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I think abortion is an important political topic. The current standard of outlawing abortion, in most cases where the fetus has reached the stage of development at which it would be likely to live outside the womb, is the type of compromise that democracies generate.

Those who claim that the moment of conception creates a separate human life entitled to all the rights of a citizen cite the authority of God. How so?

The Romans were very concerned about increasing their population given the low proportion of Romans compared to the slave and conquered populations. Abortion and gay sex were condemned as failing in one's duty to the state to make more Romans. It is not surprising then that for most of its life the Roman Catholic Church opposed abortion. The RCC after all held the Bible as only one of three sources of God's truth. The fact that the Bible is silent on abortion needn't trouble them.

With the cry of Sola Sanctura! Protestants claimed that the Bible was the only source of knowing God's will. Thus it was that in the 1970's Protestants had not yet received word that abortion was God's number one, or even a serious concern. That change in the 80's was largely due to the influence of Francis Schaeffer.

When pressed for the Biblical support for their belief that opposing abortion is God's greatest priority, evangelicals and other "conservative" Christians generally cite "Thou shalt not kill" because they have nothing else to hang their hat on. The fact that the law was given on Mt. Sinai during a journey that began with the murder of every first born child in Egypt and ended with the ordered massacre of every child in Canaan would give some context to any objective reader; as would the many commands to kill in the Mosaic law itself.

What most people don't realize however is that the Bible, in the Mosaic law, does specifically speak to the value of the fetus in God's eyes.

Exodus 21:22  And if men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart, and yet no harm follow; he shall be surely fined, according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

So we see that, according to God's law given to Moses, a permanent injury to a woman is a harm but causing the miscarriage of a fetus is not a harm, even against the will of the mother. It's not nothing, as the lost investment and risk of the aborted pregnancy has a monetary value.

There are many reasons to read the Bible. It is a crucial key to western history. I find much to inspire me in the New Testament, especially the Beatitudes and James.

As a serious reader, my most shocking  epiphany during my 20 years in a fundamentalist Christian church was that my church friends had no intention of seeking truth in the Bible. They spent most of their "religious" efforts in reading popular books that told them what the Bible said and listening to preachers that told them what the Bible said. When "reading" the Bibles they went from safe verse to safe verse, ignoring everything in between. My signature says it best:

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