Statement on Abortion

Adopted by the thirty-ninth General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (1972)

Believing that unborn children are living creatures in the image of God, given by God as a blessing to their parents, we therefore affirm that voluntary abortion, except possibly to save the physical life of the mother, is in violation of the Sixth Commandment (Exodus 20:13). We state the following reasons:

  1. The Bible treats human personhood as beginning at conception (Psalm 139:13-16; 51:5; Jeremiah 1:4,5; Luke 1:14-44; 1:29-38; Exodus 21:22-25).
  2. The Bible considers the human person to be a complete person (Genesis 2:7; Numbers 23:10; Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). This unity is severed only by death and then only temporarily until the natural, intended union is restored at the resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
  3. The Bible forbids murder because man is created in the image of God (Genesis 9:5, 6). The Bible further says that succeeding generations of men are conceived in the image of God (Genesis 5:1-3).

We call upon society and the church to show compassion toward unwed mothers and mothers of unwanted children. To this end, not only sympathetic counsel, but also concrete help should be extended (1 John 3:16-18; James 2:14-17).

But we also call upon our society to return to the law of God, recognizing the Word of God that "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).

Adopted by the 39th General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (Minutes, May 15-20, 1972, pp. 17-18, 149).

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