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Bridging the divide: sex and religion – abortion


08 Dec 2015

Yesterday sex and relationships therapist Emma Ziff put contraception in the hot seat. Today the sensitive subject of abortion and faith is put under the microscope.

Abortion and religion

There have always been many different views on abortion and not just from a religious point of view, morality is also on the agenda for many. What about certain circumstances, like rape, disability of a foetus, or possible harm to the mother?

These are all concerns for medical professionals, but when it comes to religious groups, the following is where they stand on the subject:

• Church of England is strongly opposed to abortion but recognises that there may be instances where it may be morally preferable to offer alternatives.
• Catholicism is fervently against it and says it is killing a human life.
• Buddhism: as Buddhists believe in reincarnation, and that life begins at the moment of conception, terminating a pregnancy would be seen as killing. All things are equal but if the foetus could pose a life threatening risk to the mother, then it would not be equal and could be terminated.
• Hinduism: although Hindus believe in life starting at conception, it has moved along with the changes of modern life and in 1971 in India, it made abortion legal in cases of rape, incest or mental health issues if having an unwanted child.
• Islam says abortion is never allowed as a form of contraception.
• Judaism prohibits unless severe cases such as rape or the baby could be life threatening to the mother.
• Sikhism: abortion is only allowed in extreme circumstances such as rape or to save the mother’s life.

Come back tomorrow for the third instalment of our sex and religion special where infertility and IVF are examined.


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