Is the Unborn A Person or Not? Does the Bible teach that Christians should oppose abortion? This is the Deep Questions Podcast, and I’m your host, Chase Thompson, a pastor, and writer in Salinas, California. 

The issue of abortion is perhaps the single most contentious ethical issue in the United States – and many other places around the world. You are no doubt aware of the June 2022 decision in which the United States Supreme Court has not, as some have erroneously noted, outlawed abortion, but it did hold that abortion is not a Constitutionally guaranteed right, and thus SCOTUS paved the way for individual states to decide the issue of abortion. Deep, deep question today, and before I even launch into the introduction, let me make a very simple thesis statement, that we will basically spend the rest of the episode unpacking: If a baby in the womb is NOT yet a person, there are many legitimate and moral reasons to have an elective abortion. Alternatively, if a baby in the womb IS a person, there are NO legitimate or moral reasons to have an elective abortion. 

I have chosen my words very carefully here. *Person=”a human being regarded as an individual.” (according to Lexico) I am using the term “elective” to encompass all abortions that do not involve rape, incest, serious fetal abnormality or imminent danger to the mother’s life. We will cover those issues in an upcoming episode, but for today’s episode, I intend to tackle the approximately 97.18 percent of abortions that are elective, in the sense that they are not happening because of threat to the mother’s life, serious fetal abnormality, rape or incest. You might wonder at the preciseness of that statistic, and I will tell you that it comes from a survey of  the 70,239 abortions that happened in Florida in 2018. Why Florida? Because Florida is one of the few states that actually keep statistics as to why an abortion happened, and I would say 70,239 is an excellent sample size.

0.01% The pregnancy resulted from an incestuous relationship
0.15% The woman was raped
0.20% The woman’s life was endangered by the pregnancy
0.98% There was a serious fetal abnormality
1.48% The woman’s physical health was threatened by the pregnancy
1.88% The woman’s psychological health was threatened by the pregnancy
20.4% The woman aborted for social or economic reasons
74.9% No reason (elective)


Once again, here’s my thesis: If a baby in the womb is NOT yet a person, there are many legitimate and moral reasons to have an elective abortion. Alternatively, if a baby in the womb IS a person, there are NO legitimate or moral reasons to have an elective abortion. 

If you wish to disagree with my thesis today, at least for this episode, then you must do so on the basis of ELECTIVE abortion. We are not talking about rape, incest, ectopic pregnancies, severe fetal abnormalities, or genuine danger to the mother. I will address those issues, but our focus today is on the approximately 97% of abortions that happen in the United States that I have labeled as “elective.”

Now, to be fair, the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics says that I, nor you, nor anybody should use the term “elective” at all when it comes to abortion. Their contention is that abortion is “health care,” and the reason for the abortion doesn’t matter at all. And, they’d be right, largely, if the baby in the womb was NOT a person. Allow me to read a section of lawyer and medical ethicist Katie Watson’s article in the Journal of Ethics, because Watson inadvertently gives us an EXCELLENT way to think about the issue of abortion. She writes:

Regardless of reason, the proper label for all abortion is health care. My stepfather recently had elective surgery—a classic case of knee replacement on demand. Tom wanted to reverse the perfectly natural physical change of eroded cartilage (exacerbated by his choice to play squash for pleasure), so he went to a physician who agreed with his value-laden rejection of how using a wheelchair would change his life. Insurance paid for this elective procedure because his physician recommended it, but that recommendation was simply confirmation that a safe medical procedure could return Tom’s body and life to what he previously experienced as his baseline state. The phrase “knee surgery on demand” is as silly as the phrase “abortion on demand,” yet the latter phrase appears in political rhetoric and judicial opinions. Source:

As a side note, I find the modern progressive version of newspeak quite interesting in that it tells us what to think without giving rationale, authority, or reasons. Watson simply declares that abortion is health care, a statement I might agree with, if, and it’s a BIG if, if the unborn were not a person. But she does not back up her declaration with a rationale.

Of greater importance in Watson’s article is the issue of Tom’s knee. Expert medical ethicist and NYU educated lawyer Katie Watson indicates that there is no essential difference between the eroded and damaged cartilage in her step-father’s knee (removed by a surgeon in order to help Tom avoid a wheelchair) and an unborn child that is to be aborted. And, make no mistake – the slight level of Watson’s snark in comparing abortion to her step-father’s knee surgery is meant to demonstrate her apparent view that there is no appreciable difference between removing a developing unborn baby from the womb, and removing damaged cartilage from the knee. This gives us a fantastic way to think about abortion: IS THERE A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BAD CARTILAGE IN TOM’S KNEE and THE BABY IN TAMMY’S WOMB?

