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Christian Views on Abortion

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Introduction

Christian Views on Abortion 'You shall not murder' (Exodus 20:13 The Holy Bible New International Version) Within the Christian Church there is generally a keen desire to follow and apply the teachings of the Bible. However this in not easy and a number of alternative readings of Scripture have lead to a variety of viewpoints concerning the moral implications of abortion. Generally the Church is united in its condemnation of abortion. Most Christians believe abortion violates the sixth command which prohibits murderous acts. However there is a keen debate concerning the moment a human embryo/foetus becomes fully human (i.e. when, according to Christian teaching, it has both body and soul). The Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church teaches that ensoulment takes place at the moment of conception and this has been a key reason for their refusal to condone abortion (although Thomas Aquinas taught that the soul of girls was implanted by God at 90 days and the soul of boys at 40 days). Another key factor is Natural Law which Catholics believe shows that the natural consequence of the woman becoming pregnant is to give birth. 'By the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his successors, and in communion with the bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral.' ...read more.

Middle

of handicapped foetuses is that they should only be given if the baby is likely to die from its deformities soon after birth.' Although the church allows abortion in certain cases it believes there are too many abortions performed and quote a figure of 170,000 per year. If abortion is to be carried out it must also be done as early as possible before 24 weeks. The Methodist Church 'Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother, for who devastating damage may result from an unacceptable pregnancy.' Methodists believe life is sacred because it is God-given. They also believe that the ability to decide when and whether individuals will be born is 'an awesome power'. Thus the gift of life is a precious thing and should be treated with reverence and respect. However, it can be seen from the quote above that Methodists do believe that there are times when abortions may be necessary ('we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother'). This may the case if the mother's emotional and/or physical well-being is at risk from her pregnancy. However, if an abortion is considered necessary then the church believes this should be done at the earliest possible stage. ...read more.

Conclusion

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be' The Prophet Jeremiah spoke similar words: 'The Word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you' (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV). Even Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that God had a plan for the baby (Jesus) she was going to have ('He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High' (Luke 1:32 NIV)) and John 'leapt in the womb' when Mary came to visit Elizabeth (his mother - Luke 1:41). From this it is argued that God knows each human and has a plan for each of us that is shaped and formed in the mind of God even before we are born. Human life begins at conception so abortion is wrong. The strongest biblical evidence used against abortion is the prohibition to commit murder (Exodus 20:13). Christians against abortion believe the embryo/foetus is human and should be give full human rights. Anyone taking away its life is committing a grievous act of disobedience against God (they are committing murder) and are putting themselves on a level with God who alone gives life and takes it away. Biblical arguments for the right to choice Christians who argue a pro-choice position do so by first showing that the Bible does not specifically teach anything about abortion. ...read more.

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