Abortion: Catholic Perspective


" Abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others. They are committed against those who are weakest and most defenseless, those who are genuinely "the poorest of the poor." They are endorsed increasingly without the veil of euphemism, as supporters of abortion and euthanasia freely concede these are killing even as they promote them. Sadly, they are practiced in those communities which ordinarily provide a safe haven for the weak -- the family and the healing professions. Such direct attacks on human life, once crimes, are today legitimized by governments sworn to protect the weak and marginalized." - Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics - A Statement by the Catholic Bishops of the United States, 1998

"As God is in each one of us, when we want and try to live according to His example of love, we love Him in the others and at the same time we allow Him to love others through us. We are his hands, his feet, his smile, his patience... When we love because of His Will, we make God present, we make Him 'touchable' as you could say. We can make His love material. Therefore we have such a high call. Therefore we can be so grateful, therefor we have such a great responsibility."  -- Mother Teresa    

  • Partial Birth Abortion and Catholics - William E. May, Michael J. McGivney Professor of Moral Theology, John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Washington USA
  • Preaching on Abortion from the Scriptures - by Fr. Frank Pavone
  • Theology Library : Abortion
  • Sexual Health Can Never Mean Abortion - Archbishop Renato R. Martino
  • Under no guise can abortion be promoted - Bishop James T. McHugh
  • What is a Partial-Birth Abortion?

    Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

    You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.

    God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes. Catechism of the Catholic Church - CCC 2271

    Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae," "by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society. Catechism of the Catholic Church - CCC 2272

    From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice (GS 27 § 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life. Catechism of the Catholic Church - CCC 2322

    Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

    Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, "if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence." Catechism of the Catholic Church - CCC 2274

Related: Capital Punishment - Euthanasia - Morality and Ethics - Papal, Episcopal and Curial Documents - Sexuality -Suicide and Assisted Suicide - Virtues - Social Justice and Peace - Science and Ethics