Matters of life and death: Abortion

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  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 12-05-13 14:59

Matters of life and death

The nature of abortion


Abortion- the removal of a foetus from the womb before it can survive.

United Kingdom law on abortion

The 1967 Act states that an abortion can be carried out if two doctors agree that

  • The mother's life is at risk.
  • There is risk of injury to the mothers physical or mental health.
  • There is a risk than another child would put at risk the physical or mental health of other children.
  • There is a substantial risk that the baby might be born serioulsy handicapped.

The 1990 Acts state that abortions cannit take place aftter 24 weeks unless the mothe'rs life is gravely at risk or the foetus is likely to be born severly handicapped (but before that you're golden)


Why abortion is a controversial issue

  • Many religions and anti-abortion groups believe life begins at the moment of coception, therefore abortion is taking a human life.
  • Many religions believe that the unborn child's rights supersede those of the mother, and the father and child had claims on the mother's body.
  • Some people argue that because foetuses born at 22-24 weeks can now survive the limit for abortion should be reduced.
  • Many people believe a baby cannot be considered a seperate life until it's capable of living outside it's mother so abortions before a certain time are not taking life.
  • Many non-religous people think that a woman should have the right to do what she wants with her own body like men do.
  • There are arguments about whether medical staff should have to carry out abortions. Some argue that they should not have to actr against their conscience;others argue that it's just a medical procedure like any other.


Christian attitudes to abortion


Sanctity of life- the belief that life is holy and belongs to God.

There are two Christian attitudes to abortion


1. Catholic and Evangelical Churches believe that all abortion is wrong because:

  • Life is holy and belongs to God, therefore only God has the right to end a pregnancy.
  • Life begins at conception therefore aborion is taking a life, which is banned by the ten commandments.
  • Every person has a natrual right to life. A foetus


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