The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Abortion in Antiquity
Abortion in Antiquity Overviews the historical practice and context of abortion, focusing on biblical and early Christian perspectives.
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Abortion in Antiquity
ABORTION IN ANTIQUITY. Abortion, natural and induced, is attested as a legal matter as early as the mid-2d millennium b.c. This article will consider abortion and related topics in the OT and the Ancient Near East, in ancient Judaism, the Greco-Roman world, and in early Christianity.A. Abortion in ANE
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
contraception, procreation, and abortion, ethics of
contraception, procreation, and abortion, ethics of. The fundamental principles applied by Christians in reflecting on moral problems associated with procreation are the sacredness of human life, love of neighbour, and respect for the sovereignty and providence of God. On the basis of these principles
Compton’s Encyclopedia
abortionThe expulsion of a fetus from the uterus before it is able to live outside the womb (in human beings, usually about the 20th week of gestation) is called abortion. When abortion occurs spontaneously, it is often called a miscarriage. Abortion can also be intentionally caused, or induced.Spontaneous
Ecclesiastical Dictionary: Containing, in Concise Form, Information upon Ecclesiastical, Biblical, Archæological, and Historical Subjects
Abortion.—The premature expulsion of the fœtus by criminal means. Direct and voluntary abortion is always a grievous sin, a criminal act. No distinction is made between the animated and inanimated fœtus, hence the condemnation by Pope Innocent XI. of the following proposition: “It is permitted to procure
Pocket Dictionary of Ethics
abortion. Any medical procedure that terminates the life of the human fetus prior to birth. Abortion loomed as one of the central ethical issues in the church and *society in the final four decades of the twentieth century. Connected to the question of abortion are such considerations as the *rights
infanticide. The killing of an infant either by the parents or with their express permission. Although infanticide was a common practice in the ancient Mediterranean world, it fell out of favor, largely due to the influence of Christianity. Ethicists today are in general agreement that infanticide motivated
Dictionary of Theological Terms
AbortionFrom Latin abortio, “miscarriage,” the term is used in two senses:1. A spontaneous abortion is the act of miscarriage or producing a child before the natural time, with the loss of its life.2. A forced abortion is the deliberate expulsion of an unborn child from the womb, thus depriving it
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
ABORTION The Bible places a high value on all human life, including that of the unborn. Biblical teaching declares that life is a sacred, God-given gift (Gen. 1:26–27; 2:7; Deut. 30:15–19; Job 1:21; Ps. 8:5; 1 Cor. 15:26), especially the life of children (Ps. 127:3–5; Luke 18:15–16), and condemns those
Dictionary of Christianity and Science: The Definitive Reference for the Intersection of Christian Faith and Contemporary Science
ABORTION. Abortion is the premature termination of a pregnancy, virtually always resulting in the death of the unborn human organism. An abortion can either occur naturally, as in a miscarriage, or intentionally, as in the case of when a pregnant woman procures one. The latter is usually accomplished
Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical & Post-Biblical Antiquity, Volumes I–IV
AbortionAbortion is the deliberate termination of pregnancy resulting in the intended death of the fetus. Abortifacient drugs that induce miscarriage were known to many ancient cultures, but due to the danger of abortion to the pregnant woman, prior to modern times mechanical methods of intentionally
Infanticide & ExposureInfanticide is the deliberate killing of infants. The exposure of infants would at times lead to their deaths, but could also lead to their upbringing by strangers—who would occasionally raise them as their own children, but who more often would force them into slavery or prostitution.
A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs: A Reference Guide to More than 700 Topics Discussed by the Early Church Fathers
Abortion, Infanticide
ABORTION, INFANTICIDEThe term “exposing infants” refers to the practice of abandoning infant children along roadsides, leaving them either to die of exposure or to be taken by someone, usually to be raised as a slave or a prostitute.If men fight and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth
Evangelical Dictionary of Theology
Abortion. A chemically induced or surgically achieved premature termination of pregnancy designed to kill the embryo or fetus. Sometimes miscarriage is referred to as “involuntary” or “spontaneous” abortion. Since abortion is directly related to life and death, numerous resources extend the discussion
Key passages
Ex 1:15–22

And the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives—of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah and the name of the second was Puah—and he said, “When you help the Hebrews give birth, you will look upon the pairs of testicles; if he is a son, you will put him to death, and if she is a daughter, …

Je 20:17

Because he did not kill me in the womb, so that my mother would have been for me my grave, and her womb would be pregnant forever.

Mt 2:16

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been deceived by the wise men, became very angry, and he sent soldiers and executed all the children in Bethlehem and in all the region around it from the age of two years old and under, according to the time which he had …

See also
Topics & Themes