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When Does Life Begin In The Bible

Politicians Pushing For Abortion Restrictions Arent Reading Scripture In Context

When Does Life Begin?

2:43 PM on Jul 29, 2022 CDT

Now that Roe vs. Wade has been overturned, some in the pro-life crowd are pushing for greater abortion restrictions, claiming that the Bible says life begins at conception. Baptist pastor and Ohio lawmaker Gary Click, for instance, has co-sponsored a bill that prohibits abortion from the moment of conception, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Theres a problem, though, from a Christian point of view: The Bible doesnt teach that life begins at conception.

Its not an exaggeration to call abortion a Christian problem. At least 54% of women who get an abortion are Christian, while a study commissioned by pro-life organization Care Net found that 70% of women who had an abortion said they were Christian. But only 7% of the women discussed the decision with someone at their church, .

Almost three-fourth of white, evangelical Protestants say that their religion is extremely or very important in shaping their abortion views. That may be true, but its important to recognize that Scripture doesnt take this view, even if parts of the Christian religion do.

Likewise, in verse 15, David says his frame was not hidden from God. The actual word here is bones. A fetuss bones start to harden at week 13, right around the same time the kidneys start functioning.

Matt Mikalatos is an author and speaker in Portland, Ore. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.

Matt Mikalatos

What Does The Bible Say About Abortion

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What Does the Bible Say about Abortion

Absolutely nothing! The word abortion does not appear in any translation of the bible.

Out of more than 600 laws of Moses, none comments on abortion. One Mosaic law about miscarriage specifically contradicts the claim that the bible is antiabortion, clearly stating that miscarriage does not involve the death of a human being. If a woman has a miscarriage as the result of a fight, the man who caused it should be fined. If the woman dies, however, the culprit must be killed:

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished according as the womans husband will lay upon him and he shall pay as the judges determine.

And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth . . .Ex. 21:22-25

The bible orders the death penalty for murder of a human being, but not for the expulsion of a fetus.

When Does Life Begin?

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When Does Life Begin

Home \ Faith News \ When Does Life Begin?

When Does Life Begin?

D. R. Boylan, Ph.D.

When life begins is a question of current interest in theology, science and the media. The issue is clouded by emotion and personal beliefs. Some contend that life begins at conception. Some believe life begins at birth. Others say the beginning of life occurs in various stages of individual development. The beginning of life is germane to stem cell research, cloning, abortion rights, and euthanasia.

As with many controversial issues, a clear understanding is seldom achieved. Definitions are, many times, drafted to suit a particular personal belief or political position. Nevertheless, a clear understanding of the meaning of life and of life processes is necessary to answer the question, When does life begin?

It should be first understood that life does not begin at conception, birth or some intermediate stage of an organisms development. Life began many years ago. It was a one-time event. It is perpetuated by birth and reproduction. Creationists believe life began in the recent past as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis. Evolutionists believe life started in the ancient past. Both the biblical and evolutionary views agree that life began sometime in the past.

2. In a few weeks the zygote develops into an embryo.

3. After about nine weeks the developing cell mass is called a fetus , and the bodily features begin to be seen.

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Who Is More Human


Life is a continuum. From the season of growing in the womb to being born, from playing as a child to growing older, each stage of life seems to blend gracefully into the next. Life progresses and time passes, culminating in death. Death, a very visible end point, is more easily defined than the point at which the continuum of human life begins.

Where is the starting point? If life is indeed a continual process, can we not just work backward to its beginning? There are a variety of opinions about lifes beginnings. Many say life begins at fertilization. Others argue strongly that life does not start until implantation in the womb. Still others say that human life begins only when the umbilical cord is cut, making the newborn child an independent agent. How is fact separated from opinion?

Perhaps another way to ask the question is, When do we become human? Certainly a child sitting on grandpas knee or a fully grown adult would be considered human. Is the adult more human than the child? Of course not. No reasonable person would consider the child to be less human. At what point along the journey did this child become human? Was it at fertilization, somewhere during his development, or at birth?