, and, as you can probably surmise, the single most fundamental issue in abortion is the personhood of the unborn.

One challenge to you: I have seen supporters of choice/supporters of abortion hurl some pretty pointed and strong accusations against those who are in favor of making abortion illegal. A few samples I found on Twitter in about ten minutes of searching the replies to a pair of pro-choice articles posted by CBS News and NBC News:

  • Rick Turner @RTurner_rvc The gop & scotus trying to create the United States of white christian straight theocracy… and take us back to the dark ages. What a truly shameful time for my country
  • ??patriotic cats ?? is PRO CHOICE @stand4sumtin It will result in more deaths. These extremists don’t care. It’s about controlling women.
  • udontgetaccesstomydata @udontgetaccess1 If the doctors think these opponents actually care about either the mother or the “child” they’re naive. They don’t. Not in the slightest. They’ve never given an expletive about children, the only thing they care about is the power to make others do as they want.
  • Michael Martin @pinemikey When you have an ideology that doesn’t care about women’s rights… it’s not a big step further for them not to care if a mother dies giving childbirth.
  • Esmerelda @EsmereldaIZ But they don’t care about lives at all, it’s just owning the libs and the feminists.  It’s power and control.  If they cared about life, they’d make sure kids could finish elementary school alive.
  • Theresa @Theresabluedot Christian nationalists – the dominionists who want to rule us all (and ARE, currently thanks to the corrupt #SCOTUS) WANT women to suffer and die. They fantasize about it. They have an Armageddon fetish and they won’t stop forcing it on us.
  • Margaret Gilroy @GilroyMargaret (replying to an NBC article about the death of an Irish woman in 2012 that was denied an abortion because they were illegal in Ireland at the time, “That’s not a bug, that’s a feature. Republicans hate women and children and want them dead.”
  • W.H. Harrison @TippeTyYay On one hand we have people who believe the Earth is 5000 years old, Jesus saddled a brontosaurus, and that snakes talk… On the other hand, trained medical professionals with centuries of combined experience. Who to believe…who to believe?
  • But Her Emails His Laptop @Nolanonymous1 This isn’t about fetuses or babies … it’s about control and pushing a religious MINORITY ideology on the majority.

Like I said, all of those took me about ten minutes to find, but I’ve read hundreds of Tweets, posts and comments online in the past few weeks leading up to the SCOTUS Roe decision, and in the aftermath of that decision. I’ve heard people that are pro-life accused of all sorts of malicious motivations, barbaric behaviors, dastardly desires, and illicit intents regarding their reasons for being pro-life. I have also seen pro-life people accuse pro-choice people of much the same thing. This kind of inflammatory and 99% false rhetoric is the very opposite of productive. It just makes things worse on both sides, poisons the country and sows incredible discord. I’d like to say that we can do better, but these past few years of increasingly divisive political schisms have almost convinced me that we can’t do better at all.

But please, hear me when I vow this to you: I have no interest in controlling women, going back to the dark-ages, or gathering power and control. I was once a Republican politically, but the events and behaviors of the past few years have soured me extremely on politics and especially the major two American political parties. The United States is absolutely starved for quality leadership with character, and I struggle to see examples of that on either side of the political aisle. The issue of abortion comes down to one very simple and compelling issue to me, and I’ve already stated it twice, and will do so once more: If a baby in the womb is NOT yet a person, there are many legitimate and moral reasons to have an elective abortion. Alternatively, if a baby in the womb IS a person, there are NO legitimate or moral reasons to have an elective abortion.  That is my rationale and the rationale of the vast majority of pro-life people that I know, and I know many of them. There are perhaps some pro-lifers that are politically motivated. There are some, I imagine, who simply wish to control women in some way. Some who claim pro-life positions are probably misogynistic, backwards fools. BUT, the vast majority are not. The vast majority of pro-life people are fully convinced that an unborn baby is a real, genuine, human life – a life worth saving. You are bearing false witness – lying and accusing – when you paint with a broad brush and claim evil motivations for people who are pro-life. I will endeavor not to do that to people who are pro-choice, and perhaps you who are listening to this will do the same courtesy.

Yes, I base my belief that the unborn is a real, human living person with all of the rights and privileges afforded to other human living persons in part on what the Bible says. I don’t think that there is a legitimate debate about the Bible’s position on the “humanness” of the unborn – the Bible is very clear, as I think you’ll see as we dive into all of the Bible’s passages on the unborn. If you are a pro-choice person who claims to be a Christian, I wonder if you have sat down with the Bible and grappled through its teachings on the unborn? This episode of the show has two audiences, and may not make a ton of sense if you aren’t in one of these two audiences.

