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RE exam questions - Matters of life and death

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H/w Matters of life and death exam question 15/03/08 A) What is the sanctity of life? (2 marks) The sanctity of life is the belief that life is holy and belongs to God. B) Outline British law on abortion (6 marks) The 1967 Abortion Act states that an abortion can be carried out if two doctors agree that: - The mother's life is at risk. - There is a risk of injury to the mother's physical or mental health. - There is a risk that another child would put at risk the mental or physical health of existing children. - There is a substantial risk that the baby might be born seriously handicapped. The 1990 act states that abortions cannot take place after 24 weeks of pregnancy, unless the mother's life is at risk, because advances in medical techniques mean that such foetuses have a chance of survival. C) Explain why there are different attitudes to abortion in Christianity (8 marks) Roman Catholics and most Evangelical Protestants think that all forms of abortion are sinful and should not be allowed. ...read more.


They would also allow abortion where the embryo is handicapped so that birth would only give a life of great suffering or early death. They would allow abortion where the life of the mother is threatened. Some would also allow abortion for social reasons such as poverty and the effects on the rest of the family. Such Christians base their attitude on the following Christian teachings: - Jesus told Christians to love their neighbour as themselves and abortion may be the most loving thing. - Christians have to face up to new technology and accept the advances in medicine to cure illness. They should accept advances such as amniocentesis (tests in early pregnancy to predict certain handicaps in the foetus) to prevent disease and suffering. - Christianity is concerned with justice and it would be unjust to ban abortions because it would affect the poor more than the rich (the rich would still be able to buy abortions) - The sanctity of life can be broken in such things as war when people are killed, so there could be justification for abortion. ...read more.


By going by this belief, people believe that only when both mother and father agree to an abortion it can be taken place. On the other hand, I can see how many people think it is all up to the mother as she is the one in control of the baby and it will inevitably affect her life. Some people believe that if the mother wants an abortion it is all her decision and nobody should stop her as God made humans to have free will and do as they please. Personally, I believe that not all women should be given the right to have an abortion because Sikhs believe that abortion is not allowed if the mother is healthy and has no just reason for the abortion. However, I do believe that some women in situations like if the mother was raped, if the baby will be born handicapped and suffer or if the mother's life is at risk should be allowed to have an abortion as Sikhs belief that each individual is as important and a part of God's essence, therefore the mother is more important than the unborn child. ...read more.

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