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Abortion Felt Like Only Option

For at least one Jewish activist, that rings especially true. She didn’t necessarily want an abortion she felt she had no other choice.

It was 1967, and Nancy Litz didnt want to be pregnant.

Six years before the Roe vs. Wade ruling would guarantee a womans right to a safe and legal abortion, Litz, then a freshman in college, believed terminating her pregnancy was a necessity. Her father had recently died, and her mother, who had dreamed of going away to college herself, was at what Litz described as a horribly traumatic point in her own life. She never considered what she did destroying a human life.

I dont believe that clump of cells, while it was potential life, was actual life, Litz says. And it certainly wasnt more important to me than the lives of the people I already knew and loved.

Through a friend, Litz connected with a doctor, a man she says told her he was compelled to perform the illegal procedure because he had daughters of his own who were college age and he wouldnt want them opting for a dangerous, back-alley operation in hopes of extracting themselves from a desperate situation.

Litz says shes often praised privately by other women who have had abortions, women who comment on her bravery and honesty, admitting they could never share publicly the way she does.

When Does Life Begin Abortion Views Differ Among Religions Here’s What They Say

When does life begin? That’s the central disagreement fueling the half-century debate over abortion rights in the United States.

For many Americans, the answer is found in their faith. The problem is that three of the biggest religions in America disagree.

Because Christian teachings state that life begins at conception, different denominations such as Catholicism and Southern Baptists oppose abortion. Meanwhile, Judaism and Islam prioritize the life of the mother and support abortion.

The back-and-forth over when life starts has never been more urgent after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe. v. Wade decision that gave pregnant people a constitutional right to abortion.

WHAT’S NEXT? These states could be pivotal for post-Roe abortion access

For decades, the anti-abortion movement has been fueled by Christian leaders.

Nearly twice as many evangelical Protestants oppose legal abortion compared to mainline Protestants , according to the most recent survey of abortion views by faith performed by Pew Research Center. Three-quarter of Jehovahs Witnesses and nearly as many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints say abortion should be illegal.

In contrast, 83% of American Jews and 55% of American Muslims say abortion should be legal.

American Catholics are largely split, with 56% supportive of legal abortion and 42% opposed, a 2019 Pew Research Center survey found.

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When Does Life Begin According To Your Study Of Scripture

Question from a reader:

Answer from Randy Alcorn:

Ill cut and paste two portions from the book below. If you only want section specifically on breathing, go to 6f below.

As to Scripture and beginning of life, I follow with excerpt from Appendix B: Abortion in the Bible and Church History. The portion concerning Jesus and John the Baptist in Luke 1 is especially revealing I think.

ProChoice Argument: 6. A fetus isnt a person until implantation…or until quickening or viability or when it first breathes.

6a. Implantation is a gauge of personhood only if location, nutrition, and interfacing with others make us human.

It is increasingly common for people to affirm that human life begins not at conception but implantation. This is especially true of physicians who wish to think of themselves as prolife while performing procedures or prescribing chemicals that can result in the destruction of those already conceived but not yet implanted.

Some argue that life begins at implantation because the unborn is lacking the essential element that produces life: an interface with the human community and communication of the fact that it is there. But what does interfacing and communication have to do with whether or not someone is alive? If others are not aware of my existence , would that mean I would cease to exist?

6b. Quickening is a gauge of personhood only if someones reality or value is dependent upon being noticed by another.

Nathanson, Aborting America, 216

A Definition Of The Beginning Of Human Life

When does LIFE begin according to the Bible

The concept that the breakthrough between foetus and new-born is determined by the occurrence of a first respiratory action affects different medical fields, such as paediatrics, obstetrics and neonatology. While brain inactivity is widely accepted and acknowledged as the operative condition to decide life-end, definition of the initial extreme of human life still relies on the common, popular idea that life begins with first breath, despite the fact that several different events have been shown to take place beforehand. The mechanisms that are at the basis of the beginning of human life are expected to be multifactorial and still not well-characterized. As a consequence, the regions/structures of the brain that are needed for regular brain functioning at birth have still not been clearly or definitively identified.

