Religion: Pregnancy Contraception Term Paper

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Outline and explain the religious and secular arguments surrounding both prevention and termination of pregnancy

Contraception is the deliberate prevention of pregnancy using several methods available today. Family planning is the method that refers to the making decisions about when and how many children to have, and choosing way to achieve this.

Catholics believe that sex should be procreative, unitive, communicative and respectful. They believe that a human’s sexuality is a gift from God and that it should be respected, they believe that unnatural forms of contraception encourage ‘casual sex’ with many partners. ‘Casual sex’ is neither unitive nor communicative. Instead of the use of unnatural forms of contraception such as the condom or the use of Spermicidal or hormonal contraceptives, they suggest the practice of Natural Family Planning. This system is one whereby the couple restrains from sexual intercourse during the most fertile period of a woman’s menstrual cycle. This period ranges from five days before ovulation to two days after ovulation.

One way of determining fertility is the basal body temperature method, where a woman takes her temperature at the same time each morning before getting out of bed. In a lot of women, body temperature rises about one degree on the day of ovulation and stays raised for several days. This kind of contraceptive method can only is used in a stable and ongoing relationship, a relationship wherein sexuality is respected and the relationship is unitive. People often decide against this option because it is only 81 percent effective. Catholic couples that use Natural Family Planning will have to except and care for the child that my result from that 19 percent, this is not a problem recognized in the Catholic faith, as sex to them must be procreative. Many people use contraception so that a relationship can be avoided but this is not procreative or unitive so again this argument for contraception is dismissed by the Catholic Church.

Non-religious and religious groups both support contraception for a number of good reasons one of the arguments they use in favor of contraception is that in the USA, about 56 percent of women between 16 to 45 years old practice birth control. When birth control is not used about 85/86 percent of sexually active parents experience a pregnancy. Contraception clearly prevents unwanted pregnancies, which if the woman has any medical ailments could result in death of the mother or of the child or both.

It is often mentioned by people other than the catholic’ s that it is up to the specific individuals involved and that they should follow their conscience, this is not rejected by the catholic faith but they argue that if an individual is left to follow their conscience they must have an informed conscience.

Abortion is the termination or ending of pregnancy before the birth of a child, resulting in, or accompanied by, the death of the fetus (unborn child). Some abortions occur naturally because a fetus does not develop normally. Abortions are induced, because a pregnancy is unwanted or presents a risk to a woman’s health. It was legalized (abortion act) in 1968 because before then there were hundreds deaths caused by back street abortions every year. It was thought that it would be better to legalize abortions and make it a safe procedure than to allow any more women die.

Some secular societies argue for abortion saying that it is a way of avoiding genetic defects such as Downs Syndrome. But the Church argues against this saying that you should not be able to dictate another human beings life or death no matter what situation or defect, to kill the child just because it is not ‘perfect’ in the eyes of a “normal” person is a ‘throwing away’ of Gods gift of life to that person. It says in Genesis 1:26 ‘Then God said “let us make man in our image.”’ God did not need us so we are therefore a gift; to kill an ‘imperfect child’ is a rejection of that gift. God loves that person for what they are and does not see the imperfections that other people might have. In the eyes of God all men/women are equal- in Galatians 3:28 it says: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ.

Another argument for abortion is that the aborted fetus is not a person – secular argument. The church apposes this argument and says that we cannot be sure of the time of ensoulment, when a fetus becomes a person (human being), it is better to take this point from the earliest time possible, this is the moment of conception. If from this point it is a person (living being) then it is a sin to destroy the life of that person which is a gift from God because in the Ten Commandments it says ‘thou shalt no kill.’ We know that people are a gift from God because in 1 Sam 1:20 it says: ‘in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord”’ this is a fundamentalist view.

At the moment of conception, when the male sperm and female ovum fuse together both half cells – 23 chromosomes (genes) in each fuse to create a unique individual (human), related but not completely like it parents, a new individual is created and has therefore all the rights of a born human being, for this reason among others the Catholic Church completely disapproves of abortion, except in the cases of cancer of the womb or an ectopic pregnancy. In the case if cancer, after both chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been tried and there is no choice abortion is feasible. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy – were the fetus begins to develop in the fallopian tube, surgery to remove the fallopian tube may begin. In this case you are acting to limit evil, the evil of the death of the baby is out weighed by the life of the mother and thus the principle of Double Effect comes into play, the death of the child in both of the above cases is inevitable therefore it would be favorable to allow the mother to live.

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My Own Work and Research

Word Count: 1056

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