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Explain how belief in the Sanctity of Life may influence ethical approaches to Abortion.

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Introduction

Explain how belief in the Sanctity of Life may influence ethical approaches to abortion. Abortion has been a hotly debated issue throughout history, especially with those who believe in the Sanctity of Life. Abortion was legalised in the England, Wales and Scotland in 1967 but remains illegal in Northern Ireland due to the strong ties to Christianity and also the teaching of the Sanctity of Life that can follow. The sanctity of life argument is often put forward from a Christian viewpoint, and is supported in particular by the Roman Catholic Church, which has always strongly and openly condemned the act of abortion. Believers in the Sanctity of Life take a deontological position in which love and compassion for all human life takes a significant role. ...read more.

Middle

The Sanctity of Life teaches that Life is a gift from God and that "man was made in the image of God" and therefore, the destruction of a gift from God and a being in the image of God is abominable. Abortion, as a Christian describes it as the destruction of a life, you are destroying God's creation. The Sanctity of Life, as a Christian ethic, is often associated with Christian Ethics. The most notable ethical theory of Christian Ethics is that of Natural Moral Law. St Thomas Aquinas developed Natural Law in the 13th century from the Aristotelian theory. This ethical theory is an absolutist and deontological one - it is focused on the ethicacy of actions rather than the consequences. Aquinas described Natural Law as a moral code existing within the purpose of nature, created by God. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Sanctity of Life can also be applied to Kantian Ethics - it is arguable to Kant's moral system can only be used as an attempt to rationalise Christian Moral principles. Kant would consider abortion as wrong because you cannot universalise the killing of a foetus; otherwise the human race would cease to exist. Sanctity of Life can also affect Situation Ethics. As a considerably more relativist ethical theory, Situation Ethics would judge Abortion as the most loving thing to do for both parties when the principle of Double Effect is considered or if the child is very likely to have severe disabilities. Whilst the Sanctity of Life is considered, the Quality of Life is reasoned along with it, and when weighed up, it is the lesser of two evils and the most loving thing to do is have an abortion. ...read more.

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