What the Bible says are the responsibilities of civil authorities in upholding justice is a point being missed by some people in the pro-life movement in particular and by the public in general. The Bible commands the civil authorities to administer justice “upon him that doeth evil” (Rom.13:4).
If Christians do not report very clearly about what the Bible says is sin, then the people will never know how to repent. “For by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom.3:20).
The Bible has always regarded abortion – killing the child in the womb as murder, a crime punishable by the death penalty. The grounds for this judgment are “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex.20:13); Child Sacrifice, “he shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 20:1-5); and Exodus 21:22-23, where an example of abortion is found:
“If men strive, and hurt a women with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s 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” (Ex.21:22-23).
In Exodus 21: 22-23, the Bible sets forth a minimal case with larger implications for justice to be served by the civil authorities:
(1.) “If men strive… .”
The plural “men” is employed for the purpose of speaking indefinitely, because there might possibly be more than one person involved in causing injury.
(2.) “So that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow… .”
An example of a premature birth. Even if no injury results to either mother or child, the man who causes the “premature birth” is liable to be fined and, in fact, must be fined. The Bible strongly protects the pregnant mother and her child, so that every pregnant mother has a strong hedge of legal protection around her.
(3.) “And if mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life… .”
An example of accidental abortion. If the penalty for an “accidental abortion” is so severe, it’s obvious that a deliberately induced abortion is strongly forbidden. It is not necessary to have a separate ban on any form of deliberate abortion since the maximum penalty is served by this statute. If man through his own reckless actions, unintentionally hurts a pregnant mother and causes her to abort a child, he must suffer the death penalty. How much more so for any person who intentionally induces an abortion?
(4.) “if any mischief follow… give life for life.”
The Bible strongly protects human life from the moment of conception. With the phrase “if any mischief follow,” the child has equal protection under the law from the moment of conception “life for life.”
God does not make exceptions that tolerate injury to any pregnant mother, or any child in the womb. In fact CURSES “come upon” and “overtake” nations that refuse to administer justice (Deut. 28:15).
If God does not tolerate exceptions to the administration of justice concerning murder by abortion, then neither should His people.
Director, Christian Street Preachers Alliance