Abortion is the deliberate ending of a life after fertilisation. For many years the morality of abortion has been disputed with many religions condemning women from having an abortion. Abortion also goes against many ethical theories, such as Rule utilitarianism and Bentham’s Utilitarianism. A religion that is strongly against abortion is Christianity. In Christianity it is believed that life is given by God and he only has the right to end it.
The Christian holy book, the bible, forbids intentionally destroying a foetus.
It is argued that humans have no authority over the taking of a life as God is the creator and giver of life. Christians believe that human life begins as conception, making abortion wrong as it is murder of an innocent life. Humans are born with the potentiality of becoming an adult, and Christian Church is strongly against the taking of the human’s life as it seen as ‘playing God’.
Christianity rejects the taking of an innocent life as it is considered a grave sin as it goes against the Ten Commandments which says ‘Thou shalt not kill’.
This makes a foetus a person that not be murdered. Another religion against abortion is Islam. Islam forbids abortion as it seen as ending life, similar to that of Christianity. Islam also forbids the abortion f a severely disable foetus as it is still seen as a human and therefore has the potentiality of becoming an adult.
Many women have an abortion as they feel they will not be able to provide for the child. The Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, says that the family must have trust in Allah as he will help them, thus making abortion wrong in the Islamic faith : ‘Kill not your offspring for fear of poverty’, Qur’an 17:32. There are many ethical theories that are against abortion. One of which being rule utilitarianism. A rule utilitarian would be against abortion, as their basis for moral-decision making is following general rules.
Killing is wrong and therefore a rule utilitarian would be against it, as rule utilitarianism focuses on keeping rules even if it does not serve ‘the greatest happiness’. Bentham’s utilitarianism would be against abortion. When applying his Hedonic Calculus to an example of a 15 year old, who is considering having an abortion it would be considered wrong to have one. After having the child the girl would feel intense pleasure and happiness and this would override the pain and regret she would feel is she had had the abortion.
The richness f not having the abortion would be that the girl would feel the joys of being a mother and the extent of having the child would be the baby’s life would be, bringing pleasure and happiness to family and friends. To conclude, religions such as Christianity and Islam are strongly against abortion on the grounds of abortion is a way of ‘playing God’. Also a rule utilitarian would be strongly against abortion as abortion does not follow the general rule that killing a life is murder. Bentham’s utilitarianism would be also reject abortion when applied to his Hedonic Calculus, as more pleasure would come from having the baby than killing it.