Abortion - Christian Ethics

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What is abortion? The induced termination of a pregnancy to destroy the foetus. 

Law in the UK?

Abortion is legal up to the 24th week of the pregnancy. After this, an abortion can be carried out if there is a serious threat to the life of the mother or the foetus is disabled (1991) - can survive if born after 24 weeks. A woman must have the approval of two doctors.

The main principle behind the law?

A foetus should be given legal protection if it is possible to survive outside the womb.

When does life begin?


  • Glover rejects this
  • Waren: at birth the baby no longer relies on the mother, deliberate killing = murder.
  • Birth is the point where life begins.


  • Life begins at conception at the moment the genetic material mixes.
  • Clear-cut
  • Reinforced by Pope Paul VI 1968
  • 1869: Pope Pius XI: a foetus is a human, the life of an unborn is sacred.
  • Catholicism: human life must be respected inviobale right to any innocent being to life.


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