What does the Catholic Church Say about Abortion?
The Catholic Church strongly condemns abortion or the termination of pregnancy, which is the “loss of a life.” The church believes in the sanctity of human life as protected under the Ten Commandments, which are among the pillars of faith. The Firth commandment says, “thou shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13), suggesting that abortion amounts to killing. Therefore, it is a violation of God’s law and sin.
However, some people might argue that a fetus does not amount to human life, and terminating a pregnancy cannot be regarded as taking a life. While this is a commonly used argument against the prohibition of abortion, the church counters it by affirming that “life begins from conception.” Therefore, abortion amounts to murdering this perspective since people commit the act several months after conception; “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.” (CCC, 2274). Thus, this is one of the aspects that Catholics must understand to keep away from sins.
One of the references that people can make to understand this critical topic is Fr. Mike Schmitz’s teaching that only God has the right over human life since He is the creator. Therefore, only the giver of life has the authority to take it (Schmitz). Hence, anyone who aborts sins against God violates His law and intentions for humanity. Therefore, people should stay away from sins that amount to murder regardless of the intention since there is no justification for taking another life.
Another important source of evidence for prohibiting abortion in the Catholic Church is Jesus’ teaching about taking care of the defenseless and weakest populations. Thus, people who abort contradict the commandment and the teachings of Jesus when he was on the earth, interacting with people, are teaching them moral lessons that would guide their actions long after he was gone.
Furthermore, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), the church requires the government to protect the basic rights of families. The text reports, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception” (CCC, 2270). For example, the government is responsible for ensuring that children grow up in a safe and secure environment and that all their needs are met. Thus, abortion denies them the chance to live and enjoy their life and cuts short their rights to enjoy fundamental freedoms.
While people have the right to defend their lives, abortion is a painful experience that most people undergo without adequate education, especially young people getting pregnant and aborting without parental consent. Elliot Institution provides statistics revealing that more than 40% of abortions occur without the knowledge or involvement of parents. Hence, it means that many abortions are sinful and risky.
Whatever circumstances individuals find themselves pregnant, abortion is not a solution, as many young people erroneously believe. The Bible says, “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin.” (Deuteronomy 24:16). Thus, even if a person conceives in sin, abortion is not an answer because it involves killing an innocent child.
Catechism of The Catholic Church (2003). https://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
Schmitz, Mike Fr. Pro- Life Encouragement (2020) https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=bsUc_Mku2FI