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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 therapeutic 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 (rape, 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 rape.
    • 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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