Explain the different ways Christians might respond to a case of a woman who was faced with an unwanted pregnancy
As Christians we are all expected to model ourselves on the image of Jesus Christ. As we learn in the Bible Jesus, was caring, supportive, understanding, compassionate, non-judgemental and loving to all people. So as Christians we should all aim to express these feelings to people including a woman who finds herself faced with an unwanted pregnancy. Although we are all expected to express these moral values, we do not as every person has a different view on the people and the world around them. Also, as outlined in part one the different denominations of the Christian community have various responses to the subject of abortion, so different Christians will respond in different ways, either with the view of a pro- or anti-abortionist.
In today’s society there are a variety of situations in which a woman could be faced with an unwanted pregnancy and therefore having an abortion. One such case is when during pre-birth scans, the foetus is diagnosed as being severely disabled or having a serious health condition that would compromise it’s quality of life. In this case the mother may feel that she would not be able to cope bringing up the child, or that she would not be able to allow the child to grow up with discrimination from society which would separate them from the main population. If this were to happen an anti-abortionist would argue, ‘Does sickness deserve death’, and that there are now fantastic facilities for people with disabilities and the huge advancement in medicine provides remedies for nearly all ailments which a new-born child could be afflicted with. Also, that there are numerous couples and families who would be delighted to bring up a child, not concerned with the disabilities or ailments that they have and would find great reward in doing so. The pro-abortionist would argue that is unfair for the parents to be ‘weighed down’ with the ‘burden’ of a disabled child. They would also argue that is not fair on the child to grow up being on the receiving end of discrimination, or with a poor quality of life.
Another reason for a mother being faced with an unwanted pregnancy is if the mother is a teenager, in this case the mother may feel that she is unable to cope emotionally, physically or financially with a child. Unfortunately this is a growing phenomenon in today’s culture, from an anti-abortionist’s point of view fostering and abortion would be seen as an option. There should also be support from family and friends for the mother and the organisation Cure also offers a helping hand. The fact is that once a child is born feelings toward the child can change and it can grow up into a fantastic and loving family atmosphere. At this stage in the mother’s life any upset can affect the rest of her life as at this time that school education is received. A pro-abortionist would argue that it is unfair for either the child or mother’s quality of life to be affected because age is a factor. Yet it has been said that if a girl consents to sexual intercourse they should be prepared for the consequences whether, expected or unexpected.
Another case for unwanted pregnancy or abortion is if the pregnancy is seriously endangering the mother’s life. Doctors have a responsibility for the life of the mother as well as the baby, and usually in such cases labour is induced or a caesarean section is carried out. From a Christian’s point of view either the probable life of the child is more important than the mother’s or vice versa. This is not a clear cut perspective from either side as sometime the lives of both are equally in danger, and unfortunately sometimes only one or none of the pair survive.
These are only a handful of reasons for an unwanted pregnancy in today’s world others include: rape or incest; a woman with a career or an older woman. All this cases have to be judged on their own merits, yet it remains the view of the Catholic Church that abortions should never take place. As mentioned before all Christians views vary, but a thought to reflect on is:
“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
One fact that we have to remember is that we human beings do not have the authority to choose one life over another, to choose if a person should get the right to experience life on earth, or when it is time for a life to end. Only God has this power.