Abortion misc5 Essay

This essay has a total of 4769 words and 22 pages.

Abortion misc5



Abortion

What is meant by abortion?

Abortion is defined in the dictionary as,
"The expulsion of a foetus (naturally or by medical induction) from the
womb before it is able to survive independently (around 28 weeks)."
This simply means the foetus is removed by either a natural or medical procedure before
the time of the natural birth would have occurred, before the foetus could support it’s
own life.

Their are in fact three types of abortion. They are: Voluntary - when the mother decides
to have an abortion out of choice, Therapeutic - carried out when the mother’s health is
in danger and Spontaneous - when the foetus dies during the pregnancy (the same as a
miscarriage).


The Abortion Act is what is used to determine whether an abortion is justified, it was
passed in 1967 and then amended in 1990. Currently it states that:


1967 Abortion Act
An abortion may be performed legally if two or more doctors certify that:
1. The mental and physical health of the woman, or her existing children, will suffer if the pregnancy continues.
Or….
2. The child, if born, would be seriously physically or mentally handicapped.
1990 amendment
As the 1967 Act, except that the time limit for when an abortion can be carried out was reduced to 24 weeks.

This Act means a pregnant woman has the right to an abortion if:
1. Upon keeping the pregnancy, and therefore having the child, the mother and/or any
children she already has would be harming their physical or mental well being.

2. The foetus has been shown to have either a physical or mental disability and therefore would be born handicapped.
If two doctors both agree that the woman suffers from either of the points, then abortion
is a legal option, as long as the pregnancy has not gone more than 24 weeks after
conception.


A 15 yr. old girl is pregnant and has requested and abortion without her parents knowing and with no intention to do so.
The girl would be allowed an abortion even though she is too young (under 16) to give
consent for the medical procedure to take place. The grounds the girl would be allowed the
abortion under would be under the first section of the 1967 Act, the pregnancy if
continued, would pose a risk to the mother’s own mental health.


An amniocentesis test shows that the baby has a serious deformity.
There is no doubt that an abortion would be legal in this circumstance, it falls exactly
under the second section of the 1967 Act, because the baby, if born, would be either
seriously physically or mentally handicapped.


The pregnancy was a result of rape.
An abortion would be permitted to the mother, because keeping the pregnancy would cause
the mother’s mental health to suffer, this the first section of the 1967 Act.


The Abortion Act allows for most abortions to go ahead, as it is open to various
interpretations (especially in the first section). One scenario where an abortion would
not be permitted would be:


A scan has shown that the baby is female and the parents want a boy.
These would not be significant grounds for an abortion to be said to be legal. However it
could be argued that it would cause the mother mental distress, but it is does not really
pose a serious threat to her health. However there has been a case of a mother who had two
abortions on the NHS because she didn’t like the looks of either of the fathers. This
shows that the Abortion Act can be abused and interpreted in, what we presume to be, a way
in which it was not intended.


What biblical teachings might be used in a discussion about abortion?

The bible is used by Pro life and Pro choice groups to ‘prove’ that their view is the view
that God takes, because the Bible is of course the word of God. The issue of abortion is
not specifically referred to in the words of the bible, so each group picks out the parts,
quotes, that support their cause.


Because pro life groups believe that life begins at the moment of conception, their proof
that abortion is wrong, is quotes that, state life begins at conception, people are formed
in the image of God and murder is wrong.

Anti abortion groups and the Roman Catholic church state that God created each and every
human, that each person was intended, their life planned, mapped out and built in the womb
of the mother, before the child is delivered, "For you created my inmost being; you knit
me together in my mother’s womb", "My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the
secret place." Psalm 139

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." Jeremiah 1:5, these say that God knows the
soul of every foetus, and therefore proves that the fertilised egg is a human life.

They use their belief that God’s spirit lives in every person, even in an unborn child and
by killing that child you are killing a part of God’s family, the quotes from the Bible
they use to support the claim are;

"Don’t you realise that all of you together are in the house of God, and that the spirit
of God lives among you in his house?" 1 Corinthian 3 V16 and "So God created man in his
own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis
1:27-28, these prove that each human is a part of God. These teachings are all about the
Sanctity of Life, which Christians believe in, this means that life is a gift from God and
each life is precious, therefore should be treated with the greatest care and it’s value
should not be jeopardised or questioned in anyway. The other meaning of the sanctity of
life is the next biblical teaching that some Christians would use to oppose abortion, the
teaching that only God has the right to decide when a life should be taken away, as he is
the one who gave that gift in the first instance and, as life begins at conception,
abortion is perceived to be the taking of a human life, "‘I came naked from my mother’s
womb’ he said ‘and I shall have nothing when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and
they were his to take away." Job 1 V21, this supports the argument. As does the ultimate
teaching, in the opposing groups eyes, this is possibly the simplest and most well known
quote from the Bible, "Thou shall not kill" Ten Commandments Exodus 20 V12. This is the
fifth of the Ten Commandments (rules that every man should follow), those who consider
abortion to be the murder of a human life, use this to prove that God does not tolerate
murder, therefor would not tolerate abortion, it is a sin.


