With reference to the topic you have Investigated, examine and comment on the issues the emerge form keeping up with developments in medical ethics whilst maintaining religious principles and/or ethical values. Abortion An abortion is the medical procedure of ending a pregnancy so it does not result In the birth of a baby. This process is when the fetus and placenta are removed from the mother’s uterus. Therapeutic abortion Is when the woman needs the procedure for a health reason. Other times, she chooses to end the pregnancy. This is called an elective abortion.
There are two types of abortion: medical and surgical. Medical abortion is when an abortion pill and a tablet are inserted into the vagina. In the K, under the Abortion Act 1967, an abortion can be only done during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. However there are some rare cases when the law allows an abortion to be carried out after 24 weeks. These situations are if it is necessary to prevent Injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman and if there Is risk that If the child was born, s/he would have physical or mental abnormalities as to e seriously handicapped.
The procedure of abortion contains many ethical issues and is a complex subject which can lead to conflicting discussions. This essay will explain all the mixed views about abortion and explore the ethical perspectives regarding the topic _ Christianity has always conflicted with abortion throughout history. The Bible does not mention abortion but Christianity believes that human life is sacred and taking a human life Is wrong. The Roman Catholic Church Is very strict and teaches that abortion is always wrong.
The Church condemned abortion as early as the 2nd entry CE. They condemn all abortions even pregnancies resulting from incest, rape and pregnancies that could cause danger to the mother’s life. When dealing with a raped woman the Roman Catholic Church thinks that although the mother is an innocent victim of a horrible evil, the unborn child is also an innocent victim too, the child has an immortal soul and had the right to live as much as the mother.
They believe that human life starts and is created at the moment of conception. The Second Vatican Council which have addressed relations between the Roman Catholic hurt and the modern world have quoted ‘Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception; abortion and infanticide are the most abominable of crimes. ‘ I feel that the Roman Catholic Church’s approach to abortion Is not appropriate for the modern lifestyle of many women.
Women should not be forced to keep the unborn child especially If the child was conceived of rape, the Roman Catholic Church believe that keeping the child is what God would like the woman to do as it shows and provides love. It may present love to the unborn child ‘OFF of pain and hardship in her life. The Roman Catholic Church does not take into account how the mother would tackle problems in the future such as money. The church does believe in the Sanctity of Life so terminating a fetus would be wrong but why is aborting a child to save the mother’s life considered wrong?
Does the church get to choose whose life applies more to the rules of Sanctity of Life? If the pregnant woman was in a serious situation where the unborn child was harming the mother life, it would make more sense to abort the child to help the mother live rather than let the mother die because the unborn child would die too without the purport of its mother. This raises the question of ‘is the unborn child more important than the mother? My opinion would be seen as pro-choice as my view is that a woman should have the right to decide whether or not to have an abortion.
No one should make her do anything that she refuses to. Pro-choice means that there should not be laws that stop people from getting abortions. However the United States pro- life movement would disagree with my opinion. Pro-Life believes that abortion is wrong and the law should not allow it. To them the law should class abortion as a crime to protect embryos and footsies. They class abortion as murder as they consider that all humans, including the unborn, have a right to life.
When it comes to situations such as rape the pro-Life speakers encourage women to keep the child and look for alternatives to abortions such as adoption. The pro-Life believers gather very year to protestor convince more people that abortion is wrong and attempt to get the governments to make laws to restrict and outlaw abortion. The Church of England views are a combination strong opposition to abortion with acknowledgment that there can be conditions under which it may be morally preferable.
They do not recommend abortion but understands that sometimes it can be seen as the lesser of two evils. To me the Church of England’s outlook on abortion seem more appropriate for the modern lifestyle of many women as the church accepts abortion for the reasons; if there is a risk to the mother’s physical or mental health, if the pregnancy was the result of rape or if the child is probable to have a serious disability. One of the mains reasons why Christianity is against abortion is because the Sanctity of Life.
The principle of the Sanctity of Life begins by claiming that God is the creator of life ND he created us in his image and likeness. The Sanctity of Life argument states that human life is valuable in itself and all life is worthy of respect and reverence and is intrinsically worthwhile. This implies all life is equal and we have a duty to protect it. Abortion is seen immoral because God created life and gave it to us as a gift and only he can take it away. Terminating an unborn child is taking a life and away and committing a murder which against the Decoupage.
The New Testament quoted you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you eave received from God’ and Christians say if an abortion is carried out we are destroying God because we are destroying a body and all bodies made in the image of God. The Sanctity of Life can be seen as a positive thing by some people as it values all human life, promotes equality and human dignity. A theory called ‘reverence for life’ was developed by Albert Schweitzer which links with the Sanctity of life.
He argues that we should have a reverence for all forms of living thing because all living things have an in-built desire to go on living. However Mary Anne Warren has argued against this theory by suggesting that will is based pony the capacity to think and many life forms do not have that ability. She continues to say that we are all genetically built to promote our own survival but it does not mean that we deserve reverence. The Sanctity of Life argument has many flaws, for example; the Sanctity of Life argument states that we are made in the image if God so then why cannot we take life away like him?
