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  #1  
Old Jan 24, '06, 12:47 pm
CherDash CherDash is offline
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Default Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Hi,
I was on a message board, and the subject of abortion came up. Someone posted that the Church is against abortion in all cases, and specifically mentioned even in the event of an ectopic pregnancy. I believe they are misinformed. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, there's no chance for the baby, and the mother's life is endangered. Since the Church believes in the sanctity of human life, I don't believe the Church is OK with a woman dying when her life can be saved and there is no way the baby can survive. Also, I was wondering about anencephaly and abortion. The mom's life is not in danger usually in this situation, but the baby is either stillborn or dies shortly after birth. What is the Church's stance on this? Also, is there any other scenario where the Church would not object to abortion? I would appreciate any input. Thank you.
  #2  
Old Jan 24, '06, 1:00 pm
axolotl axolotl is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Direct abortion is never acceptable. In the event of an ectoic pregnancy, you may remove the malfunctioning tube, which unfortunately also will cause the death of the baby. Other techniques, such as methotrexate or microsurgery to remove the pregnancy while leaving the tube intact are immoral.
  #3  
Old Jan 24, '06, 1:09 pm
CherDash CherDash is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by axolotl
Direct abortion is never acceptable. In the event of an ectoic pregnancy, you may remove the malfunctioning tube, which unfortunately also will cause the death of the baby. Other techniques, such as methotrexate or microsurgery to remove the pregnancy while leaving the tube intact are immoral.
OK, I appreciate your taking the time to answer. That's what I thought, although I bungled the wording. Thank you!
  #4  
Old Jan 24, '06, 1:11 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherDash
Hi,
I was on a message board, and the subject of abortion came up. Someone posted that the Church is against abortion in all cases, and specifically mentioned even in the event of an ectopic pregnancy. I believe they are misinformed.
No, they are correct and not misinformed. Abortion is always murder. Abortion is the direct and intentional killing of the baby. The Church teaches abortion is *always and everywhere* wrong. It is murder.

In the case of ectopic pregnancy there are two treatments available. In one, the diseased tissue of the tube is removed. This is a medical procedure done to save the mother-- the *unintended consequence* is that the baby dies because we do not possess the technology to successfully move the baby to the uterus. The *intent* is not to kill the child. The result is that the child dies because we lack the ability to prevent it.

The second method is the adminstration of a drug that causes a chemical abortion-- it kills the baby and leaves the tube intact. This is never a morally acceptable option as the purpose is to kill the baby-- a direct action that is always wrong.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CherDash
Also, I was wondering about anencephaly and abortion. The mom's life is not in danger usually in this situation, but the baby is either stillborn or dies shortly after birth. What is the Church's stance on this? Also, is there any other scenario where the Church would not object to abortion? I would appreciate any input. Thank you
The Church objects to all abortion because it is the killing of a human being. So, in this example you cited there is no deviation from the universal teaching of the church. Abortion would be wrong in this circumstance.

In every case when you say "but what about when..." you are basically trying to say "there are some cases where it is OK to kill a baby". This is of course absurd-- it is never OK to kill a baby.
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ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
  #5  
Old Jan 24, '06, 1:34 pm
joyfulmess joyfulmess is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

ABORTION is NEVER acceptable. No they are not misinformed, the Catholic Church teaches the Sanctity of Life in all circumstances.
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  #6  
Old Jan 24, '06, 1:37 pm
joyfulmess joyfulmess is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherDash
Hi,
I was on a message board, and the subject of abortion came up. Someone posted that the Church is against abortion in all cases, and specifically mentioned even in the event of an ectopic pregnancy. I believe they are misinformed. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, there's no chance for the baby, and the mother's life is endangered. Since the Church believes in the sanctity of human life, I don't believe the Church is OK with a woman dying when her life can be saved and there is no way the baby can survive. Also, I was wondering about anencephaly and abortion. The mom's life is not in danger usually in this situation, but the baby is either stillborn or dies shortly after birth. What is the Church's stance on this? Also, is there any other scenario where the Church would not object to abortion? I would appreciate any input. Thank you.

Read the fifth commandment: THOU SHALT NOT KILL.
Thats pretty blunt and to the point don't you think?
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  #7  
Old Jan 24, '06, 1:39 pm
CherDash CherDash is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke
No, they are correct and not misinformed. Abortion is always murder. Abortion is the direct and intentional killing of the baby. The Church teaches abortion is *always and everywhere* wrong. It is murder.

