Abortion Created Serious Debates and Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

A normal pro-life campaign is less complex than Catholic anti-abortion principles because of the religious aspect of the matter. The connection between the Catholic Church and morality has come to be stronger in the recent years in spite of the fact that it does not essentially function based on morality alone. To a certain degree, one might be inclined to consider that the Church is wrong in promoting anti-abortion simply because it wants to follow Christian tradition. Catholic teachings are essentially derived from the Bible and "whatever the "moral" teaching of the Church might be, it is, in the final analysis, a function of how to read the Scripture. Christian morality is not, in short, a "stand-alone" moral position" (O'Brien 92). In promoting anti-abortion messages, Catholic representatives practically go against the general message that the Gospel is trying to convey.

Catholics have recently been more determined than ever to fight against abortion, considering that society has already created many cases that serve as models for people who are uncertain about getting an abortion. The 1873 Supreme Court case of Roe vs. Wade has had a powerful effect on pro-life advocates and on anti-abortion Catholics. It made it possible for people to look at abortion from a different angle as people demanded that abortion could also be caused by less important factors such as individuals being unprepared to become parents. In spite of the fact that abortion came to be seen as something less contentious consequent to this trial, pro-life Catholics have not lost their strength of mind and have started to employ even more effort in making society understand their point-of-view. Dedicated anti-abortion Catholics are generally inclined to consider that individuals who called themselves Catholics and claim to agree to abortion are nothing but hypocrite atheists who are interested in destabilizing the general image of Catholicism (Faundes & Barzelatto 140).

One of the largest Protestant communities in the U.S., the Southern Baptist Convention, has also gotten actively involved in persecuting pro-choice activists. In spite of the fact that Baptists in the U.S. typically tend to be against anything supported by Catholics, they did not do so when it came to abortion. Similar to the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention considers that life does not start when an individual is born and believes that fetuses have souls. Also, it promotes the belief that abortion should only be accepted in extreme cases such as when a woman has been raped or when medical complications make it likely for the child or for the mother to die (Tatom Ammerman 19).

Conservatives inside the Southern Baptist Conventions are focused on having believers understand that abortion is wrong. With society expressing less concern regarding the practice, they feel that their role is becoming increasingly difficult and that they have to pursue their goals with more determination. By relating to the Scripture, Southern Baptist Convention leaders influence their followers to refrain from ever turning to abortions as the solution to their problems. "What these pastors offer in support of their claim is a list of proof texts whose contexts had little or no direct bearing on the abortion question" (Tatom Ammerman 133). Similar to certain Catholic anti-abortion supporters, these people practically interpret the Bible using subjectivity. This is what makes it difficult for members from within their community to agree to their position regarding abortion. However, when compared to conditions in the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention is dominated by anti-abortionist thinking and this makes it especially difficult for individuals who are against such principles to effectively organize themselves into groups that manage to put across their own interpretations of the Scripture (Tatom Ammerman 133).

Both Catholics and Baptists have trouble expressing anti-abortion beliefs as a result of feminists within their communities considering that they discriminate women. Through claiming that a woman should have no right to decide whether or not she wants to keep a pregnancy, anti-abortionists virtually say that women are traditionally meant to perform a limited number of activities and that they should not be provided with the opportunity to employ a controlling attitude over their bodies. This is, in fact discriminatory toward women and creates significant controversies among Christians in general. One can almost refer to this debate as being a family debate that has gone on for years without producing any visible results. This makes it difficult for many pro-life Christians to get involved in the controversy and unlikely for it to be resolved in the near future. Conditions have become critical in the recent years as "the Church's position on abortion has damaged politics, moral discourse, and the inner dialogue that should mark the community of Christ" (O'Brien xi).

The "Evangelium Vitae" document is essential in gaining a better understanding of how Catholics perceive abortion. Pope John Paul II wanted the world to understand that life needed to be protected during the most difficult moments, at the time when it begins and at the time when it ends. From his perspective, an unborn child is helpless and needs to be provided with special care all across the pregnancy. He considered that the fact that people have the power to end the life of an unborn child it does not mean that they actually have to do this. Such thinking, according to him, could also influence people to go to war and to perform genocide simply because they consider that other people threaten their well-being. The text relates to the fact that considering a fetus to be nothing more than biological matter would lead to several other immoral acts such as experiments being performed on fetuses or fetuses being used with the purpose of harvesting organs.

Pope John Paul II did not necessarily used "Evangelium Vitae" as a means to interdict abortions regardless of circumstances. He actually referred to occasions when one's moral responsibility for committing the practice would be absolved if the respective person is pressured by serious factors. However, he also insists that abortion is wrong because of the way that he interprets the Scripture. Performing abortion, from his perspective, is the equivalent of killing an innocent human being because he or she represented an impediment. Considering the former Pope's general point-of-view regarding abortion, it is immature for someone to consider that he or she can perform an abortion simply because society approves of the practice. Christians should apparently focus on the word of God when they try to evaluate the moral legality of a particular practice. The Pope is sympathetic regarding pro-choice activists because they are not committing any mistakes in following their ideals, but does not hesitate to relate to abortion as being a direct attack on the family and the same thing as assuming God's role.

The former Pope carefully defined the act of abortion as being the intractable murder of a human being, regardless of the circumstances of the pregnancy. Moreover, he considered that a culture that accepted abortion acted as a culture of death that held no interest in God's commands. John Paul II accepted the fact that there was no passage in the Bible to relate to how it was immoral for people to perform abortions. However, he claimed that he relied on God's laws and on morality in general when he devised his position regarding abortion. The former Pope basically inspired from the "Thou shall not kill" commandment at the time when he put across the Catholic Church's opinion about abortion. Although he brings on this commandment with the purpose of demonstrating the evil in committing an abortion, John Paul II also wants people to accept him as a person who was provided with divine authority in interpreting the Scripture.

"Evangelium Vitae" did not directly say that the woman performing the abortion is solely responsible for the act. Instead, it also discussed society's pressures and the fact that the surrounding environment is very important in determining the way that a person thinks and acts. The family, doctors, and social standards can all be considered accountable when considering an abortion. John Paul II believed that governments can also be held responsible for installing laws favoring abortion and for making the practice seem like a perfectly normal medical operation. He considered that the U.S.' determination to promote freedom has gone too far because it came to address one of the most important values available to man.

VI. Conclusion

Given that abortion has experienced notable progress in the recent years and considering that individuals started to express lesser and lesser interest in laws imposed by religious leaders when they are confronted with critical situations, it is very probable that it is going to receive less criticism in the future. Christians have become actively involved in the pro-life vs. pro-choice controversy and they might actually make it possible for the two camps to reach a common agreement eventually, considering the moral aspect…

Sources Used in Document:

Works cited:

Faundes, Anibal and Barzelatto, Jose, "The human drama of abortion: a global search for consensus," Vanderbilt University Press, 2006.

John Paul II, "Evangelium Vitae: The Gospel of Life," St. Pauls Publications, 2009.

Mitchell, Alan C. "Choosing life: a dialogue on Evangelium vitae," Georgetown University Press, 1997.

O'Brien, George Dennis, "The Church and abortion: a Catholic dissent," Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.

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