A Comparitave Report on Christianity and Judaism in relation to Abortion and Aboriginal Rights in Australia.

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Compare the role and responses of Christianity and one other religious tradition (Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hindu) in/to THREE of the following issues/political debates in Australia since 1901.


"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born I consecrated you"

Jeremiah 1:5

Perhaps, in no other area for the general public has the Church's teaching on abortion been so uncompromising and clear. Indeed, often in society and especially in Catholic circles "abortion has become such a highly charged emotional question, that a calm rational treatment is extremely difficult"

Abortion is death of a living person. The Hon. Ted Cunningham MLA of Western Australia said, on March 17, 1998. "No gynaecologist anywhere in this world will tell a woman "Madam, for the first few months of your pregnancy you are having a fish". Naturally, it is always a baby in the womb. It is beyond any doubt that what has been destroyed is nothing less than a child.

Every person ... was once a foetus. Some may say that these are extremely harsh words. They are totally wrong; they are very true words".

Abortion has been opposed since ancient times. The Sumerian Code of about 2000 BC is the oldest known system to outlaw abortion. The foetus was regarded as a human being in the Assyrian Code of about 1500 BC. The Orthodox Church has opposed abortion, regarding it as murder and a serious sin, since the days of the Apostles. The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as a grave evil. Christian writers from the first-century author of the Didache to Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae ("The Gospel of Life") have maintained that the Bible forbids abortion, just as it forbids murder.

In the early days of Christianity,