God created Adam and Eve and they created life too but why cannot we take life? Furthermore surely some forms of human life are more valuable than others, for example Mother Teeter’s life is more valuable compared to a murderer. Also Peter Singer accuses advocates of the Sanctity of Life that they are being ‘specialist’ and only applies the principle to humans; shouldn’t all life forms be equal? Many scholars including Peter Singer has said that the Sanctity of Life is outdated – it is not practical for a world where the population is exponentially growing so it should be replaced by the Quality of Life principle.
The Quality of Life principle is that human life is not valuable in itself; it depends on its extrinsic value. In his book Causing Death and Saving Lives, Jonathan Glover also criticizes the concept of the Sanctity of Life. The principle seems to say that killing is intrinsically wrong so abortion is wrong. Glover wishes to reject this view by raising the question: “Do we value ‘life’ even if unconscious, or do we value life only as a vehicle for consciousness? He suggests that we only value life as “a necessary vehicle for consciousness” so there would be nothing particularly sacred about the fetus, since it lacks significant consciousness or self-awareness. I would consider Glovers argument as reasonable as it question what it is about life which is regarded as more valuable than others. Peter Singer surprisingly sees the fetus a non-person. He defines the fetus as “an innocent human being” but denies a different premise, that “it is wrong to kill and innocent human being”.
Singer continues to describe the fetus as innocent and human but not a person of value and status but not every human life is a person as person is defined as “rational and self-conscious”. A fetus is yet to become “rational and self-conscious” so it is less of a valuable form of life. Singer has helpfully contributed to outline the definition of valuable life (Persephone) however his criteria for Persephone cannot easily be measured and would be slow to develop. He argues hat during the earlier stages of pregnancy the fetus simply lacks the physical development to even feel suffering or relief.
Therefore, abortion, even though it is the taking off human life, is not wrong as a human life like that has no ability to have preferences while the mother does. Singer uses the utilitarian principle of maximizing happiness by comparing the preferences of the mother with the preferences of the fetus. Utilitarianism not priorities ‘rights’ but they are very interested in the outcome. To them abortion can look at how much the father would be affected if the abortion happened, how much he mother would be affected if she had the baby, and the quality of life of the child.
A different philosophical approach starts with the issue of moral rights of the fetus and the mother. Advocates of pro-life claim to say that a fetus should have the right to have its life protected as it is a human life but there are problems with this claim. Mary Anne Warren and Peter Singer both explain that human life deserves no more respect than early animal life. Warren claims that a fetus cannot have a significant human rights claim against the mother, because the adult human woman is fully developed and deserving of rights. She is a ‘person’ in the true sense of the term.
The fetus is not and a non-person could not expect liberty, self-determination, or freedom. Secondly, the fetus cannot have individual rights as it depends for its life upon the mother. The mother has rights too, which many would argue they are more important. She has existing personal relationships and may be the mother of other children. If the fetus developing inside her threatens her life, it would be difficult to argue that the fetus has as much right to life as its mother and should be protected, even if its survival will mean the death of the mother.
Judith Jarvis Thomson focuses on the rights of the mother by using her well-known violinist analogy. In ‘A Defense of Abortion’ Thomson highlights the rights of a woman to liberty and the control of her body by comparing pregnancy to a kidnapping. We imagine the situation of a woman who is kidnapped and wakes up in a hospital, finding that she has her blood supply plugged to a famous violinist – a necessary operation to keep him alive for the next nine months. Thomson explains it would be kind of the woman to remain connected but she does not have to if she wishes, it is her human right to remove the violinist and allow him to die.
Some people argue that the fetus has a right to life if it can be shown to be an individual person but Thomson argues that there is no absolute right to make such a claim on the body of a woman. However this argument can be seen as flawed due to the strangeness of the metaphor and the violence of the kidnapping. It would be better if more similar situations were applied to the abortion debate such as the topic of Persephone. Don Marquis, who wrote the article Why Abortion is Immoral’, claims that current attempts to solve the abortion controversy have failed to fully define the wrongness of killing.
He says killing is wrong because of its direct effect on the victim in the loss of a “future-like-ours”. Humans do not wish to die because they want future opportunities. This aspect of killing applies to infants and even to footsies. A fetus could be many things in the future, but that future is destroyed. By this argument, Marquis has presented one of the strongest arguments against abortion, as humans do value their future lives. However the fetus is not aware of its future and so cannot resent its loss – a point which separates it as adult humans. Abortion is a complex topic and it is difficult to find a simple resolution.
The quote, Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you before you were born I set you apart” born. Religious views and principles established about abortion may seem out dated and yet many people still today strongly follow the beliefs Others dismiss religion when regarding such a controversial topic and philosophers have suggested alternative solutions such as Persephone, and even this still does not resolve this complicated debate. I think abortion is too questionable and sensitive for it to settle on one principle; there is no agreement about abortion to be found and I think this moral controversy will continue to be debated and discussed.