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Is religion compatible with feminism?
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Religion restricts female rights to abortion

Religious beliefs on the value given to life, has impinged heavily on women's rights to abortion. This has led to many fatalities for women due to infections from miscarriages, and illegal methods of abortion. This particularly impacts women from poor socio-economic backgrounds.

The Argument

Many mainstream religions forbid abortion. There is a view that it results in the killing of a living being. There are various arguments relating to the stage of gestation as to when an embryo becomes a living being capable of having the value of life, but for the purposes of religion, abortion is a sin. This view is relatively consistent be it Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism or Buddhism. [1] These religious values can restrict a female's right to abortion, sometimes with fatal consequences. For example, the death of 31 year old Savita Halappanaver who died in 2012 due to an infection further to an abortion being denied due to a miscarriage in Ireland. These restrictions based on religion on abortion do not stop women attempting to get them. This leads to a healthcare issue where women will either pay, if they have the funds, to get the abortion elsewhere, or alternatively, women will pursue illegal and dangerous ways of getting one, penalising the poorest women in society. [2]

Counter arguments

The cause of the ideology on abortion is not entirely religious. There are religious groups who are pro-abortion and do not support the Hyde Amendment, which takes away funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest and danger to life. It is argued that policies that refuse access to abortion target people in poor socio-economic backgrounds and contribute to institutional racism. People who follow a religion and are pro-abortion argue that allowing abortion provides dignity and equality of life. Each person has a right to their own safety and wellbeing. The rich can pay for these amenities, but the poor should be afforded equal healthcare, even in respect of reproductive rights. Using religion to deny someone the rights to healthcare is not religious. [3]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 16 Nov 2020 at 12:24 UTC

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