Abortion or more precisely life issues generally have come to the fore again recently. For anyone in Ireland, specifically the Republic, the question of the new ethical guidelines for medical doctors are a current worry. The Medical Council are looking for submissions from the public but the timeframe is very tight. Submissions have to be in by 5.00pm on Friday September 7th 2007. Email is ok (email@example.com) or online at the Medical Council website. If you're not sure what to say or how to put a submission together then look at this. The nice people at Family and Life have put together a guide for making a submission which takes you through the relevant points. So anyone who wants to defend the prolife ethos of Irish Medical practice needs to get their skates on.
The other abortion related ethical discussion I came across today was on Dawn Eden's blog. Apparently a pro-abortion activist in the US set herself up as an authority on Muslim religious law and practice. Specifically she told a Muslim woman that an abortion before 4 months gestation was unproblematic because the "fetus" didn't yet have a soul. (This is reminiscent of some fairly silly "ensoulment" debates in Catholic circles regarding the same issue.)
Since there is no central religious authority, questions of Muslim religious law and practice are often hotly disputed. Of course, what the abortionist didn't tell her unfortunate client is that there is a consensus that abortion is always sinful for a Muslim. She talked about "put[ting] Mohammed's proscription about killing your children in some historical context". The opinion of at least one influential group learned in such matters is that whatever the context, abortion is almost always wrong. It looks like there is one thing that anyone of any religion can rely on. Pro-abortion folks are the last people to turn to for religious guidance.