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Abortion. Common Arguments For/Against Pro-Choice 1 st trimester when fetus cannot support itself Personhood differs from human life Adoption is not an.

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Presentation on theme: "Abortion. Common Arguments For/Against Pro-Choice 1 st trimester when fetus cannot support itself Personhood differs from human life Adoption is not an."— Presentation transcript:

1 Abortion

2 Common Arguments For/Against Pro-Choice 1 st trimester when fetus cannot support itself Personhood differs from human life Adoption is not an alternative remains the womans choice Safe medical procedure Cause further psychological harm in hard cases Personal autonomy is a civil right Teenage parents have grim prospects Pro-Life Life begins at conception No civilization allows intentional harm w/o punishmentlaw must protect the most basic human rights Adoption Medical complications Proper support for hard cases Not a form of contraception Procedure risks

3 When does human life begin? Common source of debate for the abortion issue Aristotle: men40 days after conception; women80 days after conception Roe v. Wade: fetus is only a potential person and is not accorded civil rites under the constitution Self-consciousness, rationality, autonomy are required to possess personhood Catholics: from moment of conception until our natural death we possess a human life

4 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person -- among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. – Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. (72)

5 Churchs Stance ALWAYS a grave evil Forbidden in scripture and Tradition Consider the conservation of human dignity …direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. (Evangelium Vitae 62)

6 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

7 Definition From the Latin word aboriri = to perish the loss of a fetal life Direct and Indirect abortion

8 Indirect Abortion The evacuation is not the intended or directly willed result, but the side effect, of some legitimate procedure As such it is morally allowable – Only two acceptable occasions

9 Indirect Abortion and the Double Effect A rule of conduct frequently used in moral theology to determine when a person may lawfully perform an action from which two effects will follow, one bad, and the other good Theologians commonly teach that four conditions must be verified in order that a person may legitimately perform such an act

10 Double Effect Conditions 1)The act itself must be morally good (or indifferent) 2)The agent may not positively will the bad effect (but may merely permit it). If he could attain the good effect without the bad effect, he should do so. 3)In other words, the good effect must be produced directly by the action, not by the bad effect. (Otherwise, the agent would be using a bad means to a good end) 4)The good effect must be sufficiently desirable to compensate for the allowing of the bad effect.

11 Indirect AbortionExcised Uterus A pregnant uterus is removed because its condition is medically necessary There is a living and nonviable fetus – The death of the fetus is a secondary effect and therefore is not directly attacked

12 Excised Uterus AND Double Effect 1)Surgeon intends to save the mothers life (while it is clear the fetus will die, that is not the intention) 2)Surgeons act consists of removing a diseased part of the body which is jeopardizing the mothers life presence of the fetus does not alter the nature of the act 3)The evil effect (death of the fetus) does not cause the good effect (saving the mother) 4)Safeguarding the mothers health is a proportionately grave reason for permitting the death of the fetus

13 Indirect AbortionTubal Ectopic Pregnancy Fertilized ovum lodges in part of the Fallopian tube The implanted embryo perforates the tube and hemorrhaging begins The growing fetus will eventually rupture the tubethis may kill the mother if surgery isnt performed

14 Tubal Ectopic Pregnancy: Removing the Fetus vs. Removing the Fallopian Tube Splitting the Fallopian and removing the fetus would be gravely evildirect attack on the fetus – The surgeon sets up to destroy the fetus as a means of curing the mother Removing the entire tube if it is in a gravely dangerous condition or has ruptured is morally acceptable

15 Excised Tube and Double Effect 1)Surgeon intends to save the mothers life (while it is clear the fetus will die, that is not the intention) 2)Surgeons act consists of removing a diseased part of the body which is jeopardizing the mothers life presence of the fetus does not alter the nature of the act 3)The evil effect (death of the fetus) does not cause the good effect (saving the mother) 4)Safeguarding the mothers health is a proportionately grave reason for permitting the death of the fetus

16 When Health Isnt a Morally Licit Reason If the mother has a pre-existing condition where pregnancy will cause grave health concerns, abortion is not morally acceptable If the deceased organ does not pose a grave and immediate risk

17 Direct Abortion A destruction of the product of human conception, whether before or after implantation in the womb. Intended either as an end in itself or as a means to an end.

18 Interesting Stats (USA) ~6 million women become pregnant per year ~1.2 million women have an abortion In 2005, 22% of all pregnancies ended in abortion (USA) 54% of women who had an abortion in 2005, used some form of contraception (USA) 9/10 abortions are performed in the first 12 weeks (1 st trimester) 30% of pregnant teens have an abortion – 60% of their parents know about it (most support it)

19 Common Justifications for Abortion Birth control failure Inability to support or care for a child End an unwanted pregnancy Fetal abnormalities Rape/incest Mothers health ***Less than 6% of abortions are a result of the final three justifications. ***Commonly used as justifications because of the emotional weight they hold

20 Fetal Abnormalities Amniocentesis: tests a sample of amniotic fluid for abnormalities (i.e. Downs Syndrome, spina bifida, etc.) – Performed after the 1 st trimester Regardless of abnormalities, the fetus (and baby) have intrinsic human value 1% of abortions are related to fetal abnormalities

