RE Ethics- Abortion

An explenation to the different attitudes of christians towards abortion and the different reasons for these attitudes.

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  • Created by: SazzyT
  • Created on: 16-03-11 18:57


what is abortion?

abortion is when the foetus is expelled from the uterus (womb) of the mother before the pregnancy reaches full term (40 weeks)

sometimes this happenes naturally. this is called a 'miscarriage' or a 'spontanious abortion' but this is not a 'procured abortion' which is when the foetus is removed deliberatly.

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when does a woman have an abortion?

usually abortions take place at the very early stages of the pregnancy within the first three or four months

in rare cases the foetus is aborted later if the woman is not aware she is pregnant or if prenatal tests show that the baby is in anyway deformed.

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what the law say about abortion?

abortion was made legal in 1968 and in 1990 the law was ammended and it is now legal up to 24 weeks unless there are medical reasons.

2 doctors have to aggree to carry out an abortion for the following reasons:

  • the life of the pregnant woman must be at risk
  • her physical or mental health must be in jeopardy
  • the continuance of pregnancy would involeve risk
  • exsisting family will suffer is the child is born

                                                                                     continued next note

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  • the foetus is at risk of being deformed
  • to save the life of the pregnant woman and to prevent grave injury

however some women may have an abortion because they wish to contionue with studies or a career, because they do not consider themselves ready or they cannot afford to have a child.

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christian attitudes towards abortion

roman catholics are opposed to abortion while protestants believe that in some circumstances it is acceptable

even though they do not agree with abortion, christians think that one should offer support the woman considering an abortion, whichever choise she makes, and relieve suffering

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is the foetus a person?

christians that think the foetus is murder belive that life starts at conception. these people believe that the baby has the same rights as a child. the christians that dont agree think that they are only a potential life so the life is not sacred.other christians believe that a foetus becomes a baby at 22 week because it can survive outside the womb and this is why people are campaining to change the legal abortion time form 24 to 22 weeks

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which bible quotes refer to abortion?

'before i formed you in the womb i knew you, before i knew you were born i set you appart; i appointed you the prophet tothe nations'

jeremiah 1:5

' naked i came from my mothers womb naked i will depart. the lord god gave and the lord god has taken away'

job 1:21

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what does the church teach about abortion?

early christians thought that abortion was acceptable 40/90 days after conception because this was when it received a soul. other early christians thought that it was acceptable before the baby 'entered' the womb because the bible says

'when elizabeth heard marys greeting, the baby leaped into her womb and she was filled with the holy spirit'   luke 1:41

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roman catholics believe that abortion is murder and it is morally wrong. the papa encyclical vitae (1968) states 'even if for theraputic reasons,' abortion is 'absolutly excluded as lawful means of regulating birth'.

istead of having an abortion the catholic church advises women to put theyre babies up for adoption this is called pro life

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however roman catholics could justify an abortion if it complies with the double effect which states that it is better to abort a baby that to joepardise the life of the mother.

the church of england also is against abortion and it states 'all human life, including life developing in the womb is created from God' it must be 'nurtured, supported and protected' but they also stress 'compassion for the mother'

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the methodist church believes that abortion is the lesser of two evils and neccessery if the pregnancy is the result of **** or if the baby is severly handycapped.

the baptist church thinks that that abortion is acceptable if it is a result of incest or if the mothers life is at risk

the salvation army agrees but it also think that it is acceptable if the child is so abnormal that it cannot survive.

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