the universe and man—that when a sperm cell, or male gamete, comes into union with an ovum, or female gamete (sometimes called an “egg”), a human being, created by God, comes into existence. And whether this union of sperm and egg takes place voluntarily or not, in a laboratory or not, the natural laws that God set up in the beginning will still operate, and a person, created by God, will come into existence.

Conception is also the time at which the sex of the child is determined. Every person that God creates is created as either a male or a female. The Bible says in Genesis 1:27,

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

Sometimes there are cases where children do not develop normally in the womb for various reasons, and the sex of the child cannot be determined simply by looking at them. Or the child may have some characteristics of one sex, but might actually be the other. But by examining the chromosomal makeup of the person, it can always be determined whether the person is a male or a female. A female has two X chromosomes (XX) and a male has one X and one Y chromosome (XY). And even if there are other chromosomes present because of some sort of abnormality, the person still always has either two X chromosomes (which means the person is a female) or an X chromosome and a Y chromosome (which means the person is a male) that God made them with.

And it is impossible, that is, NOT POSSIBLE, for a human being to change from one sex into the other. No matter how much a person mutilates their body, how many drugs they take, or how much they try to look like and act like the opposite sex, they still are the sex that God created them as.

Sometimes politicians say that they are against abortion, except in the cases of rape and incest. This is just politician talk. It doesn't make any sense to say this. The politicians that say this are just kissing up and trying to sound halfway moral while still trying to appeal to the people who believe that it is O.K. to have abortions. Because if abortion is murder, why would it be O.K. for people to have abortions in the cases of rape and/or incest? And if it is O.K. for people to have abortions in the cases of rape and/or incest, why is it not O.K. for people to have abortions for other reasons—such as the mother is pregnant with a girl, but the parents wanted a boy?

In summary, we can see that it doesn't really matter how a child came into existence. Whether a child was conceived by choice or not, has no bearing on whether or not it is murder to kill an unborn child. If it is murder to kill an unborn child, then it is murder to kill an unborn child—regardless of the circumstances that led to the conception of the child.

There are times in the Word of God when God pronounced judgment upon certain wicked peoples, and God's people were commanded to kill all of them—including the children and pregnant women. This is not murder, because these people deserved to die. If it is God's judgment, it is not murder. The children and babies had to be eradicated from the earth also, because the entire group of these wicked people had to be destroyed. If the children and babies were allowed to live—aside from the fact that they would have had no one to take care of them and raise them—they would have grown up just like their wicked parents, and the wickedness that the people had been destroyed for, would just start all over again. And then, when these grown up children eventually died, they would go to Hell. But if they (the children and babies) are killed when they are young, before they reach “the age of accountability” (see What is the Age of Accountability?), they will go to Heaven. So we see here, the mercy of God, in that if God kills all these children and babies of these wicked people when they are young, they will spend eternity in the bliss of Heaven, rather than an eternity being tormented in the flames of Hell.

Christians, Abortion, and Voting

For Christians, abortion is a very important issue when it comes to voting in elections. And as Christians, one of the ways we look at it is like this:

There are many different crimes and immoral acts that a person is capable of committing. Some crimes and immoral acts are more serious than others. Sometimes law enforcement officials are trying to solve a murder. They look at different suspects that were in the area at the time. Sometimes they come across known criminals that were there. Some of these people may be known thieves. But sometimes the law enforcement officials will say something like, “We know so-and-so, but he is only a thief. He would never murder anyone.”

But the converse is not true. If law enforcement officials are trying to solve a robbery, and they come across a known murderer in the area, they would never say, “We know so-and-so, but he is only a murderer. He only murders people. He would never steal anything.”

This is because murder is a far greater crime and immoral act than stealing. Our government laws have greater penalties for murder than they do for stealing. A person who would commit murder would, of course, commit any lesser crime.

But where murder is concerned, some murders are considered worse than others. It is one thing to murder people of another family. But it is considered worse to murder people of your own family. The mafia will murder people from other families, but they will not murder people in their own families.

It is considered worse still to murder children. People who murder children, are often murdered themselves by the other inmates when they go to prison because even criminals consider murdering children far worse than murdering adults.

But murdering your own children is even worse than murdering other people's children. The worst kind of criminals and immoral people are those who will murder their own children.

So a person who will murder their own children is the worst kind of criminal and immoral person that exists. And a person that will murder their own children would, of course, commit any lesser crime or immoral act. There is no crime or immoral act that a person who would murder their own children would not commit.

And any person who says that it is O.K. to murder your own children, would also be in this same category. There is no crime or immoral act that a person who says that it is O.K. to murder your own children would not commit.

(Usually, the only thing keeping these kinds of people (abortionists) from committing certain crimes and immoral acts is the fear of some sort of retaliation from the people that they would commit these crimes or immoral acts against, or the fear of getting caught and punished by law enforcement officials. In other words, these kinds of people (abortionists) would have no problem stealing if there were no government laws against stealing and if they felt that they could get away with it by avoiding retaliation from the people that they would steal from.)

Therefore, as Christians, we always want to vote for the best candidates. A candidate who would commit any crime or immoral act is not considered a good voting choice for the Christian. And if we think that all the candidates are bad, we can at least vote for the “least worst.”

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This page last updated January 29, 2022.