RE - The right to life

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The sanctity of life

  • Sanctity of life: life is sacred because it is God-given
  • Part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights statement includes these words: "All humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights" and "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."
  • Christians believe in the sanctity of life i.e that human life is sacred. Every human life is precious. It cannot be sacrificied for some other good. The deliberate taking of a human life raises fundamental questions for Christians.
  • Christians believe there is something of God in a human image. Human beings have the ability to make moral decisions. Christ became human and showed the possibility of perfection that human beings can aspire to be better. 
  • Most Christians believe that the right to life should be defended and promoted. This belief is based on central biblical teachings: "You shall not murder", "You shall love your neighbour as yourself", "If you want to enter (eternal) life, keep the commandments"

Introduction to Abortion

  • Abortion: the deliberate termination (ending) of a pregnancy,usually before the foetus is twenty-four weeks old.
  • Abortions are legal if: two doctors agree, the point of viability (when the baby can live outside the womb) has not been reached, cause permanent physical or psycholigcal harm to mother or infertility, significant risk that the baby will be born with disablities. 
  • Abortion is either medical (using drugs) or surgical (using surgery). Methods include: the abortion pill, which is used in the first 7 weeks of pregnany, the morning-after pill, vacuum aspiration abortion, partial birth abortion where the foetus is removed.
  • Reasons for women to have abortions include: as a result of a casual sexual encounter, because it would interfere with the career of lifestyle of a person, as a result of **** of incest, as the result of the detection of a medical abnormality in child
  • You do not need to know the numbers of people having abortions or the methods of abortion for the exam, but it is important to understand why this is an important moral issue for Christians

Different views on the start of life and the embryo:

  • The question 'when does life begin?' usually means when does a human being (or something that will develop into a human being) become present? The next question linked to this is 'at what point do we consider human life…


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