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

Religious Studies: Abortion Coursework

Extracts from this document...


Religious Studies: Abortion Coursework What is meant by the word 'abortion'? Abortion is defined as the 'premature death of a baby inside the womb and its expulsion from the mother's body'. The word comes from the Latin word 'aboriri' which means 'to fail to be born'. Sometimes a baby dies and departs from the womb due to natural causes- this is known as a 'miscarriage'. A 'procured abortion' is what most people mean when they talk about abortion, and is the term given to the deliberate ending of a pregnancy. An abortion involves the administering of a general anaesthetic in order to dilate the neck of the uterus. Then a suction device is used to remove the entire contents of the womb and larger parts, such as the head, are crushed and drawn out with the use of forceps. In late abortions, a lethal injection is given to the foetus before prostaglandin (labour inducing hormone) is supplied to the mother, and the dead foetus is delivered normally via the vagina. In both cases, special care is taken to ensure that no foetal tissue remains within the uterus of the woman, as it can cause infection, and ultimately: death. An abortion activating pill, RU486, is also available to be taken within the first ten weeks of pregnancy and is given under specialist care in hospitals. Abortion is an unpleasant and gruesome procedure, so why would anyone consider having an abortion? Abortion would be considered an attractive option for many different reasons: � The pregnancy may occur at a time when the woman is young, in full time education, or at crucial stages of her career- if she takes time out, it could be difficult to carry on where she left off � The woman might not be in a stable relationship at the time, and she doesn't want to risk ultimately raising a child on her own � The pregnancy could jeopardise the health of the woman if it were to continue � The child may be likely to have health problems (which can be tested for via ultrasound scanning and amniocentesis) ...read more.


The Church of England permits abortion in the following circumstances: � If there is a serious risk to the mother's life � If conception was a result of rape � If there is a grave risk that the baby would be born disabled The Church of England provides the following justification for these beliefs: 'We affirm that every human life, created in the divine image is unique...and that this holds for each of us, born or yet to be born. We therefore believe that abortion is an evil...and that abortion on demand would be a very great evil. But we also believe that to withhold compassion is evil and in circumstances of extreme distress or need...Christians need to face frankly the fact that in an imperfect world the 'right' choice is sometimes the acceptance of the lesser of two evils' Church of England We can clearly see that the Church of England uses 'Situation Ethics' to justify the use of abortion. 'Situation Ethics' is the making of a decision which would be the more 'loving' thing to do. Therefore, the Church of England understands that sometimes people are put in the position of deciding whether it is more 'loving', for example, to: 1. Allow the mother to live via the use of abortion OR 2. Carry through with the pregnancy which poses a risk to the mother's life as well as that of the baby Each case can be justified, via the use of Biblical and Church teaching, to be some form of evil, however one can be considered 'less' evil than another. The Salvation Army carries similar views to those of the Church of England and believes in the 'Sanctity of Life' from the moment of conception, however, also believes that abortion is justifiable in very few cases including: a threat to the life of the mother, or if the baby would be born abnormal to the extent that it would only survive for a period lasting only a few days. ...read more.


The harsh truth of this may be hard for Westerners to grasp, but Buddhists believe that it is a universal truth that holds true in all situations. Buddhists would justify their belief that abortion cannot be justified even in the case of rape or severe disability by explaining that: 'Existence is characterized by suffering and does not bring satisfaction' The Four Noble Truths This fundamental idea elucidates that the whole point of life is that it is exigent, and that the goal of life is not to seek refuge in pleasures, but to liberate oneself from the continual cycle of rebirth. Each person's life is governed by the actions of their previous life (karma) and if they suffer in their present life, they can only persevere and build up a good karma for their next life. Islam does not permit abortion unless there is a grave danger to the mother's life. Some Muslims believe that the mother has greater rights than the foetus up until the end of the fourth month, after which they both have equal rights. They believe that the later the abortion takes place, the worse it is. In Islam, like in Christianity, abortion was not a great concern at the time that the scriptures were written, but the Qu'ran teaches the following: 'Kill not your offspring for fear of poverty, it is We who provide for them and for you. Surely, killing them is a great sin' Surah 17:32 To conclude, I believe that abortion can never be justified because I believe that nobody has the right to take another's life, whereas a Christian would argue that abortion is a great sin, however, every case is different, and abortion can be the more loving thing to do. A Muslim would agree with a Christian, but explain that they believe that the mother's life is only of more value than the child's up until the end of the fourth month of pregnancy, and therefore abortion would be justified in that period of time for the benefit of the mother's life. ...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. arguments for and against abortion.

    The common law has not treated the unborn child as a legal person for all purposes. However it cannot be right that the most basic question - who is the subject of human rights - who is a member of our community under the rule of law - should be

  2. Explain why Religious people may have problems with transplant surgery?

    believe that the organs have been created by God for a particular individual, and cannot then be put into somebody else, as they are particularly concerned that that transplants may affect Jews' Jewishness. They would also agree with all non-religious arguments against transplant surgery.

  1. With reference to abortion, examine and comment on the view that the sanctity of ...

    fully predict the consequences of an action, and although one may believe that an act may have the most loving consequences, or be the greatest good for the greatest number, one could never know for sure. Sanctity of life is only specific to religious groups, and is therefore difficult to apply to everyone.

  2. abortion coursework

    Christians may view this as the point at which life begins as this is when the sperm and ovum meet, that is an irreversible act of a new life coming into existence. 1 month - Heart pumping, eyes, spinal cord, nerves, lungs, stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys begin to form.

  1. Why do many Christians oppose abortion? Abortion is a premature expulsion of the foetus ...

    for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise'. The interesting point here is that it is only if the woman dies from her injuries that murder is deemed to have taken place.

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

    They have also never seen the light of day and know nothing, "moreover it has not seen the sun or known anything;"17. This would be the same for an abortion. "It would have been better for that man if he had not been born"18.

  1. Describe and explain bible quotes a Christian might use in a discussion about abortion

    But surely you are only taking life away in abortion if life begins in the womb. John 1:19 "The Word became a human being, full of grace and truth and lived amongst us." God came to live as a human in the form of Jesus.

  2. Every pregnant woman has an inalienable right to have an abortion. Discuss.

    convenience, however they do place a much higher regard upon the mothers life over the foetus, and recognize the fact that the foetus does not become a separate person until birth. But in the case of the woman it appears they would object to a mother having an inalienable right concerning abortion.

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