A question about Chiara Corbella Petrillo and Saint Gemma GalganiIn

The life stories of these two women are inspiring.

They gave up their life for another - and as Christ tells us - Greater love have no man than to give up his life for another.

However, what about a woman with a crises pregnancy whose pregnancy threatens her own life. Clearly the Catholic Church is telling her - your child’s life matters more than yours, and abortion is not an option. Am I making a mistake here?

I am prolife - I just posted something on my facebook page about Chiara Corbella Petrillo and a proabort is accusing me about caring more for the life of the unborn child than the mother.

What is the Catholic church’s guidance here.

Sorry - I meant Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, not Saint Gemma GalganiIn.

I think the answer is that the Church values both lives and doesn’t choose one over the other. Medical care should be rendered in such a way as to preserve both lives, given the understanding that sometimes one will be lost despite the efforts.

It is also important to understand that St Gianna was free to have the life saving treatment. The purpose of the treatment was to treat the cancer, not kill the baby. The death of the baby would have been an indirect result of treatment.

St Gianna chose not to seek treatment even if it meant that it was less likely she would be able to be successfully treated later after delivery. That is heroic virtue and that is why she is a saint.

The decision was Gianna’s to make. The Church did not teach she had to forego cancer treatment.

Note, however, abortion is not cancer treatment. Abortion enters nowhere into St Gianna’s situation.

Saint gianna had a uterine fibroid. She told the doctors “no matter what, save the child.” She was very selfless in her decision. Now her daughter, the baby who lived, is also a doctor.

Chiara had cancer and refused treatment to save her child. Again, putting her child above herself…,a very selfless act of love.

Abortion is always deliberate…plus, there was no guarntee chiara would have been CURED of her cancer, if she had aborted her child to receive treatment. Or what if the treatment would have left her sterile and unable to have more children?

If a woman is far enough along in the pregnancy that the baby can live with medical assistance, a c-section could be done.

The Church is reminding the mother that the child’s life matters AS MUCH AS the woman’s, and that killing one’s child to save oneself is not a moral option. Women facing life-threatening health situations, like St Gianna, are not required to reject lifesaving treatment, even if it has the unintended side effect of hurting or killing their child. What they may not do is directly attack the new life. It is holy and heroic to sacrifice yourself for your unborn child and that it is why St. Gianna is canonized today. May I have the same courage if ever faced with a similar scenario. St. Gianna, pray for us!

In fact there may be many other women out there who sacrificed their lives for their unborn babies; we just don’t know about them.

Thanks so much for your excellent answers! Very inspiring!!

I have another abortion hard case question which I would really appreciate picking your brains on! I posted it in a separate thread.


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