#1 I am writing/podcasting to those who are Christian and pro-life, to examine the biblical basis for those beliefs, and to better equip you to talk about the theological reasons why you are pro-life.

#2 I am also writing/podcasting for those who claim to be Christian and are pro-choice – meaning that they believe that the choice of whether or not to abort should be up to the mother, and not to the law. Similarly, this episode is also for those who would define themselves as Christian and are pro-abortion – people who believe that abortion is a good thing and a helpful thing in society. There is nuance there. Some people think abortion is something to be personally avoided, but they don’t want to foist their opinion on others, and some people believe that abortion should be actively encouraged, and that, rather than elective abortion being a thing, that “elective childbirth” should be a thing – only wanted babies that could be well-cared for without overly taxing a person’s mental, physical, emotional or financial well-being should be brought into the world. (This seems to be Katie Watson’s position, the lawyer we discussed earlier)

Here are some statements from a few of those who identify as Christian and pro-choice. These folks are part of my target audience:

  • Hippy4peace, in responding to the SCOTUS ruling on Roe writes, “Their kind of Christianity is NOT Christianity.. it’s tyranny.. and as a Christian it’s extremely offensive. Jesus walked in love not hate. They need to stop calling themselves Christian’s.”
  • Josh @LickableCat As a Christian, I don’t think the overturning of Roe vs. Wade was good, and this is why….Over half of abortions are from people below the federal poverty line, with that number increasing further when you include low income households. The problem is that these people don’t see a way to live when you add all the expenses that a kids brings…Many young people feel like they can’t have a life if they have a baby too young. They feel they can’t go to college, or ever have a good career. Yeah some of them rise above and persevere, and have great lives! But even more don’t. (Those are some solid reasons to consider that having a kid can be quite difficult and challenging, but do they justify ending the life of a person, if the unborn is a person?)
  • Houston Sports Insider@BigSargeSportz As a Christian I am embarrassed that Christianity is being forced upon people. God’s plan is for us to make the choice to follow Christ…Not have the Supreme Court tell people they should.
  • Melissa  @daydream113017  As a Christian I believe that Jesus’ purpose was never to build an earthly kingdom and I believe that forcing others to live by our morals doesn’t change their heart or win them to Christ. In fact, if most often pushes people away, losing souls in the greater kingdom to come
  • @CivilRightsStan: As a Christian, it is truly sickening that these people are using and manipulating people with God and the Bible.
This episode, then, is to equip pro-life Christians with Scripture to define and defend their position AND it is hopefully an argument that will cause those who identify as Christians and are either pro-choice or pro-abortion to reconsider their position in light of what the Bible says.

If you are a pro-choice person who is not a Christian, then this episode is certainly not targeted to you, and may not make a lot of sense to you because it will make a very Bible-based argument, but do allow me to at least ask how have you come to the determination that either A. An unborn child is not a person, and therefore does not deserve protection, or B. An unborn child may be a person in some senses, but deserves less protection and self-determination than the child’s mother does? You might say, “Science!” and, I suppose many scientists would agree with you, but – as we will soon see – certainly not all scientists. How can science prove when life begins anyway? How can science prove when “personhood” begins? Is it really so simple that the unborn is NOT a person until it moves six inches down the birth canal and begins to breathe? That is a very, very strange way of scientifically defining personhood. Perhaps you have determined that the unborn is not a person based on some sort of philosophical approach, and there are many brilliant philosophers who would agree with you – they would swear up and down that personhood does not begin until birth. But the fact is that most philosophers – including pro-choice philosophers – have a very nuanced, and somewhat difficult to grasp understanding of personhood and humanity in general.

You can see that nuance and complication in John Horgan’s interview with noted Australian philosopher and ethicist Peter Singer, who is pro-choice, in Scientific America. In summing up Singer’s views on abortion, Horgan, a very competent academic and scientific writer, wrote:

First of all, he agreed with many pro-lifers that a fetus, even at six weeks, is a “living human being.” [See postscript below] He showed us slides of fetuses, because we should not “run away from what abortion is.”

Shortly after Horgan’s article was published, Singer wrote in and corrected Horgan’s characterization by saying:

“I said that the fetus, or even the embryo, can be considered to be a living human being. I then sharpened the notion of ‘human being’ into either ‘member of the species Homo sapiens’ or ‘person’ and said, using two versions of the basic argument I had on my powerpoint, that the fetus is a member of the species Homo sapiens, but not a person, because the idea of a person involves the capacity to see oneself as existing over time.”

