Scripture References On Abortion

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Publication Date: January 01, 1995

See also our Brochure on the Bible's Teaching on Abortion

Audio: Why Scripture Says NO to Abortion [Part 1] and [Part 2]

Retreat on Scriptural Perspectives on the Pro-life Movement

We have included a number of Scripture references to assist the priest or deacon to show the congregation how God's Word challenges us to promote the sanctity of life and to end abortion. The teaching of Scripture clearly shows that the destruction of innocent life in the womb is contrary to God's law, to God's very nature, and to the Christian life. This can be highlighted by focusing on various themes, which the suggested readings touch upon.

God's dominion over human life. This theme is reflected by the Creation accounts, as well as by any passage declaring God to be Lord of the universe. Because God has made us, our lives and bodies are not absolutely our own, nor is our freedom of choice absolute. A parent, moreover, does not "own" his/her children. The creation of man and woman in God's own image, furthermore, makes the human person quite distinct from other life forms.

God's explicit prohibition of killing the innocent. This law is expressed not only in the Ten Commandments, but also by the many condemnations of child sacrifice in the Old Testament. This practice was not only a violation of the Fifth Commandment, but also of the First. It was the ultimate cause of the exile.

God's relationship with the child in the womb. Various passages show that God forms the child in the womb and even establishes a relationship with that child, preparing him/her for a mission in the world.

God's justice. "Justice" in the Scriptures indicates an act of intervention for the weak and helpless. God demands that we "do justice." Otherwise, our worship is pointless.

Christ is Life. In the Old and New Testaments, God intervenes to give His people life. The victory of life over sin and death is a constant theme in Scripture. God did not make death; in the end, He will swallow it up forever.

We are called to love. Love in Scripture is no mere sentiment. We learn it from Christ's salvific intervention for us. We practice it in turn by intervening to assist our brothers and sisters in need. Love, therefore, fuels the pro-life movement. Love demands that we act to save the babies and assist women to make life-giving choices. It also demands that we assist women who have had abortions to find forgiveness, healing, and peace. If the pro-life movement is not a movement of love, it is nothing at all. But if it is a movement of love, then nothing will stop it, for "love is more powerful than death" (Song of Songs 8:6).

Scripture Passages on Pro-Life

Gen. 1:1-2,26-28 Creation of man Gen. 2:7-8,18,21-24 Creation of man and woman Gen. 4:8-16 The first killing of the innocent Ex. 20:1-17 The Decalogue Lev. 19:15-18 Love of your neighbor's life Deut. 30:15-20 Choose Life! Jeremiah 7:27-31 The rebuke of child sacrifice Ezekiel 23:36-39 Child sacrifice Wisdom 1:12-15 God did not make death. Wisdom 7:1-6 I was formed in the womb. 2 Kings 24:1-4 The exile occurred because innocent blood was shed. Proverbs 6:16-19 The Lord hates six things. Jeremiah 1:4-8 I called you from the womb. Isaiah 49:1-6 The Lord called me from the womb. Isaiah 49:14-17 Can a mother forget her infant? Isaiah 1:10-17 Do justice! Amos 5:21-24 Let justice roll down like a river! Psalm 72 He will save the weak from violence! Psalm 82 Rescue the weak! Psalm 139 You knit me together in the womb! Proverbs 24:8-12 Rescue those taken to death! Matt. 18:1-6,10-14 Do not despise the little ones. Matt. 25:31-46 Whatsoever you do to the least... Mark 10:13-16 He blessed children. Luke 1:39-45 The babe leapt in the womb. Luke 6:20-26 Beatitudes and woes Luke 10:29-37 The Good Samaritan is neighbor to anyone in need. Luke 16:19-31 The Lazarus of the 20th Century: The Unborn Child John 1:1-5 All things, all life, comes through Christ. John 10:7-15 The Good Shepherd came to give us life. John 11:17-27 Christ is the Life. John 14:1-6 Christ is the Life. 1 Cor. 15:51-58 The victory belongs to life; you do not labor in vain. Eph. 6:10-20 Be strong in this battle! James 1:22-27 Religion requires us to help the helpless. 1 John 3:11-18 Love rather than kill. Rev. 4:8-11 You have created all things. Rev. 21:1-5 Death shall be no more!

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