In the case of ectopic pregnancy there are two treatments available. In one, the diseased tissue of the tube is removed. This is a medical procedure done to save the mother-- the *unintended consequence* is that the baby dies because we do not possess the technology to successfully move the baby to the uterus. The *intent* is not to kill the child. The result is that the child dies because we lack the ability to prevent it.

The second method is the adminstration of a drug that causes a chemical abortion-- it kills the baby and leaves the tube intact. This is never a morally acceptable option as the purpose is to kill the baby-- a direct action that is always wrong.

The Church objects to all abortion because it is the killing of a human being. So, in this example you cited there is no deviation from the universal teaching of the church. Abortion would be wrong in this circumstance.

In every case when you say "but what about when..." you are basically trying to say "there are some cases where it is OK to kill a baby". This is of course absurd-- it is never OK to kill a baby.
OK, this is the info I wanted. I was looking at things the wrong way. Thank you for clearing things up.
  #8  
Old Jan 25, '06, 9:41 am
Consecrated Consecrated is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherDash
Hi,
I was on a message board, and the subject of abortion came up. Someone posted that the Church is against abortion in all cases, and specifically mentioned even in the event of an ectopic pregnancy. I believe they are misinformed. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, there's no chance for the baby, and the mother's life is endangered. Since the Church believes in the sanctity of human life, I don't believe the Church is OK with a woman dying when her life can be saved and there is no way the baby can survive. Also, I was wondering about anencephaly and abortion. The mom's life is not in danger usually in this situation, but the baby is either stillborn or dies shortly after birth. What is the Church's stance on this? Also, is there any other scenario where the Church would not object to abortion? I would appreciate any input. Thank you.
I just had an ectopic pregnancy that thankfully resolved itself without my needing surgery. These are the options my supposedly pro-life doctor gave me (keep in mind that I was not in immediate danger of bleeding out, unlike many women who present with ectopic pregnancy) :

1) Wait it out-- since I wasn't in immediate danger, I had the option of resting and waiting to see if the miscarriage would progress naturally on its own, and my body would then heal itself. I had strict instructions to come to the ER immediately, should I have any symptoms of dangerous levels of internal bleeding.

2) Go ahead and do surgery to remove the tube (or part of it), to avoid putting your life in possible danger, sort of like a preemptive strike

3) Take the methotrexate

Of these three, in my case, the only moral choice was waiting it out. The second choice would only be morally acceptable if I was in immediate and certain danger of bleeding out without surgery (I wasn't, praised be to Jesus). The third choice is never acceptable, for reasons already stated by other posters.

I had regular blood tests to make sure my blood count never dipped, and to test my pregnancy hormone levels to make sure I was really having a miscarriage (the doc wanted to be certain the baby hadn't implanted on an organ outside my uterus and continued to grow, for instance).

So, contrary to what a lot of people may think, it is possible to avoid an abortion even the case of ectopic pregnancy. Intentional abortion is NEVER acceptable, a direct attack on the baby is NEVER acceptable. Also, I think I am correct in stating that by the time the surgery becomes necessary to save the mother, the tube itself has already ruptured (therefore causing the excessive bleeding), and this most always itself causes the death of the baby. If someone knows better, please correct me!

Hope this helps.
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  #9  
Old Jan 25, '06, 9:52 am
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

While tricky in practice sometimes, I have learned that this is what moral theologians call the principle of 'double effect.'

The primary goal of an emergency surgery on a woman with an ectopic pregnancy is to save her life (good). The action required is the surgical removal of the damaged portion of the fallopian tube (morally nuetral). An undesired, but unavoidable side effect is the death of the unborn child (morally wrong of itself). Since the death of the child is not a desired result and is not the direct cause of the desired benefit AND since both will die if the emergency surgery is not performed, the undesired side effect of the child dying is outweighed by the primary effect and means of acheiving it.

