Psalm 139:13–16—Can it be inferred from this verse that the Bible considers abortion to be murder?
Problem: According to this passage, God looks upon the unborn as a human being. However, if the unborn is fully human, then abortion would be the willful killing of the innocent—murder. Does this passage indicate that God considers abortion to be murder?
Solution: Yes. Several other passages reinforce this position. First, the unborn are known intimately and called out by God. In Jeremiah 1:5, God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Third, anyone who harms the unborn receives the same punishment for harm done to an adult. Elsewhere (see comments on Ex. 21:22–23), equal punishment is given for harm done to a woman or to the child she carries. God looks upon the unborn as fully human. And the willful taking of an innocent human life is murder.
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.