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Abortion and the Catholic Church.

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Introduction

Abortion and the Catholic Church by Sarah Flackett, Emma Gibbons, Lisa Rafferty and Lisa Thursfield Abortion is the ejection of an immature and non-viable foetus from the womb. The current law governing abortion in the United Kingdom is defined by the 1967 Abortion Act. This act states that: Abortion is only legal if it is carried out by a doctor in approved premises and two doctors certify that the pregnancy has not exceeded its 24th week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the woman or any existing children of her family or the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the woman, or there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped. If the woman's life is in danger or if there is a real risk that the child, if born would have a severe physical or mental disability, then there is no legal time limit. The 1967 Act does not extend to Northern Ireland, where abortion is still illegal. Forty six million abortions occur each year. Around 180,00 abortions take place in the UK each year. 87% of abortions take place at around 13 weeks. The Catholic Church has always taught that abortion is wrong. ...read more.

Middle

Jeremiah 1:5 Scientists have much evidence to support the Church's view that life begins at conception. A developing embryo is genetically different from the sperm and egg that created it. A trained geneticist can distinguish between the DNA of an embryo and that of a sperm and egg. But that same geneticist could not distinguish between the DNA of a developing embryo and a full-grown human being. Roman Catholics believe life begins from the moment of conception so an abortion at any time during the pregnancy is murder. Catholics view murder as a mortal sin because it is breaking one of the ten commandments given by God. "Thou shalt not kill" Exodus 20:13 The Catholic Church believes and supports human rights and it teaches that abortion denies the most fundamental of all human rights - the right to life. The law allows abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy but the Church has serious problems with this because during this time the baby can think and it feels the pain of the abortion and it's unique characteristics are developing all the time. By the time most women realise they are pregnant the foetus already has a beating heart and its body and it's features are in proportion. The Church also says that people do not have the right to choose whether to have an abortion or not because Catholic's believe that God gives them life as a precious gift and it is only God who can take it away. ...read more.

Conclusion

However many critics of the Church say that it is inhuman to make young woman carry the child of their rapist when it may cause them serious mental harm. One organisation that is against abortion is the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. SPUC aims to affirm, defend and promote the existence and value of human life from the moment of conception, and to defend and protect human life generally. It wants to reassert the principle laid down in the UN 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child that the child "needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth." It also wants to defend, assist and promote the life and welfare of mothers during pregnancy and of their children from the time of conception up to, during and after birth. And it wants to examine existing or proposed laws, legislation or regulations relating to abortion and to support or oppose such as appropriate. As a group we agree with most of the Church's teachings on abortion. We agree that life begins at conception and abortion is wrong because it is the killing of a human. We also think that all people whether they are disabled or not should have an equal chance at life. However we feel that women should have the choice about whether to have an abortion or not especially in cases of rape and incest. ...read more.

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