Are you confused yet? Further muddying the waters, Frances Kissling, longtime president of Catholics for Choice, wrote to Horgan and stated:

There’s an implication here that those who favor legal abortion, like Peter, should be expected to deny that fetuses are ‘living human beings.’ That of course is the propaganda message those opposed to abortion put out. I’ve been a card carrying pro-choice leader since 1970, president of Catholics for Choice for 25 of those years and a founder of the National Abortion Federation.  I don’t know a single pro-choice leader who thinks the fetus is not a living human being. The choice movement, like Peter, distinguishes between persons and human beings. The definition of when a fetus moves from mere member of the species to person differs within the movement and may not, as Peter’s does, rely on sentience or self awareness but again no one thinks it is not human nor that it is not living. 


This is how philosophers discuss abortion and the status of the unborn child. You can see that it is very nuanced and highly technical, but the takeaway is that most pro-choice philosophers consider an unborn child a living human being, but NOT A PERSON.

Again, the question: how shall we determine personhood? If you are a pro-choice person, or a pro-choice Christian, how did you come to the conclusion that the unborn is NOT a person? Are you 100% certain that the unborn is NOT a person? If you do have that level of certitude, where does it come from?

And those questions get us back to the crux of this episode, which is, once again: If a baby in the womb is NOT yet a person, there are many legitimate and moral reasons to have an elective abortion. Alternatively, if a baby in the womb IS a person, there are NO legitimate or moral reasons to have an elective abortion. 

I believe that science falls short of answering that question – at the very least, as we will see, I think it is fair to say that there is no universal consensus on a scientific evaluation of the personhood of the unborn. I think philosophy also falls short, losing itself in very tight and technical discussions over what warrants personhood. So – how do we answer the question of personhood, and, just as important, WHY is the issue of personhood so very important when we talk about abortion?

Writer and pastor John Piper raised an important consideration when he talked about what happens when there is a seeming conflict between two granted rights:

We know the principle of justice that when two legitimate rights conflict, the right that protects the higher value should prevail. We deny the right to drive at 100 miles per hour because the value of life is greater than the value of being on time or getting thrills. The right of the unborn not to be killed and the right of a woman not to be pregnant may be at odds. But they are not equal rights. Staying alive is more precious and more basic than not being pregnant. SOURCE: We Know They Are Killing Children – All of Us Know January 22, 2013. John Piper

What happens when my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness interferes with YOUR right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I can’t complain that my happiness is contingent on possessing your brand new Ferrari, and thus when the police pull me over after I’ve stolen your hypothetical Ferrari, it won’t do for me to say that I have an unalienable right to happiness, and the only way I could be happy is to steal my friends Ferrari, and therefore you must let me go and be happy in my new Ferrari. No, when my rights infringe on another person’s rights, then something has to give.  Perhaps a more realistic example: If I live in an apartment, my right to happiness as expressed by listening to a loud rendition of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” at 1AM will likely interfere with my neighbor’s right to happiness, as expressed in his getting a good night sleep. It is not enough for me to assert my rights to happiness, nor is it enough to tell the government to keep their hands off of my sound system. No, when our rights clash, governmental adjudication is often called for.

In any complex ethical situation – one moral rises to the top and becomes the most important consideration. Maybe we could call that the Chief Moral Principle, or the overriding ethical principle – in other words, in any given ethical situation, from a scriptural standpoint, what is the SINGLE most important thing to consider? 

We must and should consider the lives of women, and the various hardships they face in pregnancy. We must and should consider issues like poverty, hardship for young people that get pregnant, and how pregnancy might hold a young person in college back. We must and should consider issues like whether or not parents do a good job of parenting unwanted children. There are these and many other considerations that surround pregnancies, and those considerations are very important. But ultimately, there is a moral issue here that is more important and greater than all of them, and that is the ONE issue that abortion comes down to. And that is the issue of whether or not abortion ends a human person’s life. That, my friends, is the crux of the abortion issue in one small sentence. This is a complex issue, of course, but it boils down to ONE significant question: IS AN UNBORN CHILD A HUMAN PERSON. Because if he or she is a human person, then the Bible is very, very, very clear that we are not to kill. I would say that pretty much every other meaningful moral system is also very clear that human persons are not to kill other human persons, but honestly, I have seen signs that is changing. 

And now, what does the Bible about ending a human person’s life?

