What biblical and Church teachings might be used in a discussion about abortion?

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  1. i. What is meant by the word ‘abortion’?

Abortion is the ending of pregnancy before birth. It is sometimes described as a termination of the foetus but some people call it murdering. Miscarriage is another term used for the ending of pregnancy before birth but this occurs naturally whereas abortion is deliberate.

ii) What biblical and Church teachings might be used in a discussion about abortion?

The Baptist union describe abortion as the end of pregnancy before birth. Sometimes this happens naturally and then is called a miscarriage. But if the pregnancy is ended deliberately it is known as an abortion or termination. A number of Baptists condemn abortion; they would say that if it’s not the taking of life then it is the taking of potential life. The Baptist Union does agree with abortion if the following reasons occur:

  1. If it was agreed that the life of the mother would be in danger if she was to give birth
  2. If it was known the baby would be severely handicapped when born
  3. If the pregnancy was a result of rape
  4. Or if the social conditions for the child would not give it an opportunity of a full human life

        The Salvation believes in the sanctity of life from the moment of fertilisation and that it is a gift from God to be protected. This means as soon as the egg is fertilised, it is as precious as a human life and needs to be protected, so an abortion would be wrong. Although Salvation Army does feel that abortion is necessary if the woman’s life is in danger from keeping the baby. Abortion may be justified in cases of proven rape or incest.

        The Church of England questions ‘When does human life begin?’ Some believe the embryo has human rights and that to destroy it is murder, but others claim that the only decisive factor is whether the foetus could survive on its own outside the womb. Christians believe that the world is created by God so human beings have the responsibility to treat everything in life with respect and care, so therefore Church of England is against abortion in principle but in some cases such as the woman’s life being in danger, the egg being fertilise from rape or when there is a risk that the baby will be handicapped.

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        There are no clear scriptural statements to which the Roman Catholic Church can point on the issue of abortion but there is an understanding of what it means to be a human being and to take responsibility for our world. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that to kill an unborn child at any time in pregnancy is wrong. Whatever the reason’s for abortion the unborn child should be protected.

The Bible never mentions its view on Abortion but says a lot about the sanctity of life. The Baptist Union asks what stage in pregnancy can the child be expected to ...

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