Note that this is NOT reasoning by 'ends justify the means' which is what underlies the chemical abortion method. That line of thinking is considered unacceptable in catholic moral theology.
  #10  
Old Jan 25, '06, 10:13 am
emsvetich emsvetich is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic Prenancy has been discussed extensively here. A search will give you all of the information that you desire.
  #11  
Old Jan 25, '06, 10:31 am
Consecrated Consecrated is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by emsvetich
Ectopic Prenancy has been discussed extensively here. A search will give you all of the information that you desire.
Here is one recent thread:
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=89553
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  #12  
Old Jan 26, '06, 9:52 am
BioCatholic BioCatholic is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke
In the case of ectopic pregnancy there are two treatments available. I

Give it about 10 more years, and there will exist option 3:

transfer the embryo to an artificial environment or attempt to re-implant it in the uterus. One can remove the part of the tube, and then attempt to save the life of the embryo once the legitimate part of the surgery is completed. Probably be a long shot, but there are many acceptabe procedures that are done that are high risk or just plain crazy. The embryo will die anyway, so a low chance is better than none at all.

My aunt was in a horible car accident in the early 80's, and the trauma surgeon repaired the internal injuries and saved her spleen by removing it, reconfiguring the artery connections and shunts a bit, saved what he could of the spleen, and put it all back together. He told her he just made it up as he went along. Nowadays, youll find such a procedure in advanced textbooks.
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  #13  
Old May 18, '10, 1:09 pm
DidymusMD DidymusMD is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by manualman View Post
While tricky in practice sometimes, I have learned that this is what moral theologians call the principle of 'double effect.'

The primary goal of an emergency surgery on a woman with an ectopic pregnancy is to save her life (good). The action required is the surgical removal of the damaged portion of the fallopian tube (morally nuetral). An undesired, but unavoidable side effect is the death of the unborn child (morally wrong of itself). Since the death of the child is not a desired result and is not the direct cause of the desired benefit AND since both will die if the emergency surgery is not performed, the undesired side effect of the child dying is outweighed by the primary effect and means of acheiving it.

Note that this is NOT reasoning by 'ends justify the means' which is what underlies the chemical abortion method. That line of thinking is considered unacceptable in catholic moral theology.
I am Catholic and I am familliar with the thinking behind the double effect and its implications for the use of MTX to treat an ectopic pregnancy. My qualm, however, is that recourse to MTX would help to preserve the fertility of the mother and thus allow her more certainly to respond to God's call to procreate in the future. As has been noted, the chances of an embryo surviving ectopic implantation are next to nil. Certainly God knows this and would look with favor upon a treatment that preserves the mother's life and her ability to conceive in the future, no?
  #14  
Old May 18, '10, 7:20 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

Quote:
Originally Posted by DidymusMD View Post
I am Catholic and I am familliar with the thinking behind the double effect and its implications for the use of MTX to treat an ectopic pregnancy. My qualm, however, is that recourse to MTX would help to preserve the fertility of the mother and thus allow her more certainly to respond to God's call to procreate in the future. As has been noted, the chances of an embryo surviving ectopic implantation are next to nil. Certainly God knows this and would look with favor upon a treatment that preserves the mother's life and her ability to conceive in the future, no?
No.

One may never do evil so that a good may come from it.
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Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
  #15  
Old May 18, '10, 7:28 pm
yellowdaisy yellowdaisy is offline
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Default Re: Abortion And Ectopic Pregnancy

I have suffered two ectopic pregnancies, one of which occured in April 2010.

The first time, the baby miscarreid on it's own, but the placental tissue remained in my tube, and continued to grow. I contacted my parish, who contacted the diocese, which said that taking MTX to clear up placental tissue ONLY was morally permissable. My doctor didnt understand why, but I waited several days to be sure the baby had miscarried before taking the injection.

This second time, I ended up losing my tube. Again, I waited...and waited...and waited. Nothing was happening except increasing pain, so the surgeon went in laproscopically to look around.

She saw where the baby was, and saw that the tube HAD ruptured and I was bleeding out internally, although without any symptoms of such. She took out the entire tube, and baptized my little Noah right there in the operating room. Even some pro-life doctors will recommend "flushing" the baby out of the tube (thus killing it). My new doctor is fantastic, but even she couldnt understand why I would rather have had my tube removed. I INSISTED before surgery that if it was necessary to do anything, that she remove the entire tube, acting on me instead of the baby.

As it turns out, that's what she had to do anyway.

If you have more spsecific questions, contacting the Pope Paul Institute is a great thing to do. I believe women of child-bearing age need to be familiar with what is morally permissable BEFORE they get talked into something by their doctors!
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