Surgical two stage abortion ~ This method is used between twenty and twenty-four weeks of pregnancy. This method involves two procedures, the procedure during the first anaesthetic stops the heart of the foetus and softens both the cervix and the tissue of the pregnancy. The second procedure involves a second anaesthetic and then the abortion is carried out by using the surgical dilation and evacuation method.
Medical induction ~ This method is used from the seventeenth to the twenty-fourth week. For this procedure prostaglandin is injected into the uterus and it causes the cervix to soften and the uterus to contract. This causes labour that is similar to having a late miscarriage. At the same time as the prostaglandin being injected urea is also injected into the uterus and this assures that the foetus dies without suffering.
Explain what Christian teachings might be used in a discussion about abortion
There are many Christian teachings that could be used in a discussion about abortion.
Biblical teachings which could be used are Luke 12:6 which states “Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one sparrow is forgotten by God. Even the hairs on your head have been counted.” This teaches that everyone is known to God and that even an unborn child is known to him and if that foetus is terminated God will know as he created man. In Genesis 1:27 it says “So God created human beings, making them to be like himself” and as God created human beings we shouldn’t be the ones to destroy them as God has a reason and plan for everyone. As it says in Jeremiah 1:5 “I chose you before I gave you life and before you were born I selected you to be a prophet to the nations” God has a divine plan for everyone before they are even born and humans shouldn’t usurp this plan by having abortions. Another Bible teaching is Psalm 139:13 and it says “You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb” This teaches that God takes part in the creation of everyone and no one should be able to stop this creation. Another teaching which could be used is from an early church teaching from the Didache “You shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born.”
All these teaching condemn abortion as does Roman Catholic church teachings. The Roman Catholic church teaches that deliberate abortion is a sin in all circumstances, they believe that life starts at conception and that life is not to be destroyed. They believe that life is sacred and that everybody should try to protect it. However, another Christian church denomination feels that abortion can be justified in certain circumstances such as rape and rape because of incest.
The Church of England’s view is that The foetus is to be specially respected and protected, but nonetheless the life of the foetus is not absolutely sacrosanct if it endangers the life of the mother.
The Church of Scotland’s view is that abortion has no moral justification and represents the unwarranted destruction of human life that is made in the image of God but the Church of Scotland’s Board of Social Responsibility recommend that abortion should be allowed “On the grounds that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve serious risk to the life or present great danger to the health, whether mental or physical to the pregnant woman.”
The Protestant Church though does not seem to have such a strong view on abortion. The Protestant Church states that abortion is undesirable but that abortion could be acceptable in some circumstances but it is not particularly clear what these circumstances are so it is difficult to understand whether the Protestant Church supports or condemns abortion their guidelines aren’t clear.
All these teachings could be used on a discussion about abortion, most condemn abortion but some feel that abortion can be allowed and justified in circumstances like rape.
Explain how Christians may respond to the question of abortion
All Christians believe that God created mankind and that life should be protected, but not all Christians take the same viewpoint on abortion.
A Roman Catholic is taught that deliberate abortion is a sin, so most Roman Catholics would feel that abortion is wrong and that it shouldn’t be allowed but it is not unknown for Catholics to disagree with this teaching and abortion is common in many Catholic countries.
While a Protestant is taught that life is to be protected. The life of a foetus however is not totally sacrosanct over that of the mother’s.
Though whatever type of Christian you are you are taught to follow the Bible and live your life by it. The Ten commandments in Exodus 20 are the basis for a Christian society and one of the commandments is “Thou shalt not murder.” A lot of Christians see abortion as murder and clearly then they will believe abortion to be a direct violation of the laws that were set for them.
While Roman Catholics are heavily opposed to abortion there are a minority of Protestants called “Christians for Free Choice” who believe that it is the woman’s right to have an abortion if she wishes for one, the woman should make the decision and this group campaigns for greater emphasis on this issue. So some Christians clearly believe that women have the right while others do not.
However, it does not necessarily depend on what the Christian is taught when they form their views on abortion. The question of abortion is a moral decision which the Christian should make for him/herself with the guidance from the church, the Bible and society. Christians could take a different view on conception. One may believe that life starts at conception and abortion destroys respect but potential life doesn’t have the same rights as actual life.
Another viewpoint is that an alternative to abortion is adoption whiles others may see adoption as an even more traumatic option then abortion.
Public opinion in Great Britain and Northern Ireland supports abortion and this must reflect to a certain extent the viewpoints of Christians.
Christians can all respond to the question of abortion very differently, it could be clear what some Christians opinion is while others may feel that they are not sure what to believe and ten again other Christians may feel that the decision for abortion should be up to the woman.
You cannot specifically say how a Christian may respond as Christians are all humans that have different opinions but you do have an idea of how certain types of Christians e.g. Roman Catholics who are heavily opposed to abortion could respond.
“Abortion is never justified”
I do believe that abortion can be justified. I believe that a woman has the right to an abortion if she wants one. Everyone has their own set of values and I think we should be able to act upon them as we see fit.
I don’t think people should in-force their views on others. For example the Roman Catholic Church teaches that abortion goes against God’s will so abortions are not permitted in Ireland, but there are more than just Roman Catholics living in Ireland there are people of other faiths and of other Christian denominations that don’t condemn abortions. I believe the Roman Catholic Church does in-force their views on to others, if Roman Catholics think abortion is wrong then they shouldn’t stop others who have different beliefs from having one, everyone’s views should be respected.
I personally feel that every woman has the right to an abortion if she wants one, there should be free choice for everybody. Even though I probably wouldn’t have an abortion I would still want to have the choice of whether I wanted one or not.
I think abortion can be justified even more in some circumstances such as rape should a woman really have to have her rapist's child? Even if a woman falls pregnant but doesn’t want the child isn’t it better for her to not to have the child but wait until she is ready to have a child that she does want and love then to have the child and for it to be unloved and unwanted?
Also if abortion was to be prohibited in this country then women who didn’t want their pregnancies would go for back street abortions which are extremely dangerous or they would travel to other countries because they could be so desperate for an abortion and want to avoid carrying on with the pregnancy. This was the main reason for the 1967 Abortion act being introduced to prevent this from happening.
I do think though that having an abortion because of foetal abnormalities cannot be justified because I think this encourages discrimination against the disabled. If the foetus is so disabled that it would die soon after birth then maybe it could be justified as having a baby that would die after giving birth to it would be very traumatic, but if it were a slight disability then a woman shouldn’t be allowed to have an abortion just because she doesn’t have a perfect child.
There are no Biblical teachings that justify abortion and I can agree with some of them for example 1 Corinthians “You are God’s temple and God’s spirit lives in you! So if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him for God’s temple is holy, and you yourself are his temple.” I believe that your body is a temple and that you shouldn’t destroy what you house in it.
So overall I do believe that abortion can be justified as I believe a woman has the right to an abortion if she so wishes.