Q. Ethical Issues Regarding Abortion & The Catholic Church’s Teaching on it Abortion was one of the issues in which modern bioethical reflection begun. It is an issue which has been bitterly debated for centuries, but in particular recent times where there are new threats to human life on an alarming scale facilitated by new technologies, ideas & social developments, often within the complicity of ‘the powers of the world’ & leading to the development of a veritable ‘culture of death’ (EV). There are many ethical issues surrounding abortion leading to pro-life verses pro-choice. The Catholic Church also has much to say on this issue which can be dated back centuries. For many in our society, the prospect of new life is not greeted with joy. The attitude towards life is sometimes negative. Some lives are seen an undesirable. Our society has devised ways of disposing of them through abortion when the pregnancy is unwanted, when screening has identified a genetic or other medical problem, or even when the baby’s sex is not what the parent’s desire. But for those who are Christian, the idea that we are made in God’s image should impel us to see how important every life is & how each one must be treated with respect. Catholic teaching rests on this foundation, respecting life unequivocally from conception until natural death. If many Christians have nonetheless become unsure about the morality of abortion, the lack of clarity represents failure in the face of pressure from surrounding culture. The power and importance of law is shown precisely in the fact that so many of us, even when we should know better, permit our moral judgements to be shaped by the current state of our law – supposing mistakenly that what the law permits must be morally permissible. Ones understanding of the nature of the foetus determine whether abortion is morally good or bad. The church can hardly ignore abortion; it not only tempts & harms their members, but also does grave harm to all involved in it. Once man decides it’s his prerogative to play God, basically no life would be safe. The creator is the soul end & no one can claim when to end a life. The abortion debate asks whether it can be morally right to terminate a pregnancy before normal childbirth. Some people think abortion is always wrong, some think it is right when the mother’s life is at risk, and others think there is a range of circumstances in which abortion is morally acceptable. The moral debate about abortion deals with two separate questions; 1. Is abortion morally wrong 2. Should abortion be legal or illegal, there are also more secondary questions to this debate. If we conclude abortion is not morally wrong, that doesn’t mean that it is right to have an abortion: we need to ask whether having an abortion is the best thing to do in each particular case. If we conclude abortion is morally wrong, that doesn’t mean that it is always impermissible, we need to ask if having an abortion is less wrong than the alternatives. People are generally pro-life or pro-choice and feel very strongly on their stance. The issue remains very topical because the foetus is a ‘silent victim’ being entirely innocent and defenceless, even though in certain circumstances it may be fatal to the mother’s well - being. SECULAR ARGUMENTS
The secular argument about abortion covers several issues: 1. what gives a being the right to life 2. Is a foetus a human being? 3. Is it the sort of being who has the right to life? 4. Is a foetus a separate being from its mother? 5. If the foetus has the right to life, does it take priority over the mother’s right to control her own body? These problems can be restated in terms of the sort of decisions that pregnant women and their doctors have to face: 1. Does the foetus have the right to be carried in the womb until it’s ready to be born? 2. Under what circumstances if ever, can we take an ‘innocent’ human life 3. Is any other right more...
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