Magally Dorado Amigon
April 26, 2020
Religion’s impact on abortion
The topic of abortion has always been very controversial between communities and even families. It is something that is so easy to disagree on but there are so many factors to it and so many of them are hidden. No one realizes it has a big impact on the topic itself. One of these known factors is religion. Belief Systems such as Christianity, Catholicism, and even Hinduism. There are different religions that have different opinions. However, there are also people from within that follow that religion but disagree with the idea that abortion should be illegal. Religion is something that can be biased and I disagree with some of their opinions, I truly believe that they should not have a say in what a woman should or shouldn’t do with her body.
Religious belief systems have a very big impact on a woman’s choice and they make it seem as if they should strictly follow those beliefs or your God won’t love you. As a person who was forced into Catholicism, It is one of those things that have strict rules that you have to follow to achieve your best self and to be closer to your God. One of the main rules is that you should not kill and abortion is seen as the murder of a fetus. Different religions should not have a say in what a woman should do with her body because it is their choice. There is enough evidence to prove that when a woman is in her first trimester there is no actual nervous system and parts that make up a baby in her stomach and therefore she chooses to have an abortion. However, because there are so many followers of the church they are influenced by the scriptures and by the sayings of the church. There are even events that are held such as the march for life which is an event held annually to protest both the practice and legality of abortion, usually the roman catholic church participates in these events.
From my standpoint, I strongly believe that these different religions should not a specific position or say in the life of individuals because there are situations that they may not know about. Abortions are in most cases a result of rape or unwanted sexual activity. When the different belief systems like Catholicism, Hinduism, and Lutheran churches have an opinion, it makes the victim have second thoughts even though the mother is not able to have a child because of her economic situation. The different religions are such a big social-cultural system that has a big influence on people, it’s almost as they want to appear as superior and all-knowing which is very debatable. This can easily affect the decisions of a woman going through the process of deciding whether she wants to have an abortion or not, it makes her look like she is in the wrong and like she does not have an option forcing her to have a child against her will. The religions which have the biggest percentage of followers who believe abortion should be illegal are Evangelical Protestant(63%), Jehova’s Witness(75%), Mormon(70%) and Catholic(47%). In another survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, it is shown that the majority of those who believe abortion should be illegal to get their guidance of what is wrong and right from their religion. This shows that religion truly does have an impact on the opinions of others.
Admittedly, some may argue that there are many who say that everyone has a right to voice their opinion and that it is something that can’t be denied or taken away from someone. This is used as a point to argue that religions do have a say in whether a woman should be able to have an abortion. The different religions have a sense of power because they are such a big system. Therefore, the followers believe that they have a big influence on others because of their religions and try to show that by rallying and trying to convince beginning with teenagers that abortion is wrong and that they are killing a fully developed fetus. Some may even use the idea of abstinence as a way to avoid pregnancy altogether. This may sometimes not be the case as there are a lot of rape cases. In 1979, two polls conducted by CBS and the New York Times showed that a majority of Catholics and Protestants believed that abortions should be available and the decision should be left to the woman and her doctor (pubmed.gov). This further illustrates how different religions are not restricting and allow abortions within their community.
However, when you look at that evidence it becomes clear that it can be disproved that Catholics believe abortion should be legal because it was a study made a very long time ago. The polls were made in 1979 and could have been altered or seen so that the Catholic church would not be under fire. Despite this, I strongly believe that no one especially not a religion that can tend to be biased and very heavily opinionated should have an opinion when a female is choosing to have an abortion or not. There are many factors that come in to play such as: Did the mother choose to have a child? Is this a result of a rape case? Is the mother in an economic situation wherein she just can’t raise a baby? Is it a risk to the mothers’ health is she chooses to have the baby? These are all questions people tend to ignore when quickly jumping to conclusions and making assumptions.
A female should have the option to have an abortion without being seen as a killer or without having to think about the opinions of others from a community that is supposed to be welcoming and loving everyone. This is not the case within some religions that choose to say that abortions should not be legal because it was the mother who decided to have a child. Some say that she must now take care of the baby as it is her responsibility. I strongly believe that religions should not have input in a woman’s decision of aborting. It is hard to understand how a community that preaches that we must learn to love and welcome everyone but doesn’t love a woman who is undergoing a difficult decision. As time goes by, it is only wished that people slowly begin to learn and understand how difficult it is for someone to endure not only physical pain but only emotional pain.
Baker, Ross K et al. “Matters of life and death: social, political, and religious correlates of attitudes on abortion.” American politics quarterly vol. 9,1 (1981): 89-102. DOI:10.1177/1532673×8100900105
In this article, it is discussed how Catholics and Protestants are in agreement and that contraception should be widely available and how these belief systems should not interfere with the decision of a woman to have an abortion. It also discusses the polls that were conducted over the phone to see what the followers of these religions think about a woman’s right to abortion.
Masci, David. “Where Major Religious Groups Stand on Abortion.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 21 June 2016, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/06/21/where-major-religious-groups-stand-on-abortion/.
In this article, it discusses what the topic of abortion is and how it has impacted people differently. There is also a chart that is provided to see where major religious stand on abortion. There is also a mention of how a few religions decided not to say anything at all.
“Views about Abortion – Religion in America: U.S. Religious Data, Demographics, and Statistics.” Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project, Pew Research Center, 11 May 2015, www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/views-about-abortion/.
In this webpage, it explores the different belief systems and their view on the topic of abortion. It includes different charts, trends, and tables to compare the different belief systems and how they abortion. It includes information such as Views about abortion by religious groups, belief in God by views about abortion, and Importance of religion in one’s life by views about abortion.