Abortion 1

Task: What do the terms quality of life and sanctity of life mean? Write down the definitions.

Abortion means the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Task: When do you believe that life begins?

The Abortion Act 1967, as amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, allows termination of a pregnancy by a registered medical practitioner, subject to certain conditions. This applies to England, Scotland and Wales.

Under the Act an abortion must be carried out in a hospital or specially licensed clinic. Before a legally induced abortion can take place, two doctors must agree that:

  • the woman is less than 24 weeks pregnant, and
  • it is necessary to prevent grave damage to the woman’s physical or mental health, or any of her existing children

Abortion is always legal, even after 24 weeks, if:

  • there is a serious threat to the woman’s health or life, or
  • there is substantial risk that the child will be born with physical or mental abnormalities and be seriously disabled

In cases of medical emergency, a second doctor’s agreement does not need to be sought.

The law outlined above does not apply to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

Task: Write a summary of the law on abortion in the UK.

Task: Click here and watch the video.

Task: Find the answers to the following questions.

  1. What is the definition of abortion?
  2. What is the law on abortion in the UK?
  3. Create a table of three reasons why people are pro choice and three reasons why people are pro life
  4. Explain whether you think that pro life or pro choice arguments are most convincing
  5. What is a Catholic view on abortion?
  6. What is a liberal Christian view on abortion?
  7. What is a fundamentalist Muslim view on abortion?
  8. What is a liberal Muslim view on abortion?
  9. What is the 8th Amendment in Ireland?
  10. Do you agree with the referendum decision on the 8th Amendment? Explain why/why not

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