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Religious Studies Coursework - Abortion

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Introduction

Religious Studies Coursework Christianity Melissa Parvis 5W 2006 1. A. i. What is meant by the word or term "Abortion"? The dictionary states that abortion is: "The termination of a pregnancy by artificial or chemical means." So this means abortion is the premature artificial termination of a pregnancy that otherwise would continue to a birth of a possible healthy child. Although sometimes this happens on its own accord, this is called a spontaneous abortion or a miscarriage. Sometimes this can be very upsetting for couples wanting a baby but sometimes this happens so early on in the pregnancy the mother doesn't even notice. Procured abortion and miscarriage are both very different, abortion is purposeful and miscarriage is natural. Today there has been a rise in abortions. In 2004, for women resident in England and Wales the total number of abortions was 185,400, compared with 181,600 in 2003, a rise of 2.1%.Some of the public see abortions as a social dilemma, but others may say that this proves that women today have bigger ambitions and do not want to be weighed down by an unwanted pregnancy. This could hamper their chances of further education, promotion or leaving the mother unable to work full hours. Some people see abortion as murder. In 1861 abortion became a criminal act under any circumstances and it was punishable by imprisonment. ...read more.

Middle

Here is an extract from the Didache related to abortion: "You shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born" Roman Catholic would agree with this extract. They also believe abortion is very closely linked to contraception and the morning after pill. They think because there is no real answer to "where life begins" and no real way of telling when it is right or wrong to kill an unborn child, people must steer clear of all things abortion related, including contraception. As I have said it is very difficult to answer the question "where life begins". Some might say it begins as soon as the sperm and egg meet, but then others might say it is when the child had been given birth to. B. Explain how Christians put their beliefs about abortion into action. Christians feel their faith it is a way of life and a religion and so influences them in many ways. Having said this, Christians are also influenced by the society they live in. There has been an increasing feminist influence in American and Western European Christianity since the 1960's and many Christians have differing views. Churches will respond to abortion and try to help the problem as follows: Church of England and Methodist followers might hand out free contraceptives in church, so others would easily be able ...read more.

Conclusion

In this rare case I am prochoice. On the other hand, if there is a middle aged woman, already married with one child. She finds herself pregnant with an unwanted but healthy baby. If she was to have an abortion, she would be being very selfish. If she is financially able to support the baby and her other child without it making their lives difficult then I think abortion is not justified in this case. A better option would be adoption. The baby would be given to another loving family desperate for a child. In this and many other cases I am prolife. For me, abortion is only ever justified when it is seen as the most selfless thing to do. This is situation ethics. This is a theory developed by Hoseph Fletcher in the 1960's. He said that Christians should decide on what is morally right by looking at which situation is the most loving. Bibilography http://www.gcsere.org.uk/ The UK's abortion law Abortion is legal in the UK up to the 24th week of pregnancy. However, if there is a substantial risk to the woman's life or if there are foetal abnormalities there is no time limit. To comply with the 1967 Abortion Act, two doctors must give their consent, stating that to continue with the pregnancy would present a risk to the physical or mental health of the woman or her existing children. http://www.mariestopes.org.uk/uk/abortion-uk-law.htm^^ http://www.efc.org.uk/Foryoungpeople/Factsaboutabortion/HistoryofUKabortionlaw "Today's issues and Christian beliefs" By Simon and Christopher Dames http://ffrf.org/nontracts/abortion.php http://www.eadshome.com/BibleandAbortion.htm http://www.reonline.org.uk/allre/tt_nframe.php?http://www.request.org.uk/issues/topics/abortion/abortion01.htm ...read more.

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