Abortion can be defined as the “premature expulsion of the foetus from the womb” before pregnancy reaches forty weeks (full term). A miscarriage or spontaneous abortion happens naturally; up to half of conceptions end this way, usually within the first few months and without the mother knowing that she was pregnant. A procured abortion is when the mother deliberately ends the pregnancy and removes the foetus from the womb. Most abortions occur in the earlier stages of pregnancy before obvious signs of pregnancy are shown, this is also safer. Christians have different attitudes to the law of abortion. Roman Catholics and other believe the law is wrong because all foetuses are human form conception. Other Christians feel that the law is about right. Some think the time of abortion should be reduced to a time when the baby can definitely not feel pain.
Before 1967, abortion in the United Kingdom was illegal. However, ‘backstreet abortions’ were done, often ending in permanent injury or death. The 1967 Abortion Act was introduced to provide a safe alternative to backstreet abortions. It was changed in 1990.The law only allows abortion if: * Two registered doctors examine the woman and agree to the abortion. * Her mental or physical health is at risk if she goes thorough with the pregnancy * Existing children may suffer if another baby arrives.
Even though the law was intended to limit abortion to ‘serious’ cases, Britain has effectively got ’abortion on demand’. Doctors in abortion clinics will allow women to have an abortion if that is their choice, under any circumstances and the conditions above are vague enough to allow this to happen. However, abortions must be done before ‘viability’, when a baby can live on its own on the outside of the mother’s womb. Many people believe that the date of ‘viability’ should be reduced to twenty weeks, as some babies have survives from this stage. Very few doctors will perform an abortion after twenty weeks except under extreme circumstances. If the mother’s life is at risk or the baby is mentally or physically handicapped, then abortion is allowed up to birth.