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Yale Divinity School Claims There’s No Biblical Basis for Abortion Bans

Yale Divinity School Claims There’s No Biblical Basis for Abortion Bans

“The decision is a step backward for human rights.”

Most Christians who oppose abortion believe that the practice involves killing. The Bible is pretty clear about that.

Campus Reform reports:

‘There is no biblical basis for the ban on abortion,’ Yale Divinity School claims

Yale Divinity School (YDS) published a pro-abortion statement that opposed the recent Supreme Court decision to reverse Roe v. Wade, claiming there is no “biblical basis” for abortion bans.

The statement was published on behalf of Dean Gregory Sterling.

“There is no biblical basis for the ban on abortion,” the sentence reads in full.

Sterling cites Exodus 21:22-25 to suggest that the Bible distinguishes between the life of a child and a fetus.

“Simplistic appeals to the biblical traditions are just that, simplistic. Christianity is supportive of human life, but we must work through our traditions with care,” Sterling writes. “It is not at all clear that today’s decision reflects a text like Exodus 21:22–25.”

Exodus 21:22 follows the deliverance of the Ten Commandments and outlines Biblical precautions for harming a pregnant woman:

Sterling argues that the passage does not equate to abortion due to the severity of the punishment, writing, “The only text that deals directly with a fetus is Exodus 21:22–25, and it makes a distinction between the penalty levied on someone who causes a pregnant woman to miscarry versus an injury to the woman herself.”

Sterling believes that the overturning of Roe v. Wade does  not “promote life,” but instead flaunts”political agendas.”

“There are millions of American women who feel violated by today’s decision. They understand that this is not only a decision about abortion, but about women’s rights,” he writes. “The decision is a step backward for human rights.”

YDS is a graduate branch of Yale University and claims to prepare its students to ordain Christian ministry.


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Psalm 139:13-16
“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. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”

JackinSilverSpring | July 1, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Did this jackass read the Dobb’s decision? It does not ban abortion. It simply said there is no basis in the Constitution for abortion to be a Constitutional right. It returned to the states and to the US Congress the right to legislate restrictions or lack of restrictions on abortion. Is this what passes for intelligence on the Left, statements that have no basis in reality?

    Indeed … and I bet a significant percentage of the demonstrators believe the same thing; and would continue to do so even if they read the decision on a billboard. While “you can’t fix stupid” would seem to apply, I am not sure these folks use their brains, sort of as with Trump Derangement Syndrome.

surfcitylawyer | July 1, 2022 at 12:35 pm

What did the Rabbis and the Talmud say about Exodus 21:22–25? That is where I would start to figure out what Exodus 21:22–25 means.

    Steven Brizel in reply to surfcitylawyer. | July 1, 2022 at 3:01 pm

    You may quarrel with the conclusions but this article discusses how the greatest Rabbis of the 20th and 21st Century offered various views on the what Biblical prohibition is transgressed in such a case

    artichoke in reply to surfcitylawyer. | July 1, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    I’m Jewish and from what I know, the rabbis do not find a ban on abortion in the Bible.

    The Talmud has some comments about different developmental stages, and I’m pretty sure says the soul is not present in the body at conception. It may have been doing this in the context of animal fetuses, like: when you slaughter the mother for an offering and discover that a fetus inside her is alive, what is the status of the fetus? Does the Temple own it, does the original owner of the mother who consecrated the animal for sacrifice own it, should it be sacrificed along with the mother? Do the priests get to eat their portions from it? Maybe it depends on the developmental stage of the fetus, I don’t remember. I’m not sure there’s separate discussion related to humans.

    I do not remember any discussion of human elective abortion. Maybe they would have been horrified at the idea, it just wouldn’t have occurred to them.

    This is no basis for him to criticize the SCOTUS ruling. The ruling takes no position on abortion.

      Milhouse in reply to artichoke. | July 3, 2022 at 1:59 am

      I’m Jewish and from what I know, the rabbis do not find a ban on abortion in the Bible.

      Actually they do, but it’s from Genesis 9:6, which can be read as “He who spills the blood of a person in a person, his blood shall be spilled”. A foetus is “a person in a person”.

        artichoke in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2022 at 12:12 pm

        Thank you, you’re right. It does leave the question of whether or when the fetus is a person, though.

If ever we had evidence that all of Yale has jumped the shark, this is it

henrybowman | July 1, 2022 at 5:35 pm

To elites who can “interpret” a five-page Constitution to mean the exact opposite of what it actually says, cherry-picking argumentative nuggets out of a 400-page Bible is child’s play.

It’s hilarious to see Yale Divinity School take a break from arguing for the homosexuality of Christ and the angelic role of transvestites in sexually grooming children to so carefully parse scripture to demonstrate the virtue of abortion.

So principled. So courageous. Why, they’re nothing like demons. Nothing at all.

“If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely, but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life.” (NIV)

“And she gives birth prematurely” is an odd way to translate it. Literally what it says is “and her children go out”. But one must bear in mind that until the 20th century there was really no such thing as premature babies surviving. There were no incubators, no NICU, so if a baby came out prematurely it died. There was no need to state that consequence; it was understood.

So, why is someone who accidentally induces a miscarriage merely liable for the financial damage but not guilty of manslaughter? Basically because Jewish law on manslaughter is limited to cases where someone engages in behavior that he ought to have known posed an unacceptable and direct risk to other people’s lives.

An example the Talmud gives is someone standing on a roof using a heavy roller to flatten it. If he loses control of the roller while pushing it towards the edge, and it falls off and kills someone, he is guilty of manslaughter. He ought to have understood that this was something that could happen, and kept tighter control of it. But if it happens while he was pulling the roller away from the edge, and thus away from any potential victims, then he is not guilty of manslaughter; the activity he was engaged in was inherently safe, and what happened was a freak accident, not something he should have anticipated.

Two men engaged in fighting each other are not automatically posing a direct threat to bystanders. That a bystander might accidentally get shoved is itself not that likely; that the person might be a pregnant woman is less likely, and that the shove will induce her to miscarry is even less likely. Nothing they are doing is aiming force in the direction of these babies who are not even visible. Therefore no manslaughter conviction is possible.

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to Milhouse. | July 3, 2022 at 9:24 am

    Millhouse, I was doing some internet surfing to find out the rabbinical position about the status of the fetus. From what I could find, the position is that fetus does not have a separate status from the mother’s body. It’s considered part of her body. But, as soon as its head pops out, it is a separate person. Now, here’s a catch-22. Does taking the fetus make it a separate person that cannot be killed?

healthguyfsu | July 6, 2022 at 4:11 pm

It may surprise some of these liberal bubble dwellers to know that not everyone who supports limits on abortion is religious.