The teachings of Christianity about the sanctity of life in relation to abortion

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Last updated: November 17, 2019

Abortion is a strongly contested subject with in the different areas of the Christian faith. While some denominations believe that a single sperm or egg is just as important as a fully developed baby, others feel that the legal requirements for a “human” are sufficient. British law states that a foetus cannot be aborted after the 28th week. The Bible however states all human life is sacred and special to God, thus the remaining question is when does human life begin then? This is greatly disputed within the Christian faith so each denomination makes its own decision as to the matter.

Catholics for instance believe that all life is sacred and that a believer should not even have sex while wearing contraception and without the intent of having a child from the act. Most Christian denominations state that a foetus may be removed after the legal period of pregnancy if the baby put the life or general safety of the mother in jeopardy. This is a reasonable line to take on the matter as if they were too lenient on abortion anyone could kill a baby at any age or stage in the development.However, the Catholic view is perhaps a little extreme, their line on the issue could cause significant bodily or mental harm to the potential mother if they have to continue with an unwanted pregnancy.

Though the neither the New Testament nor the Old Testament directly mention abortion, both discuss the sacredness of each individual human life. The Old Testament refers to unborn babies as humans which perhaps may infer that they are people and should be allowed the full rights of a born baby: “I chose you before I gave you life, and before you were born I selected you to be a prophet to all the nations.In Genesis it is written: “By the Lord’s help I have acquired a son. ” This implies that children are a gift from God and should be treasured at all costs. They are not created by any easy method and are a ‘gift’ and should be treated as such.

This idea is elaborated upon in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes: “God made everything, and you can no more understand what he does than you can understand how new life begins in the womb of a pregnant woman.This shows that the development of new life is a mysterious and complicated process, which is equivalent to a creation of God, thus we should not tamper with such a special creation. In the New Testament, the pregnant Mary discusses the speciality of her unborn baby Jesus: ” You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear! ” In other words, this quote tells us that bearing a child is both a blessing and a huge responsibility, and it should not be destroyed lightly.In conclusion, it can be seen that while the Bible stresses the amazing miracle of birth it implies (without ever mentioning it) that abortion is a bad idea and that all new birth should be treasured.

However, this cannot apply in a modern age where all kinds of complications and ulterior situations will arise from unwanted pregnancies. So, some Christian denominations state that any kind of waste of life (even sperm) is bad and should condoned, while others say that abortion is a necessary operation if the pregnancy may harm the parents or baby in someway.

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