WHO Guidelines consider that, rather than immediately at birth, first breath can physiologically occur up to 60 s after birth. This delay varies inter-individually, averaging to about 20 s and has been well-documented by several reports .

This observation entails two different alternatives: either the newborn is not actually alive in the first few seconds of extrauterine existence or human life begins with something else, an unidentified quid, a trigger that is responsible for the initial stimulation of the complex cascade that precedes and leads to first breath.

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Human Embryo And Assisted Reproduction

The development of assisted reproductive technologies has made it necessary to consider the question of the beginning of life and the moral status of the embryo from different perspectives.

Many forms of infertility treatment consist precisely of producing embryos outside the womans body by in vitro fertilization with a view to subsequently implanting them in the uterus, where they have the opportunity to develop into full-term children. The fact that this is even feasible shows that the embryos have not taken on a different character by being created outside the womans body.

The basic fact that allows IVF-ET to be considered in the rabbinical literature at all is that the oocyte and the sperm originate from the wife and husband based on the commandment of procreation stated in the Bible . The Jewish majoritys religious point of view, however, as formulated by the chief rabbis of Israel, supports both IVF and ET .

Life Begins At Birth It Says So In Genesis

Finally! A letter about abortion that actually makes sense. L.G. Connor of Ellicott City is absolutely right before anyone can take a position on abortion they must first answer the question of when life begins . And thats an easy one. The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms when life begins. In Genesis, chapter one, God answers that question himself. He forms a figure from the Earth, but it does not become Adam until God breathes into him the breath of life, and he became man.

Clearly, life begins when you draw your first breath. That is when God places your soul in your body. Your soul enters your body with your first breath and it leaves with your last. The body is just a vessel your being, your humanity, is your immortal soul. Thats what the Bible says, and for the life of me I cannot understand why so many people, especially supposedly religious people, get this wrong. There is no question, no moral ambiguity. Abortion destroys an empty vessel, it does not kill a human being.

That is not to say that a fetus isnt alive, because it clearly is. So is a cow, or an earthworm, or a tree. However, simply being alive does not make something a human being. Having a soul is what sets us apart from other living things. Otherwise, every farmer and every lumberjack would be a murderer. And so would all of the rest of us who eat living things. Even the hardcore vegans would be murderers since they eat plants and plants are alive too.

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The Catholic Teaching Of Life Beginning At Conception

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reiterates the teaching of the Church that human life begins at conception.

Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

CCC 2270

This teaching is based on the following passages from the Bible, as cited from the Catechism.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.

While breath is certainly vital to the life of a human being, Catholic Scripture scholars do not interpret this passage in Genesis in a literal way, but more in an allegorical way. This means that the breath of God does not refer to God blowing into Adam a physical breath, but more of a spiritual breath, his soul.

When Does A Human Life Begin

When Does a Human Life Begin?

MY BIOLOGICAL mother was 17 years old and 7 1/2 months pregnant when she made the decision to have a saline abortion, explained Gianna. * She added: I am the person she aborted. I lived instead of died.

This testimony was given by 19-year-old Gianna in 1996 before a U.S. government committee hearing on the subject of abortion. By the time Gianna had been inside her mothers womb for seven and a half months, her body parts were clearly developed. You probably agree that she was actually a person, since she continued her life as a person outside the womb.

Well, then, what about Gianna when she was a five-week-old embryo, measuring a third of an inch in length? True, her body parts were not yet fully formed, but the foundation for her nervous system, including her brain, had been established. She had a heart beating 80 times a minute that forced blood through vessels. So if Gianna was a person after seven and a half months in the womb, might one not logically conclude that she was a person at five weeksalthough not as developed?

The Miracle of Conception

That original single cell begins the truly miraculous process of constructing a fully formed human. The nature of this construction project is determined by our genes, which are segments of DNA. These control virtually everything about us. They determine our height, facial features, eye and hair color, and thousands of other traits.

A Person Inside the Womb?

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