Abortion: the termination of a pregnancy by artificial means.
Foetus: an organism in the womb from nine weeks until birth.
Hippocratic oath: written in the fifth century BCE, it became the basis for doctors’ ethics. Other promises now replace it, but it is specifically against abortion.
Sanctity of life: the belief that human life is valuable in itself.
Ensoulment: the moment when the soul enters the body – in traditional Christian thought this was at forty days for boys and ninety days for girls. The Church now believes that life begins at conception.
Doctrine of double effect: an action where the…