Is abortion permitted in Exodus 21:22
Question: "I've been told that Exodus 21:22 indicates that abortion isn't murder because if someone caused a woman to miscarry, that person would only have to pay a fine. But if a person was killed, the penalty would be a life for a life (v.23). Doesn't this prove that a fetus' life isn't worth as much as a person?
Answer: On the contrary, Exodus 21:22 teaches that a fetus is worth as much as his or her mother. The verse literally reads in Hebrew, "And when two men fight, and they strike a pregnant woman, and her child goes forth, and there is no injury; surely he shall be fined, as the husband of the woman may put upon him, and he shall give through the judges. But if injury occurs, you shall give life for life." (Ex. 21:22-23).
First, this is speaking of an accident, not someone purposely aborting a baby. The child is born prematurely due to the accident.
Second, a situation like this would be extremely rare, certainly not comparable to numerous abortions performed today.
Third, if the accident didn't cause a physical injury to the baby or mother, a fine would be imposed on the person causing the premature birth.
Fourth, if there was a physical injury caused to the baby or mother, the penalty would be life for life, eye for an eye, etc., according to the injury. The unborn fetus is viewed as just as much a human being as its mother.