Concepts of sanctity of life and quality of life
Most religious arguments about abortion centre on these two ideas.
- When believers talk about the sanctity of life they mean that life is a precious gift from God, therefore it is sacred (holy) and worthy of the highest respect. It is not up to us to take life away from anyone, it is up to God.
- Quality of life is about being able to experience life and communicate with others, being fulfilled and content inside yourself. If a person was being kept alive artificially or was in constant terrible pain, some would describe their quality of life as poor.
Arguments against abortion
- The foetus is a child with a soul from the first moment of conception.
- Life is sacred, given by God and only God can take it away (sanctity of life).
- The unborn baby, even a handicapped one, has the same human rights as anyone else; it should be protected.
- Every baby is unique - no one can know how valuable that child’s life might be.
- Abortion can be used selfishly - as birth control or for social reasons.
Arguments in favour of abortion
- It is cruel to bring a severely handicapped baby with a poor quality of life into the world.
- It is the mother’s body, therefore it is her decision.
- The mother’s circumstances (for example, finances, the effect of a handicapped child on her family, whether she could care for the baby) should be considered.
- The foetus is not really a person yet, but the woman is a person (loved by friends and family).
- The risk to the mother’s health outweighs the rights of the baby.
- It is a matter for…