Essay: Ethical dilemmas and compassionate responses to abortion

In my own quest for a Christian understanding of the unborn child, it is not only the theological and biblical arguments which have influenced me. I have been deeply struck also by the profound intuitions about abortion which many people in our society reveal, including many who have no Christian or religious faith. I spoke some time ago to a BBC producer who was making a major television documentary about abortion. She had interviewed a considerable number of women and doctors by way of background research. She told me in private that she had been struck by the fact that when talking about abortion, the doctors and other professionals were careful to use medical language such as, ‘termination of pregnancy’, in order to avoid giving offence. By contrast nearly all the women she had spoken to had talked about ‘killing their babies’. In her view the women were much more honest than the doctors about the emotional implications of medical abortion…

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