Many assumptions abound concerning when life begins. The average person on the street will argue that it begins at conception and that the fetus is considered a “person” with the same rights as a citizen. Others believe that life begins when a heartbeat is detected in the fetus. Several states have laws supporting this “fetal heartbeat” theory. Many U.S. citizens who embrace Christianity hold one of these two assumptions.
I embrace Christianity, having served as an ordained minister for fifty years, and believe the Bible leads us in a different direction. In Genesis 2:7, God forms man and “breathes into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being.” Man was not yet a living being until he took his first breath. Then in Ezekiel 37:5-6, “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live.”
There is nothing in the Bible to support that a fetus is anything other than living tissue and according to scripture, it does not become a living being, i.e., a “person,” until it has taken a breath.
The issue, I believe, boils down to this: If you don’t support abortion, don’t have one. But don’t judge others who may be in agonizing circumstances that you can’t possibly understand. Especially if your judgments are based on a politically motivated and questionable interpretation of the Bible. As a white male, I believe that non-medically trained males have little authority to advise women on when or how they should make decisions concerning their bodies.
When women don’t have personal choice over their own reproductive decisions, they often end up with back alley abortions or thrown in jail for having a miscarriage. So, for these reasons, many faithful Christians understand that in some of those circumstances an abortion is the only option available.