Bible Question:

Does God decide when we die and if so, what about aborted babies? Was it their time to go? Did God take the baby or did the abortion clinic? It can’t be both; can it?

Bible Answer:

Aborted babies are commonplace today since the abortion of babies has now been legal in many countries for decades. Consequently, millions of babies have been aborted by doctors, nurses and abortion clinics. The question we are concerned with is “Does God determine the death of aborted babies?”

Death of aborted babies

The Bible Refers to Abortion as Judgment

First, we will learn that the Bible references abortion. We will learn that sometimes God allows abortion as an act of judgment upon a nation. The death of a human fetus is described in Scripture as intentional murder – not as a legal medical procedure. For example, 2 Kings 8:12 refers to pregnant women being ripped open. Consequently, the unborn babies die.

Hazael said, “Why does my lord weep?” Then he answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the sons of Israel: their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword, and their little ones you will dash in pieces, and their women with child you will rip up.” 2 Kings 8:12 (NASB)

2 Kings 15:16 and Hosea 13:16 also refer to pregnant women being ripped open.

Samaria will be held guilty,
For she has rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword,
Their little ones will be dashed in pieces,
And their pregnant women will be ripped open.  Hosea 13:16 (NASB)

In each example, the murder of these unborn human beings is an act of judgment against a wicked nation.

Abortion Clinics and the Death of Aborted Babies

We have discovered that the murder of unborn children can be used by God as an act of judgment in some situations. Nevertheless, on all occasions those who cause an unborn child’s death will be held responsible for murder. Why? God teaches us that we are not permitted to murder another person. According to Genesis 4:8-10, Cain is the first person who committed murder. He murdered Abel and as a result God cursed him (Genesis 4:11-15). Genesis 4 reveals that God disapproves of murder – causing another human to stop living!

The first time that God gives us the principle that we are prohibited from shedding another human’s blood, or deliberately causing one to die, occurs in Genesis 9:6. In this verse God commands that whoever murders another human is to be killed. When God tells us to take the life of another human, the act is not murder. It is obedience to God.

Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed,
For in the image of God
He made man.  Genesis 9:6 (NASB)

Then God explains why a murderer should die. Humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27;  9:6). That is not true of the animals. Later in the Ten Commandments, we are forbidden to murder another person.

You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13 (NASB)

Once again we see that we are not allowed to take the life of another person  – except in one situation. That circumstance is given to us in Genesis 9:6. Is is called capital punishment. When someone deliberately and unlawfully according to God’s law takes the life of another person, we are commanded to take the life or to kill the murderer.   Consequently, if an abortion clinic causes a human fetus to stop living by an abortion, they are responsible for the death of the baby. They have murdered a human baby.

God and the Death of Aborted Babies

Yet God tells us that the death of anyone, including a human fetus, is determined by Him. Notice what He says in Psalm 139:16.

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
Psalm 139:16 (NASB)

King David writes that God saw our “uniformed substance” even before we were conceived.  Before we were conceived, He has already determined the length of our lives. We are told that God has ordained the number of our days even before we are born.

Job 14:5 echoes the truth that God has determined the number of months and days we will live.

Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.
Job 14:5  (NASB)

Notice the carefully worded statement “his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.” That is, man cannot live longer than the days already ordained.

Deuteronomy 32:39 may surprise you when God declares that it is He who causes our death and gives us life.

See now that I, I am He,
And there is no god besides Me;
It is I who put to death and give life.
I have wounded and it is I who heal,
And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
Deuteronomy 32:39 (NASB)

Finally, God says that no one “can deliver from My hand.” Our birth and death ultimately are determined only by Him and no one else. No one else can change the time of our deaths.

Therefore, we have learned that when an abortion clinic causes the death of a human fetus, God had already determined the death of the child. The death of aborted babies was performed by an abortionist, yet, God determined the timing of the child’s death. That is, God allowed it and the one causing the abortion will be held responsible by God.  Believers should do all they can to oppose and overturn the legal standing of abortion.


We have discovered that God has determined when everyone dies. Consequently, He also determines when aborted babies die. Why does God allow abortion to occur? There are two answers. The first is that abortions can be an act of judgment on a nation. God allows a wicked nation to allow and commit the abortions. Since evil nations want to abort babies, God allows it as an act of judgment on that nation and then punishes the nation for murdering human beings. In Psalm 127:3-5 God tells us that children are a blessing.

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them . . .
Psalm 127:3-5 (NASB)

This verse helps us understand that God encourages us to have children. In Genesis 1:28 God tells us “to be fruitful and multiply.” This means that God wants us to have children. The murder of babies is contrary to His perfect will. But sometimes God uses the evil actions of sinful people to be used in judgment against a nation. Since babies are a blessing from the Lord, abortion is a denial of blessing on a family and a nation.

A second truth regarding the abortion of babies is that aborted babies go to heaven immediately. In 2 Samuel 12, King David lost his son immediately after the baby was born because David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. This is an example of how God judged David for his sin by allowing his baby to die. Then in 2 Samuel 12:23, King David said that his dead son could not come to him but that he, David, would go to him. This reveals that the baby was in heaven. Some day David would go to heaven and see him. Therefore, the testimony of scripture indicates that babies murdered by abortion will be in heaven.

Suggested Links:

Has God determined how many days every person will live?
Has God appointed a time for us to die?
When someone dies is God always in control their death?
Do aborted babies go to heaven? Do children go to heaven, if they die under 12 years?
About abortion, how should I understand 2 Chronicles 28:3 and Matt 18:18?
What happens to the souls of babies who die unbaptized?