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Opposition to legal abortion: challenges and questions

Opposition to legal abortion: challenges and questions

Planned Parenthood Challenges 1993(1): 3-5

An analysis of the Roman Catholic Church's arguments against abortion rights suggests that its opposition is grounded more in outmoded views regarding women's roles than in concern for protecting fetal life. The 1st argument raised by Catholics and other anti-abortion forces is that abortion represents the unjustifiable destruction of a human life. A 2nd argument focuses on the status of the fetus as a person from the moment of conception, making abortion murder. A 3rd equates the fetus's potential for personhood with the pregnant woman's actual personhood. Despite the vehement sentiments expressed by Catholic leaders against abortion, the majority of Catholics support legal abortion. The assignment of personhood status to the fetus is contraindicated by actual practice in the Church, where aborted or miscarried products of early pregnancy are not baptized. Also, the Church does not forbid the taking of human life in war or to preserve political freedom. Finally, in countries such as Poland where abortion has been made illegal through religious pressure, there have been drastic cuts in health care and child care programs.

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Accession: 046870516

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PMID: 12345323

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