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What is meant by the word 'abortion'?

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Introduction

Religious Studies Coursework, Paper 2, Title 1: Abortion A. 1) What is meant by the word 'abortion'? An abortion is the premature expulsion of a foetus from the uterus resulting the ending, or termination of a pregnancy before the baby is capable of surviving outside the mother's womb. It may happen naturally in which case it is called a miscarriage. However, if it is induced by an unnatural interference, it is called an abortion, or a termination. A miscarriage is often the result of stress on an expectant mother because she usually wants to have her baby and a miscarriage is not of her choosing; an abortion is normally carried out with the agreement of the woman. A. 2) Explain what Christian Teaching might be used in a discussion about abortion. In a discussion about abortion one of the earliest Christian teachings could be used; the Old Testament Commandment 'thou shalt not kill'. There may be exceptions in terms of war or other unusual situations, but the basic premise is upheld that one should not take another persons life. Many Christians and Churches believe that an induced abortion is an evil, violating this commandment of Exodus 20: 13 as, the Roman Catholic Church, for example believe a foetus is a person from the moment of conception. The most important teachings to be used in such a discussion would be that on the sanctity of life. Christians believe that God made man in His image as said in Genesis 1:26, when God says 'Let Us make man in Our image'. If God has done such, surely life must be holy or sacred, like Himself. This leads to the belief that children are a gift from God, as said in Genesis 4:1-2, to be brought up in accordance with His Will, to His praise and glory. The very fact that the Son of God was conceived in the womb of Mary was a powerful reason for Christians to hold a high view of all human life. ...read more.

Middle

principle, saying the unborn Christ was not merely a blob of cells, but was in fact the very Son of God, who had assumed a human nature in order to save and redeem human beings from their sin. However recognise like the Church of England, that in some cases the mother life could be at risk. Many other Protestant Churches, including the Methodist Church follow this belief as well. A less strict view is taken by a group called 'Christians For Free Choice', which includes member of the Free Churches. They are Pro-choice and believe the mater should be left up to the individual woman's conscience and that such a decision no have or not to have an abortion should be imposed upon her by others. Christians are not just the Churches they belong to, but are individuals whose views may range from conservative to liberal. Their responses will vary, even though Christian teachings is respectful to the life of the unborn child, as difficult circumstances arise in an imperfect world. Some Christians are more comprising than other depending on the influence of Humanism in their lives. In today's humanistic society the recommendations and examples of others around them can sway any Church member. Younger Christians can also be effected by peer pressure, so a young Christian woman who becomes pregnant in this sort of environment will be influenced to do what is best in her interests at that point and time irrespective of the Christian teachings on the Sanctity of Life. If she was a member of the Roman Catholic Church, she would be encouraged to keep the baby regardless of how it affects her own life, however, if she was part of the Church of England, she would be advised to consider all aspects carefully before deciding on an abortion. Most Christians are Pro-life, meaning they are against abortion, believing that it is morally and ethically wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

What is the difference between Abortion and infanticide? The main argument of those for abortion is that whether it is justified or not in the eyes of the Church or Government, is not relevant, the real discussion is whether it should safe and dignified, or unsafe and furtive, as women as always going to need or want abortions, and the risks involved should be minimised. To say abortion is never justified does not take into account the difficult circumstances that arise in the world because of evil and suffering. Further more, abortion is unjustified in the eyes of whom? The motion does not clarify from whose perspective we are looking at the subject. Of course some of people are disgusted by the idea, and the Catholic Church believe it is a sin, but sin can be forgiven, that is what Jesus Christ died for. If an abortion is the only way for a woman to continue her life with some degree of normality, for instance after being raped, than God, who is loving and compassionate would forgive her if she were truly sorry it had to be that way. Those who believe abortion is unjustified, morally and particularly in the name of Christianity, do not have a have the right to shun or judge those who have had an abortion, as the Bible says 'Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive' (Matthew 7:1). No one but God has that right as said in Psalm 50:6 'God is judge'. However, even God, who is perfect and all knowing, 'regretted that he had made mankind' in Genesis 6:6, so surely human beings, who are imperfect in so many ways, can regret a conception, and seek to start again just as God did. Or would this just be 'playing' God with lives that have the potential to be the next Mozart or Einstein? Victoria Adewole 5S Religious Studies Coursework 2002 Page 1 of 5 ...read more.

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