RS - Abortion (GCSE)

  • views on abortion
  • the law
  • arguments for abortion
  • agruments against abortion
  • different christian attitudes towards abortion
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Views on this issue

Views on this issue as well as euthanasia are founded upon the belief of the sancity of life - all life is scared, and given by God, so only he can decide when to take it away.

Abortion is the removal of a feotus from the womb before it can survive. There are different views on this topic. One reason is the debate over when life begins. Many Christians would argue life begins at contraception (when the sperm fertilises the egg.) One of the Ten Commandments is 'Do not kill', so many Christians believe abortion is wrong.

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The law

Abortion was made legal in the UK in 1967.

An abortion can take place up to the 24th week of pregnancy, if 2 doctors agree that:

  • The baby would be born with a physical or mental handicap.
  • if the woman continued with the pregnancy it would endanger her life, health or mental health.
  • if the mother had the baby, it might cause suffering for a member of the family already alive.

There is no limit to the date at which an abortion can be carried out if the baby might be handicapped or if the pregnancy threatens the health of the mother.

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Arguments for Abortion

  • I think that it is the woman's right to choose what happens to her own body.
  • I think in the case if **** that child will be unwanted and might cause both the child and the mother long term mental problems.
  • The mother might not be able to bring up the child for financial or emotional reasons. For example, a girl under 16 might not be ready to be a mother.
  • I think that abortion is the best option, the lesser of 2 evils. For example, if the child would be born with a severe disability or terminal illness, or if the mother's life is a risk if the pregnancy continues.
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Arguments against Abortion

  • I think that the unborn child has the same human rights as any other human being.
  • There are always loving parents willing to adopt, who could give the chold a loving home after it is born.
  • I think that just because the child is going to be disabled, it doesn't give anyone the right to kill it.
  • I believe that life is special and should not be taken at any cost. I believe life begins at contrception, (the moment of fertilisation) when the embryo has the potential to become a human being.
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Different Christian attitudes towards abortion

Most Roman Catholics and Evangelical Christians

  • They are against abortion because they believe that life begins at contraception and is created in the image of God.
  • The feotus is alive and murder breaks the 10 Commandments.
  • Life is a gift of God and only he can take it away.
  • God has a plan for everyone and we should not interfere.
  • The pope has said that abortion is wrong and the catechism (official teachings of the RC church) also say it is wrong.
  • In special cases there is 'the doctrine of double effect.' This is the idea that performing one operation might trigger another. e.g: a treatment for cancer would kill an unborn child - this is not abortion because the doctor was curing the cancer not aborting the feotus. 
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Different Christian attitudes towards abortion (co

Church of England

  • They generally oppose abortion but allows it in some cases because sometimes abortion is the most loving thing to do, e.g: in the case of **** or incest. This situation is called the 'lesser of two evils'.
  • The church has said it opposes abortion but recognises there are extreme circumstances when it needs to take place.
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Different Christian attitudes towards abortion (co

Other more liberal Christians

  • They oppose abortion but consider it the lesser of two evils because Jesus acted with love and compassion, so Christians should do the same.
  • God gave us free will so we must decide for ourselves.
  • Sometimes it is right to kill, if the mothers life is in danger.
  • The believe life begins later on in the pregnancy.
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