Abortion Essay

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Devout Roman Catholics, because of their faith, define abortion under any circumstances as a sin, primarily because all forms of abortion are equated with the taking of a human life. From the perspective of Catholics and other religious groups, abortion is no more than the murder of an unborn human being. Roe v. Wade and other legislation sanctioning legal abortion is both a legal and a moral failure to Catholics. Other than the explicit "Thou shalt not kill" Commandment, the Bible remains silent on the issue of abortion. However, in the Didashe, a book of rules that many consider to be the teachings of the Apostles, it is proclaimed, "you shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born" (Pope, 1974, p. 1). The opposition to abortion in any form at any time during pregnancy from conception onward derives from sacred Scripture and tradition, with regard to the "inviolability of innocent human life" (Pope, 1991, p. 1). Any form of abortion during any time of pregnancy is, therefore, viewed as sin and tantamount to murder. In defining the fetus as a person from conception forward, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2270) is viewed as a total prohibition on abortion, "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person-among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life" (Abortion, 2008, p. 1). This analysis will provide an overview of Catholic moral teaching on abortion. A conclusion will provide an objective assessment summarizing these views.The Catholic Church views abortion from the moment of conception forward as a violation of Divine and moral law. The major basis for this view goes beyond Scripture that posits the killing of innocent individuals as a sin and the Commandment "Thou shalt not kill." The primary foundation for this view rests upon the Church's belief in the "inviolable right to life" of every human being and its view of the embryo as an entity that "from conception must be treated as a person" (Abortion, 2008, p. 1). The view of the embryo as a "person," entitled to all moral and legal rights as a living human being, is the foundation of the Church's staunch anti-abortion stance.Row v. Wade, which permits elective abortion during the first three months of pregnancy, is in contrast to the Church's view of personhood originating at conception. Pro-Choice advocates often argue that the embryo is not protected by legal or moral rights, since it is not viewed as a human entitled to such rights before birth. We see this contrast in the words of Barack Obama, who argues that viewing the embryo at conception as a human being with full rights is tantamount to overturning the legal protection for abortion provided in Roe v. Wade. As the...

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