Abortion is a very controversial subject. Many believe in the sanctity of life, yet so many people get confused when it comes to the premature abortion of an unborn foetus. It is hard to distinguish when the human foetus is actually a living being. Is it when the organs are formed in the womb? Or when the heart starts beating? Some people may believe life begins at birth, and some at conception. This is why many people can not agree on this topic.
In 1990 Abortion was made legal under The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. Making it legal to abort under certain conditions.
The Bible quotes; ‘I chose you before I gave you life and before you were born I selected you’ (Jeremiah 1:5)
So surely this means God believes life is sacred and that no one person has the right to kill another human being?
Yet the bible also states; ‘It is God who directs the lives of his creatures, every mans life is in his power’ (Job 12:10) Meaning God ultimately chooses what happens in our lives. If a baby is handicapped or the mother’s life is in danger, God would rather they were happy, surely?
In the Church of England/Wales Report in 1984, they say:
‘Our view on abortion is that the life of the foetus has to be protected. If the foetus endangers life of the mother action can be taken’
The Church of Scotland has a similar, if a little more of a relaxed view. They do not agree on abortion on demand, but only if there is a threat to the mother’s health, if the mother had been raped or it was certain that the baby would be born seriously handicapped.
The Methodist Church has the most relaxed opinion on abortion. It is permissible if:
* The mother’s life is in danger
* The baby will be born severely handicapped
* The existing family will suffer due to the birth of the baby.
The Bible also states; ‘God made everything and you can no more understand what he does than you understand how new life begins in the womb’ (Ecclesiates 11:5). This is almost a direct reference to abortion and this is why I believe some Christians such as the Roman Catholics believe abortion is wrong, no matter what the circumstances are. They say:
‘We have been made like God. God plans the birth of all babies and makes them with the parents. In every foetus God has made a completely new human being. Human life is given by God. All people must realise that. Only God can end life’
Many different people have different views, and as you can see the Christian Church has many differing opinions as well.
Conceiving a child due to rape is an acceptable reason for abortion that many Christians agree on, as raising the baby is probably a greater strain to the life of the mother than having an abortion.
Another circumstance when Christians may regard abortion as acceptable is if the foetus is seriously handicapped. The life of the child could be unbearable, and the parent’s life and the existing family would be put under stress. Although many Christians disagree with this, as medical tests are not always certain as to whether a baby will be born seriously handicapped. You can never be certain, why end a perfectly good life early? That would be murder, Christians believe it is a sin to, and no body has the right to, destroy a life that God has created. The Commandment: ‘Thou shall not kill’ is a good example. As Christians believe what is written in the Bible, and many believe that life begins at the moment of conception, therefore abortion to them, is murder.
Another argument against abortion is that abortion has devalued life. It can lead to an increase in sexual irresponsibility. People may view abortion as a last minute contraception, which it definitely is not. Also, think about infertile couples. Almost three million abortions have taken place in the last 20 years, if they had been born, many of the infertile couples would have a chance to make their life happier and the aborted foetuses would have a loving family.
There are so many good reasons for and against abortion. This is why Christians are so divided over the issue. There is no right or wrong answer, there are advantages and disadvantages whether someone believes or not. Some Christians believe their leader’s view that abortions are sinful, yet some believe they have their own right to make their own minds up in such a moral issue.