You know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 1 John 3:15 

Thou shalt not kill/“You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13 

Romans 13:9 9 The commandments, Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not covet; and any other commandment, are summed up by this commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself.

If anyone has in his hand an… object capable of causing death and strikes another person and he dies, the murderer must be put to death. Numbers 35:18

CAN YOU THINK OF ANY BIBLICAL SITUATION WHERE IT IS PERMISSIBLE TO KILL ANOTHER HUMAN PERSON?? One can make an Old Testament case for family defense, and one can make an Old Testament case for an avenger of blood killing somebody who has killed a family member, and one can make a New Testament case for the government executing criminals, but I think we would all agree that the teaching of the Bible is quite clear that killing people/persons is WRONG. Now, if you think – apart from narrow self-defense instances – that it is OK to kill human people according to the Bible, then we are just simply not going to find a lot of common ground here. 

And that returns us to the crucial issue of abortion – is an unborn child the same, in God’s eyes – as a born child? Or, as those who support abortion would argue – is it okay in God’s eyes to kill a child in the womb, but NOT ok to kill a child outside of the womb?  The Prime question here – the one that takes precedence over all other issues – is this: is the baby in the womb a human life. 

The Bible does not deal specifically with abortion. For that matter, it does not deal specifically with infanticide, the killing of babies. Nor does it talk about parricide, fratricide, uxoricide (killing of one’s wife), nor genocide (the killing of a whole race). Examples of such crimes are mentioned, but not singled out for special treatment. In fact, the Bible does not even discuss suicide (self-killing). There are specific provisions against homicide – the deliberate taking of human life (“killing” or “slaying” is the usual expression). The Bible prohibits the taking of innocent human life. If the developing fetus is shown to be a human being, then we do not need a specific commandment against feticide (abortion) any more than we need something specific against uxoricide (wife-killing). The general commandment against killing covers both. Source: The Bible on Abortion, Free Church Publication, 1977, p. 118-119. Harold O.J. Brown – Harvard trained biochemist, philosopher and theologian. 

On the other hand, Philosopher Mortimer Adler claimed that the unborn is “a part of the mother’s body, in the same sense that an individual’s arm or leg is a part of a living organism. An individual’s decision to have an arm or leg amputated falls within the sphere of privacy—the freedom to do as one pleases in all matters that do not injure others or the public welfare.” Source: Randy Alcorn and Stephanie Anderson, Pro-Choice or Pro-Life: Similarly, Pro-choice author Barbara Ehrenreich wrote in the New York Times, “A woman may think of her fetus as a person or as just cells depending on whether the pregnancy is wanted or not. This does not reflect moral confusion, but choice in action….“Moreover, a woman may think of the fetus as a person and still find it necessary and morally responsible to have an abortion.” Randy Alcorn and Stephanie Anderson, Pro-Choice or Pro-Life: 

In light of that debate, I’d like to make five arguments today about the personhood of the unborn, ultimately concluding that the unborn IS A PERSON and therefore should not be killed in the 97 percent of pregnancies that we have mentioned above.

5 Arguments for the personhood of the unborn. 

  1. Grammatical/Scriptural Argument against abortion. 

You will note thus far that I will almost completely avoid using the term “fetus.” I reject that term utterly for a very simple theological reason. Because I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is NO difference between a born baby and an unborn baby, and the Bible treats both exactly the same and uses exactly the same vocabulary for unborn children and born children. There is no word for “fetus” in the Bible. 

As an example: 

Luke 1:41  41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit

Vs. Luke 2:16 16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger.

In Luke 1:41, Luke the physician tells us about one baby in the womb – John the Baptist – who leaps when he hears the voice of Mary, mother of Jesus. In Luke 2:16, Luke tells us about Mary and Joseph and their baby Jesus, who has been born and is lying in the manger. In English, we see the word baby is used for unborn John in the womb and born Jesus in the manger – in Greek that word is: βρέφος bréphos SAME EXACT WORD USED FOR A BABY IN THE WOMB AND A BABY IN THE MANGER.  

Same word is used in Luke 18:15 15 People were bringing infants to him so that he might touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. Infants=brephos in this passage.

So that is plank #1 in determining what the Bible has to say about abortion – grammatically speaking, the Bible uses the SAME word for a baby in the womb and a baby outside of the womb.

By the way – we KNOW THIS instinctively – that there is no difference between a baby in the womb and a baby out of the womb. Even very progressive news sites that are most certainly pro-choice will rarely call a baby in the wombs of celebrities and royalty a “fetus.” For example:

Dec. 3, 2012 — — Kate Middleton is pregnant. The most eagerly awaited pregnancy was announced today. The child, whether boy or girl, will eventually be heir to the British throne according to new legislation awaiting final approval. ABC NEWS. 

