Did Jesus say anything about Abortion?
I get asked this question a lot, as I am sure other pro-life Catholics do too. It’s as if the basic assumption in the question is “if Jesus said nothing against it, then it must be OK.”
Let’s step back a moment and look at that assumption. Did Jesus say anything about abortion? Did he really believe that abortion was okay?
Let’s look at Jesus’ life and times. He grew up in a Jewish community where all little boys were required to go to school and study the Torah–the first five books of the Jewish bible. In the Torah is the story of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments from God. One of those commandments is “THOU SHALL NOT KILL.”
Don’t you suppose little Jewish boys got those commandments drummed into their heads repeatedly? Wouldn’t you expect the boys would ask questions about that commandment, just as little boys ask questions today? What does that mean? Does that mean I cannot kill a mosquito? Or a fish? Their teacher would remind them that animals could be killed for food and for sacrifice in the temple.
I doubt, as I am sure you do too, that they wouldn’t ever question the fact that the commandment dealt foremost with killing another human being. It taught them the stories in the Torah that dealt with brothers killing brothers, of Abraham released from killing Isaac, of Joseph’s brothers throwing him down a well to kill him.
So, as a good Jew, Jesus was firmly convinced that God really meant what he said when He said, “Thou shall not kill.”
Now getting back to abortion.
As everyone knows, abortion means killing an unborn child. What a woman carries in her womb is not a dog or a cat, it’s a living, growing human being.
The Jews of Jesus’ day believed that every child was a gift from God. As good practicing Jews, why would they want to destroy a gift from God?
As a good practicing Jew, Jesus would have had the same attitude toward children. In fact, we have stories about his relationships with children that are loving and caring. Would he have needed to say anything about abortion as everyone he spoke to believed the same thing? Jesus only preached about things that needed interpretation or a re-interpretation. If everyone knew what was right and wrong about abortion, why would he need to preach about it?
I am sure, as you probably are too, that there were Jewish girls who got pregnant outside of marriage. It is no stretch of the imagination that Roman soldiers could have raped them. Since men are men, I do not doubt that incest existed in Jesus’ community. But Jesus had nothing at all to say about these things. The only examples we have are of his being aware of adultery and prostitution. But there is no mention of abortion to handle rape or incest. It is far more likely that if a girl was pregnant, the solution was to marry her off quickly. We have the example of Jesus’ mother Mary being married quickly to Joseph when she was found to be pregnant. I suspect other parents would do the same.
So, did Jesus have anything to say about abortion? Not as far as we know. Does that make abortion okay? Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden say it is. I wonder if Jesus would agree with them.