CRC's American Worldview Inventory 2020 survey released Tuesday, yielding that four out of 10 Christians believe the bible to be unclear about abortion.
Findings from the report, which drew from the responses of 2,000 Americans, showed that 44% or respondents thought the Bible was "ambiguous in its teachings about abortion," and an additional 34% stated "abortion is morally acceptable if it spares the mother from financial or emotional discomfort or hardship."
"The irony of the reshaping of the spiritual landscape in America is that it represents a post-Christian reformation driven by people seeking to retain a Christian identity. Unfortunately, the theology of this reformation is being driven by American culture rather than biblical truth," CRC's Director of Research George Barna stated in response to the findings.
This split in belief over abortion in the Church comes from two very different interpretations of the Bible. The first perception being that the Bible clearly denotes God recognizes babies and fetuses as full human beings. The website Got Questions, a site devoted to answering questions about the Bible, explains, "Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that God knows us before He forms us in the womb. Psalm 139:13-16 speaks of God's active role in our creation and formation in the womb. Exodus 21:22-25 prescribes the same penalty-death-for someone who causes the death of a baby in the womb as for someone who commits murder. This clearly indicates that God considers a baby in the womb to be just as much of a human being as a full-grown adult."
The alternative interpretation, however, describes how the Bible firmly supports the idea that "life begins with breath." Joyce Arthur of the Pro-Choice Action Network argues that "The Hebrew word for human being or living soul is nephesh, which is also the word for 'breathing.' Nephesh occurs over 700 times in the Bible as the identifying factor in human life. Obviously, fetuses do not [breathe] and therefore cannot be considered as human beings according to the Bible."
The topic of abortion is thus still widely disputed among American Christians, and is only one of many topics that are debated amongst Christians to this day.