Ethics: Religion vs. Abortion
Not every woman was meant to be a mother. Not every couple is meant to have a child. So what happens when an unprepared couple becomes pregnant? The first thoughts are not to carry a baby to full term for it to be adopted or to grant temporary custody.
People look for the easiest way out which is to get rid of the baby. Our society has become so accustom to instant gratification that there are no thoughts that run through our minds when making such decisions. Our biggest concerns are how much it will cost and who will find out. At what point is the weight of this decision realized?
When do we realize that we are taking a life? For this specific reason there are people who boldly stand against abortion. Truly children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward (Psalm 127:3 KJV). There are many verses in the bible that explains how children are great gifts and should be cherished and welcomed into the world. The church has stepped in to remind us how gracious the gift of life really is. The religious war on abortion cannot be easily defined. Although people are religious and may fear God, the issue is that there are no consequences during life.
There is only a threat that people who have or perform abortions will go to hell in the after life. The churches only weapon is excommunication where they limit a person’s membership or exile them from the church. Originally Catholic Church’s position on excommunication was limited to the abortion of a formed fetus. The theory of a formed fetus came from Aristotle’s concept of ensoulment which was adopted by Christian philosophers. Aristotle believed that fetuses were conceived in a vegetative or animalistic state and that between 40 and 90 days a fetus undergoes “ensoulment” in which the fetus actually received its human soul.
So it was this concept that made abortion a homicide after the 90 period. Church councils usually grouped abortion earlier than the ensoulment with other sex crimes. After 1869 the Catholic Church agreed that ensoulment started at the time of conception, this now made abortion a homicide at anytime, in the eyes of the church. Abortion wasn’t always such a controversial issue in America; there was a time when it was taken lightly. In the early 1800s many mothers died during or after child labor. Lack of medical knowledge and equipment made delivery difficult and because of this aborting children was a norm.
Although there seemed to be less death surrounding abortion, the procedure was reevaluated in the late 1800s and anti-abortion laws were put into place. By 1910 almost all of the states had declared abortion illegal due to its immorality; some believed that laws were put into place because the early settlers feared being over populated by the immigrants that were traveling to our country at the time. Others believed that Doctors led lawmakers to criminalize abortion. This was their way of taking control of the practice. Many abortions were performed by female practitioners in women’s homes.
To get those women to get back into doctor’s offices they claimed that their main objective was to protect women from the dangerous abortion techniques practiced outside of the office. After these laws were put into place abortions were to be performed by doctors only after they determine if the pregnancy would endanger the mother or child. After six decades of illegal abortions throughout the United States they were convinced to give women back the rights to their bodies with Roe v. Wade in 1973. Legalizing abortion dropped the number of pregnancy related hospitalizations by 75 percent almost instantly.
That number has continued to drop over the years and has reached less than 1 percent. Legalizing abortion has saved a lot of lives but there are still many obstacles that woman face when making this grave decision. When it comes down to which law is more relevant it is easy to say the law of the land prevails. Simply because in our times there is not much respect for religion. Many people don’t know what they believe in or would rather believe in nothing. When it comes to something to have faith in or look up to it is often monetary.
These are the beliefs of the youths, that money will help them get through anything. Older generations know that you need to have faith in something that can make you feel loved. Money is not abundantly available to any of us, while God, Jesus and his word are readily available for us all. Many people do not attend church and don’t read the bible so to them there is no other law than what they see in front of them. The law of the land is gives direction to those who are seeking abortions. Protestors that harass and even use violence towards people seeking abortions will not enlighten them.
The church must find a way to reach out to people so they may realize what kinds of options they have. The state offers counseling, adoption agencies, and welfare to those seeking assistance with children. When it comes to assistance it doesn’t seem that the church has much to offer but it does seem that they are quick to judge. Researching this paper has enlightened me on abortion. I didn’t know that there were so many deaths involved with illegal abortions. I mainly focused on what has happened in the United States. Digging deeper I found that there are still many countries that have not yet legalized abortion.
Cuba and Guyana are the only countries in Central and South America that are allowed to practice abortion. In this area there are over four million illegal abortions done every year even though this region is the biggest Roman Catholic region in the world. Women who are well off are able to use large sums of money to get into professionals offices. While poor women take the risk of having abortions below medical standards. After already going through the trauma of an awful procedure when these women are taken to the hospital they are questioned and then often thrown in jail awaiting trial or even convicted.
There have even been convictions in the United States for performing late-term abortions. Most states prohibit abortions after viability or the point when a fetus can survive outside the womb. Viability is often around 28 weeks but at 21 weeks the fetus has already developed all its organs and body structures. I have never had an abortion and hope that it is never a decision I will have to struggle with. I am very safe and take the proper precautions that will save me and my unborn child. There is so much that is readily available for us, condoms, birth control, and abstinence plus many other ways to protect ourselves.
Although I agree that the procedure should be available, I also believe that they should know and exhaust all options. Ultimately I cannot give a stern opinion on the matter. I have never been in a place where I have to choose to take someone’s life or dedicate my own. I do understand the state of our economy and that many people are not in the proper place to raise a child. If you don’t know where your next meal will come from or how you will be making your next mortgage payment, you may not want to bring a child into a world of stress and frustration.
Bibliography “Abortion. ” Methods of. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. . “National Abortion Federation: History of Abortion. ” National Abortion Federation (NAF). Web. 09 Apr. 2012. . BBC News. BBC. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. . “Your Baby’s Developments in the Womb. ” Askamum. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. . “Baby’s Development in the Womb. ” – MyDr. com. au. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. . “Major U. S. Laws concerning Abortion. ” U. S. LAWS RESTRICTING ABORTION. Web. 08 Apr. 2012. . “The Bible and Abortion. ” What the Bible Says about Abortion! Web. 08 Apr. 2012. .