- The pro-life view is that it is wrong to kill a human being and that since humans exist from the moment of conception, abortion is equivalent to murder. Other reasons they object include long-term damage to the mother as well as potential damage to society.
- Pro-choice advocates say that as it is the right of a woman to do what she wants with her own body, this overrides any right the fetus has to life.
- It is unhelpful to debate whether or not a fetus is a person and if so, at what point does it become one? At fertilisation? Brain life? Viability? Birth?
- Most people have a gradualist view and consider late abortions to be more serious than an earlier abortion, but this doesn’t set an exact limit to the practice of abortion. Legally, a fetus is not considered a person who has its own rights until the moment of birth.
- The law, as set out in the Abortion Act (1967) says that an abortion may be carried out provided the pregnancy has not yet reached its 24th week and that two medical procedures agree that keeping the baby provides more risk to the woman’s physical or mental health (as pregnancy is always more dangerous than not being pregnant, this condition is always met) than termination. The abortion must be notified to the relevant authorities.
- Controversially, there is no time limit on abortion for a baby who has a substantial risk of being born with a severe handicap so they can be aborted very late into the pregnancy. This exception has been used to justify aborting babies who would have been born with a cleft palate- a condition easily fixed with relatively minor surgery.