Question: Does God consider a baby a person when first conceived or when he or she leaves the mother’s womb?
Answer: The Bible has much to say about how intensely God values life, and children are described as a gift and a reward from Him! In various verses in the historical record, God leaves no doubt that He creates an eternal spirit which enters the baby’s life at the moment of conception. Another of God’s many miracles!
“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 19:14
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.” Psalm 127:3-5
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the bones form and grow inside the womb of a woman with child, so you cannot understand the works of God who makes everything.” Ecclesiastes 11:5
“But when He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace…” Galatians 1:15
“Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother He named my name.” Isaiah 49:1
“Did not He who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?” Job 31:15
The scriptures reveal that babies have personalities, even before birth. God had Moses to write that Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Rebekah and Isaac, “struggled together with each other within her womb” because they would become separate, competing nations.
“Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So, she went to ask the Lord about it. ‘Why is this happening to me?’ she asked. And the Lord told her, ‘The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.’” Genesis 25:21-23
In another incident, when Mary, Jesus’ mother, went to visit her pregnant cousin Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s baby, John the Baptist (who was the forerunner of Christ), “leaped in her womb” when the baby heard Mary’s voice, realizing that she and her unborn son, Jesus, were near. These two would mature and be men who God had already destined to do monumental things for His kingdom. As you can see, the scriptures present preborn babies as fully conscious and already having experiences that would affect them – and all of us – forever.
“A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where the priest Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted his wife, who happened to be her cousin, Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, ‘God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed.Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.’” (Luke 1:39-45)
Interesting to note is that the Bible teaches that the sexual union of a man and woman is more than just the expression between them of love and pleasure but also seems to involve the presence of God Himself; at the moment of conception, He acts to infuse a spirit into a newly-conceived person that will last throughout eternity. So, it becomes clear how important these moments in marriage and conception are to God, and He warns against adultery, fornication (sex outside of marriage), and all other distortions of sexuality. Sadly, the abortion movement has been led by women who want the legal “right” to end the lives of their own children at any time during development. In some places, as you must be aware, women have their decisions to end a child’s life up until birth not only allowed but applauded by some people in our land. These must not know that God decreed in His law that if a pregnant woman was injured during a fight between men, and her preborn baby died as a result, capital punishment was required for those responsible for the death. (Exodus 21:22-25) This is further evidence how seriously God considers the lives of babies. He calls abortion murder and an abomination. Very strong language!
“You shall not commit murder.” Exodus 20:13
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19
To sum it up, each individual becomes a whole person physically and spiritually at his or her conception. Whether a person survives development within the uterus until birth or not, there is still an eternal spirit that lives forever. Regardless of the acts that laws allow women and doctors to do, God’s law is the highest standard for all men and women. His law will always be the final word on when life begins and ends. He created life in the first place – including yours.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14