Abortion: Social Justice

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Abortion is defined as the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo, resulting in its death. About 42 million abortions are performed worldwide each year, and an astounding 20 million of them occurring unsafely. These unsafe abortions result in 70,000 deaths and 5 million disabilities a year. Most abortions are performed in the first twelve weeks using the ‘vacuum’ method. The majority of women that choose abortion do so because they are not ready for motherhood, are concerned with their careers or education, or have an issue with maintaining financial or relationship stability. Abortion is legal in the United States and most of Europe. Yet in most African and South American countries, it is illegal, with the exception for maternal life, physical and mental health and in Africa, rape. All of these factors make abortion one of the most controversial social justice issues. On one hand, it prevents unfit women from becoming mothers and possibly sparing pain for themselves and their babies. Yet the act of abortion itself is what most people struggle to accept. The removal of a fetus from a mother’s womb and the ending of a human life is seen as murder by many. There is no easy solution to the issue of abortion because it is excruciatingly difficult to weigh the importance of an unborn child’s life and success against your own, and millions of women struggle with this every day.

The Church remains adamant on their position on abortion. The Didache, written to Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae, states "The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child" (Didache 2:1–2). They see abortion as grave evil and murder, and does not stand for peoples’ ‘sugar-coating’ of the...
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