According to the BBC, the unborn royal baby, who is third in line and in direct succession to the throne, will one day “be head of the armed forces, supreme governor of the Church of England and head of the Commonwealth, and subsequently head of state of 16 countries.” source:

No details yet on whether the baby is a boy or girl—but the child stands a great chance of one day becoming a monarch. Golly, I’m just so HAPPY for them. Are you as excited as we are about (baby at 12 weeks!)

And while The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made no official comment about the baby due in mid-July, Harry has found it hard to keep the secret…Prince William’s cousin Princess Eugenie has also been telling friends that the baby is a boy, according to sources.

#2 Scripture/theological argument against abortion: 

Consider these passages, and how they speak of the unborn, and how God views the unborn:

  • Psalm 22:It was you who brought me out of the womb, making me secure at my mother’s breast. 10  I was given over to you at birth; you have been my God from my mother’s womb.

My God from my mother’s womb. David is using ME to refer to himself in the womb, and says that -even before birth – God was His God. 

  • Psalm 139:13-16 For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.


  • Isaiah 44:2 This is the word of the Lord your Maker, the one who formed you from the womb: He will help you. Do not fear, Jacob my servant,

It is God Himself who brings life in the womb of the mother – and He plans the life of the unborn child.

  • Jeremiah 1:5 4 The word of the Lord came to me: 5 I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
  • Isaiah 49:1 Coasts and islands, listen to me; distant peoples, pay attention. The Lord called me before I was born…And now, says the Lord, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him so that Israel might be gathered to him; for I am honored in the sight of the Lord, and my God is my strength—

Before Jeremiah and Isaiah were born, God knew them, called them and set them apart. Does this sound like a description of a clump of cells to you? 

  • Genesis 25: 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord was receptive to his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22 But the children inside her struggled with each other, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her: Two nations are in your womb; two peoples will come from you and be separated. One people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.

WHAT was in her womb? Two clumps of cells that can be easily disposed of? NO – TWO NATIONS – TWO PEOPLES – TWO CHILDREN! This is how God sees the unborn in the womb – clearly from this passage, he sees them as they are now and he sees them as their future. Potentiality is actuality to a God outside of time. 

  • One more passage, and it’s a big one!  Luke 1:35 The angel replied to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 “See, I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it happen to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.  39 In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah 40 where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! 43 How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. 


  1. THE ONE TO BE BORN will be called the Son of God. Jesus was the SON OF GOD IN MARY’S WOMB!
  2. Elizabeth called Mary – the MOTHER OF MY LORD. Not the mother of a clump of cells that lack personhood – JESUS WAS LORD IN THE WOMB.
  3. JTB leaped when he heard Mary’s voice. NOT the activity of a mindless, personless clump of cells. 

Theologian Wayne Grudem, commenting on this passage, says: “Elizabeth also said that the baby “leaped for joy,” which attributes personal human activity to him. He was able to hear Mary’s voice and somehow, even prior to birth, feel joyful about it. In 2004, researchers at the University of Florida found that unborn children can distinguish their mothers’ voices and distinguish music from noise. Another study, reported in Psychology Today in 1998, confirmed that babies hear and respond to their mothers’ voices while still in the womb, and the mothers’ voices have a calming effect on them.4 More recent research (2013) has shown that babies learn words and sounds in the womb, and retain memories of them after they are born.”  SOURCE: Wayne Grudem, What the Bible Says about Abortion, Euthanasia, and the Dignity of Human Life.

3. Scientific Argument against abortion (short) 

Dr. Dianne Irving, Biochemist and Biologist professor at Georgetown University AND a Ph.D. In philosophy. BIG DEAL.

Scientifically something very radical occurs between the processes of gametogenesis and fertilization—the change from a simple part of one human being (i.e., a sperm) and a simple part of another human being (i.e., an oocyte—usually referred to as an “ovum” or “egg”), which simply possess “human life,” to a new, genetically unique, newly existing, individual, whole living human being (a single-cell embryonic human zygote). That is, upon fertilization, parts of human beings have actually been transformed into something very different from what they were before; they have been changed into a single, whole human being. During the process of fertilization, the sperm and the oocyte cease to exist as such, and a new human being is produced….The product of fertilization is a living human being with 46 chromosomes. Gametogenesis refers to the maturation of germ cells, resulting in gametes. Fertilization refers to the initiation of a new human being Source: Wayne Grudem, What the Bible Says about Abortion, Euthanasia, and End-of-Life Medical Issues (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020), 20–21.

