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“An acceptance of the practice of abortion with Christian beliefs in the sanctity of life but not with attitudes of medical practitioners and some ethical philosophers.” Discuss

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Introduction

"An acceptance of the practice of abortion with Christian beliefs in the sanctity of life but not with attitudes of medical practitioners and some ethical philosophers." Discuss Procured abortion is the deliberate termination of a pregnancy as a result of some medical interference. The abortion act 19671 states that abortions can be carried out with the consent of two medical practitioners. A woman can have an abortion up to birth if continuing with the pregnancy presents a risk to the mother's life and if the child would be born with severe disabilities. The law was altered in 1991 when abortions were only allowed up to 24 weeks, but the other sections of the law remain. Most Christian churches teach that abortion is wrong as it taking away a life, which God has created in his image. The Catholic Church is the most intangible on their teachings. The Vatican still hold the ideas of St. Augustine's natural law. Natural law is 'the binding of moral principles that can be discerned by human reason and understood as analogous to a legal code.2' Natural law holds that sexual intercourse's only purpose is to reproduce and if a child is conceived as a result of intercourse then to abort the child is to go against God's will. Because of this, abortion is always wrong. The only exception that Catholic Church teaches is that if the mother develops cervical cancer or the pregnancy is ectopic. This is allowed due to the Doctrine of Double Effect. If the mother develops cervical cancer then a hysterectomy is needed. ...read more.

Middle

Pro-choice activists say that a woman's body is her own and the foetus is an invader of her body, if she wants to keep the invader then it is up to her and if she wants to expel it from her body then it is up to her also. The idea of the invader comes from the ethical philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson who is believes strongly that the woman has the right to choose, as it is her body. If the foetus has rights we cannot take those rights away, as we have not got the authority and if the foetus is a person then no one human life is greater than the other. Peter Singer says that we should 'accord the life of a foetus no greater value than the life of a nonhuman animal at a similar level of rationality, self-consciousness, awareness, capacity to feel.5' Singer holds that, like Tooley, the foetus maybe seen as human but cannot be called a person as being a person and being human are not the same thing, and like Tooley, Singer says that 'since no foetus is a person, no foetus has the same claim to life as a person.6' There is one similarity that I can see between Tooley and Singer's argument; Singer only holds this argument until birth whereas Tooley's argument extends beyond birth and defends infanticide. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that tries to solve moral dilemmas like abortion. It's most basic fundamental principle is the right action is that which produces the greatest amount of happiness or pleasure for the greatest number of people (utility calculus). ...read more.

Conclusion

Christians believe that life is a gift from God and no one has the right to take that life away except God. Life is sacred and begins at conception. The two opposing sides disagree on the answer to two questions; when does life begin and is the foetus a person (i.e. has a soul)? Medical p�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0??�0ractitioners seem to accept abortion when it is going to beneficial to medical science for example for researching stem cells. Ethical philosophers are searching for the answers that Christians already seem to have, when does life begin? The Bible tells Christians that life is sacred, and the church has interpreted this for abortion and other ethical dilemmas. In the book of Jeremiah God says 'before I formed you in the womb you were mine' (Jer1: 5). The Bible and the church seems to offer answers to ethical issues but if you look into situations more, you may start to see that things are not just black and white and this is what ethical philosophers do; they do not want the answers given to them on a plate they need to find the answers themselves. 1 Public General Acts and Measures of 1967, Elizabeth II, Chapter 87, page 2033 2 The HarperCollins Encyclopaedia of Catholicism, Richard P McBrien (General Editor), HarperCollins Publishers, 1995 3 www.bma.org.uk 4 Abortion and Infanticide by Michael Tooley, Oxford University Press, 1983 5 Practical Ethics Second Edition by Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, 1999 6 Practical Ethics Second Edition by Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, 1999 7 The Gospel of Life, #20, John Paul II, 1995 8 Twenty years after the feminine mystique, New York Times Magazine, 23rd February 1983 ?? ?? ?? ?? Michael Swift 30570/6130 ...read more.

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