Abortion and euthanasia. How different Religions view such practices.

Essay by tha_manHigh School, 12th grade July 2003

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An abortion is when a foetus is expelled from its mother's uterus before the pregnancy reaches full term (40 weeks). Abortion is usually carried out when the mother does not wish to have the baby for reasons such as being too young or having a career. It may also be carried out if the baby has serious health problems or its birth will endanger the mother's life.

For every five babies born in Australia there are another two that are aborted. In 1990, almost half of all teenage pregnancies ended in abortion. To the Christian churches this is considered to be, sacrilege and people who participate in abortion are 'evil, selfish, demonic people who do not deserve to breathe God's air'.

Christians who think abortion is murder believe that the foetus is a person, with the same rights and the same value to God as a child who has already been born.

However others believe the foetus is not yet a person, and so its life is not sacred. It is some time referred to as a 'potential person'.

Roman Catholics believe that life begins, and is sacred, from the moment of conception, as soon as the woman's egg is fertilised by the man's sperm, on the very first day of pregnancy. Thus it is always wrong to kill an unborn child, at whatever stage of development. Carrying out the sin of abortion automatically carries the penalty of excommunication. Roman Catholics try to discourage abortion; instead they promote adoption as an option. Humanx Vitx in 1968 emphasised that human life is sacred, and the declaration on Procured Abortion in 1974 stated that abortion is a serious sin and that everyone, whether Catholic or not, should have a proper respect for human life. The bible stresses the sanctity of human life,