The RE coursework site

Coursework Outlines - Abortion

Sample Structure Plan - Some Biblical Quotes - Some Christian and Muslim Quotes

Sample structure plan - Abortion


What is meant by abortion ?

- medical definition / dictionary definition
- Definition from the dictionary states that abortion is: The termination of a pregnancy by artificial or chemical means.
- legal definition & legal history - 1904/1929/1967/1991
- the opinions of others
- contraception / morning after pill
- when does a baby become a foetus ? / When does life begin ?

What biblical teachings might be used in a discussion about abortion ?

- Introductory paragraph about why the bible is used by Christians
- For Christians the bible is a important text for teaching about their faith.
- It contains the words and teachings of Jesus
- you should include the following structure for each biblical quote you use. (use 5-10 quotes)

Some biblical texts
Old Testament
Psalm 66:9  "He has preserved our lives and kept us from slipping"  
Job 1:21  He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 
Gen.1:26,27   Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  
Gen 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.
Psalm 139:13   For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
 Psalm 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
Ecc. 6:12 For who knows what is good for mortals while they live the few days of their vain life, which they pass like a shadow? For who can tell them what will be after them under the sun?
Job 12:10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.
Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.
 Lev 24:17 Anyone who kills a human being shall be put to death.
 New Testament
 1Cor.3:16,17 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. 

How do Christians respond to the question of abortion ?

- quotes from "well known Christians" and explanations of these - look in the revision site for some ideas
- Different viewpoints from different Christian groups

Is abortion ever justified ? (about 400 words) (25)

Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about
different points of view.

- Introductory paragraph
- Argument for abortion including situations
- Arguments against
- summing up giving your opinion


Some Useful Quotes


"Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception; abortion and infanticide are the most abominable of crimes"
Statement from the Roman Catholic Church

"From the time that the ovum is fertilised a new life is begun which is neither that of the father or the mother. It is the life of a new human being with its own growth. It would never become human if it were not human already"
Document on Procured Abortion (1974) [Roman Catholic Church]

"We affirm that every human life, created in the divine image is unique ... and that this holds for each of us, born or yet to be born. We therefore believe that abortion is an evil ... and that abortion on demand would be a very great evil. But we also believe that to withhold compassion is evil, and in circumstances of extreme distress or need, a very great evil ... Christians need to face frankly the fact that in an imperfect world the 'right' choice is sometimes the acceptance of the lesser of two evils"
General Synod of the Church of England

"If you do make a mistake don't destroy the life ... because also to that child God says, "I have called you by your name, I have carved you in the palm of my hand: you are mine"
Mother Teresa (Roman Catholic Nun)

"Although the foetus is to be specially respected and protected, nonetheless the life of the foetus is not absolutely sacrosanct if it endangers the life of the mother"
Church of England - Board of Social Responsibility Report 1984

"To regard the life of the mother as less valuable than that of the unborn child does not consider her 'right to life' in terms of her wider roles of wife or mother (actual or potential) of other children, as well in terms of her own person"
Abortion, an Ethical Discussion, Church information office 1965, p33

"Surely you know that you are God's temple and that God's spirit dwells in you ?So if anyone destroys the temple God will destroy them for God's temple is holy and you are are that temple"
1 Corinthians 3:16-17


"To God belongs the domain of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills (and plands)"
Surah 42:49

"Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin."
Surah 17:31

"A pregnant woman if sentenced to death for a crime cannot be executed until the baby is born"

"Do not kill your children in fear of poverty. We shall provide for both them and you. Killing them is a big sin."
Qur'an 17:31

"No one who severs the relationship of the womb will enter paradise"

"Abortion is legal in one case only, and that is when the retention of the foetus or embryo in the uterus threatens the mother's life."
Sheikh Muhammed Mahdl Shamsuddin

"Allah fixes the time span for all things. It is He who causes both laughther and grief: if is he who casues male and female; it is he who will create us anew"
Surah 53:42-47