What The Bible Says About Abortion

Religious Perspectives on Abortion

The main discussion on abortion usually revolves around any legal and ethical implications. Generally, people tend to look at abortion as a medical breakthrough rather than a moral crime, yet there is one viewpoint that has not been extensively discussed—that of religious beliefs. The Bible, in particular, is a central document when it comes to discussing such hot-topic matters.
The Bible in fact, has a few mentions on abortion all found in the Old Testament. The first of these, being in the Book of Exodus in Chapter 21, where if a man beats up a woman who is pregnant and results in the woman miscarrying, he is required to pay a ransom to the pregnant women’s husband. Exodus then goes on to state, “If men should struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decided.”
This description does not use the words “abortion” or even “miscarriage” directly, but it is implied in the context. Additionally, it is seen to penalize those that interrupt the life of an unborn fetus. This indicates, in a vague manner, that abortion would be considered morally wrong according to religious beliefs.

Medical Perspectives on Abortion

The medical implications of abortion have been long discussed by medical practitioners in several countries. Focusing on the medical implications helps to bring objectivity to a subject that is, at its heart, a subjective topic.
One of the medical concerns about abortion is when it will be needed for the mother’s health or survival. Some states that allow abortions do provide exceptions for this, making the procedure legally available should a medical situation arise and require it. Generally the efficacy of such procedures is usually deemed quite low, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Other research conducted by the Mayo Clinic also supports this, and they state that performing an abortion could be medically necessary if, “continuation of the pregnancy increases risk of life-threatening complications”. This often refers to health risks posed to the mother such as if the fetus has a severe disability that could result in inadequate support to the mother after birth such as an extreme psychological illness.
Consequently, the procedures of abortion, while frowned upon under religious standards, can be understood and supported in the medical industry.

Societal Perspectives on Abortion

Opinions about abortion vary greatly depending upon a person’s personal beliefs, culture, race, and societal standing. Thus, examining societal perspectives on abortion is important to gain understanding of other perspectives.
In certain cases, such as in countries where abortion is illegal, there will be a political pressure on the subject. This can be seen in many countries worldwide where religious ideologies strongly guide societal views. Even in countries where abortion is legal, such as the United States, debate is ongoing about the issue.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide what is right for them. But, many religious beliefs against abortion may also come with social pressures which could affect an individual’s personal decision.

Legal Perspectives on Abortion

The legality of abortion is a complex and multi-faceted area with arguments on both sides. Generally speaking, laws surrounding abortion mostly come down to a matter of personal opinion, with the law often reflecting the morality of a society, which can differ even in democratic countries.
In the United States, the legality of abortion is actually quite complex and varies from state to state. On the federal level, there is a “right to privacy” type rule, however, this does not hold much power and is instead left over to the state to define, resulting in a wide range of diverse abortion laws.
Overall, the risk of a penalty for undergoing an abortion largely depends on the particular state, which can change often as new laws are constantly being created.

Psychological Perspectives on Abortion

The psychological implications of abortion are often overlooked by much of the public. Women who have experienced an abortion, sometimes even those who do so legally and with medical assistance, can experience tremendous amounts of guilt and regret.
The stress of a termination can last months and even years, sometimes being linked to depression, anxiety and overall lower self esteem. Moreover, studies have proven that if the reason for terminating a pregnancy is ‘lack of financial stability’, then a woman is more likely to experience psychological issues afterwards.

International Perspectives on Abortion

Abortion is a global issue and the attitudes towards it vary greatly from country to country. Generally, western countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are more permissive with abortion, whereas many other countries like those in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are very restrictive.
The international perspectives on abortion is further complicated by the fact that there are even further restrictions on it in some countries such as Ireland, Poland, The Netherlands and Italy which either limit abortions to certain cases or outright ban it entirely.
In terms of religious affiliation, countries such as Ireland and Malta, who are predominately Catholic, have very strict rules against abortion taking the Bible’s views on the matter very seriously. While other countries such as Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom are less religious and thus have much more relaxed views on the matter.

Philosophical Perspectives on Abortion

The philosophical perspective on abortion differs substantially, primary being of two points of view– pro-life and pro-choice. Those who are considered ‘pro-life’ typically defend its legal protection, deeming it a moral obligation to protect the life of the unborn. Those on the ‘pro-choice’ side, however, deem that abortion should be available as a choice to women regardless of a fetus’s status and its potential for life.
It is essential to note that philosophical perspectives on abortion go beyond the legal implications, as each has their own moral, ethical, and religious values at play. Philosophically, the debate comes down to a difference in beliefs, of which there are thousands—it is impossible to find a unanimous agreement when it comes down to the most fundamental matters of belief.

Medical Ethics and Abortion

When it comes to the medical implications of abortion, it is essential to understand the ethical implications that come along with it. It is inherently ethical to attempt to do right by the patient and in this case, honoring the wishes of the patient are paramount. It is also worth noting that in most cases the procedure is a last resort and not used as the first option for medical practitioners.
Of course, the medical ethics surrounding abortion is slightly more complex, as medical professionals must also consider the potential harm that could come from a procedure. This is why many practitioners will take the ‘greater good’ approach and attempt to provide the best treatment for the patient.
Additionally, the medical professional must also adhere to the ethical standards of medical practice, which call for the doctor to always respect autonomy and the patient’s decision should an electoral abortion become necessary.

Clinical Uses of Abortion

As with any medical procedure, there are multiple clinical uses of abortion. The foremost of these is the prevention of maternal mortality. Currently, the World Health Organization ranks death due to abortion the eighth leading cause of maternal mortality in the world. In extreme cases, abortion can be used to protect the life of the mother if the pregnancy presents a severe health risk to the mother.
Abortion can also be used to terminate pregnancies with serious health risks, such as a fetus that has a severe genetic disorder. In this way, abortion can be used to spare a family the stress and financial burden of raising a child with a congenital disorder, such as Down syndrome. Furthermore, abortion can also be used to terminate a pregnancy caused by rape or incest.
Finally, abortion can also be used as a form of birth control. Women of reproductive age can use abortion to control their childbearing without the use of contraceptives or other methods. This can be a safe and effective option for those who may be uncomfortable with the use of contraceptives or for those who cannot for medical reasons.

Why Abortion Is a Difficult Topic

The discussion on abortion is a difficult one primarily owing to the facts of morality, ethics and personal beliefs. Even within a single region, opinions can vary greatly and it is often hard to reach a consensus on any given matter – the only thing that ties this all together is the personal beliefs of each individual.
Moreover, when the topic of abortion is brought up, perspectives extend further than just ethical, legal and religious matters. For instance, emotional attachment to the foetus often exists, making the decision all the more difficult. There are also socio-economic matters to take into consideration, such as whether the family can support the growing foetus and can it provide the necessary care after word.
Even though there is this potential for emotional attachment and the obvious ethical considerations, people have come to terms with the idea that abortion is a necessary procedure. For example, a woman wanting to abort because she does not feel prepared for the child can be accepted in some cases – it is the personal beliefs that often shape this decision.
Thus, each individual will have their own personal thoughts on the matter and as such, there is no clear answer on the topic. It is up to each individual to make their own decision and ensure that it is the best for them and their child.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

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