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The abortion debate asks whether it can be morally right to terminate a pregnancy before normal childbirth.
Some people think that abortion is always wrong. Some think that abortion is right when the mother's life is at risk. Others think that there is a range of circumstances in which abortion is morally acceptable.
From the BBC Ethics website. This article discusses: legal position, medical topics,
philosophical and ethical concerns,
the rights of the mother, rights of the unborn child, the rights of the father and religious views on abortion
Abortion law in Australia
This was published in 1998.
What is Roe V Wade?
Roe v Wade
In this article entitled 'She was the face of abortion rights - but 'Jane Roe' says she was paid $US500,000 to switch sides', the background to the US Supreme Court decision allowing abortion is explained.
Attitudes to Abortion
Reliable opinion polling consistently shows that around 80% of Australian adults support a woman’s right to choose.
Attitudes to Abortion and Approaches to Ethical Issues
Christian Research Association.
Sixty per cent of Australians believe that abortion is acceptable in most circumstances. Many others say that it is acceptable in some circumstances, such as if there is a serious defect in the baby. Some Australians say that abortion is not acceptable under any circumstances.
Capital Punishment background
BBC website offering an introduction to this ethical issue, arguments in favour and against and a section on the different religious viewpoints.
Capital Punishment: Catholic viewpoint
Capital Punishment: other religious viewpoints
Death penalty: is capital punishment morally justified
The Old Testament enjoins us to take an “eye for an eye” – the principle of lex talionis – while the New Testament exhorts us to “turn the other cheek”. And while Islam is generally regarded as compatible with the death penalty, the Qur'an’s emphasis on forgiveness suggests that Muslims should sometimes respond to evil with mercy, not retaliation.
In terms of doctrine the death penalty is clearly inconsistent with Buddhist teaching. Buddhists place great emphasis on non-violence and compassion for all life. The First Precept requires individuals to abstain from injuring or killing any living creature.
Hinduism and capital punishment
There is no official Hindu line on capital punishment. However, Hinduism opposes killing, violence and revenge, in line with the principle of ahimsa (non-violence).
Judaism and capital punishment
Anyone reading the Old Testament list of 36 capital crimes might think that Judaism is in favour of capital punishment, but they'd be wrong. During the period when Jewish law operated as a secular as well as a religious jurisdiction, Jewish courts very rarely imposed the death penalty
Christianity and capital punishment
Looks at the Catholic and Protestant viewpoint
Islam and capital punishment
Muslims believe that capital punishment is a most severe sentence but one that may be commanded by a court for crimes of suitable severity. While there may be more profound punishment at the hands of God, there is also room for an earthly punishment.
Lawfully allowing a patient to die should be kept distinct from euthanasia. Shutterstock
Euthanasia: Catholic teachings
What Is the Church's Teaching on Euthanasia?
Therefore, the following principles are morally binding: First, to make an attempt on the life of or to kill an innocent person is an evil action. Second, each person is bound to lead his life in accord with God's plan and with an openness to His will, looking to life's fulfillment in heaven. Finally, intentionally committing suicide is a murder of oneself and considered a rejection of God's plan. For these reasons, the Second Vatican Council condemned "all offenses against life itself, such as murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia and willful suicide...
Euthanasia: other religious vewpoints
BBC Ethics page
From the BBC ethics page comes the following religious viewpoints about euthanasia:
Pew Research Centre
Religious Groups’ Views on End-of-Life Issues. In the following summaries, religious leaders, scholars and ethicists from 16 major American religious groups explain how their faith traditions’ teachings address physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia and other end-of-life questions.