Abortion as an Ethical Issue
In recent years, abortion has become one of the world’s most discussed
ethical issues. This has made a huge impact on both men and women’s
lives. There are many different views on abortion dating back from the
Old Testament to the present day. I intend to show you all of
abortion’s conventional arguments. I hope to establish few of these
· The Christian views on abortion
· Views that support and oppose abortion
· My personal opinions on the subject of abortion
My coursework will include different factors to use in discussion
including a definition of abortion, Biblical quotes and references,
issues of rape and incest.
The following questions (below) on the subject of abortion will be
answered in this coursework:
a. (i) What is meant by ‘abortion’?
(ii) What Biblical and Church teachings might be used in a
discussion about abortion?
b. Explain how Christians might put their beliefs about Abortion into
c. ‘Abortion is never justified’ –
Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answers and show that you
have thought about different point of views. You must refer to
Christianity in your answer.
August 2003 Ramin Rouhani
What is meant by the word ‘abortion’?
The definition of abortion by law is the premature expulsion of a
human foetus from the womb. There is more than one type of abortion,
spontaneous and induced. Spontaneous abortion or miscarriage is
naturally occurring termination of a pregnancy causes inside the
mother’s womb. Induced abortion is when the foetus is terminated from
the mother’s womb surgically or medically.
The present law in the United Kingdom, other than Northern Ireland, is
that an induced abortion can be held until the 24th week of the
pregnancy. The decision to have an abortion is entirely up to the
mother and the father cannot decide for or on behalf of her. The
Abortion Act of 1967 stated that abortion could be carried out up till
28 weeks of the pregnancy but was amended by the Abortion Act of 1990.
Abortion can be allowed if two doctors agree on the following
· The woman may not be at a suitable age for having a child
· Her baby is likely to be born with serious disabilities
· She is pregnant as a result of rape or incest
· If the pregnancy will bring a risk to the mental and physical health
of the mother
· The baby will bring great risks of permanent injury to the mother’s
mental and physical health
· To save the life of the mother
Since the 1990’s, a pill called RU486 has been available for mothers
on their first ten days of the pregnancy to induce an abortion. The
most probable method of abortion is called dilation and curettage.
General anaesthetic is provided to the pregnant mother while the