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Abortion has been a major political, moral and emotional issue in the United States for decades now. We have seen too often political slogans such as: ‘It’s a child, not a choice;’ ‘Abortion stops a beating heart;’ ‘Against Abortion? Don’t have one;’ and ‘I’m pro choice and I vote.’ Abortion has been legal since the 1973 with the now famous decision in the Roe v. Wade case of the US Supreme Court. The justices by split decision declared that a fetus in the early stages of pregnancy is considered a nonperson and therefore part of the woman’s body. The woman was then given the choice, the right, to keep or remove the fetus. This decision and the development of abortion clinics has divided the nation into pro-choice and pro-life constituents. These constituents have created catchy but divisive slogans such as the ones above.
Depending upon whom you ask, there are many different stages during which an unborn life can be aborted. For example, the unborn child might an embryo, it may have not implanted in the womb, it may still be without a heart beat, it may not have a distinct human form yet, or it may be too young to survive outside the womb.
It is the Orthodox Christian belief that a human is made after the image of God at the moment of conception. In fact, all people are temples of the Holy Spirit once they are conceived. Finally, the Orthodox Church has feast days celebrating the conceptions of Jesus the Son of God (Annunciation, March 25th ), the Theotokos (Conception of Saint Anna , December 9th ), and the Forerunner John the Baptist.
Father Stanley Harakas (For the Health of Body and Soul: An Eastern Orthodox Introduction to Bioethics, 2002) states the following about the question of abortion: