Christianity is a Pro-Life Religion

By: Noah Shaw

As the 2024 elections approach, Christians may be wondering how their faith intersects with political issues currently spotlighted in our modern culture. One of these hot-button issues is abortion, a topic I am passionate about, and one I would like to write about today. My goal today is to show that Christianity is a pro-life religion and that as a result, Christians should take a pro-life stance. This does not mean that being pro-choice automatically invalidates one’s faith, but that Christianity as a whole largely witnesses the stance that abortion is wrong.

One of the primary questions that frame the abortion debate is: What is life in the womb? I believe that Students for Life, a national pro-life organization, articulates the pro-life belief well when they state that “a human being obtains personhood, inherently, at the moment of creation (fertilization/conception).” I believe that every pro-life individual would agree with this – that among all stages of pregnancy (germinal, embryonic and fetal), life in the womb is a human being. 

From my understanding, the pro-choice position would disagree with that statement. When Planned Parenthood describes how abortion works, they describe what is removed as a “pregnancy” or “pregnancy tissue,” rather than a child. Furthermore, I cannot find anything on their website that describes germinal, embryonic or fetal activity in the womb as being a human life. Based on this I can summarize what I believe to be the pro-choice stance on what life in the womb is: during pregnancy, a woman does not carry a human being. Some pro-choice individuals do draw lines on where human life begins, such as an age of fetal viability, yet these can largely differ from person to person, and almost always exclude the first trimester and a portion of the second trimester of pregnancy.

Both pro-choice and pro-life individuals would agree that the killing of an innocent human being is morally detestable. God Himself agrees with this, and He tells Noah “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image,” (Genesis 9:6). To God, human life is valuable and human beings are made in the image of God. Based on the definitions presented above, the pro-life position would extend this value placed on human life to the mother’s womb, while the pro-choice position would not.

The Bible places a high value on life in the womb. Psalm 139:13 says “You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” God tells Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” (Jeremiah 1:5).

From these verses, we can see that God does value the process of pregnancy, and pays special attention to what is going on. God identifies current individuals with their time in the womb. For both David and Jeremiah, the Bible presents the idea that life in the womb was theirs. David and Jeremiah as people were formed in the womb, not a group of cells that would later become David and Jeremiah. 

The Law of Moses also places a value on life in the womb. Exodus 21:22-23 states that “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life.”

There are two things we can take from this passage. First, life in the womb is directly identified as a child. Pregnant women are described as carrying a child, a being completely separate from the mother. This would be in line with the pro-life position. Secondly, accidentally causing a pregnant woman to prematurely give birth was regarded as an evil action. If the woman or child was seriously injured, ancient Israel would take a life for a life. If accidentally terminating a pregnancy was considered wrong, I would argue this logic extends to abortion, which terminates a pregnancy by intention.

The Gospel of Luke continues to identify life in the womb as a human life. When Mary visits Elizabeth, we see that “when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb,” (Luke 1:41). Elizabeth verbally confirms this when she tells Mary “When the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy,” (Luke 1:44). Both the gospel writers and Elizabeth herself identify that there is a baby in the womb. This baby was identified as being separate from the mother, which is a core belief in the pro-life position.

Finally, if we adopt the pro-choice stance, that mothers do not carry a human being, that life in the womb is a clump of cells or simply an extension of the mother, everything we know about Jesus is put into question. A foundational belief of the Christian faith is that Christ is fully God, fully man. If we adopt the pro-choice stance, then we would need to admit that in the womb, before an “age of viability,” Christ was fully God yet not fully a human life. 

Throughout God’s Word, there is high importance placed on life in the womb. Scripture testifies that God knew individuals before they were born, giving preborn life a sense of identification and individuality. Other parts of Scripture attest that life in the womb is identified as a human child. If life in the womb is a human being, as Scripture attests, then that life should not be intentionally ended. Israel’s Law further supports this fact, strongly denouncing those who would harm a child by causing them to preemptively leave their mother’s womb. Because of these things, I believe that Christianity is firmly a pro-life religion, and I cannot see how anybody genuinely and faithfully reading God’s Word could come to a different conclusion.