Abortion is the premature expulsion of the foetus from the womb. You need to perform an operation to perform this. Abortion is now legal if two doctors agree on either of the following:
- That continuing the pregnancy means that there is a risk to the woman's health. Or that of her existing children greater than if the pregnancy was terminated, allowing up to 24 weeks of pregnancy
- Or that continuing the pregnancy would involve severe damage to the woman's mental or physical health greater than if the pregnancy was terminated. Or there is a strong risk of severe handicap in the expected child. Or the woman's life is at risk if the pregnancy continues without time limit.
The abortion debate has been going on for many years. At the heart of the matter is the key question "when does life begin?" Although all Christians believe that life is a sacred gift from God, a disagreement exists between the churches over whether abortion is morally acceptable. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that life begins at the moment of conception and therefore Morally Unacceptable. Although Anglicans too believe in the sanctity of life, Anglicans may argue that under exceptional circumstances abortion may be necessary and therefore justifiable. The bible does not make any reference to abortion. Christians have to decide when life begins before deciding whether abortion breaks the commandment "Do Not Kill". Many Christians believe that abortion is murder because they believe that everyone has the right to live. Methodists believe that life does not begin until the baby has a chance of surviving independently without its mother.
Some Christians believe that abortion could be justifiable if it meant that greater evils were avoided. They also believe an abortion could be justifiable if there were a risk to the physical or mental health of the mother. They also believe that if the mother were to give birth to a handicapped child abortion would be right. Or if the pregnancy was the result of rape. The organization 'Christians for free choice' believe that the matter should be left to a woman's own conscience; conscience is seen as a guide from God as to what action to take. The decision to continue a pregnancy should not be forced on a woman.