Few issues generate as much controversy in the Christian faith as abortion. There is quite a bit of variation on the issue across Christian denominations, with some supporting the pro-life movement and others being pro-choice.
Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox church are staunchly pro-life, while the Church of Jesus of the Latter Day Saints permits abortion under in certain instances. Conservative Protestants tend to be pro-life, while more mainstream Protestants tend to be pro-choice. Fundamentalists also lean towards being pro-life, while Evangelical, Southern Baptist and Pentecosts have yet to set down a doctrine.
At the heart of the debate is the fact that nowhere does the Bible even mention abortion, much less take a stance on the issue. Because of the lack of straight-forward direction, Christians have been left to interpret vague Biblical passages on their own.
Some scriptures appear to support the quality of life issue, which can easily be applied towards abortion:
“Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them. So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living. But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 4:1-3
“Why then hast Thou brought me out of the womb? Would that I had died and no eye had seen me! I should have been as though I had not been, carried from womb to tomb.” Job 10:18-19
While anti-abortionists sling Bible passages upon the masses that purportedly support their views, many believe that they have misinterpreted the scriptures and taken them out of context. The pro-life view quotes Jeremiah to support their beliefs: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.” Upon reading the full passage, however, it is made clear that this was clearly addressing the life of a divine prophet, someone who God had ordained before he was conceived, a very special situation:
“Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:4-10
The abortion debate will most likely continue on for generations to come or until all Christians read the Bible and make their own determination rather than listening to the interpretation of others.