Abortion

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  • Abortion
    • Christian views on abortion
      • Christians believe in the Sanctity of Human Life Principle
        • Humans are made in the image of God, imago dei.
        • "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis Chapter 1 Verse 27
      • Pro Life
        • "Thou shall not murder" Exodus 20 Verse 13
        • Christians believe that God has a plan for every human life from the point of conception.
          • They also believer that a foetus is a human life from the point of conception.
            • "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb," Luke 1:41. Suggests the foetus is a aware of its surroundings and a full humab being before it is even born.
        • Christians consider having a child to be a precious gift from God, not a given right. We don't have the choice to take life, as it is not ours to destroy.
          • "The Lord gave me life and the Lord has taken it away." Job 1:21
          • Such a precious gift should not eb disposed of just because the timing is inconvenient.
      • Pro Choice
        • Isn't it more loving to give the mother a choice?
          • "The greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13,
          • Agape
      • Views in different churches
        • Roman Catholicism
          • The principle of double effect: If the abortion is an unintended consequence of another action then it is morally justifiable (e.g. ectopic pregnancies)
          • Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI: "The direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, directly willed and procured abortion, even if for the****utic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as licit means of regulating birth."
          • Catholics believe that life begins at conception, and that abortion is wrong in every circumstance.
          • Roman Catholics follow Natural Law. PREGS include reproduction, abortion is contrary to reproduction.
        • Anglicans/The General Synod
          • Generally oppose abortion, but recognise there may be some cases when abortion is justifiable (****, severe disability, saving the life of the mother
          • Emphasis on compassion and agapeistic love, looks at abortion on a case by case basis and trys to abide by the lesser of two evils.
          • "All human life, including life developing in the womb, is created by God in his own image and is therefore to be nutured, supported and protected."
        • Quakers
          • Quakers consider abortion to violence, and therefore are generally against it.
            • Some more liberal Quakers would allow abortion under certain circumstances.
    • UK Law on abortion
      • Legal up to the 24th week of pregnancy with the consent of two doctors
      • After this period, it is only legal if there is a serious threat to the life of the mother or if the foetus is severely disabled.
      • Abortion is also allowed if it presents a serious threat to the mothers mental health, e.g. if the pregnancy resulted from ****.
    • Non-Christian arguments against abortion
      • Peopls hould face the consequences of their actions: They should have used adequate contraception if they did not want a baby.
        • It is the mother and fathers fault, not the babies, why should they suffer?
      • Abortion should not be allowed after the primitive streak appears
        • Occurs 15 days after conception
        • "the primitive streak is the most important point in the develpment of a human being"
    • 'The deliberate termination of a pregnancy by artificial means'
    • Non-Christian arguments for abortion
      • Personhood
        • Philosophers such as Peter Singer believe that the definition of a person is 'autonomous, self conscious and rational'
          • It can be argued therefore that the embryo does not have these characterstics, so it can't be considered the same as killing a person.
            • Singer also argues that as the mother does have these characteristics, her values should ultimately be taken into account.
        • In the Puzzle of Ethics, John Gallager argues that it is unknown when the foetus becomes fully human. How can we say when abortion is either a right or wrong action then?
      • Deaths from backstreet abortions are a loss of dignity and necessary with modern medical technology
    • Philosphers Positions on Abortion
      • Kant
        • Kant would be against abortion as it couldn't possbily be universable. (second catagorical imperative) If having an abortion was universalised, there would be no more births.
        • Kant would also say that is wrong to use the doctor as a means to an end, as they are killing the foetus.
      • Peter Singer: Preference Utilitarianism
        • Singer says that if the mother has a preference to not have the child, abortion would be the right thing to do. The foetus does not yet have a preference so they are not included in the decision of having an abortion.
        • The right or wrongness of an abortion depends on the preference of those who will be affected by it. However Singer says everbody is born with a preference for life, e.g. humans cannot naturally drown or strangle themselves.

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