I have heard someone identifying as a Christian argue that the process in Numbers 5 supports abortion since a woman suspected of being unfaithful to her husband involves an induced miscarriage/abortion if she is unfaithful, and that verse 27 demonstrates this. The verse says that if the woman is guilty, her thigh will rot, which is interpreted as a miscarriage by some and merely the inability to conceive by others.

Does this verse involve an abortion? And even if so, is it what the woman drinks that causes it, or is it G-d who causes it?

Note: I'm not asking whether abortion is right or wrong but merely whether this verse addresses the issue in any form.

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    I've always learned that it means the woman will die, with her unborn child if she has one. In general if a pregnant woman is condemned to death, she doesn't wait until the child is born to actually get the death penalty, and this is one such case. It has nothing to do with abortion.
    – Esther
    Jun 21, 2022 at 16:58
  • possible duplicate judaism.stackexchange.com/q/65144/759
    – Double AA
    Jun 21, 2022 at 17:17
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    ונפלה ירכה - עובר ירך אמו Jun 21, 2022 at 18:40
  • @DoubleAA While this question is related to the question to which you linked, my question has a more specific focus on whether this verse has any relevance to abortion. Does that make sense, or do I need to edit my question to reflect this better?
    – The Editor
    Jun 21, 2022 at 22:08
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1 Answer 1


There is absolutely nothing in the verse that says anything about abortion or a fetus. To say that the process there describes abortion requires ripping the verse out of context and deliberately misusing it. The Jewish approach to abortion is very complicated, and there are other verses that are relevant, but to use that verse is pretty twisted and evil, IMO.

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