A Christian Position on Abortion
 

Life Affirmation

ABORTION IS ANY ACTION TAKEN WITH THE INTENTION OF KILLING AN UNBORN CHILD.

1.  The life of a unique human being begins at conception

We affirm the testimony of Scripture,[1] undisputed in modern medical science,[2] that the life of a unique human being begins with fertilisation, which is the central event in conception.

We, therefore, reject language that dehumanises the unborn child, implies that it is not living, or denies its individuality in relationship to God and in distinction from its mother.

2.  Every human being is a person created, known and loved by God

 

We affirm that every human individual, irrespective of the circumstances of conception, stage of development, ability or potential, is a person created in God’s image, known and loved by God.[3]

We, therefore, reject suggestions that unborn children at any stage of development, including those conceived through sexual crime or with life-limiting conditions, are less than fully human persons or of less value than people after birth.

3.  God alone has authority to give life and take it away

We affirm that only God has authority over human lives, that all souls are His, and that the intentional killing of an innocent human being is a grave sin for which God will hold the person accountable.[4]

We, therefore, reject the idea that any human individual or authority has the right to kill or to sanction the killing of innocent human beings before or after birth, including those conceived through sexual crime or with life-limiting conditions.[5]

4.  Children are gifts from God

We affirm that children are a gift from God entrusted to the care of their parents, who are responsible so far as possible under God and with the support of their families and the wider society to protect, nurture and raise them in love.[6]

We, therefore, reject the idea that anyone has the right, under any circumstances, to perform, facilitate or demand an abortion, or that women should be pressurised to have abortions or left without support to continue their pregnancies.

5.  Society should protect and care for every human being

We affirm that God desires human societies in which the most vulnerable, including unborn children, are protected and cared for, and that human authorities have a duty under God to uphold justice for them by legislating against their killing.

We, therefore, reject these ideas: that abortion is a right or a private matter for women; that governments have no right to legislate against abortion; that abortion is healthcare; or that the Church can be silent or inactive on the issue of abortion.

6.  Restoration is possible in Christ

We affirm that God, in His grace, grants forgiveness and cleansing for past sins and new birth through the Holy Spirit into eternal life to all who repent from sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead.

We, therefore, reject any suggestion that those who have performed, facilitated, encouraged or procured abortions should be condemned and, rather, call them to confess their sin to God and to receive His gracious gift of forgiveness and cleansing.[7]

7.  The Church must speak and act in truth and love against injustice and for those in need

We affirm that part of the Church's responsibility in its mission of making disciples of the Lord Jesus is to speak and act in truth and love. In humility we must commend biblical truth to people’s consciences in God’s sight and remind people who oppress others of their accountability to God. In compassion we must do good to all people, especially by caring for the oppressed, needy and marginalised.[8]

We, therefore, reject any response to abortion that implies it is ever acceptable in any circumstance, that fails to act to end abortion in our societies, or that does not actively promote compassionate support for women, whatever their circumstances and past choices, and for children both before and after birth.

[1] Scripture describes God’s involvement in forming the unborn child (Job 10:8-11; Job 31:15; Psalm 139:13-14,16; Isaiah 44:2) and calling individuals before birth (Isaiah 49:1,5), and uses the same language for a fetus in the womb and a baby in a manger (Luke 1:41,44; 2:12,16).  It describes conception as the beginning of a person’s life (Psalm 51:5) and Jesus’ incarnation began with His conception (Matthew 1:20-23).

[2] Science shows that the life of a genetically unique human individual, distinct from the mother’s body, begins at fertilisation.  As a leading medical textbook says, “fertilization […] is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte” [Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Mueller (2000) Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edn. New York: John Wiley & Sons, p. 8].

[3] Genesis 1:26-27; 5:1ff.

[4] Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:13; Ezekiel 18:4a; Matthew 15:19; Romans 13:9; that the Early Church understood abortion as a sin equal to the intentional killing of a born child is clear from, for example, the late first century or early second century Didache.

[5] For further comment on abortion in the ‘hard cases’, see the explanatory notes that accompany this Affirmation.

[6] Psalm 103:13; Psalm 127:3; 2 Corinthians 12:14.

[7] 1 John 1:8-9; Romans 8:1; Luke 19:10; John 8:10-11; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Luke 7:36-50.

 

[8] Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 4:1; Ephesians 2:10; James 1:27; James 5:1-6.

 

Sign Life Affirmation

 
I am signing as:

Thank you for adding your signature to Life Affirmation