Similarly, Dr. Maureen L. Condic – Neurobiology and Anatomy professor at the University of Utah writes:

“Embryos are not merely collections of human cells, but living creatures with all the properties that define any organism as distinct from a group of cells; embryos are capable of growing, maturing, maintaining a physiologic balance between various organ systems, adapting to changing circumstances, and repairing injury. Mere groups of human cells do nothing like this under any circumstances…Unless we are willing to assign “personhood” proportionate to ability (young children, for example, might be only 20 percent human, while people with myopia 95 percent), the limited abilities of prenatal humans are irrelevant to their status as human beings” SOURCE: Randy Alcorn and Stephanie Anderson, Pro-Choice or Pro-Life:

Almost 100% of elective abortions happen after 7 weeks. The human baby/embryo has fingers and toes, an easily discernible shape, bones, eyes, ears, etc. NOT A CLUMP OF CELLS.

4.DNA argument, subset of scientific argument. COUNTER TO MY BODY, MY CHOICE.  

2007 Murder case: North Carolina dropped all charges against Dwayne Allen Dail who spent nearly half his life in prison for a rape he did not commit. Dail, now 39, was sentenced to two life sentences plus 18 years in 1989. He has always maintained his innocence, but was convicted after the 12-year-old victim identified him as her assailant and the state claimed that hair found at the crime scene was microscopically consistent with his. Standard protocol would have ordered the destruction of all evidence in the case after a period of time, but when a police officer originally involved in the case retired, authorities found a piece of the girl’s nightgown in an evidence bag in his desk drawer. The nightgown had not been entered as evidence during Dail’s trial in 1989 because the victim’s  other personal items were considered sufficient. It was tested by the State Bureau of Investigations and new analysis of the DNA on the victim’s nightgown matched a different person. Wayne County District Attorney Branny Victory asked the state court to dismiss the original charges with prejudice, meaning Dail cannot be retried on the offense. SOURCE: Death Penalty Information Center

Did you hear that? The DNA matched a DIFFERENT PERSON. A baby in the womb is a DIFFERENT PERSON because he/she has DIFFERENT DNA. “In other words, the distinct genetic identity of the unborn child shows that he or she is far different (in every single cell of the child’s body!) from any part of the mother’s own body (for every cell of the mother’s body contains the mother’s DNA, not the child’s).” Source: Wayne Grudem, What the Bible Says about Abortion, Euthanasia, and End-of-Life Medical Issues 

As Dr. Russell Moore says,Some abortion advocates respond with, “Well, it’s the woman’s body.” The baby might be in the woman’s body, but the baby is not the woman’s body. It has its own DNA.14 It has its own genetic code, its own blood type, its own functioning brain, kidneys, and lungs. The baby is not the woman’s body. The baby is in the woman’s body, but that’s not the same thing. And it’s not the same because this line of reasoning denies something that is fundamental to our society, the idea of natural rights.” Russell Moore The Gospel and Abortion, 2017 

And, as Stephanie Anderson and Randy Alcorn argue: 

A Chinese zygote (a new human in the earliest stage of development) implanted in a Swedish woman will always be Chinese, not Swedish. Why? Because his biological identity is based on his genetic code, not that of the body in which he resides. If the woman’s body were the only one involved in a pregnancy, then it would mean she has two noses, four legs, two sets of fingerprints, two brains, two circulatory systems, and two skeletal systems. Half the time she must also have testicles and a penis. (Can anyone seriously argue that a male child’s reproductive organs are part of his mother’s body, just because he resides there?) SOURCE: Randy Alcorn and Stephanie Anderson, Pro-Choice or Pro-Life: 

5. THE Future Life/Predestination/God’s Planning Argument. 

A story is told that an ethics professor once proposed the following ethical conundrum to his class:

  The father had syphilis and the mother had tuberculosis. Of four previous children, the first was blind, the second died, the third was both deaf and dumb, and the fourth had tuberculosis. What would you advise the woman to do when she finds she is pregnant again? One student answered, “I would advise an abortion.” Then the professor said, “Congratulations.… You have just killed Beethoven.”

