Although I favor a strictly pro-life view that teaches life upon conception, I cannot ignore the fact that Exodus 21:22-24 may not teach a strictly pro-life view. In the passage if people are fighting and a pregnant woman is hit and gives birth prematurely without serious injury, then the offender must be fined whatever quarts allow and the husband demands. The passage is interestingly used in conjunction with the famous teaching that if serious injury does occur, then a person is to take, “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot.” – Exodus 21:23-24
The cause that I have often known pro-choice people to make from Exodus 21:22-24 is that since the wife miscarries in the example but noting is said about putting the offender to death in exchange for the child’s life that the child is not considered to be alive in the same way that the offender is alive. Although some would read the passage to suggest that if the child is born dead that the offender must be put to death in exchange for the child’s life, what is assumed appears to be that since the woman miscarries that the child would die. Although the passage appears to mainly target the compensation of the woman’s injuries, the implied exchange of money for the life of the child cannot be ignored.
If the person that caused the miscarriage was able to simply give money to the husband of the woman that miscarried a dead child, then that would demonstrate that the Law of Moses did not respect the child being alive in the first place. As a conservative Christian, I find this fact deeply disturbing that the Law of Moses may not respect a child to be alive until born alive. Even if the Law of Moses treats unborn children as not being equal with an adult life, that still does not give justification to abortion. The fact is that 1 Timothy 2:15 is one of only about a handful of verses that talks about women’s salvation, and it states very clearly that women are saved through childbearing.
If women are saved through childbearing, then the question of abortion may have much more to do with the salvation of the mother than it has to do with the salvation of the child. God in fact originally commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply in Genesis 1:22, and after God had destroyed the earth with the flood he reiterated the command to be fruitful and to increase in number in Genesis 8:17. One could see that regardless of an unborn fetus being a human life or not, anything that causes a disruption in fruitfulness could be punished by God with death just like in the example of God putting Onan to death for having spilled his seed in Genesis 38:9-10.