God will forgive the sin of Abortion

If you are a woman who has had an abortion, or if you are a doctor who has performed an abortion, please know that Jesus Christ suffered and died for that sin. That’s the good news of the Gospel: God will forgive you if repent and put your trust in Jesus to save you.

Secular stance against Abortion

Abortion is the murder of an unborn baby, plain and simple. If you’re angry at me for saying that, just ask yourself if you would still feel the same way if we were talking about a 1-year-old toddler. If you won’t defend a woman’s right to murder her 1-year-old toddler, then how can you justify applying a different standard for unborn babies? However, if you still think that a woman should have the right to choose, then I urge you to watch some of the animations at http://abortionprocedures.com/. They don’t show any live medical footage, but the descriptions of various abortion procedures are enough to make you cry for everyone involved.

Biblical stance against Abortion

Admittedly, the Bible doesn’t use the word abortion, but since abortion ends the life of the unborn baby, it is considered murder, which is a violation of the sixth commandment (Exodus 20:13). Just in case that wasn’t clear enough, here are some additional verses that show God’s feelings on abortion:

  • “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, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” (Exodus 21:22-25)
  • “Thus says the Lord: ‘For three transgressions of the Ammonites, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead, that they might enlarge their border.’” (Amos 1:13 ESV)

In addition, we are called to defend the less fortunate (Deuteronomy 10:17-18, Zechariah 7:9-10, and James 1:27), and who is more helpless than an unborn child? Along those same lines, Jesus, who was at one time an unborn fetus, said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

On a side note, a surgical procedure to remove an ectopic pregnancy should not be considered abortion. An abortion would involve the intentional killing of an otherwise healthy baby, but in the case of an ectopic pregnancy there’s almost no chance that the baby could continue to develop to term if left alone.

Life begins at conception

A question that often arises during the abortion debate is: “When does life begin?” If life begins at conception, then some forms of birth control should be considered abortifacients because they prevent a fertilized egg from implanting on the uterine wall. Likewise, some fertility treatments and embryonic stem cell treatments should be considered abortion because they involve the destruction of fertilized eggs. Since it’s unpopular to define these things as murder, people tend to define life based upon arbitrary developmental milestones (e.g. life doesn’t begin until viability–roughly 22 weeks).

However, from a Biblical perspective, it’s clear that life does begin at conception because God is intimately involved in the creation of each and every human life (Psalm 139:13). In fact, God decides who can and who cannot conceive (Genesis 20:18, Genesis 29:31, Genesis 30:22, Ruth 4:13, and 1 Samuel 1:5). Therefore, God considers a fruitful womb to be a blessing that we should thank Him for (Exodus 23:26, Deuteronomy 7:14, Deuteronomy 28:4, and Psalm 127:3). Similarly, God considers a barren womb to be a terrible curse (Hosea 9:14), so He would never want us to intentionally destroy a child that He has blessed us with.

Unborn babies are sinners

The Bible teaches that we are all sinners who deserve Hell (Romans 3:23), including unborn babies (Psalm 51:5 and Psalm 58:3). While unborn babies may not be physically capable of committing sins, the Bible makes it clear that they carry guilt from Adam’s sin (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). Adam was the representative for all mankind when he sinned, much like a president or ambassador acts on behalf of a nation. Therefore, his decision to disobey God was applied to all of us. Even though we may not have committed Adam’s sin ourselves, we were all there in the loins of Adam (Hebrews 7:9-10) when he sinned. Therefore, we all share in his guilt. Scripture tells us that the fact that everyone dies is proof that we are all sinners (Ezekiel 18:20 and Romans 6:23).

Babies that die in the womb go to Heaven

God takes no pleasure in condemning anyone to Hell (Ezekiel 18:32, 2 Peter 3:9, and 1 Timothy 2:4), which is why He sent Jesus to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). For those of us who are mature enough to understand our own sinfulness and recognize our need for a savior, we are called to repent and trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation (Acts 20:21 and Acts 26:20). But how are unborn babies supposed to repent and put their faith in Jesus when they don’t have the mental capacity to understand sin and the Gospel?

It’s a common misunderstanding that repentance and faith are works that you must do to be saved. However, the Bible makes it clear that both grace and faith are gifts from God (Acts 11:18, 2 Timothy 2:25, Ephesians 2:8-9, and Hebrews 12:2). Since these are gifts from God, then why couldn’t He grant them to unborn babies? It would certainly be consistent with God’s character to extend mercy to those who are the least capable of doing anything for themselves and those whom the world might look down upon. There is also strong Biblical support that unborn babies go to Heaven when they die, as you’ll see below.

By the way, I believe that God’s mercy also extends to young children and those with serious mental disabilities. Even though as sinners they deserve Hell, they aren’t mentally capable of understanding right from wrong (Jonah 4:11, Isaiah 7:16, and Deuteronomy 1:39). Therefore, I believe that God shows them mercy just as He has mercy on unborn babies. Though to be clear, this is not the same thing as adults who have never heard the Gospel because they are guilty of willfully rejecting God (see Gospel Objection #10).

Biblical support

The idea that unborn babies (and others who are not mentally mature enough to understand the Gospel) go to Heaven when they die is not just wishful thinking, but rather it draws considerable support from the following passages of Scripture:

  • After his infant son dies, King David says, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23) Contrast this reaction with 2 Samuel 19 where David mourns the death of his adult son Absalom. Without a doubt David knew that he was going to Heaven (Psalm 16:10, Psalm 17:15, Psalm 23:6, Psalm 32, Psalm 51, and Hebrews 11:32). Therefore, the only explanation for the two different reactions is that David knew that his infant son would be in Heaven while Absalom would be in Hell.
  • The Bible gives clear evidence that God can save people before they are even born. Some examples include mighty Samson (Judges 13:5 and Hebrews 11:32), King David (Psalm 22:9-10), the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5), and John the Baptist (Luke 1:15).
  • Jesus said that we must become like little children to enter Heaven (Matthew 18:3). Furthermore, Jesus follows up that statement by saying that God is not willing that any of these little ones (referring to children) should perish (Matthew 18:14). On a separate occasion, Jesus said it even more plainly: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14).
  • When God told the prophet Jeremiah to warn of the coming judgment against Jerusalem, He condemned their child sacrifice because they were spilling the blood of the innocent (Jeremiah 19:4-5). How can God call the children innocent when we are all sinners? The only explanation is that God saves children who die in infancy.

For a deeper dive, take a look at the sermon series that John MacArthur delivered on this topic (Part 1 and Part 2).