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The Christian View of Abortion

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Introduction

The Christian View of Abortion What is Abortion? Abortion is the 'premature removal from the womb of a foetus during pregnancy', according to Beliefs, Values and Traditions by Ann Lovelace and Jay White. Abortion can be seen in two ways: the first, which is more commonly known as a miscarriage, is if it happens naturally and spontaneously due to complications with the pregnancy. The second kind, which is more commonly known as abortion, is when the pregnancy is terminated by inducing birth while the foetus is too undeveloped to survive. This is done by a simple surgical procedure. The History of Abortion Abortion in Britain used to be a crime due to the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861. This changed in 1967 when MP David Steel introduced a bill into the House of Commons, which became The Abortion Act of 1967. Before the 1967 Abortion Act, however, unqualified people that had little or no medical training at all carried out many 'backstreet' abortions out every year. These abortions were performed in the most horrific conditions, which sometimes resulted in the death of the mother or she would be left permanently harmed with infertility a frequent result. ...read more.

Middle

One of the earliest teachings of Christianity not in the New Testament, The Didache, says: "You shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born" If you were to ask the practising Christians in all the denominations what they thought of abortion you would probably find six arguments in their answers. These six arguments are: 1. Women should have the right to have an abortion at any time up to the moment of birth no questions asked as it is their bodies and the foetus is part of the woman's body. This is known as 'abortion on demand'. 2. The foetus is a human being but if it is unwanted then it should not have to be cared for and the mother should not have to accept an unwanted burden. As the foetus is in your body, which is your property you are justified in killing it. 3. The baby can be aborted but only up to a certain point of which it can survive outside the mother's womb. Before then it is part of the woman's body and she has the right to decide what happens to it. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that deliberate induced abortion is a serious sin in all circumstances. The Catholic view is that human life begins at the moment of conception. From that moment it is sacred and everybody should try to protect it. "Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes" (Vatican ?, Gaudium et Spes 51) The Church's teaching is explained more fully in the Declaration on Procured Abortion (1974). This helped do three things: * It re stated the traditional beliefs of the church as well as stating that every human not just Christians should have the same respect for life that Catholic belief has. * That women's rights are a good thing but they do not give a woman the right to deny another person the right to life. * To make an appeal to women that although conception can be due to an evil another evil would not help matters. The best way to deal with it would be moral support. This means that if a woman falls pregnant after rape the woman should not have an abortion but give birth and her family and friends should give her moral and emotional support. ...read more.

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