Different Christian Attitudes Towards Abortion

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Catholic Church (Roman Catholics)

  • Killing an unborn child is morally wrong in all circumstances - absolute morality
  • All life begins at the moment of conception
  • Unborn baby has same rights as its mother
  • This applies even if the baby was born handicapped 
  • Encourage women to have their babies adopted if they cannot raise it properly
  • Views are shared by some Evangelical Protestants
  • Pro-life
  • Some may justify abortion through the doctrine or double effect
  • Doctrine effect - doing something morally good that has a morally bad side-effect
  • For example, if the embryo was developing in the fallopian tubes, it would be acceptable to remove the embryo (as the intention was to save the mother and not kill the embryo)
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Church of England (Anglicans)

  • Also opposes abortion, but less than Roman Catholics
  • Recognises that there are certain conditions when abortion would be morally acceptable (e.g. when the life of the mother is threathened, when the pregnancy is a result of ****, or when the foetus is severely handicapped)
  • Stress the need for compassion for the mother and a proper responsibility for the life of the unborn child
  • Accepts that it may be neccessary to come to different conclusions under different circumstances
  • The Synod wants stricter abortion laws, and the number of abortions to be reduced
  • Promotes alternatives to abortion and offers support to those who want it
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The Methodist Church (Methodists)

  • In 1976, they declared that abortion was always an evil
  • Single mothers should be supported 
  • Encourage adoption if the baby isn't wanted
  • Recognise that in some circumstances, abortion is the lesser of two evils
  • For example, if the foetus were severely handicapped, the pregnancy is a result of ****, or if the health (either physical or mental) of the mother is at risk
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The Salvation Army (Salvationists)

  • Life is sacred from the moments of conception
  • Accepts that abortion is morally acceptable in very few cases:
  • When the mother's life is in danger
  • If the baby is so severely abnormal that it cannot possible live
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United Reformed Church

  • Recognises that there are a wide range of views amongst it's members
  • Suggests that there is a difference between a foetus that is almost ready to be born, and one at the early stages of pregnancy
  • Don't consider a pregancy of a few weeks as already being a child
  • Abortion is sometimes necessary
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Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

  • Some believe that abortion is violence and are totally against it
  • Others believe that there might be circumstances under which abortion is acceptable
  • For example, if a woman was *****
  • No Quakers force their opinion upon others
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