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Explain how a follower of natural law might approach the issues surrounding Abortion.

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Introduction

Explain how a follower of natural law might approach the issues surrounding Abortion. Natural Law, as outlined and enforced by Thomas Aquinas, says that every living thing has a purpose, and that every solution to a dilemma and every action can be solved by reasoning, which will gain you ultimate happiness. This Is linked with Aristotle's idea that everyone has a specific purpose, and the Primary Precepts can help you to achieve your purpose. This is key knowledge to help with the understanding of Natural Law follower's views about abortion. Human reasoning in any dilemma or problematic situation should be applied to the Primary Precepts of Natural Law. The two main precepts that are concerned in Natural Law with abortion are The Preservation of Life and Reproduction. Generally, conforming to Natural Law, the right action to take would be one that conforms to all the precepts, however with abortion it is not quite as simple. ...read more.

Middle

However this is only if one believes that life begins at conception. Abortion involves taking the life of a foetus that you believe to be a human life, which in turn act against the precept of the Preservation of Life, as you not preserving life, but taking one away. However, there are a few exceptions. Aquinas' Doctrine of Double effect applies these exceptions. Aquinas saw the precepts as absolutely true for every single being, and that using our reasoning can bring us to the right solution in every situation. However there are times when in order to conform to one precept, we must decide to act against another. For example; there is a pregnant woman, however for medical reasons carrying on with the pregnancy would end in her death. She has two choices, one; have the baby and end her own life or two; have an abortion and save her own life. ...read more.

Conclusion

These criteria are suggested by Mary Anne Warren, and are Sentience, Emotionality, Reason, Ability to Communicate, Self-awareness and Moral agency. Conforming to these criteria would mean the a Foetus cannot be classed as a person, as it does not fit into any of these criteria. However, later on in the development of a Foetus it begins to fit into some of the criteria, such as Sentience. Could this mean that a foetus slowly becomes a person? Mary Anne Warren suggests that a Foetus is a potential person, but says that it does not have a right to life, which really does not solve any arguments as to whether or not a Foetus is a person. It is also argued that a potential life, as proposed by Mary Anne Warren, does not have any rights or privileges. This would also mean that a Foetus does not have access to human rights, and the right to life. So that begs the question, if something does not have access to human rights, is it a person? ...read more.

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