The Abortion Dilemma

Michael Grisanti | May 18, 2010

In recent years Supreme Court actions legalizing abortion have crystallized two ethical positions: pro-choice and pro-life. A series of cases resulted in decisions granting women the right to choose whether or not to have abortions. As a consequence, several methods of aborting unborn children have come into prominence: suction aspiration, dilation and curettage, dilation and evacuation, saline injection, hysterotomy, prostaglandin chemical, RU-486, and partial-birth abortion. Viewpoints on abortion break down into four categories. Some say abortion is always right, others say sometimes, still others rarely, and some say never. The Bible gives several reasons why abortion is wrong because it does not distinguish between a person’s state before and after birth, because it indicates God “knew” certain ones before birth, because it indicates King David was a sinner from conception, and because John the Baptist reacted while still in his mother’s womb. Both sides in the debate have used Exodus 21:22-25 to prove their cases, but the passage has a number of exegetical difficulties that keep it from being a strong argument. Though several Ancient Near Eastern law codes are similar to the Exodus passage, the biblical law is distinguishable from these in several ways. Questionable situations when some would use the mother’s health, pregnancies caused by rape or incest, and pregnancies facing fetal handicaps do not furnish sufficient grounds for abortion.

Vol. 11, no. 2 (Fall 2000)

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Grisanti, Michael. "The Abortion Dilemma." The Master's Seminary Journal 11, no. 2 (Fall 2000): 169-90.