Lutheranís Thoughts on Abortion

Term Paper

December 10, 2003

Life is created by God, with the intention of humans caring and protecting the new life is what the Lutheran churches believe. When a new individual is developing in the womb there is complicated and problematic discussions over when it can be referred to as a life. Determining when a fetus is a life is important for deciding if induced abortion, killing of a fetus in the motherís womb, should be allowed or prohibited. The controversial subject of abortion is a main topic in our world today with sides divided between being Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. Christianity has many different beliefs about abortion because the Bible does not contain any direct information in either the New Testament or the Old Testament. Within the branches of the Lutheran church (ELCA, WELS, and LSMS) there are differences to when exactly a fetus turns into a human life. The differences in beliefs of abortion within Lutheranism cover a large range from being strictly against abortion to support abortion in many situations.

One of the main problems concerning abortion is the decision about when life actually begins. At conception, joining of sperm and ovum, the parentís genes join together to create a new individual. Only 36 hours after fertilization the egg divides for the first time, the second division occurs around 60 hours, and the fertilized egg continues to divide more frequently to create a hollow sphere of cells called a blastula. This group of cells attaches to the motherís uterus, where it will begin to develop and grow to a new individual (Hoffmeier 156).