Many millions of children have been born into difficult situations, but few children have been born into more difficult situations than Beethoven. Aren’t you music lovers glad that his parents didn’t have a way to easily terminate his existence in the womb? I’ll tell this story in the next couple of episodes, but I myself was very likely the product of rape. My mom got pregnant when she was only 13, and it appears that my father was an adult, so at least she was the victim of statutory rape. Further, I was born with significant birth defects in my legs, and had to be in a two leg cast for weeks after birth. I’m happy to say that my legs work fine now, and that I’m even happier that my birth mom didn’t abort me, but gave me up for adoption. What she did was heroic, and certainly cost her a great deal of sacrifice, but she went on to become a decorated special-forces war hero, and is now married to one of the most influential people in the country, so her teenage pregnancy didn’t ultimately hold her back. Even if it did – would she be justified in aborting me? Would Beethoven’s parents been justified to abort him? What if your parents had made that decision? We have seen that the unborn is a person in the eyes of God – is it EVER right to kill a person that means you no harm?

Consider these passages:

  • Jeremiah 1:5 4 The word of the Lord came to me: 5 I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.


  • Isaiah 49:1 Coasts and islands, listen to me; distant peoples, pay attention. The Lord called me before I was born…And now, says the Lord, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him so that Israel might be gathered to him; for I am honored in the sight of the Lord, and my God is my strength—

It’s not just Isaiah and Jeremiah – God has a plan for every unborn in every womb. Are you comfortable advocating for the legal ability to kill that which God sees so much potential in?

Ephesians 5:8-9 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.Christians are commanded to find out what pleases the Lord. I believe we have seen in multiple Scriptures today that the unborn are persons in God’s eyes, and it does NOT please the Lord to kill persons. In fact, I can go so far as to authoritatively say that the shedding of innocent blood – the killing of persons that should not be killed – is something that God literally hates, according to Proverbs 6:

The Lord hates six things;
in fact, seven are detestable to him:
17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that plots wicked schemes,
feet eager to run to evil,
19 a lying witness who gives false testimony,
and one who stirs up trouble among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-17 

God hates the shedding of innocent blood, and Christians should hate that also. The Bible very clearly teaches that the unborn are persons – they have a destiny, God knows them in the womb – they experience pain, run from needles inserted into the womb, can hear their mother’s voice, and John the Baptist even kicked and leaped at the voice of Mary, mother of Jesus. If you are being presented with unquestionable evidence here that God is utterly opposed to the killing of persons, and that He hates the shedding of innocent blood, can you stand before Him and testify that you are 100% convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that, despite all Scripture to the contrary, that the unborn in the womb is somehow not a person? That the killing of the unborn – does not qualify as the shedding of innocent blood? If you are 100% convinced of those things, then I can honestly say that I cannot even conceive of how a Christian could arrive at such a conclusion, given how the Bible discusses the unborn in the Old and New Testaments.

Maybe you are convinced, however, and you aren’t sure if you should impress your morals upon others – maybe you think such a thing is tyranny, or that it violates the separation of church and state, as I have heard some people allege? People that make such a case often fail to understand how the United States works. The U.S. is a democratically governed Constitutional Republic. We do NOT vote on all issues like a pure democracy does, but we vote for representatives who will vote on all issues. Do you believe people should be able to legally acquire cannabis? Do you think speeding over 100 miles per hour should be illegal? Do you think senators should be disallowed from taking bribes from big businesses and lobbyists? Do you think libraries should have federal funding? Should teachers get paid more? Whatever you believe about these issues, our government is set up so that you vote for government representatives that agree with you, and will vote your way. It is not tyranny to do so, and it is not forcing your morals on other people – that is exactly how the system is set up to work. It is perfectly rational, democratic, normal, acceptable and proper to vote your beliefs. We have the freedom to do so in this country, and the SCOTUS decision on abortion has essentially paved the way for our democratically elected state representatives to decide each state’s position on abortion, and literally thousands of other issues.

Allow me to close with these thoughts by pastor John Piper on the unborn John the Baptist’s joyful jump at the sound of Mary’s greeting:

Verse 41: “When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.” Then in verse 44, Elizabeth interprets that leap like this: “Behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” And Luke says that Elizabeth said this because she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Verses 41–42: “Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed . . .” In other words, the Holy Spirit prompted her to say that this leap of the baby in her womb was a leap of joy…. Never in the Bible is any animal said to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Never does the Bible say that a person’s arm or leg or kidney or skin is filled with the Spirit. Tissue is not filled with the Holy Spirit. Only persons are filled with the Spirit. What Luke is doing—and he is doing it as the spokesman of Christ—is treating this child in the womb as a person. He uses the word baby which he later uses for Jesus in the manger. He uses the word joy, which is what persons feel. He uses the phrase “filled with the Spirit” which is what God does to persons. He simply assumes he is dealing with a human person in the womb. And therefore so should we. SOURCE:

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