Abortion essay plan & notes

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Introduction - 

  • Abortion is defined as the legal termination of a pregnancy
  • Has been a legal procedure since the 1967 Abortion Act
  • The law was revised in 1990 to reduce the gestation period within which an abortion can be carried out to 24 weeks - however this causes contraveries as the law was last revised 26 years ago and it has been found that foetus' can survive now outside the womb at 22 weeks
  • John Powell S.J called abortion "the war on the unborn" 
  • 200,000 abortions (roughly) are carried out in the UK every year
  • 40 - 50 million abortions are carried out in the world every year (roughly)
  • some people use abortion as contraception

Sanctity of Life - 

  • The idea that all life is sacred, and God who has divine perogative as the creater of the universe should be the only one to decide when life begins and ends. This is evident in the story of Job: "the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised".


  • Psalm 13:9 "your eyes saw me before I was put togther" - therefore life is a sacred gift from God and should not be destroyed
  • Those who believe in the sanctity of life believe that life begins at conception, and thus abortion is never acceptable
  • the sanctity of life goes against the bible quote in Ededuc, "you shall not murder" 


  • "you shall not murder" was written at a time where the world didnt face problems such as famine and over population, therefore surely the kindest thing to do is to abort an unwanted baby  (liberal christians use this argument)

Peter Singer

  • Peter Singers premises:
  • p1: it is wrong to kill a human being
  • p2: a foetus is a human being
  • c: therefore it is wrong to kill a foetus
  • Peter Singer then goes on to question what makes a 'person' he said that john loche said a person is a "thinking, intelligent being with reason and reflection that can consider itself, the same human being at different times and places"
  • Mary Anne Warren said that a person exibits certain characterists such as reason, moral agency anad communication - and thus a foetus is not a person and abortion isnt murder
  • Singer used the analogy of the chicken and the egg and said that if you put both in a pan of…


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