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Abortion is the induced termination of a pregnancy to destroy a foetus. The latest week at which you can have an abortion is 24 weeks. In order to have an abortion a woman must have the agreement for one from two doctors. 

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When does life begin?

Catholic church- At conception. Pope Pius XI "a foetus is a human person from the moment of conception". 

Peter Vardy + Paul Grosch - There is a particular point at which the foetus becomes a person. At development

Warren - "birth marks the beginning of true moral status" - At birth when they are an actual person and not just a potential person.

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Sanctity of Life

Life is sacred "Image of God" Genesis 1:27. By destroying life we are playing the role of God and disrespecting the gift that God gave us. It is only humans that were made in the image of God so we should respect that. 

"The Lord gave an the Lord takes away" Job 1:21. We should not try to play the role of God, only God can take life away as life is sacred and important. The Catholic Church implies respect for all human life which includes embryos.

 Natrual Law- Primary precept - "preservation of life" Life is the most important thing that we have we shouldnt destory it.

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Quality of Life

Quality of Life is more important that Sanctity of Life as a poor quality of life is just more like exsisting than actually living.

Peter Singer - We would always choose a healthy child over a handicapped one.

Replacement argument - it is always better to replace a less happy child with a happier one.

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Warren's personhood criteria includes consciousness, reason, self- motivated activity, communication and self awareness. "A foetus is a human being which is not yet a person" She is for abortion as a foetus is a potential person and not an actual one so it is not considered as murder.

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Utilitarianism and Abortion

"Greatest good for the greatest number"

Bentham - Hedonic balance of pleasure and pain. 

Mill - Rule, calculate from past experience what social rules maximise happiness.

Singer - preference, put more weight on a potential child.

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Christians and Abortion

Natural Law - Primary presept of "preservation of life".

Divine law - "Do not murder"

Situation ethics - agape, love is the most important factor to consider.

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Kant and Abortion


Quation of personhood comes to mind, if Kant does not consider the embryo to be a person then there is no moral issue. Its the mothers autonomous choice.

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