Applied Ethics: Abortion

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  • Abortion
    • Sanctity of life
      • Exodus 20:13: "Thou shalt not kill."
    • A mother can terminate her pregnancy up to 24 weeks due to the "Human fertilisation and embryology act of 1991," which allows abortion up to the point when the foetus is viable (can live outside the womb).
    • The debate on whether it is right to abort or not usually depends if you consider a foetus a person or just a human.
    • The Catholic Church
      • The Catholic Church are against it as they believe that life begins at conception (the fusion of the sperm and the egg to create the genetic material necessary to form a baby)
      • Pope Benedict XV1: "Abortion is one of the most insidious and dangerous threats facing the world today."
    • Marry Anne Warren: "Birth marks the beginning of true moral state."
      • Historically, women have suffered by being forced to bear children, frequently dying of complications or back-street abortions. Legal, safe abortions are the only way to sustain right to life for the mother.
    • Aristotle: personhood begins when the baby begins to move in the mother's womb ("quickening."
    • Pro-life: the right of the baby overrides the mother's
    • Pro-choice: the right of the mother overrides the baby's.
    • Most scholars believe that if the pregnancy will most likely kill the mother, it's ok to abort.
      • Example: In the case of an ectopic pregnancy where the embryo grows inside the fallopian tubes.
      • Aquinas's double effect allows this, as the foetus is being removed to save the mother and is not technically classed as an abortion.


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