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We Don’t Oppose Abortion Because Babies Feel Pain or Have a Heartbeat

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Numerous self-proclaimed pro-life Christians claim to oppose abortion, but their arguments are severely inadequate, un-Christian, and not based on the Bible. In reality, most of these Christians are unable to logically navigate or defend any theological position, particularly when it comes to protecting the lives of the most defenseless and innocent humans.

The pro-life movement frequently relies on weak arguments such as fetuses “feeling pain” at specific stages and developing a heartbeat after a few weeks. Despite their shortcomings, these arguments form the basis for the majority of the nation’s “pro-life” laws.

The pain and heartbeat arguments, though prevalent within the pro-life movement, inadequately address the biblical mandate to protect innocent life. Such arguments overlook the humanity of unborn children who have not yet developed the capacity for pain or a heartbeat. In doing so, pro-life advocates unintentionally deny these unborn children the protection they rightfully deserve.

From a biblical and theological standpoint, the inherent value of human life stems from being created in the image of God, or the Imago Dei. Every human being, regardless of their developmental stage or physical abilities, has an intrinsic worth and dignity found in God’s image. By grounding the value of unborn life in the ability to feel pain or have a heartbeat—or any other argument that only grants personhood and equal protection to human beings once they’ve reached a developmental milestone—we are limiting the scope of the divine image and excluding innocent people from that protection.

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The biblical narrative consistently portrays God as caring deeply for his special creation, even before their birth. The story of the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5) and the apostle Paul (Galatians 1:15) both demonstrate that God has a purpose and plan for each life, regardless of the stage of development.

Additionally, Scripture teaches that God values and defends the vulnerable and defenseless, as seen in passages such as Psalm 82:3 and Proverbs 31:8-9, which underscores the importance of our duty to extend protection and care to all unborn children, regardless of their ability to feel pain or exhibit a heartbeat.

Yet, there are many self-proclaimed pro-life Christians who will argue that the Bible cannot be used to oppose abortion because not everyone believes in it. This argument is flawed. While it is true that not everyone claims to believe in God or believe what the Bible says, this does not negate the existence and sovereignty of God or the biblical mandate to protect life. Disbelief in God or the Bible does not diminish these fundamental truths.

The Creator has established moral absolutes that govern human behavior. God’s existence and moral standards are not contingent upon human belief or acceptance. Regardless of individual belief systems, the moral imperatives found in Scripture remain relevant and universally applicable and even those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness will still be held accountable to God for not obeying His commands.

God’s command to protect life extends beyond personal belief. The sanctity of life is a universal principle rooted in the very nature of God and His creation. God’s sovereignty dictates that all life, including unborn life, has inherent value and dignity, which transcends cultural, religious, or personal opinions.

Asserting that the Bible cannot be used as a basis for arguing against abortion due to diverse beliefs is essentially an attempt to relativize morality. However, the existence of God and His moral absolutes provide a solid foundation for a universal ethical framework. By recognizing and upholding the sanctity of life, we adhere to the commands of a sovereign God who has ultimate authority over human life.

The bottom line is this: the fight against abortion is a spiritual fight. While there are political aspects to it, ultimately it is a war against life that God created. We cannot rely on worldly arguments to win a spiritual war, we must rely wholly on God—and God has provided the words, the means, and the structure by which we must fight this battle. And ultimately, our battle must point people to Christ.

By supporting political positions that reflect the nature and character of God, we are pointing people to Christ as the standard of morality. In the context of abortion, this means we fight for laws that protect all life, regardless of gestational age, the ability to feel pain, or whether or not one has yet to develop a beating heart. The fact that people will oppose these laws because they claim not to believe in God is nothing more than a demonstration of foolishness (Psalm 14:1)—and God will deal with them. It is our job to demonstrate the wisdom, nature, and character of God in all that we say and do and fight for.


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