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Explain the religious and ethical views on key issues surrounding the abortion debate.

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain the religious and ethical views on key issues surrounding the abortion debate. [35] Abortion, the premature expulsing of an unborn child from the womb, is one of the most hotly debated issues of our time. On one side of the argument there is the pro-choice community who believe that abortion should be available to all women, and on the other there is the pro-life community who believe that it is the murder of an innocent human. Deciding what side is correct depends on an individual?s religious, scientific and ethical views. Key issues include the moral status of the unborn child, and whether its rights outweigh the mother?s. In examining this multifaceted debate, a good place to start is the Christian perspective. Many of the early church fathers had an existentialist view, where the foetus progressively becomes a person over time. Some are influenced by St Thomas Aquinas who identified the moment of ?quickening? as the decision point of development. This key moment is also significant for the formation of the brain and the first appearance of the ?human icon?, when the foetus begins to look like a human being. ...read more.

Middle

They believe abortion is murder of the innocent and have respect for human life right from conception. The Catholic Church has an essentialist view of abortion that does not allow for exceptional circumstances, even rape. In the Humanae Vitae of 1968 Pope Pius VI said, ?human life is sacred.? This was followed up with the Declaration on Procured Abortion, 1974, where it states that women?s rights, though good in themselves, cannot be an excuse for abortion when it denies another person the fundamental right to life. On the other hand, some churches have more liberal views. The Methodist Church of Ireland released a document in 2012 that outlines their support for abortion in some circumstances: when the mother?s life is at risk; when her mental or physical health is at risk; in cases of rape and incest and fatal foetal abnormalities. They believe that their view is the most compassionate towards both the mother and child. They do, however, emphasise that they are against abortion on demand. The crux of the document is that while Christians may not agree with abortion, we should respect the separation of church and state when it comes to abortion law. ...read more.

Conclusion

An example of this could be abortion: it may permit indirect therapeutic abortion (such as treating cancer, which may cause death of the foetus) but not direct therapeutic abortion. Prolife Christians often use the acronym SLED when arguing against abortion. This stands for size, level of development, environment and dependency. Starting with size, pro-lifers argue that it is wrong to discriminate against the unborn due to their size. Level of development means that the only difference between the unborn and us is that they are not as developed, but the toddler is not as developed as the adult. This does not mean the toddler is any less. Environment refers to the fact that just because the unborn is within the uterus, that does not mean it has no rights. Why should a 7-inch journey down the birth canal make a difference? Finally, dependency means that just because the unborn is dependent on its mother, it does not imply it should be allowed to be killed. A disabled person may be dependent on others but this does not mean we have the right to kill them. Abortion is much more likely to be supported within the secular realm. Ethicists such as Singer have a utilitarian view of abortion. ...read more.

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