Petru Ciobanu: Tra accettazione e condanna: l’aborto nell’Antichità

This article presents how abortion was received in the ancient world. As can be deduced from the title itself, this “crime”, as perceived by Christianity, was accepted, if we refer to the Greco-Roman world, including philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, as it was the state’s interest that should be put above the life value or the Stoics, who did not attribute any rights to the embryo, considering it a component part of the mother. Despite these views, there were others who opposed abortion, including among the great physicians of antiquity, among Roman poets or jurists, but even in this case it was not the life of the foetus that was defended, but, in general, the rights of the pater familias. An attitude of condemnation of abortion, from the same perspective, we notice in the Holy Scripture, in which only a single text explicitly refers to abortion (Ex 21, 22-25). However, as St. John Paul II states, the condemnation of abortion is implicitly included in the commandment “Do not kill”. In addition, there are numerous biblical texts that emphasize the value of the unborn life as a work of God. Also, there are provided attitudes towards abortion in the extra-biblical Judaism, apocryphal writings, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and other laws of Ancient Orient.

Dialog 47-6 Ciobanu

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