• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In this assignment the topic discussed is whether the sanctity of life view is a moral absolute when applying it to the subject of abortion?

Extracts from this document...


Abortion is deliberate termination of a pregnancy at some point between conception and birth. There are three stages of development, defined as, Pre-embryo (conception-14 days), Embryo (14 days to 8 weeks) and Foetus (8 weeks onwards). Abortion raises much debate among many people; some are pro choice whilst others remain pro life. In this assignment the topic discussed is whether the sanctity of life view is a moral absolute when applying it to the subject of abortion? One of the key questions that are raised when thinking about abortion is when does life begin? The stoic view determined that life begins at birth, Judaism in the main supported this understanding but, because of a broadened knowledge of foetal development, this understanding has lately become unpopular. However others believe that it is the moment when the mother feels the first movements of her baby. This has been argued against because the genetic material needed to be human is already present in the foetus. A more common argument is that life begins at conception because the development of the foetus is continuous, on the other hand the following argument is used: One could say the same thing about the development from acorn to oak but is an acorn an oak? They are characteristically different as is a fertilised egg and a fully developed human being. Nevertheless it could be argued that life begins when the foetus becomes 'viable' when the baby is capable of surviving outside the mothers' womb alone. ...read more.


This evidence is a large basis for the Roman Catholic argument against abortion. St Augustine argued that God implanted the soul of a person at 46 days whereas Aquinas argued girls at 90 days and boys at 40 days, however the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the soul is implanted at the moment of conception. "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence a human being must be recognised as having the rights of a person among which is the inviolable right of every innocent life" Catechism of the Catholic Church. The RC church is adamant that it is intrinsically evil and absolutely condemns it with no exceptions. Abortion rebels against natural law and the word of God. The foetus deserves the same status as a born human being. There is clearly a biblical basis for the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Churches teachings. In Exodus 20:13 we can learn the command set out by God, 'Thou shall not kill'. This simply means that no one should kill any human being, but then again not all people would consider a growing baby in a mother's womb to be a human being. In Mark 12:31, we are met with the words, 'Love your neighbour and yourself' This extract talks about the fact that everyone should love each other that no hostilities are taken to each other. This includes killing a life inside a womb. ...read more.


However people have countered this by asking why not then make eggs and sperm protected in the same way? Taking it to a logical absurdity, your next meal might ultimately be potential human life! This becomes even further involved if one is not a dualist, but believes that a person is just a very complex system of chemicals and electricity. Following this logic would mean that the same amount of respect must be given whether an adult or a foetus, or even an animal is involved. Carrying it further fire and weather also fit the definition of complex life-like systems, but maybe should not be accorded rights? Someone speaking from a utilitarian point of view would consider the greatest pleasure for the majority of people. If the pregnancy would bring greater pleasure than pain then it would be permitted to have an abortion. Other elements should also be considered such as the hedonic calculus. Many "pro choice" supporters complain that it is irrational and brutal to expect a woman to die so that her unborn child may live. Abortion should be permitted on demand, especially in cases such as rape or incest. In contrast to this many "pro life" supporters argue that abortion can never be rationalised or permitted, as it is fundamentally immoral to kill an unborn child who is an innocent human being no matter what the circumstances or the law. Need to discuss utilitarianism and situation ethics more however the computer hasn't held all information on the disk I will make sure this gets to you by tomorrow! sorry Abortion 1 Holly Devlin ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Abortion and other medical issues section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Abortion and other medical issues essays

  1. Abortion is a highly controversial topics, everyone has an opinion on it, whether you ...

    He also argues that sanctity of life believers are spiciest as only human life is worthwhile as if the sanctity of life argument was to be applied generally there would be no grounds for killing animals for food or experiments.

  2. Is The Sanctity of Life to be regarded as a Moral Absolute? Discuss in ...

    If the foetus is regarded as fully human then it has all rights that a person would have and that it can never be aborted. The bible tells us that the foetus is a child and it has all the rights as a human and that because God gave it life so therefore it is sacred.

  1. Is the law on abortion in this country in a satisfactory state at present?

    So if the life of a human organism, including a foetus has intrinsic value whether or not it has personal value, 'if we treat any form of human life as something we should respect and honour and protect as marvellous in it self the abortion remains morally problematic'27.

  2. 'An acceptance of the practice of Abortion (or of embryo research) is incompatible with ...

    God's gift is seen as precious and should not be misused. The gift of life is used to become closer to God. The Ruth passage shows that God's gift to women are their children. The elimination of the gift of life through Abortion would be incompatible with the Christian belief in the sanctity of life.

  1. Describe the Muslim Teaching on the sanctity of life and how this can be ...

    This opinion is agreed with by several prominent scholars. A slightly more hard-line view agrees with all those cirumstances, barring the child's actual deformity. These scholars take the opinion that the child's suffering must be untreatable and cause great suffering to him, in order to abort the child.

  2. Abortion - a utilitarian view

    Jennifer went to the party and slept with the guy that had asked her out prior to the party. The couple had used a condom for safe sex and to prevent conception. It's been a week now and Jennifer started to feel nausea at meals and started to have desire for certain food quite often then she did before.

  1. The Moral Issue 'Abortion'.

    hold onto the fertilised egg. The other, given 48 hours later, causes the uterus to cramp. The lining of the uterus breaks down and the embryo is lost in the bleeding that follows, as happens with a miscarriage. 5 to 15 weeks Vacuum aspiration abortion Vacuum aspiration simply means suction.

  2. How does Judaism view abortion?

    Would euthanasia be allowed in Judaism? No, it's not permitted in Jewish laws. How do Jewish people view passive euthanasia?

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work