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Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Morality of Abortion

The Morality of Abortion       

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. It involves the removal of the fetus from the woman’s womb before it is viable for life outside the womb. Abortion may be spontaneous, in such case, it was unintentional and would be referred more as a miscarriage. The term abortion more popularly denotes induced or intentional abortion. Such wilful act of ending a pregnancy has always been a sensitive issue and it remains very relevant up to date. The act of abortion involves a moral dilemma and so it is but natural that major religions of the world have a standpoint on this ethical issue. Religious concern on abortion was well phrased in the article Religion and Abortion: religions have taken strong positions on abortion, with the belief that such matter encompasses profound issues of life and death, right and wrong, human relationships and the nature of society. With such conviction established, abortion does not only affect women, couples and healthcare providers but the members of a religious congregation as well.

To say that all religions are absolutely against abortion would be a fallacy. The religious view on abortion is multifaceted and varied among different religions. For a picture of what religions think of abortion, let us cite a few examples. According to the article Religious views on abortion, the Catholic Church opposes abortion because it believes that life is sacred and inviolable. Among orthodox churches, abortion is forbidden since it is seen as going against the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill'. Many Protestant and Evangelical Christians are also against abortion although there are some denominations that accept abortion such as when a baby is suffering from a serious disability. In Islam, Abortion on any grounds is forbidden in the Islamic holy book Al'Quran. Abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, but there are cases where there can be an exception such as when the unborn child will be retarded or if the birth will create serious problems for the parent.

Although most religions oppose abortion, they have a common theme wherein it may be permitted, such as when it is still early in the pregnancy, the fetus is not compatible with life and when the life or health of the mother is at stake. It is almost always discouraged and considered only as a last recourse or when done for unselfish reasons or when it is the lesser evil in a given circumstance.

When a woman or a couple is in the process of deciding whether to have an abortion or not, they may undergo reflective thinking, digging into one’s principles and beliefs. Beliefs that have been inculcated in them by the faith they grew up in or by the religion that they chose. One way or another, religion will have an impact on their decision but ultimately, it is in their hands whether to keep the pregnancy or end it


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