There are of course biblical teachings that can be used to ‘pardon’ abortion, the main
theme identified in these quotes is the fact that God forgives our sins, that no one is
perfect.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify
us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1 V 9. This is one of the important quotes that the
people opposed to anti - abortionists use, it states that, if the person is truly sorry
for making the decision to abort the baby then God would forgive them of their sins.

They use Jesus’ life as a teaching that says that abortion will be forgiven, it is how
Jesus sent his life healing those in suffering and how he would not want to see someone
suffer if they did not have to, therefore in the eyes of God, abortion, as a last resort,
can be pardoned.

Then there are the more obscure, which are used to oppose the ‘life begins at conception’
belief, Genesis 2:7 God made Adam's body out of the dust of the earth. Later, the "man
became a living soul" only after God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." This
would imply that Adam's personhood started when he took his first breath and not at
conception.


The Bible offers quotes and passages that can be used to support both sides of the
abortion argument and because abortion is not directly pinpointed, then knowing which
teachings are the correct ones, are up to the individual.







How do Christians respond to the question of abortion?

To understand the different views of certain Christians you first have to understand that
the Christian faith is split into two main groups on this issue, Roman Catholics/ Church
of England fundamentalists and the Church of England.


Roman Catholics and Protestant fundamentalists hold the view that abortion is always
wrong, unless the mother’s life is in serious danger. These seemly anti-abortion people
are often connected with the anti-abortion group, Pro-life.

The Roman Catholic views are:
"God is the Lord of life and death - a person’s ultimate value stems from God and no
individuals can take it upon themselves in total mastery over the life of another."
Pro Life Campaign
This means that God brought every human into their respective lives and only he has the
right to take their lives away from them, no other human has the right to decide when
another person should die.

"Human beings do not have the right to take the lives of others: ‘Thou shall not kill.’ (Fifth
Commandment)." Pro Life Campaign / Bible
The meaning of this is the same as that of the first, that no person should take the life
of another, it is written in the Bible as one of the Ten Commandments.

"Human life begins at the moment of conception." Pro Life Campaign
"Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.
From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognised as having the
rights of a person among which is the inviolable right of every innocent life.
Catechism of the Catholic Church."
"The foetus is in no real sense "part" of the mother, but is a separate human being."
Pro Life Campaign
These mean that as soon as the egg of a female and the sperm of a male join, then what is
formed (the foetus) should be conceived as a human person, as soon as the diploid number
of 46 chromosomes (normal baby) is produced then the foetus becomes a part of the
population and should receive the same respect and rights as a fully grown adult.

"The right of the unborn to live supersedes any right of a woman to "control her own body".
Pro Life Campaign
This statement is a further point to the argument that the foetus has rights as a human,
this states that these rights are greater than the right that every woman has to choose to
keep the baby or not. They believe that abortion is a form of discrimination against the
weak, as the baby is not able to be heard.

"We have been created by Almighty God in his own image and likeness. No pregnancy is
unplanned, because no baby can be conceived unless God intends the conception and has
willed that particular individual new person into existence. What has actually happened in
our society is that clever arguments have convinced those with no anchor of belief in God
to cling to, that the merciless slaughter of unborn babies is morally justifiable, and even
essential for the happiness of the individual and for the good of society."
Catholic Truth Society.

This speech highlights the natural law argument, that the person was meant to be else
he/she would not have been conceived. It is God’s will that the baby is to be born and by
aborting the child the person has defied God’s intentions. It also blames society for
making people believe that abortion is acceptable, that they have twisted God’s words to
back up their case, and falsely claimed that abortion is the right way to go about dealing
with an unwanted pregnancy.

"Abortion at whatever stage of development of the foetus, is the taking of a human life."
This statement says that to have an abortion, no matter how far the pregnancy has
advanced, means to murder a human being, they use the previous statements to support their
argument.

Teachings from the Bible also are used to support the anti - abortion views, the ‘thou
shall not kill’ Commandment has already been explained, there are many more used in
arguments, such as:

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb and My frame
was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place." Psalm 139
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." Jeremiah 1:5
The quotes from the Bible say that God was responsible for creating the person within the
foetus (the soul) when it was still forming in the womb and that God already knew what the
foetus would be like in every way before it was seen by anyone else. The Pro - Life group
uses this to ‘prove’ that the foetus is a person with a soul, to back up their claims that
the unborn should have human rights.

The only time that Catholic’s accept (but not necessarily agree) abortion, is if the life
of the mother is in great danger, she is likely to die if the pregnancy continues. They do
not however support abortion when the pregnancy is a result of a rape attack.


"Abortion should not be permitted for rape because it is wrong to punish a child for the sin
of the father." Pro Life Campaign
The reason they give states that the child is the innocent result of a vicious attack and
it should be killed because it came into the world because it’s father was evil enough to
commit the attack.


However this Roman Catholic belief has not always been consistent. It wasn’t until the
seventeenth century, that ‘ensoulment’ (the gaining of the soul) was believed to happen at
the moment of conception, that Catholics have been taught that abortion is always wrong.
This was taught in the oldest Christian document known, written in 70CE, it read:
Continues for 11 more pages >>




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