21 Rape and/or Incest Does a persons value change based on their physical condition or the circumstances of their conception??? We should not give a baby a death sentence for something it did not do The woman is often forced to hold on to the evil of rape in order to justify the guilt of the abortion (prevents healing from occurring) 1% of abortion cases are related to rape/incest

22 Mothers Health Indirect abortion=morally accepted Any other reason is morally unacceptable 3% of abortion cases related to mothers health

23 Support and Resources Organizations designed to offer support during the decision making process and after Back Porch (Edmonton, AB) offers counselling and various educational resources – For men and women!! Specialized schools and day cares for teens Over 5000 abortions are performed each year in Edmonton

24 Statistics (USA) In 2005, 22% of all pregnancies ended in abortion 54% of women who had an abortion in 2005, used some form of contraception More than 12,000 abortions in Alberta (2008) More than 105,000 abortions in Canada (2000) By age 45, 1 in 2.5 women have had an abortion

25 Abortion Percentage by Country

26 Canada:

27 Canadian Statistics 2004 Teenagers accounted for 17% of abortions Age accounted for 53% of abortions 304 abortions performed on girls 14 or younger Since legalization in 1969, 2,790,166 fetuses have been aborted (doesnt account for Morning After Pill) – One of the contributing factors to our declining fertility rate

28 Statistics Cont Abortion rates have dropped over the passed decade. – What may account for this decline? Teenage pregnancy rates have also dropped Did you know that regardless of your position on abortion your tax dollars help pay for the procedures?!

29 Accessibility of Abortions Hospitals and private clinics across Canada Less than half of abortions are done in clinics – 21 abortion clinics in CanadaON(13), ON(4), QB(4), AB(2), NF(1), NB(1), MB(1) 116/713 hospitals perform abortions (16%)

30 Abortion in Canada Timeline 1969: decriminalize abortions done by a doctor in a hospital - w/in a couple of years publically funded : Private clinic set up in Montreal; after a series of arrests, Henry Morgentaler is no longer charged for the procedure. 1974: > 1 million signatures for the protection of the unborn 1989: First father denied abortion prevention (now men cannot prevent it) 1991: no legal consequences for two women who aborted a child who was partial birthed

31 Timeline Cont 1992: after a failed abortion, mother is given a $3.5 million settlement 1994: Pregnant women are recruited for medical abortion trials 1999: Nurses at Markham Stouffville Hospital are allowed to decline assisting doctors 1999: Morning after pill is approved by Health Canada 2007: Alberta MP Ken Epp introduces a bill that would make it a separate crime to injure or kill a fetus in the course of an attack. An exemption for women who consent to abortion is included. Bill wasnt passed.

32 Physical Health Effects Increase with gestational age past 8 weeks Complications may be immediate or may take years to show up Short term: infection of the endometrium, hemorrhage, lacerations, convulsion, saline poisoning, uterine rupture, mortality Long term: breast cancer and infertility Risk in future pregnancies: pre-term birth, ectopic pregnancy

33 Psychological Effects of Abortion Likelihood of depression and anxiety disorders – Especially high for those who have been coerced Common psychological health problems: anxiety, depression, drug abuse, PTSD, sexual dysfunction, sleep problems, suicidal ideation

34 Methods of Abortion Induced abortion: active removal of the human embryo or fetus before 20 weeks Surgical abortion: using surgical instruments Medical abortion: using pharmaceutical drugs

35 Male Rights Men cannot prevent their partners (gf/wife) from having an abortion done They can prevent a baby being placed for adoption Testimony: 0d7ef373b14258fc d7ef373b14258fc1140

36 Pro-Choice Advocates Believe it is up to the women to decide what should or should not be done with her body (radical personal autonomy) – Note the lack of the mans choice and the lack of the babys choice Often associated with feminist ideology May say I wouldnt get an abortion, but others should have the right to choose.

37 Pro Life Advocates Anyone who ALWAYS chooses the preservation of life over the destruction of it Not just a Christian perspective Actively promote life through discussion, actions and prayer – NEVER use images of aborted fetuses to promote the cause = OBJECTIFICATION c efbf51

38 Pro Life Not Just For Christians LDS: "elective abortion for personal or social convenience is contrary to the will and the commandments of God. Hinduism: Unless a mother's health is at risk, traditional Hindu teachings condemn abortion because it is thought to violate the religion's teachings of non-violence. The general value system of Hinduism teaches that the correct course of action in any given situation is the one that causes the least harm to those involved.

39 Other Religions Cont Islam: at 4 months a fetus has a soul abortion is not permissible at this point – Most argue that before 4 months it should only occur if the mothers life is at risk or in cases of rape Judaism: safe-guard life and well-being of a mother – Some denominations advocate for safe and accessible abortion

40 Other Religions cont Protestants: official stance differs between denominations (many are pro-choice or have various exceptions) Buddhists: no official teaching; believe life starts at conception and that killing is morally wrong Sikhism: Life starts at conception; very strict stance against abortion ***Consider political and cultural impacts on abortion views

41 How you can get involved… Understand the issue and recognize where your stance comes from Support and/or volunteer at Back Porch or other support organizations Life Chain and other various activities Prayer

42 References Positions-On-Abortion.aspx Pro-Life Versus Pro-Choice: Understanding the Moral Evil of Abortion Issues by Elizabeth Driedger Youth Update: Abortion (magazine)


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