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Principle of Utility This supports the UK law, of an abortion can occur if the health of family members are threatened. The Principle of Utility will support abortion in the case were the consequences
of the birth of the child will result in family members being at risk of pain. In addition to this the embryo does not develop pain receptors until around 8 weeks after conception,
thus is not counted.
Act: Hedonic Calculus In the case that it is not believed the life begins at conception, the hedonic calculus would not include the pain of the embryo. The result of the hedonic calculus will be different in
Rule: Universalised Mill `over himself, over his body and mind, the individual sovereign'. It can be universalised that we allow freedom of choice to all women. It can be universalised that we abort
all foetuses with a mother below the age of 16, although it would conflict with the previous rule.
Quantity/Quality This looks at the quality if one's life, with and without the child. Even can consider quality of child's life. (Rule) Each individual involved is worth 1 credit quantity. (Act)
Teleological/Consequences The end justifies the means. Don't exactly know consequences of (not) having an abortion. Good that it looks at each individual situation separately.
Maxim/Universalise Cannot universalise abortion, as each situation is unique, entangled with its own emotions. Even by universalising that those conceived by rape should have an abortion will not
work as there are rational agents that have been as a result of rape.
Duty/Good Will/Summon bonum The Supreme Good would be to make a choice, expressing good will. Is Abortion generally the moral choice? A pregnant woman should do what she feels is right and not be
forced into the decision by doctors, or her father or anyone, consequences ignored and emotion illuminated, follow the duty to the child, to herself and her studies. A further
potential exception would be foetuses with severe learning disabilities. If there were mental illnesses that prevented a person from imagining maxims as universal laws, it could
never be contrary to the will to will that these pregnancies naturally terminated before birth. You wouldn't be willing a law that would have prevented you from being born, as the
mere willing of it means that the law would not have applied to you.
Categorical Imperative Abortion is treating the baby as a means to an ends, as a foetus will grow to be a rational agent, and removing this rational agent is wrong.
Deontological The Act of terminating a foetus is judged. Doesn't look at hypothetical imperatives consequences mean nothing.
Apparent Good/Interior Act The decision of whether to have an abortion or not should be based on Eudemonia, The supreme good of humans. Abortion does not fit the human ideal, it does not seem good
so is not apparently good, although in the case of rape may seem apparently good. The real good is that abortion doesn't fit the human ideal.
Eternal Law Aquinas believed humans have an essential rational nature given by God so that we may flourish. Abortion isn't human flourishing. Our purpose given by God is the development
of perfection within us Abortion doesn't help us to do this. God controls the universe, so surely only He can give life or take it away.
Divine Law `Thall shalt not kill', if life begins at conception then Abortion is wrong.
Natural Law If our conscience agrees with abortion then it may be permitted, however it is not natural to feel that it is right to kill a child.
Human Law Human Law allows abortion up to 24 weeks.
Primary/Secondary Precepts Primary precept `protect and preserve the innocent', this can lead to the absolute secondary principle, `do not abort'. It is also against the primary precept of reproduction.
Double Effect Imagine an ectopic pregnancy the foetus is growing in the fallopian tube, and both the mother and foetus will die. Abortion is an evil act, and therefore not an option. However,
removing a fallopian tube, with the secondary effect that the pregnancy ends, is not an evil act. When carrying out an act with two (or double) effects, you ask whether the
second effect is proportionate. In this case it is. In other words, it is unethical to abort an ectopic pregnancy (which would leave the woman able to have another child), but ethical
to remove an ovary (which, in cases where a woman has one working ovary, would leave her unable to have future children).
Deontological Secondary Principles are deontological, derived from the primary principles.
Roman Catholic Church James 2:26 the body without the spirit is dead. Thus the soul is the defining attribute of a human life. Life infers the existence of a soul. From conception, a foetus can be said to
be alive (in the sense that it is growing? an attribute unique to life). Thus since life infers the existence of a soul, ensoulment must occur at conception. Orthodox Christians are
called to be like God as far as that is possible in a spiritual sense (known as Theosis). This is one of the reasons why Christ sent His son to show us how better to be like God.
Since no one will ever be like God, the process of becoming like Him is unending. It begins from the moment of conception, until the moment of death. In this way, no one can
say that he is a person or fully developed in the spiritual sense. However, all human life can be said to have the potentiality of becoming Godlike in whatever stage of physical
(and spiritual) development.
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The Church of England The Church of England's position, that abortion is evil but may be the 'lesser of two evils' is consistent with a situationist approach. If a woman has been raped, abortion may be an
act of love.
Christianity Christian ethics will include the idea that God created us, instructed us to reproduce etc.
Situation Ethics Fletcher said we should not get rid of rules they are a useful guide in most situations.…read more
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Religious Ethics approach to abortion [in the Catholic and Orthodox Church]
The Orthodox Church has rejected Platonic views outlined by Origen that the soul preexists conception in that same way that it has rejected the
belief that life begins at some time during or after pregnancy. It maintains that ensoulment occurs at conception. There are several references to
support this view in the Bible.
(i) Newborn children have original sin since they are ?seminally present in the loins of Adam?.…read more