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Abortion And Soul

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Abortion is an important issue in today's society. As technology

improves, it becomes easier to save premature babies, however it also

becomes easier to get an abortion. There are so many different

opinions on this subject, but ultimately each individual has to make

their own mind up as to whether or not abortion is acceptable.

The problem of abortion is not just restricted to the UK, the US, and

other rich and powerful countries that have the technology to perform

this practise. It is a worldwide problem. For example, in Ireland,

abortion is strictly illegal so many Irish women find themselves

coming to the UK just to have one. If not, they end up going to a back

street abortion clinic where the equipment may be dirty or unsafe.

Many countries don't even have this technology to safely abort a

pregnancy, and some countries are very religious and so will only do

what their Holy Book tells them.

What are the statistics?

Globally, around 46 million women have an abortion every year. 78 per

cent of these live in developing countries, and 22 per cent live in

developed countries. Around 20 million people have abortions in

countries where abortion is illegal and possibly unsafe.

By March 31, 1997, nearly 4.7 million abortions had been performed in

England and Wales since the 1967 Abortion Act was passed. Single women

make up the largest group of people having abortions- by 1999 they

accounted for 70 per cent of abortions in the UK.

Source: Contemporary Moral Issues, by Joe Jenkins

I will be writing about abortion from as many different angles as

possible. I will explain what abortion is, reasons for why abortions

are carried out, what the Law says, various opinions on this

particular issue, stating both sides of the argument, and also what

different religions say about the subject.

What is abortion?

Abortion is the deliberate expulsion of a foetus from its mother's

womb. This means that the pregnancy is terminated deliberately and the

baby dies.

Why do people abort?

There are various reasons for this. Sometimes the mother and father do

not have the ability to support the baby financially and so terminate

the pregnancy. Sometimes rape leads to pregnancy. A girl would hate to

have to bring up a child with a rapist for a father. She has to go

through the trauma of dealing with the rape itself; the last thing she

would want is a daily reminder of what happened to her. In some cases

the parents are very young, possibly still children themselves, and do

not want to take on the responsibility of a baby, maybe because they

are afraid of the responsibility or even because they are not mature

enough to be able to take the responsibility. Another reason is that

the baby could have severe abnormalities, either physically or

mentally and the parents just wouldn't want to have to bring up a

child who possibly needed round the clock care for their whole lives.

Pregnancy could be the result of an incestuous relationship. Babies

born from these have an increased risk of abnormalities because of the

gene pool being so small. Incest is an illegal and immoral act in the

UK. It is seen as shameful so the mother of the baby would want to get

rid of the baby before anybody found out about the relationship. Even

if she wasn't willing to take part, she will still be seen to have

brought shame upon her family. Maybe the parents of the unborn child

already have many other children and so feel that they cannot cope

with another one. Sometimes the family of the mother is put under

deliberate pressure to terminate the pregnancy, possibly because the

father is from a different culture and so she has brought shame upon

her family. Sometimes a mother has to take her religion into

consideration. A lot of religions do not believe in sex before

marriage and so if she becomes pregnant when she is not married she

has obviously broken a rule of her religion. How would she be pregnant

if she hadn't had sex? Often it is just a case of not wanting the

baby. The pregnancy was a mistake, either because it was the result of

a one-night stand, or if the chosen method of contraception failed. In

some cases the baby is suspected to have HIV, the virus leads to the

fatal disease AIDS in almost every case. A small cough could prove

fatal for the baby and so he/she probably wouldn't live that long, so




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