Mohammad A. Khalid 5LE Candidate Number: 4049 Centre Number: 32209
G.C.S.E. Religious Studies
(a) When a woman is expecting a baby then usually the couple thinks of this as being good news. However, for some people ‘pregnancy can be very bad news.’ This is because they think that having a child will cause problems. Some examples of problems: a woman might have to take a break from her education or career in order to take care of the child; sometimes ‘a woman might get pregnant without being married or in a stable relationship’; and a woman might get pregnant because of rape and she would not want the child because it would be an accident and also the child will be fatherless. For a woman to give up her child she would want an abortion.
‘Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by artificial or chemical means.’ This results in the death of the foetus. Abortion is not the same as contraception. This is because abortion occurs when the foetus has developed whereas contraception is to prevent a woman from getting pregnant. A way of contraception is when a woman takes pills. It works by altering the hormone balance of the woman’s body, so that she does not become fertile. This is the safest method of contraception.
Some abortions happen naturally because the foetus does not ‘develop normally’ of the mother, has an injury or disorder. This type of natural abortion is usually a miscarriage. There are a number of different ways of how abortion is carried out, some examples include:
- Suction method
- Lunchtime abortion
- Induced abortion
Abortion is not a simple issue. It is a very controversial issue. This is because of all the different opinions from people. Many questions are asked and thought about when it comes to abortion,
Is the baby alive?
If the baby is alive, then is this murder?
Does the baby have the right to live?
When does life begin?
Abortion is more about people’s opinions. Different people have different views, which is why this can cause a debate. When the question about life (beginning) asked, people have different opinions. Some people say that life begins during conception, some say that it begins when the ‘foetus is capable of independent existence’ and some people say that life begins when the heart beats. The question that is very difficult to answer is:
“Is abortion the right thing to do?”
Most people would disagree with abortion carried out but some people will agree that it is necessary to do so in some cases. For example, The Church of England board of Social Responsibility Report 1984 says,
“Although the foetus is to be specially respected and protected, nonetheless the life of the foetus is not absolutely sacrosanct if it endangers the life of the mother”
In 1967, abortion was legalised but there had to be certain circumstances where this performed. The Abortion Act (1967) introduced in the United Kingdom was to put an end to the illegalisation. This act made abortion legal in the following circumstances:
- Two doctors had examined the woman and agreed that an abortion carried out.
- The pregnancy is no longer than 28 weeks. It is thought that at this time (28 weeks) the baby could survive (live) without the mother.
- ‘The continuation of the pregnancy would involve risk greater to the physical or mental health of the mother or any child within her family than if the pregnancy was terminated.
- A termination was necessary to prevent permanent injury to the body or mind of the mother.’
- There was a real risk that the baby would be born disabled (mentally or physically)